Monday, 5 May 2014

Landowner Time - can you claim it and how do you prove it?

It can be quite time consuming and inconvenient spending hours meeting with resource company representatives who want to do some drilling or exploring on your Land.   The question is “Can I charge the resource company for my time?”
Some resource companies are more generous than others.  They realise that your property is not only your home, but it is a business and time spent with them is not time on the Land. However, some companies take the unfortunate view that dealing with them is something just part of your job to manage your property and so they will not pay for Landowner Time.

The law states that if you are dealing with a gas or mining company who want to conduct Advanced Activities on your land you are entitled to receive compensation for any costs, damage or loss arising from the carrying out of the Activities.  The law does not specifically say anything about time.
Last year, the Land Court looked at the matter of Landowner’s time. The Land Court decided in that case, that the amount claimed by the Landowner for time was not payable by the resource company. The Land Court did say however that, Landowner time would only be paid “where such expenditure has been made and verified appropriately”.   So if a Landowner documents clearly and can verify the dates, times, reasons, conversations and parties to meetings, would the Land Court be more inclined to make an award of “time” to a Landowner?  The issue of Landowner Time is being looked at by the government so things could change to make things more certain.

Rees R & Sydney Jones provides assistance to Landowners to document their meetings and time spent with the company representatives to ensure that every occasion is recorded.  
If you would like further information or have any questions regarding to how best to document your meetings and your rights to Compensation, please give Andrew Palmer, Melanie Oliver, Amy Gudmann or Justin Houlihan a call on (07) 4927 6333