the future of coal seam

The Promised Land: the Future of Coal Seam Gas in Victoria

On 6 November 2013, Deakin University's School of Law presented the first-ever conference at The Sofitel Hotel examining the future of Coal Seam Gas and Unconventional Gas Regulation in Victoria.

Recommendations have been made to lift the moratorium on coal seam gas and unconventional gas miningin Victoria and an amendment bill to the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act (Vic) has just been tabled in Parliament. This has made the importance of debating and discussing the suitabilityof exisiting mining regulation in Victoria increasingly imperative.

Around 85 participants attended the Melbourne event, which included a series of discussion papers, presentations and a panel debate on the emergent regulatory issues relevant to coal seam gas and unconventional gas mining.

It was a rigorous and thoughtful debate that opened the conversation around issues such as:

  • Comparative regulatory developments in other states, such as New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.
  • The recently-released draft National Harmonised Regulatory Framework by the Standing Council on Energy and Resources.
  • Environmental issues, such as land access, groundwater depletion and hydraulic fracking. Social issues, such as ownership rights and community engagement.
  • Reform options including expanding compensation options and the prospect of royalties for regions being introduced

Representatives from peak industry bodies and companies attended, including:

  • Director of the The Grattan Institute, Dr Tony Wood
  • The Executive Chairman of Lakes Oil, Mr Rob Annells
  • The Director, Centre for Coal Seam Gas, University of Queensland, Dr Andrew Garnett
  • The Executive Director of APPEA, Mr Rick Wilkinson
  • Executive Director of the Minerals Council, Ms Megan Davison
  • Manager of Resource Development, Mr Dane Stewart, Ignite Energy
  • The Director of the the Centre for International Minerals and Petroleum Law, University of Queensland, Dr Tina Hunter
  • Director of Engineering Operations, DMITRE, Mr Mike Malavazos
  • Principal Solicitor Victorian Environmental Defenders Office, Ms Felicity Millner
  • The Chairman of the Land Management Committee for the Victorian Farmers Federation, Mr Gerard Leach
  • Labor Spokesperson for Energy and Resources, Mr John Lenders
  • Law Partner at Ashurst, Jeff Lynn
  • Associate Professor Samantha Hepburn, Deakin University
  • Lecturer, Lidia Xynas, Deakin University

Deakin Law School would like to thank everyone who spoke and attended on the day to help make conference such a great success. We expect that the discussions and issues raised on the day will make a substantial contribution to the future development of the Victorian regulatory framework. These issues will be formalised into a policy paper which will be submitted for consideration to the Victorian Parliament.

The presentations for the conference are available below:

Deakin Law School would like to thank everyone who spoke and attended on the day to help make conference such a great success.

For more information, please call the conference organisers: Associate Professor Samantha Hepburn and Lidia Xynas Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Law or telephone School of Law on 61 3 5227 2215.

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