Commission checks state of play after gas pipeline build

THE GasFields Commission is undertaking a stocktake of land rehabilitation efforts and community engagement activities following the construction of three major gas pipelines connecting the Surat Basin to Gladstone.

Commission chairman John Cotter said the pipeline projects not only represented a large technical and engineering feat, but there had also been a significant community engagement challenge.

Mr Cotter said the pipeline easements stretched 1500km, 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," he said.

Mr Cotter said the pipeline easement stocktake would 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 would undertake the stocktake in liaison with landholders, proponents, contractors and regulators, with the assistance of former national Landcare facilitator Brett DeHayr. 

"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.