Queensland’s government says new laws will help protect farmers when conflicts with miners arise.
Resource companies will no longer be able to use court action to railroad Queensland farmers under new state laws.
Under the old system, if landholders and resource firms couldn’t strike a compensation and land access deal within 40 days, the company could take the farmer to the Land Court.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney says the threat of costly court proceedings had been used by companies in the past as leverage over landholders.
But under new laws passed by parliament on Thursday, resource firms will have to apply for a development approval with the state government if negotiations with farmers fail.
Mr Seeney says, if a project is approved or knocked back, both parties have the right to appeal in the Planning and Environment Court.
“I have watched for years as rural producers felt threatened, resource companies felt constrained and local councils were caught in the crossfire of disputes that needn’t have happened,” the deputy premier said in a statement.
The Queensland Farmers Federation says the new rules put land owners at the forefront of decision making about projects on their land.
“It begins to address the power imbalance between farmers and resource proponents and quite rightly prioritises agricultural activity on what is a finite and critical resource for Queensland,” chief executive officer Dan Galligan said.