Parliament today passed resources industry reforms to cut red tape for explorers and require permit holders to “use it or lose it”.
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the reforms in the Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 were a direct response to concerns raised by the resources sector and landholders.
The legislation also progresses the state’s third, publicly-owned electricity generator, CleanCo (external site). CleanCo will build, own, operate and maintain a portfolio of clean energy assets to help increase electricity supply and drive down prices.
The resources reforms will:
- give explorers more flexibility to modify their activities, depending on what they find on-ground, without having to seek approvals.
- cap exploration permits to three terms of five years, so that permit holders have to actively explorer rather than “land bank.”
“These reforms will further strengthen confidence in Queensland as a global resources investment destination,” Dr Lynham said.
“Since 2015, the Queensland Government has helped deliver $20 billion of resource projects creating 7000 jobs.
“We’re providing certainty to landholders and communities while driving industry to take action and make decisions to help potential projects move forward to deliver jobs and royalties for the people of Queensland.
“This is delivering on our election commitment to improve and streamline resources tenure.
“These reforms ensure land is made available for future exploration for the resources essential to emerging technologies and the renewables sector, including electric and hybrid vehicles, lithium batteries, wind turbine generators and solar panels.”
The red tape reform will allow explorers to change their work program without seeking extra approvals.
For example, under the previous system, an explorer may have approval to take 10 ground samples. To take only three, even if the explorer had found what they were looking for, they would have had to apply for approval.
Under the changes, they need to meet their existing Native Title and environmental conditions, and agree with the landholder, and then advise the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy of their findings.
The changes will take effect next year.