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Darling Downs family takes on CSG giant in ‘landmark’ case

FED UP: Narelle and Nood Nothdurft, with daughter Prezlee on their property, Bellara.
FED UP: Narelle and Nood Nothdurft, with daughter Prezlee on their property, Bellara. Matthew Newton

A WESTERN Downs family is taking Queensland Gas Company (QGC) to Land Court in what is being described as a "landmark" case.

Nood and Narelle Nothdurft signed a compensation agreement with QGC in in 2006 for seven gas wells on their property.

Citing noise emissions breaches and health issues - namely headaches and nosebleeds - the Nothdurft's representative, George Houen of Landholder Services Pty Ltd, said the family would be arguing that there had been a material change in circumstances since the agreement was signed.

A directions hearing was held in Brisbane this morning, where a trial date of September 15 was set.

Mr Houen said that to his knowledge, the family's application for a review of their compensation agreement under the Petroleum and Gas Act 2004 will be the first to be considered by the Land Court since the act was commenced on December 31, 2004.

It will also be the first occasion where the Land Court has judicially interpreted the compensation provisions of the act.

"Our application to the court is on the basis that the emission limits for noise have been exceeded and that fugitive gases are also being released at excessive levels and that they constitute environmental harm, particularly to the health of (the Nothdurfts)," he said.

QGC spokesman Paul Larter said the Nothdurft family had applied to the Land Court for a review of a compensation agreement held with QGC for more than nine years. 

"This matter is now for the Land Court to decide and QGC will comply with its orders," Mr Larter said.

"QGC is operating within authorised noise levels. When access to the Nothdurft property is obtained QGC will install noise suppression equipment on some infrastructure. 

"Evidence from leading expert bodies confirms that properly regulated, unconventional gas developments do not threaten the environment or public health."

The Nothdurfts said they were relieved to now have a trial date set.

"Our end goal is to live here happily ever after, to have healthy children and healthy lives without any stress," Mr Nothdurft said.

Topics:  chinchilla csg hopeland qgc


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