WELL-INFORMED: Workshops to help farmers better understand their workplace health and safety rights when interacting with gas companies will be held on the Western Downs in the coming weeks.
WELL-INFORMED: Workshops to help farmers better understand their workplace health and safety rights when interacting with gas companies will be held on the Western Downs in the coming weeks. Contributed

Better informing farmers on gas workplace health and safety

HELP is on the way for farmers and community members who are still in the dark when it comes to the gas industry and workplace health and safety issues and would like their questions and concerns answered.

Workshops to help farmers better understand their workplace health and safety rights when interacting with gas companies will be held on the Western Downs in the coming weeks.

The sessions will be facilitated by Chinchilla resident Shay Dougall, who has recently developed the free GasHAZ app, which allows community members and farmers to report potential gas industry hazards.

Mrs Dougall has also recently completed masters studies into the workplace health and safety gap farmers experience when CSG activity comes onto their properties.

As part of further research, Mrs Dougall will be conducting a series of workplace health and safety workshops for landholders in Injune, Roma, Chinchilla, Dalby, and Cecil Plains in the coming weeks. 

"These workshops will be an opportunity for members of the community - be they farmers or not - to learn more about their workplace health and safety rights when it comes to interacting with gas companies," she said.

"Currently, there are some gaps within the legislation in Queensland, so it can be difficult for those who have gas operations on their property to know where they stand from a legal perspective."

Mrs Dougall will also use the workshops to explain the benefits of the GasHAZ app.

"This app is an easy way for farmers who don't want to be experts, certainly don't have the time to be experts, and community members who, if they see something they're concerned about that they want to report but don't know the process, to take a photo, send it through to me, and I will support them in pursuing that complaint through the right channels," Mrs Dougall said.

"It is really important when it comes to having disputes to be able to identify the record of what's happened, of who you've talked to, of what they've said, of what then happened - which is not an easy thing to keep on top of when you've got 100 other things to be doing as well.

"In my experience in going to court with landholders, it's been important to ensure there is a very good chain of evidence we can rely on that is not easily defied by the industry."

Dates and locations:

Monday, August 26 10am - 2pm Injune Bowls Club

Tuesday, August 27 10am - 2pm Roma Bowls Club

Wednesday, August 28 10am-2pm Chinchilla Bowling Club

Thursday, August 29 10am - 2pm Dalby Windsor Hotel

Friday, August 30 10am- 2pm Cecil Plains Community Hall


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