Legal development

Key trends in land access negotiations 2022

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    Over the past 12 months, we have continued to see recurring matters raised in land access negotiations between the mining/CSG industry, renewable energy industry and landholders.  These include: 

    According to the most recent Annual Report published by the Land Access Ombudsman, the number of dispute referrals to the Land Access Ombudsman increased in 2021–2022.  During this period, the Ombudsman received 50 dispute enquiries, reflecting a 6% increase on referrals received during the 2020–2021 financial year. 

    The Ombudsman determined that only one of the 50 disputes was potentially within the Ombudsman's jurisdiction.  That matter ultimately did not proceed to the investigation stage after preliminary enquiries.  The Ombudsman referred 36 of those enquiries to another entity to resolve (in most cases to the Queensland Ombudsman).

    These referrals relate to:

    • disputes between CSG companies and landholders regarding deviated drilling;
    • concerns regarding gaining access rights to National Parks, easements, undeveloped roads and neighbouring land;
    • dissatisfaction with a decision made by a government department (i.e. Department of Resources; Department of Environment and Science); 
    • negotiation of conduct and compensation agreements, make good agreements, access agreements and Material Change in Circumstance agreements; and
    • resumption of land.
    Authors: Libby McKillop, Senior Associate; Leanne Mahly, Lawyer; Martin Doyle, Graduate.
    The information provided is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all developments in the law and practice, or to cover all aspects of those referred to.
    Readers should take legal advice before applying it to specific issues or transactions.

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