Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
On Wednesday 20 November 2013 the Hon. Jeff Seeney, Minister for
State Development Infrastructure and Planning introduced the
Regional Planning Interests Bill 2013 (Regional
The Bill is new legislation proposed by the Queensland
Government aimed at ensuring that the impact of resource activities
and other regulated activities in areas of "regional
interest" is assessed and managed.
Areas of "regional interest"
The Bill identifies the following areas of regional
Priority agricultural areas;
Priority living areas;
Strategic environmental areas; and
Strategic cropping areas.
Maps included in the "new generation" regional plans
which are progressively being released by the State government will
identify priority agricultural areas, priority living areas and
strategic environmental areas. These areas of regional interest may
also be identified under a regulation.
Strategic cropping areas, which are areas of Strategic Cropping
Land (SCL) or Potential SCL, will be identified on
the electronic Trigger Map for Strategic Cropping Land in
Repeal of Strategic Cropping Land Act 2011
It is noteworthy that the Regional Interests Bill seeks to
repeal the Strategic Cropping Land Act 2011 (SCL
Act). In doing so, the Bill provides for a number of
transitional provisions. For example, certificates and decisions
previously issued pursuant to the SCL Act will convert to regional
interest authorities where they involve resource activities
occurring on strategic cropping areas.
Applying for a "regional interest authority"
Under the Regional Planning Bill, you will be required to apply
for a "regional interest authority" if you intend to
undertake a resource activity or regulated activity in a regional
A "resource activity" is defined as an activity which
requires a resource authority (for example a mining tenement or
petroleum authority), whilst a "regulated activity" is
defined as an activity likely to have an impact on an area of
regional interest and prescribed under regulation for the area.
There are a number of limited exemptions from the requirement to
hold a regional interest authority, including for small scale
mining activities and activities that are carried out in strategic
cropping areas or in a PAA if the activity is completed and land
restored within a 12 month period.
The Regional Planning Bill makes it an offence to carry out, or
allow the carrying out, of a resource activity or regulated
activity in an area of regional interest without a regional
Review and Submissions
The State Development, Infrastructure and Industry Committee
will be conducting a review of the Bill and is required to report
its findings to Parliament by 17 March 2014.
The Committee is calling for public submissions to be made by
5pm on 17 January 2014.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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