Australia: Foreshadowed changes to Queensland resources legislation given clarity

Some of the uncertainty around resources legislation in Queensland, especially around objection rights and restricted land, looks set to end with the introduction of the Mineral and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016(MOLA). MOLA proposes to amend the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Act 2014 (Qld) (MERCPA), which is scheduled to commence on 27 September 2016 (if it is not proclaimed earlier).

The MOLA amendments to restricted land and objection rights have been foreshadowed since the last Queensland election in January 2015. Assuming that MOLA is passed in its current form, its key amendments fulfil election commitments as well as make some minor changes to the overlapping tenures regime for coal and petroleum operators.

The main effects of the combined MOLA and MERCPA amendments are discussed below.

Restricted land

Restricted land is still intended to apply to all resource authorities, with the MOLA amendments clarifying the distance that restricted land extends from the relevant features on the land.

For production resource authorities (e.g. mining leases and petroleum leases) and for exploration resource authorities (e.g. EPCs, EPMs, MDLs and ATPs), restricted land will be:

  • 200 m from
    • a permanent building used for a residence, a childcare centre, library or hospital, a business or community, sporting or recreational purposes or as a place of worship, or
    • an area used as a school or a prescribed ERA under the Environmental Protection Act that is aquaculture, intensive animal feedlotting, pig keeping or poultry farming, or
    • an area, building or structure prescribed by regulation, and
  • 50 m from
    • an area used as an artesian well, bore, dam or water storage facility, a principal stockyard or a cemetery or burial place, or
    • an area, building or structure prescribed by regulation.

Restricted land also applies to other types of resource authorities such as data acquisition authorities, survey authorities, and the proposed information authorities and infrastructure authorities under the Tenure Reform Project. But for these tenures, restricted land is limited to 50 m from any of the features in the definition above.

For resource authorities other than mining leases, the resource authority's area will automatically include any restricted land. However, holders are prevented from entering the restricted land and carrying out activities on that land without the written consent of each relevant owner and occupier of the restricted land.

For mining leases, the surface of restricted land can only be included in the mining lease area if the relevant owner of the land provides written consent to its inclusion before the last objection day. Note, it would appear that only the owner's consent is needed and no consent is required from an occupier, although there may be an argument contrary to this.

There remains no mechanism to have restricted land included in the mining lease area without an additional surface area application, even if the relevant owner later provides their consent. It therefore remains of critical importance that resource authority holders and applicants identify whether relevant features that create restricted land exist within their tenure area (or close to the boundaries of their tenures) when applying for their tenures and when planning activities on the land.

Objection rights for mining leases—open standing

Under MOLA, the range of people who can object to the grant of a mining lease will once again become unlimited.

The provisions in MERCPA, which had limited the people who could object to the grant of the mining lease, have been removed by MOLA restoring the position that currently exists under the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld). There is no requirement that an objector must be an owner of land within the area of the mining lease application, nor that they have any connection to the land or the area in which the mining lease is being sought.

Consistent with the public having the right to object to mining lease applications, public notice of the application will once again need to be published in newspapers in the area.

Overlapping tenures

The new overlapping tenure regime introduced in MERCPA remains largely unchanged by MOLA.

It is understood that the changes to the overlapping tenure regime for coal and petroleum proposed by MOLA have been the subject of consultation between industry and government.

Reports about entry

A new change introduced by MOLA is that, where a resource authority holder has entered private land to carry out authorised activities (or access land has been entered in the exercise of access rights over that land), the resource authority holder will now need to provide a report rather than providing a notice to the owners and occupiers of land.

The details of what the report contains and how frequently a report needs to be provided for ongoing activities will be the subject of regulations.

A resource company will need to make sure that it provides the completed (and accurate) reports within the required timeframes and that they are prepared for both access land and land on which activities are being carried out. The content of the report will be evidence of the extent to which the resource company has complied with its obligations under any agreement with the owner or occupier of the land (or Land Court determination) and the requirements of the relevant resources legislation.

What's next?

While MOLA seeks to deliver on election commitments by the current ALP Government, given that there is a minority government in Queensland, the passage of MOLA will depend on the cross-benchers. It seems likely that MOLA will be supported by the cross-benchers given their constituents and previous positions expressed by them.

MOLA has been referred to the Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee, which will prepare its report by 10 May 2016. This could mean that MOLA may be returned to Parliament for its second reading and debate, and could be passed in time to come into effect with the rest of MERCPA on 27 September 2016.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Andrew White
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.