Agriculture in a gas era: a comparative analysis of Queensland and British Columbia's agricultural land protection and unconventional gas regimes

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Abstract

The Australian Senate's Interim Report on Unconventional Gas Mining was released in June 2016, following heightened political awareness of continuing public outcry relating to unconventional gas exploration. In Queensland, the state government has supported the gas industry's headlong rush into this profitable resource sector, to the consternation of farmers who have few statutory rights to disallow access by resource companies to their agricultural land. In the early sections of this paper, we review current agricultural land protection legislation in Queensland and British Columbia; two Commonwealth states with similar socio-political and legal systems and growing unconventional gas industries. The review provides the basis of a critical analysis of 'active' adaptive management as a regulatory framework facilitating optimal coexistence between agriculture and unconventional natural gas. In the remaining section we apply the framework of 'active' adaptive management in a comparative legal analysis of the land protection and oil and gas agencies as well as agricultural land protection regulation in British Columbia and Queensland. In conclusion, we identify the Agricultural Land Commission system in British Columbia, Canada as exemplifying elements of 'active' adaptive management to assist in facilitating coexistence between arable land and unconventional gas operations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-480
Number of pages22
JournalAustralasian Journal of Regional Studies
Volume22
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • rural land protection
  • unconventional gas regulation
  • agriculture protection
  • natural resource management
  • active adaptive management

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