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Restrictions on Exploration in Queensland Urban Areas

The Queensland Government recently released proposed laws restricting coal, mineral and gas activities in Queensland’s urban areas. The changes were first announced last year -see our September 2011 report.

Declaration of urban restricted areas limiting resource activities

The proposed changes allow the Minister to declare areas as ‘ Urban Restricted Areas’ (URAs). The declaration will affect existing mining and petroleum tenements. Also the release of new petroleum tenure will be restricted within URAs as will the application for new mining tenements. More…

In addition to existing notice requirements, tenure holders who want to conduct activities within the area of a URA will have to seek the consent of the local government in a new prescribed form. This essentially gives councils a new degree of de facto planning control over resources activities.

Rights of owners of restricted land

In addition to URAs, a new concept of ‘restricted land’ areas may affect petroleum tenements and exploration tenure for coal and most minerals. Specifically, restricted land being land within a:

– 100 metre radius of permanent buildings used for residential housing, business, community, sporting or recreational purposes, or places of worship; and

– 50 metre radius of other structures including stockyards, bores or artesian wells, dams and cemeteries,

– will be protected from resource activities.

Existing mining and petroleum tenure holders must give ‘owners and occupiers’ of restricted land notice of their proposed activities within it and those owners and occupiers can ‘veto’ their access entirely except where certain consent was given before the introduction of the proposed provisions.