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Weed control key concern on CQ pipeline visit

Posted on 23 September 2014

Sourced from GasFields Commission Queensland

Weed control along the rehabilitated gas pipeline easements in Central Queensland remains one of the key concerns for local landholders raised during a recent visit by the GasFields Commission.

In Biloela for the AgForce 360 series conference held earlier this month, several of the Commissioners (pictured) took the opportunity to inspect a section of one pipeline easement that runs through Jim and Robyn Ferguson's property and their neighbour Eddie Wales.

Mr Ferguson acknowledged he had a range of weeds on his property but that they were being controlled within the creek bed itself. He now fears it has spread to other areas that have been disturbed as part of the land rehabilitation process beyond the creek bed.

"We recognise the weed was there before and we spray it all the time to keep it under control.

"We are concerned that the company is not spraying in a timely or strategic manner in order to limit the spread of weeds along the pipeline easement."

Mr Ferguson said he was still in negotiations with the company and hoped they could reach a satisfactory solution.

"This pipeline is here for 40 or 50 years and they should realise this problem is theirs and they need to keep it under control all of the time, but to date that has not been the case," he said.

Mr Ferguson said his experience with the pipeline easement of another gas proponent on another of his properties had been a positive one.

"There was no weed problem at all and to this date we're quite hopeful that none has been put on our property," Mr Ferguson said.

GasFields Commissioner Don Stiller who visited the Fergusons' property said weed management is a critical issue for landholders which if not adequately controlled can impact significantly on pasture productivity and ultimately property values.

Mr Stiller said on-farm biosecurity plans or procedures are a good way for landholders to monitor and manage weed problems.

"The gas proponents have an ongoing responsibility to manage weed impacts along their pipeline easement and they should take account of local knowledge and experience when developing weed control strategies."

Mr Stiller said landholders should keep a close eye on easements that have been recently rehabilitated in order to identify early any potential problems with weeds, subsidence or erosion.

"If a problem is identified, in the first instance the landholder should try and communicate directly with the gas company to try and find a resolution.

"If they are unable to reach a satisfactory outcome, the landholder can as a next step approach the Coal Seam Gas Compliance Unit (CSGCU) for an assessment and advice," Mr Stiller said.