The GasFields Commission Queensland is undertaking a stocktake of land rehabilitation efforts following the construction of the three major gas pipelines connecting the Surat Basin to Gladstone in Queensland.
Commission Chairman, John Cotter, said these pipeline projects not only represent a large technical and engineering feat but there has also been a significant community engagement challenge.
Mr Cotter said these pipeline easements combined stretch some 1500 kilometres or almost the distance between Brisbane to Cairns, traversing hundreds of individual rural properties and many different local landscapes and regional communities.
“Having personally travelled up and down these pipeline easements many times during the two years of construction and the more recent rehabilitation phase, and having dealt with a wide range of issues, I believe it is vital that we formally capture the numerous insights gained.
Mr Cotter said the pipeline easement stocktake will examine:
- Land rehabilitation – using randomly selected sites and information previously gathered by the Commission to assess the current physical state of the easements and the nature and extent of any significant land rehabilitation issues including erosion, subsidence and invasive plants;
- Community engagement – the stocktake will draw on the experiences and insights of affected landholders, proponents and contractors in relation to negotiating and accessing private land, communication and engagement and ongoing management of these pipeline easements.
Mr Cotter said over the next few months the Commission, with the assistance of former National Landcare facilitator, Brett De Hayr, will undertake the stocktake of these pipeline easements in liaison with landholders, proponents, contractors and regulators.
“I believe this stocktake will provide some very valuable insights that can be shared and which will help to improve the planning and outcomes of other future major private and public infrastructure projects in Queensland, beyond the onshore gas industry,” he said.