The Newman Government has released a “Six Point Action Plan” that is says is designed to strengthen the relationship between two of Queensland’s most economically important sectors – resources and agriculture.
Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said the strategy addressed the recommendations of a 2011 Independent Review of the Land Access Framework that is applied to access and compensation agreements between landholders and resource companies.
“Like so many Bligh Government policies, the original framework failed to adequately address the rapid expansion of the coal and coal seam gas industries and their increasing contact with landholders,” Mr Cripps said in a press release issued on Friday.
“Neither resource companies nor landholders were well served by the framework. The Newman Government will make some important changes to bring equity and certainty to land access and compensation arrangements for both land owners and resource companies.
“The LNP has already addressed one of the key recommendations of the original review by establishing the independent GasFields Commission, and we look forward to working closely with the Commission to implement the Six Point Action plan.”
In accordance with the recommendations of the Land Access Review Panel led by Dr David Watson, the strategy commits to a series of short and long-term actions for government and stakeholders to be implemented as a matter of priority.
The Newman Government’s overhaul of the Land Access Framework includes:
- (a) a review of the heads of compensation to ensure no cost or erosion of landholder rights (b) the expansion of Land Court jurisdiction to include matters of conduct
- The introduction of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process, independent of government, to be integrated into the Land Court
- The existence of a Conduct and Compensation Agreement (CCA) to be noted on land title
- An option for parties to “opt out” of a formal land access agreement at the election of the landholder
- The development of standard CCAs for mineral, coal and coal seam gas industries in partnership with the resource and agricultural sectors
- A review and rationalisation of information sources into a single resource for landholders and resource companies.
- An Implementation Committee consisting of the GasFields Commission, AgForce, Queensland Farmers’ Federation, Queensland Resources Council, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association and the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies will oversee the implementation of the Action Plan
“This group will be convened to foster a culture of open and honest engagement between resource companies and landholders,” Mr Cripps said.
The LNP Government’s Six Point Action Plan for Land Access will build on the many successful models of co-existence already evident between resource companies and landholders, as well as providing a fair and equitable dispute resolution system for parties that cannot reach agreement.
The report can be accessed at http://mines.industry.qld.gov.au/mining/706.htm
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