Advanced activity requirements

Advanced activities are those that have more than a minor impact on the landholder's land use activities or business activities. They can include:

  • levelling of drilling pads and digging sumps
  • bulk sampling
  • open trenching or costeaning with an excavator
  • vegetation clear-felling
  • constructing an exploration camp, concrete pad, sewage or water treatment facility or fuel dump
  • geophysical surveying with physical clearing
  • carrying out a seismic survey using explosives
  • constructing a track or access road
  • changing a fence line.

Before entering private land and starting advanced activities, resource companies must negotiate and discuss access and compensation issues with landholders. The process is outlined below.

Who this applies to

The following requirements apply when resource companies enter private land within the area of their resource authority. It applies to all resource authority holders except holders of prospecting permits, mining claims or mining leases. This is because alternative land access requirements apply to these resource authority types.

A special process applies to gain entry to private land outside the area of the resource authority and to restricted land around certain buildings, structures and areas.

Landholder agreements

Before a resource company can enter private land to carry out advanced activities, they must first have a legally binding agreement with the landholder.* This can be either:

  • a conduct and compensation agreement
  • a deferral agreement
  • or
  • an opt-out agreement.

Conduct and compensation agreements set out the activities or conduct proposed to be undertaken as well as compensation arrangements for any impacts.

Landholders can agree to delay making a conduct and compensation agreement until after the land has been accessed (deferral agreement) or opt-out of negotiating a conduct and compensation agreement (opt-out agreement).

* If the resource company and landholder cannot agree to the terms of a conduct and compensation agreement and the matter is referred to the Land Court for determination, then the resource company can enter private land to conduct advanced activities if they provide a valid entry notice 10 business days before entry.

Negotiation process for conduct and compensation agreements

Queensland's land access laws set out a process for negotiating conduct and compensation agreements (the 'statutory' process). Parties do not need to follow the statutory process and can follow their own negotiation process if they choose. However it is negotiated, an agreement must be in place* before a resource company can enter a landholder's land to conduct advanced activities.

To begin negotiations under the statutory process, the resource company may give the owner or occupier a negotiation notice.

There is a minimum negotiation period of 20 business days, followed by a conference and alternative dispute resolution process of 20 business days. Following that, if agreement hasn't been reached, either the resource company or the landholder can apply to the Land Court for a determination.

* If the resource company and landholder cannot agree to the terms of a conduct and compensation agreement and the matter is referred to the Land Court for determination, then the resource company can enter private land to conduct advanced activities if they provide a valid entry notice 10 business days before entry.

Content of agreements

Agreements must include certain mandatory elements, but also allow the parties to agree to and include other matters.

There are different mandatory requirements for each type of agreement - these are outlined in the Guide to land access in Queensland (PDF, 894KB) and detailed in the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Regulation 2016.

The discretionary matters included in the agreement must be consistent with:

  • the land access laws
  • the resource Act under which the resource authority is granted
  • any conditions placed on the resource authority
  • or
  • the mandatory provisions of the Land Access Code.

You can use the Standard conduct and compensation agreement template (DOC, 123KB) as a basis for developing your own agreement.

Recording of agreements on title

Resource companies must record conduct and compensation agreements and opt-out agreements on the landholder's property title.

Opt-out agreements

Landholders cannot be forced to enter into an opt-out agreement by resources companies. Opt-out agreements must made using the approved Opt-out agreement form. The resource company must provide a copy of the Opt-out information sheet (PDF, 223KB) to the landholder before the landholders signs the agreement. Landholders should obtain legal advice before signing an opt-out agreement.

Entry notice requirements

Resource companies must provide landholders with an entry notice unless the conduct and compensation agreement or deferral agreement includes alternative arrangements.

Landholders will not receive entry notices if they have entered into an opt-out agreement or provided the resource company with a written waiver.

Other land access requirements

Resource companies must comply with the mandatory conditions of the Land Access Code when carrying out authorised activities on a landholder's private land. These conditions cannot be altered or waived by agreement. All parties are encouraged to comply with the code's best practice recommendations.

Entry to restricted land around certain buildings, structures or areas requires the written consent of the landholder. This consent may be included as a term in an agreement.

Contact

General enquiries 13 QGOV (13 74 68)