Queensland's land access laws under review
Key community and industry stakeholders will form part of an independent panel that is set to review Queensland's land access laws, the state minister for employment, skills and mining has announced.
The Land Access Framework Review Panel will be chaired by Dr David Watson, the former leader of the Queensland Liberal Party and a member of the board of the Queensland Competition Authority. Four other key industry players - including experts in the resources and agricultural sectors - will also participate in the process.
It is hoped that the review - which will be completed by February 2012 - will be a step toward fostering better relationships between resources companies and land owners.
This would be achieved by setting out a code of conduct, which mining firms would have to observe when seeking to carry out exploration work on privately-owned land.
Hinchcliffe asserted that the framework will help ensure both parties are aware of their rights and obligations under this process, which came into effect at the beginning of 2011.
''[It] provides a defined and consistent process for the parties to negotiate agreed terms regarding both access for preliminary and advanced activities and adequate compensation,'' he said.
Under the current framework established by the Queensland state government, current dispute resolution guidelines point to the land court as a last resort.
The review comes on the back of a number of stories in the media that report conflict between rural landowners and resource companies over access and compensation issues.
Discussions will be held with landholders and resource companies who have been affected by the framework to assess its day to day functioning.