By Martin Klapper, Partner and Gavin Batcheler, Senior
A new Bill designed to streamline processes and production for
resources companies was introduced in the Legislative Assembly
The Mines Legislation (Streamlining) Amendment Bill
2012, if passed, will provide a number of amendments which
relate to resources companies in the areas of approvals, compulsory
acquisitions, CSG/LNG production, and mine site health and
The Government has invited written submissions on the Bill by
Wednesday 8 August, with a public hearing to be held at 10.00am on
Friday 10 August.
Here, partner Martin Klapper and senior associate Gavin
Batcheler outline the purpose and key features of the Bill.
The Bill aims to:
clarify the legislative framework relating to the compulsory
acquisition of land as it relates to resources interests;
implement part of the Streamlining Approvals Project;
confirm and clarify current jurisdictional arrangements
relating to the regulation of hazardous chemicals, major hazard
facilities and operating plants; and
provide increased regulatory certainty for all parties involved
in the State's emerging Coal Seam Gas (CSG) to Liquid Natural
Gas (LNG) industry.
The Bill makes it clear that the compulsory acquisition of land
should not extinguish resources interests (that is, rights under
resource tenures and authorities). This is a move away from the
policy and legislative approach taken previously.
The Streamlining Approvals Project began in January 2009, with
the aim of reducing the time taken to process resource permit
applications without compromising the assessment process.
The Bill incorporates amendments recommended by the various
reports produced by the Streamlining Approvals Project, and
the introduction of an online service, where industry can
transact with Government in a 'seamless online
the establishment of a common structure, terminology and
assessment processes for resource activities required under the
five resource Acts (the Mineral Resources Act 1989, Petroleum
and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004, Petroleum Act 1923,
Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2009 and Geothermal Energy Act
2010) with the aim of greater departmental flexibility and
Queensland's emerging CSG to LNG industry is regulated by
the petroleum Acts (the Petroleum and Gas (Production and
Safety) Act 2004 and Petroleum Act 1923), which need further
amendments to allow greater production flexibility.
The amendments aim to:
allow scheduling of production needs to respond to unexpected
production success or failure;
allow for conflicting schedules for petroleum production,
including enabling gas extraction prior to coal extraction;
allow greater flexibility in the transportation and treatment
of CSG water and brine;
allow for the registration of pipeline easements; and
provide consistency in the definition of 'occupier'
across resource legislation.
Safety and health
The Bill also seeks to clarify the application of health and
safety legislation (the Work Heath and Safety Act 2011 and
Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004) relating
to chemicals, major hazard facilities and operating plants.
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