As part of its Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review, the then
Queensland Government announced in January this year its plans to
change the definition of 'land' and 'statutory
licence' under the Duties Act 2001 (Qld) to include
resources exploration tenements.
The Fiscal Repair Amendment Bill 2012, which contained
these proposed amendments, was introduced into Queensland
Parliament last Tuesday and was passed on 14 September.
Special counsel Justin Byrne and solicitor Hannah Byrne outline
how the Bill will change the duty liability for resources
exploration in Queensland.
Under the Fiscal Repair Amendment Bill 2012, the
definition of 'land' will be amended to include a
'resource authority', ensuring that exploration permits,
mining leases, pipeline leases and pipeline licences are all
There will be a 'retrospectivity period' from 10.30am
on 13 January 2012 until the commencement of the new legislation to
ensure that transfer duty and landholder duty will apply to
resources exploration tenements agreed to be transferred during
The transitional period
During the retrospectivity period, the definition of land will
prospecting and exploration permits under the Mineral
Resources Act 1989 (Qld);
authorities to prospect under the Petroleum and Gas
(Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Qld) and Petroleum Act
geothermal exploration permits under the Geothermal
Exploration Act 2004 (Qld); and
greenhouse gas exploration permits under the Greenhouse Gas
Storage Act 2009 (Qld).
If liability for duty arises during the retrospectivity period,
parties to a transaction entered into after 10.30am on 13 January
2012 will have 30 days after the legislation receives royal assent
to lodge the transaction documents for assessment at the Office of
What happens after the transitional period?
After the legislation comes into effect, land will be defined to
include a 'resource authority', which includes any of the
A geothermal tenure under the Geothermal Energy Act
A GHG authority under the Greenhouse Gas Storage Act
A mining tenement (including an exploration permit) under the
Mineral Resources Act 1989
The following petroleum authorities under the Petroleum and
Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004:
An authority to prospect
A petroleum lease
A data acquisition authority
A water monitoring authority
A pipeline licence
A petroleum facility licence
An authority to prospect or lease under the Petroleum Act
A sublease under the following legislation:
A geothermal coordination arrangement under the Geothermal
Energy Act 2010
A GHG coordination arrangement under the Greenhouse Gas
Storage Act 2009
A coordination arrangement under the Petroleum and Gas
(Production and Safety) Act 2004
Interestingly, by including mining tenements under the
Mineral Resources Act 1989 in the definition of
'resource authority', the Government has ensured that
prospecting permits, mining claims, exploration permits, mineral
development licences and mining leases will all now be subject to
duty. This is because their transfer will constitute a transfer of
land or an interest in land (as defined there).
Other important changes introduced by the Bill
The Bill amends the mining and petroleum exemptions in the
Duties Act 2001 (Qld) so that subleases for coordination
arrangements under the Petroleum and Gas (Production and
Safety) Act 2004 and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2009
also become dutiable.
The Bill also clarifies the definition of
'land-holdings' for landholder duty purposes, confirming
that an entity's land-holdings will include its interest in
land and anything fixed to the land, regardless of whether the
entity has an interest in what is fixed to the land.
We will continue to monitor the progress of the Bill and will
confirm when the legislation receives royal assent.
It is a common misconception that the grant of mining tenure, whether it be an Exploration Permit, Mineral Development Licence or Mining Lease, will entitle the holder to access all land within it in order to explore or mine.
This briefing note sets out a likely structure for the proposed privatisation of the networks and identifies key issues.
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