Land Compensation for Land Resumption

and Resource Exploration

The impact of the mining and resources industry on the agricultural industry cannot be understated. Both industries are vital to the economy and wealth of Australia. Landholders need to be aware of their rights and the impact on their land and business when mining companies conduct their activities and/or land is resumed by governments.

 

Your Rights

  • You have a right to compensation for mining activities conducted on your land.

  • Do not sign any agreements until you have considered all of the impacts and taken proper legal advice.

  • Do not be pressured to sign an agreement. Get all relevant information first.

  • You are entitled to costs of negotiating the Agreement.

  • Obtain a comprehensive property plan and property map to assist in negotiations identifying infrastructure, future development areas, sensitive areas and the like.

 

Land Access Code

This is a code introduced pursuant to section 24A of the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004. The Code imposes mandatory conditions concerning the conduct of activities on private land including:

  • Geothermal tenures under the Geothermal Energy Act 2010;

  • GHG authorities under the Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2009;

  • Petroleum authorities under the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004;

  • Petroleum tenures under the Petroleum Act 1923;

  • Exploration permits and mineral development licences under the Mineral Resources Act 1989.

 

Generally resource companies have a legal obligation not to unreasonably interfere with the lawful activities of land holders. Landholders should request the Environmental Authority from the Department of Environment and Resource Management and/or the resource company.

 

The Code can be found here:
http://mines.industry.qld.gov.au/assets/land-tenure-pdf/land_access_code_nov2010.pdf

 

Conduct and Compensation Agreement (CCA)

Before conducting any advanced activities on the land the resource company must negotiate a CCA. The Queensland Government has prepared standard agreements to assist landholders:

  • A Standard Conduct and Compensation Agreement;

  • This covers possible compensation arrangements;

  • Land access rules, dispute processes, apportioning of legal costs, and the like; and

  • A Standard Deferral Agreement. This sets out terms if the landholder chooses to hold off entering into a Conduct and Compensation Agreement with the resource company until a later point in time.

 

We do not recommend landholders enter into either agreement without seeking our advice and without considering the impact of all current and future activities on the property such as:

  • Physical impacts.

  • Financial impacts.

  • Social impacts.

  • Future plans for the property.

  • Provisions for compensation and penalties when a resource company breaches the CCA.

  • Specific conduct for the use of roads and tracks during and after a rain event.

  • Provisions to review the terms of the CCA in future.

  • Requirements for preventing the spread of non-declared pest species (resource companies are required to wash down vehicles to prevent the spread of declared pests. However there should be provisions for preventing the spread of other species that land holders have intentionally removed or excluded from their properties).

 

Make Good Agreements

Sarinas Legal can assist in the documentation of all make good arrangements with a mining company. The Water Act (2000) requires resource companies to make good any damage resulting from CSG activities on underground water bores and springs.

The problems that can arise include:

  • changes in bore water pressure;

  • reduced water quality; and

  • changes in volume.

 

The Department of Environment and Resource Management can investigate when bore water levels reach the trigger threshold for make good activation.

 

A trigger threshold is the amount of decline in water level in an aquifer or bore impacted by CSG operations, over and above the seasonal or climatic water level fluctuations and those caused by non-CSG activities, which could pose a risk to water supply from the bore.

 

Land Resumption / Easement Compensation

Landholders have a right of compensation should their land be resumed or acquired by a government or Constructing Authority. The Acquisition of Land Act 1967 give these authorities power to acquire land.

 

Land is acquired:

  • by agreement pursuant to section 15 of the Acquisition of Land Act 1967;

  • compulsorily after the issue of a Notice of Intention to Resume.

  • Date of Gazettal is date of Transfer of Ownership

  • The decision to acquire the land is published in the Gazette and on that date ownership of the land vests in the State or the relevant Constructing Authority.

 

Compensation Amount

  • Compensation is payable to the claimant.

  • The Constructing Authority will engage a registered valuer to assess compensation.

  • We do not recommend that the valuation assessment be accepted without obtaining appropriate legal advice and a consideration of all the issues by appropriately qualified experts.

  • Proper compensation should amongst other things cover the value of the land, improvements, the attachment of the land to other land owned by the claimant, and injurious affection caused to other land by the claimant.

  • A proper assessment of compensation should include the input from other external professionals such as a town planner, a valuer, agronomist and other economic impact professionals.

  • Sarinas Legal works with these professionals to assist in maximising the claim.

 

Land Court

A claimant can seek an advance against compensation from a Constructing Authority. If agreement cannot be reached on the amount of compensation, the Land Court has jurisdiction to hear and determine the claim.

 Contact us to find out more or to arrange a consultation.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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