Restricted land

The information on this page applies from Friday 19 April 2019.

Resource companies cannot enter land within a prescribed distance of certain buildings, structures or areas without the written consent of the landholder. There is no obligation on the landholder to give consent.

The prescribed distances and types of buildings and areas are provided below.

Who does this apply to?

The Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Act 2014 established the restricted land framework. It applies to resource authorities that were applied for, on, or after 27 September 2016. The rules are different for resource authorities applied for prior to this date.

What activities does this apply to?

The requirement applies to all authorised activities including preliminary activities.

It does not apply to:

  • installation of underground cables and pipelines if they are installed within 30 days
  • areas where entry could be performed by a member of the public without requiring any approval (for example, travelling on a public road that goes through restricted land)
  • restricted land which is located outside the area of the resource authority, and there is no other way of accessing the area of the resource authority and either the landholder(s) has agreed in writing, or the landholder(s) has not agreed but the refusal was not reasonable.

Read detailed information about restricted land in A guide to land access in Queensland (PDF, 1.8MB).

Most resource authority holders are required to hold an environmental authority. The environmental authority that the resource company holds will have conditions on it addressing the impacts of noise, dust, light and other environmental nuisances. These conditions will limit the impact that the resource company’s activities can have on landholders, including neighbours.

Disputes over restricted land

The Land Court has the power to decide disputes regarding restricted land. Where there has been a dispute between parties regarding necessity or reasonableness, the Land Court can make a declaration on application by either party.

The Land Court can also make a declaration as to whether the land is restricted land and whether the activity is a prescribed activity for the purpose of applying restricted land protections.

Prescribed distances from restricted buildings and areas

Exploration and production resource authorities

When accessing land under an exploration or production resource authority, you need written consent from the landholder to enter land within 200 metres of:

  • a permanent building used for
    • a residence
    • a childcare centre
    • a hospital
    • a library
    • a community, sporting or recreational purpose
    • a place of worship
    • a business
  • an area used for

You also need consent to enter land within 50 metres of an area used for:

  • an artesian well, bore, dam or water storage facility
  • a principal stockyard
  • a cemetery or burial place
  • an area, building or structure prescribed by regulation.

Other resource authorities

If you are accessing land under an authority other than an exploration or production resource authority (e.g. prospecting permit, water monitoring authority, survey licence or data monitoring authority), you need written consent to enter land within 50 metres of all buildings, structures or areas listed above.

Creation of restricted land following landholder improvements

If an exploration resource authority (e.g. exploration permit, authority to prospect) has been granted over their land and the landholder makes improvements that fit the definition of restricted land, the improvements will attract restricted land protections.

In the case of production resource authorities (e.g. mining claims, mining leases, petroleum leases), restricted land is 'set' when the resource company applies for the production authority. Any improvements a landholder makes to the land after that date do not attract restricted land protections.

Neighbouring land

Restricted land protections continue to apply even if the restricted land area is outside the boundary of the resource authority. For example, if a neighbour’s home is within 200 metres of the resource authority boundary, the resource company cannot enter land within 200 metres of the home without the written consent of each landholder.

There are 2 categories of restricted land (Category A and Category B) that apply to land under these resource authorities.

Category A restricted land is land that is 100 metres laterally of a permanent building used:

  • mainly as accommodation or for business purposes
  • for community, sporting or recreational purposes
  • as a place of worship.

Category B restricted land is land that is 50 metres laterally of any of the following features:

  • a principal stockyard
  • a bore or artesian well
  • a dam
  • another artificial water storage connected to a water supply
  • a cemetery or burial place.

The 600-metre rule

Holders of an exploration permit or a mineral development licence cannot enter land that is within 600 metres of an occupied residence or a school, unless they have reached a conduct and compensation agreement with the owner and occupier.

Creation of restricted land

For mining leases and mining claims, the owner of the restricted land (at the time the application was lodged) provided consent in writing and this consent was lodged with the Department of Resources. The consent was only required from the owner of the land, not the occupier (if the occupier was not the owner).

For prospecting permits, exploration permits, and mineral development licences granted prior to 27 September 2016, the resource company is not permitted to enter restricted land unless the owner of the land provides their written consent. For exploration permits and mineral development permits, the written consent must also be lodged with the Department of Resources.

Creation of restricted land following landholder improvements

Subsequent improvements to land do not attract restricted land protections relating to mining claims, mineral development licences or mining leases. However, for prospecting permits, and exploration permits, subsequent improvements can be made and will be protected if they fall within the definition of restricted land.

Neighbouring land

Both restricted land Category A and Category B protections apply even if the restricted land area is outside of the boundary of the resource authority. For example, if a neighbour’s home is within 100 metres laterally of the resource authority boundary, the resource company cannot enter land within 100 metres of the home without the consent of the owner.

The 600-metre rule

Resource authority holders cannot enter land in the area of a resource authority that is within 600 metres of an occupied residence or a school unless they have reached a conduct and compensation agreement or deferral agreement with the owner and occupier.

Neighbouring land

There is no requirement for the resource authority holder to enter into a conduct and compensation agreement with a neighbouring landholder located outside the area of the resource authority.

Contact

Small business hotline: 1300 654 687

General enquiries: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)