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Landholder Tips - Negotiating a Land Access Agreement with a CSG Company

Land access agreements for Coal Seam Gas mining and exploration can have long-lasting impacts on landholders. It is crucial that you understand your rights and the process involved in dealing with CSG exploration and mining, even if you aren’t sure of the impact to your property.

The following tips have been developed to ensure you understand the common tactics that are used by CSG companies to influence landowners into hosting activity on their property.

Tip 1: Don’t succumb to time pressures

CSG companies may stress that work needs to commence on your land immediately and employ time related pressure tactics.

Do not allow time pressures to influence you. Act reasonably however be aware time is rarely an issue. Take the time to carefully consider your options and seek expert legal advice.

Tip 2: The devil is in the detail

CSG companies are notorious for downplaying, or vaguely describing the activity they propose to undertake on your land. CSG activity can be highly invasive and has the potential to seriously impact your property, the business you conduct on it and its value.

Make sure you request the specifics of the activity proposed and seek clarification on anything you do not understand. This is an opportunity to get the best possible outcome for you and your family and understanding what is proposed is a vital step in securing that.

Tip 3: Stand your ground, protect your rights

Many landholders have been informed they have no rights when it comes to land access. By law, CSG companies must:

  • Consult or use reasonable endeavours to consult owners and occupiers about access, the carrying out of the activities and compensation;
  • Carry out the activities in a way that does not unreasonably interfere with anyone else carrying out lawful activity;
  • Comply with noise restrictions; and
  • Comply with the Land Access Code.

In addition to their legal obligations, CSG companies must reimburse your reasonable and necessary legal, valuation, agronomy, and accounting costs involved in a Conduct and Compensation Agreement (CCA).

Remember that CSG companies have legal obligations. They will reimburse any reasonable and necessary professional assistance because of the complexities involved and varying details associated with this unique area of law.

Tip 4: Never accept the first offer you receive

The offer of immediate financial compensation or a payoff for your land is a common occurrence. It is imperative that you pay close attention to the terms of the agreement, as some of the conditions can be particularly nasty. You could be agreeing to terms that unwittingly give away your right to future compensation or the right to be compensated for the increased noise, dust or light impacts that CSG developments can cause.

Consult legal advice. Our team can negotiate far better terms without any reduction in compensation and in many cases, a significant increase in compensation is likely. Negotiating better terms will preserve your property’s value and empower you to protect your rights.

Tip 5: Assumptions can be dangerous

You should never assume any information shared by the company liaison officer to be true or accurate. Be sure you understand what you are told and always ask for clarification or more information where necessary.

Company Liaison officers are company employees and are not considering what is best for you. Obtain independent legal advice from people who specialise in the area and are therefore experts in their field. Our people are experienced in negotiating land access agreements, we are well resourced, and are here to help you.

Dedicated Legal Support for Landholders

Our carefully selected legal team are experts in the provision of Coal Seam Gas mining and legal services and have supported hundreds of landowners and occupiers in their land access agreement negotiations. Backed by over 40 years of advocating for deserving Australians - from primary producers, to families and local businesses - we have the experience and legal know-how to take on the big opponents, and secure the results that are right for you and your family.

If you wish to discuss your situation, we offer an initial obligation-free consultation on any Conduct and Compensation Agreements (CCA). We are also happy to provide advice on any other coal seam gas, mining, exploration or land resumption issues that you may wish to discuss.

Should you decide to proceed with Shine Lawyers, one of our experienced specialists will take the time to fully explain the legal process so that you understand your rights, and are able to regain some control through what can be an exceptionally challenging time.

Shine Lawyers provides expert coal seam gas legal services throughout Australia. Click to read more about our coal seam gas legal services.

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