A Make Good Agreement (MGA) ensures that water bore owners who are impacted by CSG operations are able to maintain access to a reasonable supply of water for the use of their bore. A well negotiated MGA can protect your water supply into the future, or lead to fair compensation. A poorly negotiated one can have devastating consequences.
The following are a few tips as a landholder you should remember when negotiating an MGA with a Coal Seam Gas company:
Investigate your bore. Investigate the status of your bore because many are slipping through the cracks i.e. bores said to be affected long into the future are being affected now. There are many unregistered bores but these could still be entitled to an MGA.
Devise a strategy early. Bore owners are entitled to reasonable legal, accounting and valuation fees to negotiate and prepare a MGA. Contact these professionals early so that the best strategy can be devised.
Do your homework. Bore owners should undertake a comprehensive Bore Assessment. Obtain the drill records, understand what aquifer/s it’s drawing from and what alternatives lie beneath. Assess your entitlements and what your property’s water needs are.
Decide your preference. A Make Good Measure could be anything from compensation to a new bore or alternate water source. You need to know what you want.
Don’t underestimate the complexity. The Make Good regime is a complex legal and taxation web. MGA’s have implications for your property that carry through the generations, so bore owners should clearly know their rights.