Recommendations to change land access arbitration in NSW would benefit cotton growers and bring greater transparency and governance to the system, according to Cotton Australia.
The NSW Government has accepted all 32 recommendations made by Bret Walker SC, who was commissioned by the Government to review the arbitration framework after concerns were aired regarding the costs of the arbitration process for growers and the need for improved system governance.
Cotton Australia CEO, Adam Kay, says the organisation made a submission to Government and then participated in stakeholder meetings earlier this year, and says the issues raised by cotton growers had been heard.
“The concerns raised by Cotton Australia were addressed by Mr Walker’s recommendations, which will bring greater transparency to the system and introduce higher governance processes,” Mr Kay says.
“Importantly, the value of a growers’ time involved in the arbitration process has been recognised, with the recommendations covering compensation for time and the costs involved in obtaining legal and expert advice.”
“Timeframes for the arbitration process have also been capped, and the costs of arbitration will be met by resources explorers.”
“Cotton Australia’s call for greater transparency in the appointment of arbitrators, and minimum qualifications for the arbitrators themselves, have also been addressed.”
“The cotton industry thanks the NSW Minister for Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts, for accepting the recommendations and looks forward to seeing them all implemented as soon as possible.”