QGC stops work on Surat Basin, Gladstone gas pipeline
24/03/2011 - A gas company has suspended work on a major pipeline in Queensland after land was cleared without appropriate approvals. Kym Agius
The Queensland Gas Company (QGC) has stopped work on the pipeline from its Surat Basin gas fields to its planned $15 billion gas export terminal at Gladstone.
QGC says a contractor may have breached federal and state environmental conditions in clearing a six-kilometre-long, 40-metre-wide route for the pipeline near Dalby.
QGC Senior Vice President Jim Knudsen said the company became aware last Wednesday that the lack of approved plans for soil and species management may have resulted in breaches.
"We do not believe the clearing has had an adverse impact on protected plants and animals and the potential breaches do not affect the safety of people," Knudsen said in a statement.
"QGC yesterday (Tuesday) advised Queensland and commonwealth government regulators of the potential breaches and that we had stopped work until we meet all of our obligations."
Work stopped on the pipeline last Thursday, pending a compliance review.
Knudsen said work would not resume until conditions were met and the company would cooperate fully with regulators.
Friends of the Earth said the company should never have started work on the pipeline if there were environmental concerns.
"They've been used to cutting corners and the government doesn't provide much oversight on their activities and now they're trying to prove to everybody that they are improving their behaviour," spokesman Drew Hutton told reporters.
"Instead of putting out media releases about how sensitive they have now decided to be, I'd like to see some genuine attempts on the ground there to improve their performance."