Independent Frome MP says Bill was 'fobbed off'

A bid for an inquiry into the issue of mining access to farms has been "fobbed off" by the state government, according to Geoff Brock.

The Independent Frome MP is pushing his Bill for a Commission of Inquiry into land-access regimes that would affect property-owners through the introduction of the government's controversial Mining Bill,

He said his proposed legislation had been adjourned in parliament after its second reading.

He introduced his Bill in July to investigate land- access regimes under the Mining Act and the Opal Mining Act and the operations of the Energy and Mining Department.

"Under the Mining Bill, exploration would be allowed closer to homesteads - within 200 metres rather than 400 metres - and land-owners would face fines for obstructing access," he said.

"I introduced my Bill to clarify the Mining Bill because no previous Bill has been able to satisfy all parties.

"I am disappointed and frustrated that the government has, for the second time, avoided debate on my Bill."

Mr Brock called for a discussion on November 27 and opposed any adjournment.

But he failed with the only supporters for the debate being two independent MPs and members of the Labor Party.

"Disappointingly, the other four Liberal MPs who crossed the floor previously were no longer visible in supporting the debate of this Bill," Mr Brock said.

The decision to adjourn discussion was lost by a small majority of three.

A government spokesman said Hansard showed Mr Brock's Bill had been postponed only once "which is not unusual for a proposal from any MP".

Mr Brock said he had developed legislation to look into the practices of not only interstate but also overseas jurisdictions and how they were able to achieve best practice and balance the rights of land-owners and those who may seek access to explore for or extract mineral resources with a view to creating a model of best practice.

"This is designed to allay concerns from everyone impacted - all this Bill asks for is that an independent inquiry into land access be established for the mining industry," he said.

"It is essential that we protect our farmers and their industry and listen to their concerns about the lack of protection of arable land which is reducing every year."

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