The Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014 (Qld) (MER) passed the Queensland Parliament on 9 September 2014.
The MER is the first step in the Modernising Queensland Resources Acts Program (MQRAP), which is likely to take three to four years to complete. The goal behind the MQRAP is to bring together the five existing mineral and energy related Acts and the relevent regulations in Queensland under one unified system.
The MER was released on 5 June 2014 for consultation. Over the last four months the Agriculture, Resources and Environment Committee has undertaken public hearings and consultation with a report being tabled on 5 September 2014. On 9 September 2014 the MER was further amended, as a result of the report and consultation process, during its second reading speech. The MER is now awaiting royal assent.
Although the MER has the goal of streamlining the various resources related Acts, the Government has taken this opportunity to also amend some key areas, including:
- land access
- opt-out agreements
- access agreements
- restricted land
- public notification, and
- overlapping tenure.
These can be critical to companies involved in or connected with the resources sector.