SMALL VICTORY: QGC has been ordered to pay Narelle and Nood Nothdurft additional compensation by the Land Court.
SMALL VICTORY: QGC has been ordered to pay Narelle and Nood Nothdurft additional compensation by the Land Court. Julia Baker

Little win is no small feat

AFTER almost 10 years of fighting, Nood and Narelle Nothdurft have had a small win against QGC in Land Court but said their battle against the company is not over yet.

In what has been described as a landmark case, last year the Nothdurfts applied for a review of their compensation agreement under the Petroleum and Gas Act 2004.

The Nothdurfts have been awarded an additional, one-off compensation payment for excessive levels of noise coming from gas infrastructure on their property, Bellara, arguing there had been a material change in circumstances since they signed their original compensation agreement in 2006.

While the court agreed circumstances had changed and were material to the Nothdurfts' agreement, QGC were only ordered to pay a fraction of the amount the couple applied for and no changes were ordered to be made to the original agreement.

"It's not much compensation at all, it was way off what we'd hoped for but we did prove in the court and the court agreed that there was a material change of circumstance and that we did deserve more compensation,” Mr Nothdurft said.

While the Nothdurfts have been submitting complaints to QGC for a number of years, the company was only ordered to compensate them for complaints dating back to 2015 when the complaints were validated by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

For now, QGC has agreed to shut off the gas wells surrounding the Nothdurfts' property to put a stop to the noise.

The couple said they are exhausted by a long and difficult journey which had impacted the family mentally, financially and emotionally, but that they are evaluating their options.

"Hopefully there will be a lot of other solicitors jumping on the bandwagon now and hopefully it will help a lot of other people,” Mr Nothdurft said.

"QGC will say 'you can't do anything about it, too bad', but there is hope there now that we've actually got that material change in circumstance.”


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