The New ‘Umpire’ features in GasFields Revamp

Meet Ruth Wade – She’s our new independent Land Access ombudsman – A role which replaces the Gas Fields Commissioners role.ruth-wade

Ms Wade’s new job is a central element of a revamp of the state’s Gasfields Commission and CSG dispute resolution system.

State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham says the new land access ombudsman is a Former Queensland Farmers’ Federation boss.

‘The new ombudsman will give landholders a trusted and independent decision maker to resolve issues before they escalate into full blown legal disputes. As well, a more streamlined dispute resolution will be more cost-effective and efficient.”

Our other reforms to the Gasfields Commission will allow it to continue the work of building sustainable coexistence, but with what is now an ongoing and mature industry.

New chair Ruth Wade has more than 25 years’ experience in agriculture and business.

She will be joined by Theodore cotton farmer Fleur Anderson. Current commissioners Ian Hayllor and Rick Wilkinson were reappointed.

Dr Lynham thanked the Gasfields Commission’s outgoing chairman John Cotter and the commissioners who had worked hard to establish the Commission since its inception in 2013.

“Their efforts over the past three years have been instrumental in the growth of the onshore gas industry in very challenging circumstances,” he said.

The revamp follows an independent review by retired Land Court member Bob Scott, who interviewed more than 80 stakeholders including landholders, peak producer groups, industry, industry peak bodies, government agencies, local governments and community groups.

The new-look commission will:

    • reduce to one chair and three part-time commissioners
    • improve the information that is available to landholders
    • set up a community reference group to focus on health and wellbeing concerns for residents and their families in areas such as the Tara Estates.
    • work with the various agencies in the CSG industry to clarify their responsibilities and how they respond to inquiries and complaints.

The review report and the government’s response are available online at statedevelopment.qld.gov.au