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Land Access Hub
As a landholder, you may be approached by a resource tenure holder that wants to conduct activities on your property.
What happens next?
Queensland Law Society has compiled some useful information below on your options.
If you need the help of a solicitor, Queensland Law Society’s Find a Solicitor service will connect you with a lawyer who deals in land access.
On the Find a Solicitor page, select the category ‘Natural Resources & Mining – Land Access’ from the Area of Law drop down menu.
For assistance using this service please phone us on 1300 367 757.
For all resources tenures other than mining leases, the resources tenure holder may want to negotiate an agreement with you that allows the conduct of resources activities, variously known as conduct and compensation agreements (“CCAs”), deferral agreements and opt-out agreements. For mining leases, they are known as compensation agreements. These are all very important documents that will attach to the title of your land. They bind all future owners (and often all other occupiers as well) so buyers will be vitally interested in what you have agreed to. Your mortgagee or bank, lessees or agistees also may need to be consulted as a part of this process as they also have an interest in your land.
The law in this area is complex and not widely understood. It is possible to unwittingly give away very important legal rights if you do not understand this area of law. The Society strongly advises that you get independent legal advice before entering into a compensation agreement, deferral agreement or opt-out agreement.
The importance of getting legal assistance is recognised by the legislation in the area. The Queensland Government has specifically legislated that the resource tenure holder is obliged to pay for the legal fees which are reasonable and necessarily incurred to help you negotiate such agreements.
Land Access Ombudsman
The Land Access Ombudsman Bill 2017 was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 7 September 2017.
The primary objectives of the Bill are to:
- establish an independent land access ombudsman with the jurisdiction to provide an independent service that applies to disputes related to an alleged breach of a:
- conduct and compensation agreement (CCA) between an owner or occupier of private land and a resource authority holder; and
- make good agreement (MGA) between the owner of an impacted bore and a resource tenure holder;
- save transitional provisions in the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Transitional Regulation 2016 that would otherwise expire in September 2017 and, as a consequence, amend associated provisions.
The policy objective is to establish a land access ombudsman with the aim of:
- providing the owners and occupiers or private land and the holders of a resource authority with an independent body to investigate and make recommendations to resolve a dispute of an alleged breach of a CCA or an MGA; and
- facilitating the resolution of disputes between the parties to a CCA or an MGA and foster or preserve the relationship between the parties.
The following provisions commenced on 28 September 2017—
a. part 8 , divisions 2 , 5 and 6;
b. part 8 , division 4 , other than section 75 .
The remaining provisions of this Act commence on a day to be fixed by proclamation.
There are also a number of useful sites and/or sources of information that can give you help in understanding the issues your lawyer will want to discuss with you, and that are important to consider before you embark on these negotiations.
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