Land constraints

Changes to regulation that protect the Lake Eyre Basin may impact your petroleum lease applications.

Some areas of Queensland are not available for exploration, mining or production. Others may be available but have a range of conditions and restrictions placed on them.

If you lodge your application online through MyMinesOnline, the system indicates which land is available. Otherwise, you can do your own research using GeoResGlobe.

Generally, all land except the following can be subject to a resource authority:

  • national parks
  • conservation parks
  • restricted areas where an exploration permit application may be prohibited
  • Commonwealth land where an Act excludes mining
  • high preservation areas and nominated waterways including declared wild rivers.

Restricted areas

Some land areas have conditions and restrictions placed over them that restrict the range of allowed mining and geothermal activities. These restrictions are imposed for a range of reasons, for example to protect our resources, allow for future urban development or protect infrastructure such as dams and water facilities.

All restricted areas have been published in the Queensland Government Gazette and copies can be downloaded from the Queensland Government publications website. They are also summarised in the list of restricted areas in Queensland (XLSX, 102KB).

Land within an existing resource authority

Land that is within an existing undecided application or granted resource authority is not available unless the application is for a different mineral. The current holder may also surrender their granted authority over the area in favour of a new resource authority in the same name (conditional surrender). Additional requirements may apply if land is subject to multiple types of resource authorities.

Moratorium areas

Land within a moratorium area is also generally unavailable for prescribed periods. A moratorium area includes land that was previously part of an exploration permit that is now surrendered, abandoned, relinquished or expired. This land is considered 'excluded land' for a minimum of 2 calendar months from the date of surrender. You cannot apply for an exploration permit for the same mineral over this land until the land is released from moratorium. You can apply for a mining lease within moratorium areas, but size restrictions apply.

Native title

The Queensland Government must comply with national native title laws when granting resource authorities. If the proposed area is subject to native title, you must meet native title requirements as part of your application.

Regional interests development approval

The Regional Planning Interests Act 2014 protects certain high-value living, agricultural or environmental areas. A regional interests development approval may be required if you are proposing a resource activity in 1 of these areas.

Protections for the Lake Eyre Basin

On 22 December 2023, the Queensland Government announced regulatory changes to strengthen protections for the rivers and floodplains of the Lake Eyre Basin. These changes may impact existing or proposed oil and gas exploration or production where tenures intersect with the newly expanded channel country strategic environmental area and designated precinct in the Lake Eyre Basin.

Existing petroleum lease applications

Conventional petroleum lease applications submitted before 22 December 2023 will be processed under existing requirements.

New petroleum lease applications

Authority to prospect and potential commercial area holders can submit petroleum lease applications, for conventional reserves, within the designated areas within the Lake Eyre Basin until 30 August 2024.

Exploration and production activities outside the designated areas within the Lake Eyre Basin will continue under the current regulatory framework. All current and future critical minerals projects will be considered through existing site-specific assessment and approval processes.