A new bill introduced into Parliament today will provide more certainty to Queensland’s vital resources industry as it helps lead the State to economic recovery.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 would clarify some minor administrative aspects of mining and petroleum leases.
“The key purpose of the proposed amendments is to provide certainty to stakeholders and ensure existing rights and interests are maintained,” Mr Stewart said.
“Importantly, the amendments made as part of the Bill do not provide any new rights or obligations for existing petroleum tenure holders or holders of mining leases.”
Mr Stewart said the proposed amendments would clarify that any leases approved between 1989 and 2010 under the Mineral Resources Act 1989 and were not issued a hard copy instrument of lease are – and always have been – considered valid.
“This would extend to any approvals and agreements associated with the mining lease, such as an environmental authority,” he said.
Existing holders of these mining leases and associated environmental authorities will continue to be able to operate – this amendment simply clarifies that these leases have been and continue to be valid.
“Also, we are making clear that if a company has made a valid application to renew a production lease under the Petroleum Act 1923 prior to it expiring, that lease remains valid while a decision is made on the renewal,” Mr Stewart said.
“The amendments will also ensure that sufficient time is available for key production lease applications to be appropriately considered in the context of broader government policy commitments.”
In some cases, companies hold authorities to prospect (ATP) under the Petroleum Act 1923 which are due to expire on 1 November 2021.
“A number of these ATPs are in the Lake Eyre Basin, for which the Government has committed to consult on how an appropriate balance of environmental and economic considerations can be achieved in the Basin,” Mr Stewart said.
“The amendments will allow government the time it needs to make these decisions for these ATPs.
“Importantly the amendments do not put any onus on government to approve the applications prior to policy positions being decided.”
Mr Stewart said the Palaszczuk Government was a strong supporter of the resources sector for the royalties and the jobs it generates, particularly in regional Queensland.
“The industry supports more than 71,000 jobs across the state and represents $44.5 billion in exports,” he said.
“It is a traditional strength of Queensland’s and will continue to be a key part of our economic recovery plan from COVID-19.”