Farmers on their own for now

TASMANIAN Farmers and Graziers Association chief executive Jan Davis says concerns about shale oil and gas exploration are issues for individual landholders, rather than representative groups.

Last week the state government granted an exploration licence to PetraGas, a subsidiary of South Australian oil and gas company Petratherm.

The licence, which covers about 3900 square kilometres across Tasmania's Southern Midlands, has been opposed by green groups and several landholders. 

Oatlands farmer Brett Hall said he and at least 21 others lodged objections last year regarding environmental impacts of exploration and extraction.

Ms Davis said the TFGA was working with the Tasmanian Minerals and Resources Council to develop a code of best practice that would govern mining activity and exploration.

``The TFGA doesn't have a position on an individual mining application - however, individual farmers will,'' she said.

``Our position is that so long as [PetraGas] do all the right things, and all the farmers are happy, there shouldn't be an issue.'' 

Ms Davis said while she had not spoken personally with PetraGas, she believed it had approached all landowners affected by the exploration licence.

``If and when any activity begins, there will be a code in place to deal with any issues,'' she said. 

Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council chief executive Terry Long said last week  concerned farmers should work with mining companies on a consultative basis.

Email adruce@examiner.com.au 

Twitter @AlexDruce1987 

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