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Bill brings certainty to landholders, resources industry

New legislation introduced into Parliament will provide landholders and resource companies with greater certainty when negotiating conduct and compensation agreements and make good agreements.                                                                                                             

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the Mineral, Water and Other Legislation Amendment Bill would streamline and improve negotiation processes, making it easier for landholders and resources companies to co-exist.

“This legislation will provide greater certainty around the costs that can be recovered by landholders when negotiating a conduct and compensation agreement,” Dr Lynham said.

“It’s critical to the Queensland economy and our regional communities that our agriculture and resources industries continue to co-exist, generating jobs, royalties and business opportunities.”

Dr Lynham told Parliament that under the changes to the Mineral and Energy (Common Provisions) Act 2014, resource companies would be required to cover the reasonable and necessary agronomist costs incurred by a landholder to assess the real impact of resources activities on their land.

“This is in addition to the existing requirement for resource companies to pay a landholders reasonably and necessarily incurred legal, accounting and valuation costs,” he said.

“The legislation also clarifies that these costs must be paid by a resources company even where negotiations are abandoned and an agreement is not reached, and the Land Court has been given the jurisdiction to determine these costs if there is a dispute between the parties.”

The proposed changes flow from an review of Queensland’s Gasfields Commission, which included an assessment of current land access and compensation arrangements.

Dr Lynham said the Bill would also streamline and improve the operation of the Resources Acts.

“This Bill reaffirms the Queensland Government’s Commitment to the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy by introducing amendments to clarify and strengthen the way Queensland’s water planning framework considers the effects of climate change,” he said.

“The Bill also introduces cultural outcomes to recognise explicitly the cultural value of water resources to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parties.

“The Palaszczuk Government has made it abundantly clear that landholders and industry must co-exist in a way that benefits all Queenslanders, and this legislation is another step in the right direction.”

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