Property owner Michael Baker has won a Supreme Court order forcing gas pipeline companies to restart negotiations to use his land.
Property owner Michael Baker has won a Supreme Court order forcing gas pipeline companies to restart negotiations to use his land. File

‘David v Goliath' court case

MICHAEL Baker fought not just the Queensland Government, but delivered a thorn in the side of a 500km pipeline worth more than $20 billion.

In the Supreme Court yesterday, Mr Baker was vindicated.

His property in Eidsvold, which sits almost exactly halfway along the pipeline's route from Chinchilla to Gladstone, faced having gas giant QGC and the government using a swathe of his land when he refused to settle on a deal for access.

This allowed the government to use "Part 5 permission" - forcing access and opening the door for land resumptions.

In court, the decision by former mines minister Stirling Hinchliffe in February was ruled "void", forcing QGC and the government to restart the process of using Mr Baker's land.

Mr Baker's legal team described it as a "David versus Goliath" victory, but QGC was quick to announce it would lodge a new application immediately.

A spokesman for the company said only when an impasse with Mr Baker could not be handled after 18 months of negotiation, did QGC use the Part 5 permission.

"Of all the 120 other private landholders covering nearly 99% of the 540km pipeline route, Mr Baker is the only landholder with whom QGC has not agreed access," he said.

The spokesman said he expected no delay to the project, expected to employ 1000 during construction.



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