A Bill for a Commission of Enquiry to investigate land access regimes which will impact landowners through the introduction of the State Government’s controversial mining bill has again been fobbed off in Parliament after its second reading.
Member for Frome Geoff Brock MP introduced the new Bill into Parliament in July 2019 to investigate land access regimes under the Mining Act 1971 and the Opal Mining Act 1995, the operation of the Department of Energy and Mining, in relation to such land access regimes and other purposes.
Under the Mining Bill, exploration would be allowed closer to homesteads – within 200m rather than the current 400m – and landowners would face fines for obstructing access.
“I introduced this Bill to bring clarity to the State Government’s controversial mining bill, because no previous bill has been able to satisfy all parties,” Mr Brock said.
“However, I am very disappointed and frustrated the Government has, for the second time, avoided debate on my Bill.”
Mr Brock called for a discussion on the Bill on November 27 and was against an adjournment.
However, he was unsuccessful, with the only supporters for the debate being two independent MPs and members of the Labor Party.
“Disappointingly, the other four MPs who crossed the floor previously were no longer visible in supporting the debate of this Bill,” Mr Brock said.
The decision to adjourn discussion on Mr Brock’s Bill was lost by a small majority of three.
Mr Brock said he had placed, in the Bill, the opportunity to look into the practices of not only interstate but also overseas jurisdictions and how they were able to achieve best practice and balance the rights of landowners and those who may seek access to explore for or extract mineral resources, with a view to creating a model of best practice.
“This bill is designed to allay concerns from everyone impacted – all this Bill asks for is that an independent inquiry into land access be established for the mining industry.
“I believe it is essential we protect our farmers and their industry and listen to their concerns out the lack of protection of South Australian arable land, which is reducing every year,” Mr Brock