Experience in many parts of the world shows that well planned and well managed shale gas and tight gas operations can complement farming and pastoralism.
Before accessing land that is affected by an exploration permit, an operator must negotiate an access agreement with a landowner. This will compensate the landowner or pastoral leaseholder for any potential disruption to their day-to-day business.
If for any reason the landholder isn’t satisfied with the negotiation process, there are avenues for mediation between the two parties.
The exploration process involves minimal disturbance and, once the wells are established, the operation is unobtrusive, occupying a small area of cleared land. After production, well sites are rehabilitated to an agreed standard with the environmental regulator.
Farmers and pastoralists in onshore natural gas regions in other parts of Australia and internationally enjoy the benefit of securing additional income streams – rain, hail or shine.
In addition to its low impact on agricultural operations and its capacity to strengthen farmers’ and pastoralists’ incomes, the gas industry can revitalise agricultural regions by enabling much-needed economic development and construction of infrastructure and community facilities.