Need to consider two industries

The passage of the Statutes Amendment (Mineral Resources) Bill through the South Australian Lower House last week received a mixed response.

Despite the promised increased benefits for landowners, a number of local landholders are not impressed by the bill in its current form.

The Stop Invasive Mining Group, which has members across Eyre Peninsula, had been vocal against the bill, especially in relation to land access for mining companies, and last week's Lower House vote was a disappointment for the group.

The group's chairman Bronte Gregurke pointed to several issues, including a lack of consultation with local landholders and a lack of understanding as to how the changes would impact agricultural areas like those on the Eyre Peninsula.

Independent member for Frome Geoff Brock's notice of motion for an independent review to look at the best practices for land access looking at interstate and internationally practices, factoring in both the agricultural and mining industries is a sensible one.

Mr Brock is right that both industries needed to be considered, as the agricultural industry is a major contributor to South Australia's economy but opportunities to reap from the state's mineral resources also should not be overlooked.

There seems to be widespread agreement that the Mining Act, which has been in its current form since 1971, needs to be updated, especially with increasing opportunities to reap the rewards from vast mineral resources.

However, it should not be at the expense of the farmers who grow the produce that South Australia is known for and contributes greatly to the state's economy.

The bill will now move into the Upper House so the debate will continue and hopefully a balance between the interests of the mining and farming industries can be considered for the bill's final form.