Opposition leader Tony Abbott.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott. Chris Ison

Abbott supports fight for farmers right to say 'no' to CSG

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has backed farmers fighting mining companies, saying miners should not be allowed to enter land without the permission of landholders.

Mr Abbott told 2GB on Friday he "absolutely" backed the sentiment expressed by Coalition resources spokesman Ian McFarlane at a recent farmers rally in southern Queensland.

At the Basin Sustainability Alliance rally on Cecil Plains a fortnight ago, Mr McFarlane said the Opposition's policy was "that you don't extract coal seam gas, and you certainly don't mine this sort of country, unless the farmer says you can".

In a speech to the rally, Mr McFarlane said if farmers did not want mining or CSG companies entering their land to exploit resources, "that's what everyone should abide by".

Mr Abbott told 2GB host Alan Jones on Friday that "miners should not go onto farms if they're not wanted".

"It's very wrong and they shouldn't be going on to land where the landowners don't want them."

While he said he absolutely backed Mr McFarlane's comments at the Cecil Plains rally, Mr Abbott would not guarantee the Coalition would bring in such a policy if elected.

Mr McFarlane's comments were welcomed by BSA chairman David Hamilton, who said it was encouraging that Mr McFarlane believed landholders "should be able to choose not to have CSG wells on their property".

He said the reality was that property owners had no legal power to stop CSG companies accessing their land in Queensland.



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