Industry welcomes cuts to Qld mining red tape

THE Queensland Resources Council has welcomed a proposal by the state government to cut red tape for the resources sector and promote resource activity by reviewing the complex land tenure framework.

Lou Caruana
Industry welcomes cuts to Qld mining red tape

The current tenure framework in Queensland is “inefficient and burdensome” and does not recognise the range of impediments that explorers and developers face in conducting exploration which can lead to potential job-creating projects, QRC CEO Michael Roche said.

“The proposed new tenure framework, released by Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham, provides the best foundations for explorers to focus on the outcomes of their exploration activities,” he said.

“We welcome changes that would assist miners and explorers to get on with the job, while also making it easier for landholders to do business with them.”

The Queensland government will be asking industry and stakeholders about how to improve current tenure and permit systems.

The proposed changes seek to modernise mining and exploration tenure systems will cut red tape for miners, improve post-mining rehabilitation, encourage innovation and protect landholders.

Lynham last week released a policy paper outlining proposals for modernising Queensland’s complex system of resource permits, authorities, leases and licences.

The Innovative resources tenures framework is the latest stage in a reform project that started under Labor six years ago and will culminate in legislation coming to Parliament in the second half of 2016, he said.

“Our tenure system is complex, duplicative, over-prescriptive, administratively inefficient and generally unresponsive to the needs of a globalised resources sector,” Dr Lynham said.

“Mining and petroleum and gas exploration and production tenures are regulated by five separate Acts.

“This is the first time in Queensland a comprehensive review of the whole resources tenure system has been undertaken and will have real benefits for miners, explorers and landholders.”

Key changes proposed include five new uniform authorities – for information, exploration, development, production and infrastructure; all exploration authorities to have set terms, with no renewal; incentives for early and strong exploration performance balanced with handing back land halfway through the term of the authority and more flexibility to give explorers incentive, for example, to amend their work on the ground according to the results they are achieving.

Lynham said the proposed changes would make it easier for landholders to do business with miners and explorers and encourage explorers to get on with the job.

“Making mining and exploration tenures uniform whether they are for coal, minerals or petroleum will reduce confusion for landholders,” he said.

“Explorers will be able to manage their work on the ground, as long as they are sticking to their overall goals, rather than having to stop work and seek departmental approval when they need to amend their work plans.

“And decommissioning including final rehabilitation will be recognised as a purpose and obligation that has to be included or referenced in plans submitted for resource authorities, rather than the current situation that relies solely on the environmental authority to regulate.

“A more uniform, flexible resources tenure framework will help Queensland stay globally competitive, attract more investment and deliver sustainable long-term economic benefits.”


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