Gas pipeline dispute flares up

27th November 2017 5:33 AM
The 420km underground gas transmission pipeline connects the Surat and Bowen Basins to a two-train liquefaction and storage facility on Curtis Island near Gladstone. The 420km underground gas transmission pipeline connects the Surat and Bowen Basins to a two-train liquefaction and storage facility on Curtis Island near Gladstone.

A FARMER'S dispute with an energy giant over a pipeline's impact on his land went to the state's highest court on Friday.

Discussions about the pipeline construction aftermath at Stephen Swan's land near Biloela were raised at Queensland Court of Appeal.

Mr Swan previously asked a Maroochydore court to examine whether companies including Santos GLNG breached environmental authorities affecting his land.

In February the Planning and Environment Court at Maroochydore dismissed that application.

On Friday the Swans' barrister, Ken Barlow said the pipeline on their property was completed in August 2014 and the entire pipeline, over 400km, was finished in September that year.

Mr Barlow said Santos's contractor for installing the pipeline did not backfill the pipeline trench consistently, and mixed rocks and gravel with topsoil.

"Santos made promises to Mr Swan, direct promises ... that it would assess the condition of the land in conjunction with Mr Swan" and engage an agronomist, the barrister said.

But by May 2015, none of that had occurred, Mr Barlow said.

He said rehabilitation of a 30-40m stretch of easement should have started by November 8, 2014, and other disturbed areas by May 8 the following year.

No agronomist had been engaged and the energy firm had not engaged with Mr Swan about rehabilitation issues, the barrister said.

"The first reaction of Santos was to deny any knowledge of any issues."

But Santos's barrister Jonathan Horton said the company "has shown good faith and a willingness to comply with its legal obligation."

The court also heard complaints about rubbish and waste at the site.

The appeal court on Friday reserved its decision.

The Planning and Environment Court previously said no evidence was called to suggest Santos failed to comply with relevant binding legal documents or authorities. -NewsRegional