Tim Wilson seeks more rights for farmers facing mining company access demands

Tim Wilson seeks more rights for farmers facing mining company access demands
Tim Wilson seeks more rights for farmers facing mining company access demands

Australian governments must give farmers more rights when mining companies are negotiating access to potential gas or coal reserves on their property, the Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson has urged.

Laws currently did not help the impasse by licensing mining companies to gain access to a farmer's property.

"It is not done on the basis of consent or respect for the farmer. And that's when you get conflict and I would argue, a human rights violation," Mr Wilson said in a published speech to be delivered today to the Castan Centre for Human Rights law conference at Monash University.

"But it's important to focus on the cause of the problem," the Australian Financial Review reported ahead of the speech.

"Many people will see a mining company trampling on the rights of the farmer. But the issue is not the miner. The miner is only doing what the law allows them to do.

"The issue is the law and whether it properly respects the surface property rights of the farmer. Only government can legally facilitate this violation and absent the necessary respect for rights."

Mr Wilson said most of the opposition to coal seam gas was "nonsensical and absurd" but human rights abuses did occur. He said property rights were often the forgotten human right.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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Mining Farming

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