Gas producer Arrow Energy has been issued a $1 million fine for noncompliance with Queensland’s legislative requirements.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart confirmed the Department of Resources had concluded its investigation into breaches of Queensland’s land access framework by Arrow Energy from 2018 until early 2022.
Stewart said: “The significance of this penalty takes into account Arrow’s indiscretions.
“As a government, we make no apologies for holding businesses to account if they do the wrong thing.
“Queensland’s resources framework promotes the coexistence of landholders, regional communities, and industry – however coexistence is a fragile concept, and it needs to be nurtured by all parties to be truly sustainable.
“Arrow Energy has acknowledged it has made mistakes in the past and in more recent times the company has taken tangible steps towards fostering genuine coexistence with landholders impacted by their operations.
“A line will now be drawn under this historical behaviour for industry and the focus from now on is ensuring that this doesn’t happen again.”
The Department of Resources will continue to focus on ensuring compliance with the coexistence framework, conducting a six-month targeted campaign of checks on gas operations across the Surat Basin to ensure all operations are meeting their obligations.
In addition to this compliance campaign, the Department of Resources and the independent GasFields Commission Queensland are undertaking a range of actions to strengthen coexistence and build a robust framework which serves landholders, operators, and all participants.
Stewart continued: “My department and the GasFields Commission have recently published information online that clarifies the legal framework for dealing with gas infrastructure remaining on site after a tenure has ended.
“Landlords are protected from liability for harm caused by, or arising from, the failure of any legacy petroleum and gas infrastructure on their properties, unless they have caused or contributed to the harm through their own activities.”
The GasFields Commission is also investigating the issue of coal seam gas induced subsidence, its potential impact on farming operations and the adequacy of the existing regulatory framework.
Stewart said the draft Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan contained several initiatives to foster better coexistence.
He added: “These include developing principles for stronger landholder relationships, reviewing the state’s land access and coexistence institutions, and ensuring emerging coexistence issues are considered in updated regional plans.
“These actions will continue to build community confidence and enhance our already strong coexistence framework.”