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The Gasfields Commission is an independent statutory body established to manage and improve sustainable coexistence between rural landholders, regional communities and the onshore gas industry. The commission was formally established in July 2013, at a time of rapid development of the coal seam gas to liquefied natural gas (CSG-LNG) industry.

After operating for almost three years, in March 2016 it was considered timely to conduct an independent review of the Gasfields Commission as the industry transitions from rapid expansion to an operational phase. The review was undertaken by Mr Bob Scott, a retired member of the Land Court of Queensland. The terms of reference (PDF icon 34 KB) are available.

The reviewer received and considered 58 online and written submissions from a range of stakeholders and conducted interviews with 82 individuals including landholders, peak producer groups, industry, industry peak bodies, government agencies, local governments, community groups and other interested stakeholders.

Release of independent report and government response

On 1 December 2016, the Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines announced the release of the independent report (PDF icon 2.2 MB) and the government response (PDF icon 197 KB).

The government's response detailed a range of measures to be adopted based on the review report including:

  • establishing a Land Access Ombudsman to deal with disputes between landholders and resource companies in relation to conduct and compensation agreements
  • structural and operational changes to the Gasfields Commission that will enable it to work more effectively
  • a renewed focus by the commission on extension and communication activities to improve the availability of information on the coal seam gas industry particularly for landholders
  • developing in consultation with stakeholders improved approaches to negotiation and alternative ways to resolve land access disputes.

Consultation is being undertaken by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines with key stakeholders on legislative amendments in relation to land access dispute resolution and establishment of a Land Access Ombudsman. This legislative package will be progressed in 2017.

Amendment to the Gasfields Commission Act 2013

On 10 May 2017, the Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines introduced the Gasfields Commission and other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 (GCOLA 2017) into the Legislative Assembly. View the Bill and its parts:

The Bill makes the amendments to the Gasfields Commission Act 2013 that were recommended by the independent review and supported by government. These amendments will deliver the structural and operational changes to the commission, such as allowing the appointment of a part-time chairperson and the reclassification of the general manager as the chief executive officer. A range of consequential amendments as a result of these structural changes are also required, such as attendance at board meetings, leave and delegations.

The Bill also includes minor amendments to the Biodiscovery Act 2004 to streamline the process for companies to negotiate benefit sharing agreements and a minor amendment to the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015. Find further information on biodiscovery in Queensland or sustainable port development.

The Bill was referred to the Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee, which tabled its report to parliament on 13 July 2017.

Announcement of new Gasfields Commission Board

The review recommended the number of commissioners could be reduced from six to three. Consistent with this recommendation, on 1 December 2016, Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines announced the appointments of a new chairperson, Ms Ruth Wade, and three commissioners, Ms Fleur Anderson, Mr Ian Hayllor and Mr Rick Wilkinson.

The new chairperson and part-time commissioners commenced their roles on 1 December 2016.

Review timeline

  • 22 March 2016 - Gasfields Commission Review and independent reviewer announced
  • 23 March 2016 - Public written submissions to the review invited
  • April – May 2016 - Targeted stakeholder consultation including face to face meetings in the regions
  • 22 April 2016 - Public submissions closed
  • 29 July 2016 - Final report submitted by reviewer.
  • 1 December 2016 - Report and government response released

Frequently asked questions

When will the legislative changes to the Gasfields Commission start?

The review by Mr Bob Scott did not recommend an ombudsman. Why is an ombudsman being established?

I have a current dispute about a conduct and compensation agreement with a resource company. When can I take this matter to the Land Access Ombudsman?

When will the new dispute resolution framework start?

Who are the new commissioners and when will they start?

Contact

Contact the Gasfields Commission Review secretariat at the Department of State Development:

  • email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • phone: 3452 7162