CONDUCT AND COMPENSATION DISPUTE CONTINUES
The firm is currently acting for two graziers based in the Condamine region in a fight against one of the big resource companies.
Our clients have owned and run cattle on their property in the area since 2001, and in 2008 entered into a Conduct and Compensation Agreement (CCA) with the resource company. The agreement allowed the resource company to access our clients’ land and drill an exploration well.
An outbreak of a noxious weed called ‘Lovegrass’ was first observed by our clients in around April 2009, shortly after the company had been granted access to the property. The weed was initially seen near the grid used to access the property, along an access track (to the well) and surrounding the wellsite.
The infestation has spread significantly and now covers a large portion of the paddock where the well is located. This has meant that our clients have destocked to prevent further spread. It has significantly impacted the way our clients conduct their business operations as all appropriate measures must be taken to ensure the Lovegrass is contained and not spread to other paddocks or properties. The cost and time associated with managing and ultimately eradicating the Lovegrass is likely to exceed $1 million.
Under the governing legislation (Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Act 2014) our clients can apply to the Land Court for a review of the compensation paid under the initial agreement because there has been a ‘material change in circumstances’ since the signing of the CCA.
Our clients’ application has been filed in the Land Court and will be heard later this year.