Friday, 21 March 2014

Proposed changes to Resources Legislation

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.

Thursday, 6 March 2014


When purchasing a rural property, there are a number of standard searches that can be conducted over a property that we recommend, including:

·         Local Area Mining Search – this search is a free search and advises of any mining or gas exploration activity or permits (applied for or granted) that may affect the property.

·         Local Council Rural Lands Search – this search advises of any orders issued under the Rural Lands Protection Act or Land Protection Act (Pest & Stock Route Management) Act 2002.  It will advise of any stock routes and pests that may affect the area.

·         Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Land Status Search - the results of this search will include any chemical residue on the property, tick control and any quarantine issues that may affect the land at the present time or may have affected the land in the past. 

·         Department of Natural Resources and Mines Soil Conservation search – this search advises of any notices or judgements issued in relation to the property pursuant to the Soil Conservation Act 1986.

·         Powerlink Search – this search advises if there is any registered or proposed electrical works easement/s over the property that you as the buyer may not be aware of.

 If recommended searches are not obtained during the course of your conveyance then any issues, orders or notices affecting the property may become the responsibility of you as the new owner once settlement has been effected, so it is best to ensure that they are obtained for peace of mind.

Jade Scott is part of the Rural Division at local law firm Rees R & Sydney Jones.