CSG forums tomorrow

TWO forums will be held in Sale tomorrow to answer questions about exploration and mining of onshore gas operations.

The Department of Primary Industries will conduct its information session at the All Seasons Sale (formerly the Princeton) between 2pm and 7pm, while the Victorian Farmers’ Federation will host a forum at the Sale Greyhounds Club from 10am to noon to answer producers’ questions about mining and coal seam gas.

DEPARTMENT of Primary Industries earth resources regulation executive director Doug Sceney said the session would give local residents a chance to speak directly to regulators and policy experts about the regulatory process that applies to mining and onshore gas operations in Victoria.

“The Department of Primary Industries is committed to providing communities in regional Victoria with the information they need about how exploration and mining is regulated, how the environment is protected and what landholders’ rights are,” he said.

“Victoria has a strong regulatory regime that has overseen the safe extraction of minerals for decades and helped ensure our state has a sustainable minerals industry that works cooperatively alongside the agriculture industry and respects the rights of landholders.

“DPI recognises there is strong community interest in finding out more about these issues and that as regulator we need to engage with local residents, landholders and other stakeholders.”

Representatives of the DPI, the Environment Protection Authority and rural water agencies will

be on hand to explain how Victoria’s regulatory regime operates during the face-to-face discussions.

The events will run as drop in sessions where local residents can come at a time that is convenient to them and talk directly with representatives of the agencies at a number of different booths.

“I would encourage people with questions about the regulation of exploration and mining in Victoria to take this opportunity to come along and put their questions directly to regulators and experts who can give them the facts they need,” Mr Sceney said.

THE Victorian Farmers’ Federation forum is designed specifically for farmers, and will cover topics including farmers’ rights during mining exploration and development, the VFF’s mining policy, and our proposed changes to minerals legislation.

Representatives from the Department of Primary Industries will also be on-hand to outline the regulation of the mining industry and CSG exploration in Victoria and provide an update on current exploration and mining activities taking place in Gippsland.

VFF land management committee chairman Gerald Leach said the aim of the forums was to make sure farmers knew their rights when dealing with mining activities on their land or in their community.

“We also want to make sure they understand regulation of the mining industry, and have up-to-date and correct information on mining and coal seam gas activity in their area,” he said.

Mr Leach said he was also keen to hear about the concerns of individual farmers.

“The VFF exists to serve its members and make sure they have the strongest rights possible when it comes to how they manage their land,” he said.

“If you’re a farmer with questions or concerns about mining or coal seam gas activity, please come along and let us know,” Mr Leach said.

The forum is free for VFF members and $10 for non-members.