GasFields Commission establishes regional advisory group
The GasFields Commission Queensland (GFCQ or the Commission) has established a Surat Stakeholder Advisory Group (SSAG or the Group) to act as a primary regional mechanism for the Commission to consult with and inform GFCQ stakeholders and the Surat regional communities on its operations and related sustainable coexistence matters. The SSAG’s Charter states:
“The role of the SSAG is to provide a dedicated forum for Commission stakeholders to identify, understand, discuss and share information about urgent, current, systemic or emerging issues along with challenges and opportunities in order to manage and improve sustainable coexistence between landholders, regional communities and the onshore gas industry in Queensland. Whilst not exclusively, the SSAG will have an early focus on opportunities to engage, inform and support communities potentially affected by the Surat Gas Project so that landholders and regional communities can make informed decisions and achieve fair and reasonable outcomes.”
In addition, the Group provides a valuable forum for GFCQ stakeholders to:
- Be briefed and consulted on existing or proposed Commission activities, projects and programs;
- Discuss and provide advice on the delivery of existing or proposed Commission activities, projects and programs including their relevance, design, effectiveness and any other opportunities for improvement;
- Identify opportunities for collaboration about existing and proposed Commission activities, projects and programs; and
- Engage with the relevant subject matter experts to provide advice on matters as they arise.
In July, the GFCQ Management Team, Board Members and Stakeholder Engagement Officers travelled to the Surat Basin and met with landholders, peak agriculture bodies and government representatives to convene the inaugural meeting of the SSAG. The Commission appreciates the benefit of meeting face-to-face with stakeholders to discuss and work through any issues with gas exploration being faced throughout regional Queensland.
The SSAG is chaired by Mr. Stuart Armitage (GFCQ Commissioner) and its membership includes representatives from:
- Landholders of major land types and locations from within the Surat region
- Local Government representatives
- Community leaders and non-government peak bodies.
The SSAG meets on a monthly basis, with meetings conducted on an informal basis, guided by an agenda.
Who are the GasFields Commission Queensland?
Established as an independent statutory body in 2013, the Commission's purpose is to manage and improve the sustainable coexistence of landholders, regional communities and the onshore gas industry in Queensland. Our vision is to see thriving and inclusive communities flourish in areas of gas development, supported by respectful and balanced stakeholder relationships. One way the Commission is endeavouring to realise this vision is by providing transparency and independent assurances that the onshore gas industry is appropriately regulated and held to account when needed. This in turn will help cultivate sustainable coexistence, whilst ensuring community and landholder confidence in the regulators and gas industry increases.
Drawing on its wealth of experience in the development of the gas industry and by collaborating with other relevant entities, the Commission provides a range of support to communities and landholders, primarily through education and engagement. This education and engagement occurs through direct contact with individual landholders and via Commission facilitated webinars, information sessions, meetings, pop-up shops and workshops. It should be noted that the Commission does not engage in individual commercial negotiations between landholders and gas companies, but rather provides communities and landholders with the information and support they need to make informed decisions and achieve good outcomes.
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