Coal Seam Gas & Mining Compensation Agreements
Why engage Sheehan & Co to represent you in your negotiations with Coal Seam Gas (CSG) and mining companies?
We fully understand you and your needs and we tailor our legal services accordingly. We understand the mining legislation and the practical issues which need to be addressed when negotiating the terms of the proposed Compensation Agreement.
Paul Sheehan and his team have developed high levels of knowledge, expertise and experience in this area over the past decade. This expertise has been gained through numerous negotiations with CSG and coal mining companies on behalf of landholders throughout the Surat Basin in relation to the preparation of Notices of Entry, Conduct and Compensation Agreements and associated documents (including easements) relative to a broad cross-section of activities (CSG exploration and production wells and associated infrastructure (including gathering water pipelines), monitoring wells, gas pipeline construction; core coal samples...).
Our services in this area are tailored to achieve better outcomes for you
Our focus is to maximise the amount of compensation which can be fairly claimed by the landholder against the tenement holder for the “compensatable effects” of the tenement holder's activities within your property packaged to suit your requirements, both in respect of the level of upfront payment and the annual payments compensation payable to you under the negotiated Conduct and Compensation Agreement.
In assessing the level of compensation, we work with a wide range of experts (primarily valuers, but where necessary, noise consultants, animal production specialists, agronomists and hydrologists). An independent Valuer’s compensation assessment report is obtained for negotiation purposes together with any necessary experts reports to prove up the heads of damage for the “compensatable effects” of the tenement holder’s activities within your property.
We make recommendations to you as to the independent registered Valuer you may wish to engage to provide the compensation assessment report if you do not have any particular registered Valuer in mind.
We strive to maximise the quantum of compensation payable to you during negotiations leading up to, where necessary, a round-table “without prejudice” settlement conference held between the parties usually at our office in Chinchilla.
Unless there is a material change in circumstance warranting a review of compensation in the future, you really have only “one bite of the cherry” so to speak and it is critical that all appropriate valuation and other evidence be compiled and presented in the right way to the tenement holder to ensure that you are best placed to seek and obtain maximum compensation. After all, it is only fair that you receive full and fair compensation.
We liaise with your accountant in relation to the structuring of the compensation payable to you under the negotiated Compensation Agreement for taxation purposes.
Protection of your rights and interests
Paul Sheehan is particularly interested in the area of what impacts the CSG and mining company’s activities may have upon the balance area of your land (that is, the area of land outside the areas consumed by the mining company for its activities) and particularly how those impacts may affect your future farming and/or grazing operations. As far as Paul is concerned, whilst the compensation agreements entitle the CSG and mining operators to conduct their activities within defined areas of land within the landholders' properties, their activities should have minimal impact upon the balance of the landholders' properties.
He is also interested in addressing how the activities may adversely impact upon your valuable land, water and air resources within your property and thereby, in turn, negatively affect your farming and/or grazing operations.
Paul focuses on ascertaining what will be the known impacts of the activities and to ensure that those known impacts will be properly compensated for under the proposed agreement.
Land Access Rules
We look at the practical issues which need to be addressed in Land Access Rules attaching to Compensation Agreements. The Queensland Government's standard Land Access Code (November 2010) is a starting point. However, additional Land Access Rules are recommended to address certain issues which are not canvassed under the Land Access Code.
Clear Rules must be inserted to address the key issues of weed control and rehabilitation of the land following cessation of mining activities.
The CSG and mining companies are obliged under the legislation to pay your reasonable legal, valuation and accounting fees incurred by you in connection with a negotiated Compensation Agreement.
It pays for you to get the right legal and valuation advice as it is to the commercial advantage of the CSG and mining companies to keep compensation to a minimum. Landholders are not treated equally across the board by CSG and mining companies in compensation negotiations.
Make an appointment
Our office is centrally located within the Surat Basin. Whilst most of our clients are happy to meet with us at the office, we are more than happy to visit your property to take your instructions so that we can get a good grasp of the issues you need to be dealt with in the proposed Compensation Agreement.
Remember - it pays to get the right advice!
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