QGC to pay penalty for environmental breach
15 April 2011
The Queensland Gas Company (QGC) has been issued three penalty infringement notices by the federal environment department for unapproved clearing of vegetation as part of the construction of a pipeline in far north Queensland.
Up to six kilometres of vegetation was cleared prior to having environmental management plans approved for a pipeline network linking coal seam gas fields in the Surat Basin with a proposed liquified natural gas plant on Curtis Island near Gladstone.
“QGC's failure to have these plans approved by the federal government and in place prior to commencement of the clearing of vegetation contravened conditions attached to the approval granted in October 2010,” said departmental spokesperson, Ms Rose Webb.
“Matters of national environmental significance are unlikely to have been significantly impacted by the vegetation clearance in this case,” Ms Webb said.
The pipeline project was approved with 67 strict conditions to minimise the environmental impact of the building and operation of the pipeline network.
“In issuing notices imposing penalties totalling $19 800, the department considered the technical nature of the breach and level of co-operation given by the company during the investigation,” Ms Webb said.
QGC was issued with the penalty infringement notices on 15 April 2011.
“The notices given to QGC send a strong signal to companies that the department takes compliance with national environment law very seriously with penalties and breaches enforced,” Ms Webb said.