An app standing up for farmers' safety
A NEW app allowing community members and farmers to report potential gas industry hazards has been launched across the Western Downs and beyond.
The free GasHAZ app, developed by Chinchilla advocate and consultant Shay Dougall, was born out of her professional experience and Masters studies into the workplace health and safety gap farmers experienced when CSG activity came onto their properties.
Mrs Dougall said the gap was one not recognised or enforced between government departments, with gas industry safety alerts, for instance, being dealt with internally rather than bringing farmers' workplace health and safety into consideration.
"So 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, take a photo, send it through to me, and I will support them in pursing that complaint through the right channels,” Mrs Dougall said.
The app also acts as a compliance diary for landholders to track their experiences dealing with the industry in the event of a complaints process.
"(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,” Mrs Dougall said.
"In my experience in going to court with land- holders, 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.”
The GasHAZ app is free to download and use, with Mrs Dougall able to provide advice on how to proceed with any complaints.
There is a paid element, should users wish to employ Mrs Dougall to advocate on their behalf. She will host free workshops on using the app from Injune to Cecil Plains in late August.
For more information, visit molliwell.com.au.