The Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014
(Qld) was last night passed by the Queensland Parliament, and is
awaiting royal assent (Common Provisions Act).
Importantly, a number of late key changes were made to the Bill
prior to passing last night. The majority of these changes were
made in response to stakeholder submissions, however there are many
matters in respect of which submissions were made by industry
(including minor matters of clarification to ensure the Common
Provisions Act works as intended), that were not included in the
amendments to the Bill.
The key aspects of the Common Provisions Act that will impact on
the resources industry are:
changes to the land access regime for resource authorities,
including the restricted land regime;
changes to notification and objection procedures for mining
leases and environmental authorities; and
a new overlapping coal and coal seam gas tenure framework
(Overlapping Tenement Regime).
The key amendments made to the Bill in its passage through
amendments to various aspects of the Overlapping Tenement
the provisions relating to restricted land have been amended to
confirm that, for production authorities, restricted land is
determined from the date the application for the authority is made
(rather than from the date of grant of the authority);
landowners of adjoining properties to the land the subject of a
mining lease application have the right to receive a copy of the
application and the right to object to the grant of the mining
lease on limited grounds;
the Land Court may strike out an objection to a mining lease or
environmental authority application in certain circumstances,
including if it is frivolous or vexatious or outside of the Land
Court's jurisdiction; and
amendments to confirm that:
a submitter cannot request that any part of a submission to an
EIS that relates to a Coordinator-General's condition be taken
to be an objection to the environmental authority application;
the grounds for an objection to an environmental authority
cannot relate to a Coordinator-General's condition.
In what is the biggest change, the State Development and Public
Works Organisation Act 1971 (Qld) is to be amended to provide that
a submitter under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) to an
environmental authority application may not request that its
submission be taken to be an objection to the environmental
authority application, if the Coordinator-General's report for
the project states:
conditions for the proposed environmental authority; and
the Coordinator-General is satisfied the conditions adequately
address the environmental effects of the mining activity.
This will mean that there cannot be any objection or Land Court
hearing in relation to the environmental authority application.
The Common Provisions Act will commence on a date to be fixed by
proclamation, which is expected to be later in the year after the
regulations are finalised.
Stay tuned next week for our Insights articles about:
an overview of the new Overlapping Tenement Regime as amended
prior to passing of the Common Provisions Act; and
what the resources industry should do to prepare itself for the
commencement of the Common Provisions Act.
Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide
commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon
as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular
transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin.
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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.
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