Discussion papers have recently been released by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines as part of the Modernising Queensland’s Resources Acts Program. These papers address how to achieve a standardised consent framework for restricted land across all resources types, and propose changes in mining lease notifications and objections.
The papers consider changing how a mining lease application under the Mineral Resources Act is advertised and the removal of the requirement to post a copy of the notice on the datum post. This will require landowners to be more vigilant in monitoring advertisements which relate to mining projects which may have an impact on their land.
Currently, anyone can object to a Mining Lease Application. However, under the proposed changes, only directly affected landowners and Local Governments will receive notification of the Mining Lease and have the right to object to the grant of the Mining Lease in the Land Court.
Substantial changes are proposed in the concept of “restricted land”. Presently, the consent of a landowner is required if restricted land is to be included in the surface of the mining lease. The proposed changes, if implemented, would eliminate “the hole” in a mining lease area which previously arose where a landowner did not consent to restricted land being included in the surface of the mining lease. Changes are also proposed in how restricted land is identified and the distance within which activities are able to be conducted by the resource company is extended to 200 metres from a residence, Place of Worship, school or intensive animal husbandry.
It is important that landowners are aware of these discussion papers and the proposed amendments which are being considered. Whilst the intent of most of the changes is to reduce cost and “red tape” and avoid duplication for resource companies, these proposed changes will have important implications for landowners and particular relevance to how they conduct negotiations for compensation with resource companies.
If you have any questions in relation to this, please contact Andrew Palmer or Justin Houlihan at Rees R & Sydney Jones on 4927 6333.