Source: GasFields Commission Queensland
Pipeline contractors have been urged to work with onshore gas proponents to improve transparency and provide greater clarity on land access matters when dealing with affected landholders and communities.Speaking at the Australian Pipeline Industry Association's annual dinner in Brisbane this month, Mr Cotter said the pipeline industry is playing a key role in Queensland building energy highways like the three export pipelines connecting the Surat Basin to Gladstone.
Mr Cotter said most pipeline contractors recognise that building a pipeline is not just about engineering, it's about people."They understand that often the biggest and most important challenge is land access and working with landholders and communities along the pipeline easement.
"As such I believe more can be done by gas proponents working with their pipeline contractors to improve transparency and provide greater clarity on land access responsibilities including negotiation, operational matters and dealing with disputes."Both contractors and gas companies need to step up and take responsibility. Land access matters must be a critical part of the contractual arrangements between the gas proponent and the pipeline builder.
"A more coordinated and cohesive approach can not only save time and money on these multi-billion dollar pipeline projects, but also help to reduce the stress and heartache for affected landholders and communities," he said.In addition, Mr Cotter said whoever owns and operates these pipelines into the future will have an ongoing responsibility to respect and engage with those landholders and communities who have found themselves alongside these pipelines and have to coexist for many years to come.