Mining companies in Queensland can no longer gain access to a privately owned property by proceeding directly to the Land Court after 40 days, should a landholder in a Priority Agricultural Area or Strategic Cropping Area not agree to it.
The new piece of legislation is part of the Regional Planning Interests Act 2014, passed by Queensland Parliament this week.
Passing of the Act also means that proponents of resource activities who can reach agreement with the landowner may not need to apply for a Regional Interests Development Approval.
Deputy Premier, Jeff Seeney, said the Act introduced a clear process to assess mining and gas developments, creating certainty for the agriculture and resource industries and delivering on a key election promise.
“The new process restores balance, creates an incentive for agreements to be reached and a disincentive for court action,” Mr Seeney said.
“Landholders felt threatened, resource companies felt restrained and local councils were caught in the crossfire of conflicts over emerging projects that needn’t have happened.
“The assessment process has been developed to restore the balance of power between rural producers and resource companies,” he said.
“It provides the strongest incentive yet for resource proponents to reach agreement with landholders about how best to configure their activities on a property.
“And where an agreement cannot be reached, the largest imposition the State will make on landholders, in order to access resources beneath the land for the benefit of the community, is two per cent in Priority Agricultural Areas or Strategic Cropping Areas.
“The Regulation also prepares for the repeal of the Wild Rivers Act as it prescribes Strategic Environmental Areas for Cape York, Channel Country, Gulf Rivers, Fraser Island, and Hinchinbrook Island.
The new Regulation that underpins the Regional Planning Interests Act 2014 is now available online at www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/RPIAct