By Martin Klapper, Partner; Jonathan Fulcher, Partner
and Claudia Bozonji, Associate
The amendments introduced in the Geothermal Energy Act 2010
(Qld) to the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act
2004 (Qld) and the Petroleum Act 1923 (Qld) were this
morning proclaimed to take effect. This means that all
exploration and production petroleum tenements in Queensland are,
as of today, subject to the new Land Access Code, land access
regime and compensation regime.
The new Land Access Code, land access regime and compensation
regime also apply to geothermal tenure holders and greenhouse gas
(GHG) storage tenure holders as of today.
What you must do now
It is imperative that you conduct immediate reviews of your
current documents to ensure compliance with the new regime
(including the newly introduced Land Access Code). This will
include reviewing entry notices, waiver of entry notices,
compensation agreements and deferral agreements. As of today, all
of these documents for petroleum, geothermal and GHG storage
tenures must comply with the new regime.
In addition, we recommend that you familiarise yourself with the
Land Access Code, as certain parts of this Code are now mandatory
conditions of your petroleum, geothermal and GHG storage
Land Access Code
The Land Access Code is now a mandatory code for all petroleum,
geothermal and GHG storage tenures, and certain provisions of this
Code are now mandatory conditions of those tenures. To the extent
that any condition of your tenement is inconsistent with a
mandatory condition of the Land Access Code, the Land Access Code
Transitional provisions: petroleum and GHG storage
Any compensation agreement in force before today that was
entered into in accordance with the terms of the old regime is now
a 'conduct and compensation agreement' under the new
regime. Please note that this does not apply to compensation
agreements for notifiable road uses.
Similarly, entry notices that have been served on land owners
before today under the old regime will continue to be valid
according to their terms, regardless of whether the entry notices
comply with the new regime.
There are no transitional provisions for
existing deferral agreements. Any existing deferral agreements will
need to be updated to comply with the new regime.
Existing waiver of entry notices, if in compliance with the old
regime, will continue in force under the new regime for the
duration of the waiver period.
Still to come
The amendments to the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld)
have not yet taken effect, although they will most likely be
proclaimed to take effect shortly. Note that the provisions
allowing for geothermal leases are also yet to commence.
For a detailed overview of the amendments and your obligations
under the new regime, please read our article on the Geothermal
Energy Bill 2010.
This legal update is an overview of existing eligible project activities and new project types proposed to be developed.
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