Applying for arbitration of a dispute for overlapping resource authorities

To provide certainty for all resource authority holders on overlapping arrangements, an alternative dispute resolution process is available for certain matters.

Matters that can be submitted to arbitration are disputes about:

  • exceptional circumstances – a mining lease (ML) applicant can apply for arbitration if the petroleum resource authority gives an exceptional circumstances notice requesting an extension of the relevant period for carrying out activities and the ML applicant does not agree. (Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Act 2014 (MERCP Act) s. 127(6))
  • the petroleum lease (PL) and ML holders cannot agree on the joint development plan – such as the size or location of an initial mining area (IMA), rolling mining area (RMA) or simultaneous operation zone (SOZ) (MERCP Act ss. 131(2) and 144(2))
  • the PL and ML holders cannot agree on compensation, reconciliation payments or replacement gas (MERCP Act s. 174(2))
  • the operator and the senior site executive cannot agree on a joint interaction management plans (Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 s. 705B(3)).

How to apply for arbitration of a dispute

The resource authority holders can apply singly or jointly by asking a prescribed arbitration institute to nominate an arbitrator. (MERCP Act s. 177).

Prescribed arbitration institutes are the Queensland Law Society and the Resolution Institute. (Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Regulation 2016 Regulation s. 53)

Arbitrators functions

The arbitrator has authority to decide the dispute by the issuance of an award.

The award must be consistent with:

  • optimising the development and use of the State's coal and coal seam gas resources
  • safety and health requirements under mining safety legislation.