Australian Greens and farmers want the federal government to create legislation requiring mining companies to obtain written permission from landowners before exploring for coal seam gas on their land.
This would give farmers the right to deny access to coal seam gas miners. Under Australian law, landholders must allow resource companies access for exploration and mining.
Earlier this week, Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott agreed that farmers should have the right to say no if they don’t want miners exploring on their land, but has refused to back legislation drafted by the Greens, and has since backed away from the position somewhat.
According to supporters of the legislation, there should be a sufficient number of members in both houses of parliament to bring this issue forward and approve it before Christmas. If this kind of legislation passes into law, it will give farmers more control over their land and whether or not it is used to obtain gas resources.
There is predicted to be significant growth in the use of gas throughout the world during the next decade, as it is less carbon intensive than other fossil fuels.