The Shine Lawyers Energy Law Team are alarmed and disappointed with yesterday’s publication of the Agriculture, Resources and Environment Committee’s report in relation to the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014. While the report acknowledges and details many of the concerns raised by landholders, it fails to make any recommendations that relate to the substantive issues of the Bill and just as importantly fails to give any credence to the concerns raised by landholders. Essentially the report recommends that the Bill be accepted in its entirety without amendment.
We are disappointed that the 288 submissions and five (5) public hearings have only resulted in four (4) recommendations. We also cannot help but come to the conclusion that these four recommendations fail to address the substantive issues posed by this Bill.
There appears to be a complete lack of consideration and application of the concerns raised by the public during the consultation process, yet a total acceptance of the Government’s policy agenda. Only one of the recommendations suggests an amendment to the Bill and this amendment is largely unrelated to the substantive issues at play. It recommends a cap on the amount of professional fees which are payable by a resource authority. The report fails to recommend against the absolute routing of landholder’s and citizen’s rights and poor legislative drafting including with respect to objection rights, restricted land and legislating by regulation.
This Bill goes to the very core of landholder rights and proposes to, once again, erode them through legislative change.
We once again stress that this Bill offers no benefit to landholders and places the interests of industry before the rights of citizens. The Committee was charged with the responsibility of recognising this and addressing it through their recommendations to Parliament, however, it has failed to do so.
We urge all landholders to review the report and voice their concerns. The importance of the Bill to all landholders and citizens of Queensland cannot be understated.
Written by Peter Shannon
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: September 8, 2014.