Since July 2019 regional MP Geoff Brock has been working to have the South Australian Parliament agree to bringing clarity to a controversial mining Bill.
“As Member for Frome I am not just concerned with the Bill affecting my own rural electorate, but on how it will affect landowners across the State,” Mr Brock said this week.
“I introduced a new Bill into Parliament in the middle of last year for a Commission of Enquiry to investigate land access regimes under the Mining Act 1971 and the Opal Mining Act 1995 and the operation of the Department of Energy and Mining as it affects land access regimes.
“I introduced the Bill to bring clarity, because no previous Bill has been able to satisfy all parties,” he said.
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, while at the same time 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 about the lack of protection of South Australian arable land, which is reducing every year,” Mr Brock said.
Mr Brock spoke again in Parliament on April 8 at the second reading of the Bill, emphasising the importance of an independent review and additional transparency into giving access to mining and petroleum industries onto agricultural land.
“This is not political. It is looking at the best possible opportunities for everyone involved,” Mr Brock said.
The debate on the Bill was adjourned for the Easter break and will resume at a future sitting for a final debate and a decision.