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Barnaby Joyce floats national royalty plan to dismantle coal seam gas bans

Amy Remeikis and Sean Nicholls report in the Sydney Morning Herald (17.3.17) on Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s proposal to entice more support in regional areas for coal seam gas exploration by offering landholders a greater share of royalties.

‘Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has started dismantling Australia’s sweeping ban on coal seam gas drilling, arguing a new scheme to divert a share of government royalties to farmers will overcome furious opposition in the bush.

‘Mr Joyce on Friday embraced a South Australian government plan to pay farmers 10 per cent of royalties in exchange for allowing gas wells on their land, saying the scheme should be rolled out nationally, with an exclusion of prime agricultural land.

‘The Agriculture Minister said lifting moratoriums and giving landholders a fair price in exchange for access would equate to “a substantial turnaround in attitude and that is a very good outcome”.

‘”I can’t see people who start making hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of dollars a year having a backlash,” Mr Joyce told Fairfax Media.’

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