ARROW Energy will shrink its footprint on Darling Downs farmland in a victory for farmers in the billion-dollar coal seam gas dispute.
"We have reduced our footprint down to 2 per cent of intensively farmed land," Tony Knight, Arrow's vice-president of exploration, said.
Mr Knight said Arrow had assured the landholders it would be putting no major infrastructure on the farmland. This included water treatment plants, compression stations, gas gathering stations, dams and electricity sub-stations.
"We will also minimise the impacts on farming by putting wells on the edges of paddocks," Mr Knight said. "We can be flexible. We can space our wells more widely and where the geology allows we will use up to eight wells clustered together."
Arrow released a 12-point "coexistence commitment" after four years of negotiations with groups like FutureFoods Queensland, the Basin Sustainability Alliance, Cotton Australia and Agforce.
FutureFoods chair Geoff Hewitt said the commitment was "very positive".
"I think Arrow has made huge strides," Mr Hewitt, a member of the community engagement group, said. "It's very positive but they will still have to win the trust of some landholders who have become sceptical. But I believe Arrow has addressed the reasonable concerns of reasonable people and we can coexist."
He said some of Arrow's "concessions" were required under new laws.
Mr Knight said antipathy to gas "dropped dramatically" since the assurances were given earlier this week. "It's win-win all round. We listened and we responded. We've come a long way," he said.
Arrow has rights over fertile land south of Dalby and east of the Condamine River on some of the world's most productive and valuable land for producing grains and cotton.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the State Government was still zoning the best farmland.
"I think we should be aiming at no loss of agricultural land," he said.
Arrow has an authority to prospect more than 1000sq km of the best cropping lands.
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