Sunday, 31 January 2016

Tips on Measuring Bore Levels

Emma Kime from our Agribusiness Rural Law Team found this instructional video online for Landowners. Here are some tips in regard to measuring the standing water level in your bores. 

The more information you have in regard to the status of your bore before any mining or gas activities the better. Especially if there is an argument later on about any Make Good requirements.

The Rees R & Sydney Jones Agribusiness Rural Law Team, is lead by Partner Melanie Findlay and can be contacted on 07 4927 6333 or via email at 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

What's all this Paris stuff?

Beef Herd Management

Last year COP21 occurred in Paris. The 196 Parties agree to the terms of an Agreement which is to be signed in New York in April this year. If it gets signed the parties to the Agreement will be required to action their goals that were set at the Paris conference. Australia promised to reduce GHG emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030. We promised to do this using the Emissions Reduction Fund which purchases emission reduction credits and we also promised to increase our Renewable Energy Target to 23% by 2020. 

What this will mean for our agricultural clients is that there are new investments in reforestation projects and forestry offsets. Carbon projects could become tradable internationally and so projects through the Emissions Reduction Fund will become popular. Landowners can benefit from approved method projects like Beef Herd Management, sequestering carbon in soils in grazing, feeding nitrates to cattle, avoiding clearing of native regrowth and Savanna fire management projects just to name a few. Perform these in accordance with the rules and credits or money could be earnt.

The signals are that reliance on fossils fuels will reduce (these can still be offset using sinks, CCS etc) and there will be an accelerated growth in clean energy and renewables. ARENA for example funded over $22M towards the Barcaldine Community Solar Farm. Some projects like this could be located on private land and agreements reached with private companies who wish to construct these renewable projects.

Grazing may still be grazing, but what if you just grazed a little differently and were paid to reduce your GHG omissions or the GHG omissions of some other polluter in another country?”

Monday, 11 January 2016

Uncertainty over Rockhampton’s Beef Loop Road

In 2011 planning and studies were done in regard to the Fitzroy River Floodplain and Road Planning Strategy (the Rockhampton Ring Road or Rockhampton By-Pass). The idea was to push trucks away from the centre of town via a bridge over the Fitzroy at Pink Lilly and around town rather than traffic going through town. Stage 4 of the plan included the third bridge.  No funding announcements or any construction date has been provided. 

There is now a renewed push for a connection to allow larger trucks to connect the new bridge to Lakes Creek Road so as to provide a better route for beef trucks to access the meatworks.

Although the projects would have great benefits for the cattle industry, landowners in the vicinity of the proposed routes are left in limbo waiting for movement. It is difficult for people in this position to decide whether or not to sell their properties, to improve them or to attend meetings with government departments. Compensation discussions can be intimidating and emotional. There are very few things as daunting on a person as the possibility of losing their home or property. The plans do include the resumptions or the taking of land and houses and some other properties for ramps for example. 

You are entitled to receive your reasonable legal fees reimbursed to you if your land is resumed or your land is taken by a government department. You are also entitled under the law to receive an advanced payment once you have lodged a claim to assist you to move and carry on with your life. If you are approached by any government department or council about the taking of your land for any purpose it is important to seek legal advice at an early stage so that you can make informed decisions about moving on or achieving the best result possible. 

Melanie Findlay is a Partner in the Rural, Mining & Gas Division of local law firm Rees R & Sydney Jones.