It has been a busy week for landholder rights

Gas and koalas versus landholder rights

It has been a busy week for landholder rights.

First we had the spectacle of the NSW Coalition about to implode over the protection of koalas.

Then we have the ongoing arguments about whether we actually need a gas led recovery and if so how do we get the gas from the wells to the market and how that will affect the landholders along the 420 kilometre, approved but yet to be built, Hunter Gas Pipeline from Narrabri and Newcastle.

Our region is well versed in the difficulties of landholder and community rights when it comes to major developments - it is an everyday occurrence as Singleton and Muswellbrook LGAs are the thermal coal capital of the nation and haven't we all witnessed the divisions, arguments and ultimately all the approvals for mining that goes with gaining that title.

So we are about to witness some more arguments about the rights or otherwise when it comes to either clearing koala habitat or building a gas pipeline through privately owned land.

If we want to protect koalas we need to protect their habitat. It is that basic. So we have to be prepared to forgo building housing estates on their land .

The loss of endangered ecological communities is not all the fault of big miners. In fact unrestrained housing development is wiping out not only koalas but taking out of production some of our best farmlands.

So we hope the NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes thinks only of koalas not the rampant development of housing estates and does not watering down the new rules governing the protection of their habitat thereby lessening the chance of this animal joining the extinction list.

And talking of farmlands those most strongly opposed to the gas pipeline live on properties including a number on the rich Liverpool Plains - rated as one of the country's best farming areas.

With Prime Minister Scott Morrison's visit to the Hunter this week gas was given a big boost.

It looked like out with the lump of coal and in with the gas bottle.

But many energy producers, retailers and energy analysts have argued since his visit a so called gas led recovery is not only a decade too late but not even financially viable.

So expect to hear more arguments on that topic.