Land access policy framework

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Land access policy framework

The Queensland Government's Land Access Policy Framework sets out important policy and legislative reforms to foster improved relationships between the agriculture and resources sectors. The policy framework, which was developed with the assistance of the Government's Land Access working group, aims to ensure consistent processes that are clear, fair and reasonable for all parties.

Queensland's land access laws give force to the Policy Framework and provide clarity and consistency so both the agricultural and resource sector can co-exist for the benefit of Queensland.

The land access laws came into effect in Queensland on 29 October 2010 for the petroleum and gas, greenhouse gas and geothermal energy sectors. Land access laws for the minerals and coal exploration sector will start later this year. This follows passage by the Queensland Parliament on 19 August 2010 following earlier introduction and debate of draft legislation included in the Geothermal Energy Bill 2010.

These laws provide landholders with greater protection and security about their rights related to land access by resource companies carrying out activities on their land.

They also set out the Government's required standards for conduct and compensation and provide landholders with a clear and consistent framework for negotiated compensation when they are affected by a resource company's activities.

Legislation and application

The laws generally apply to the activities of resource companies involved in mineral, petroleum and gas, geothermal and greenhouse gas storage exploration and development in Queensland.

They amend legislation and apply to respective tenures or authorities as follows:

  • Mineral Resources Act 1989 - exploration permits, mineral development licenses
  • Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety ) Act 2004 - all authorities
  • Petroleum Act 1923 - all authorities
  • Greenhouse Gas Storage Act - all authorities
  • Geothermal Energy Bill 2010 - all authorities.

Key features of the laws

The laws include:

  • a requirement that all resource authority holders comply with a single Land Access Code (PDF, 100 kB)
  • entry notice requirements for 'preliminary activities' i.e. those that will have no or only a minor impact on landholders
  • a requirement that Conduct and Compensation agreements be negotiated before a company comes onto a landholder's property to undertake advanced activities' i.e. those likely to have a significant impact on a landholder's business or land use
  • a graduated process for negotiation and resolving disputes about agreements which ensure matters are only referred to the Land court as a last resort
  • stronger compliance and enforcement powers for government agencies where breaches of the land access code occur.

Industry transparency

Additional regulations have been put in place to deliver transparency in the petroleum and gas industry and ensure landholders are kept fully informed about the type and extent of authorised activities conducted on their land.

Companies must give landholders at least 10 business days' written notice before undertaking petroleum and CSG activities on their land. Companies must again notify landholders in writing within 10 business days of completing those activities.

Mandatory notification applies to the following activities:

  • carrying out and completing hydraulic fracturing - notification must include the intended and actual chemicals and volumes used
  • drilling, completing, altering and abandoning a well or bore
  • carrying out and completing a seismic survey or scientific or technical survey.

Within two months of completing hydraulic fracturing activity, companies must also submit a detailed report to Government that includes the composition of all fraccing fluids used in each well and the potential impacts on water aquifers.


 
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Last updated 06 April 2011

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