Source: GasFields Commission Queensland
In Queensland, when the State Government issues a petroleum tenure, it also grants the right to enter private or State land to explore for, or produce, petroleum and gas.
In exercising that right, the tenure holder has certain obligations towards the landholder in relation to land access.
These obligations are contained within Queensland's Land Access Policy Framework, which includes the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004, the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Regulation 2004 and the Land Access Code, developed in 2010. This framework has been designed to provide a balance between the interests of the agriculture and resources sectors.
To access private land to undertake 'advanced activities' which are likely to have some impact on business or land use activities, the tenure holder and the landholder must be parties to a land access agreement, known as a conduct and compensation agreement (CCA).
The tenure holder is required to compensate the landholder for any compensable effect suffered, (damage or loss) caused by the tenure holder carrying out their authorised activities.
Conduct and Compensation Agreements
In June 2012, the number of CCAs between CSG companies and landholders in Queensland totalled approximately 2,898. By the end of June 2015, this number had increased by about 69% to 4,906.
As a landholder may have more than one CCA, the actual number of landholders with CSG infrastructure on their property is lower than the number of land access agreements. As at May 2015, about 2,188 landholders were estimated to have CSG infrastructure on their property.
The aggregated compensation paid to landholders by June 2015 is estimated to total $238 million. This can range from small payments for minors works to over $1 million for major gas field developments. The scheduling of payments can also vary, depending on the nature of the development and agreements negotiated with the landholders. For example, a portion of the total compensation may be paid as an upfront payment, followed by annual ongoing payments.
Many landholders have also negotiated in-kind outcomes with CSG companies, such as new fencing, roads, grids, sale of gravel and water. In some areas, they have also gained access to treated CSG water for irrigating crops and other approved purposes.
Business to Business Approach
The negotiation of land access is complex and requires a good understanding of a wide range of disciplines, including agricultural production, resource industry law and regulation, land valuation, natural resource economics and accounting.
The Commission encourages landholders to take a business to business type approach in their negotiations with CSG companies, and where necessary seek professional third party advice from solicitors, valuers, accountants and agricultural economists.
Landholders are entitled to compensation for any accounting, legal or valuation costs, necessarily and reasonably incurred to negotiate or prepare a CCA.
|Land Access Agreements
|4,906 agreements (as at June 2015
|Known as Conduct & Compensation Agreements - Up from 2,898 in June 2012
|Number of Landholders
|2,188 landholders estimated with CSG on property
|Many landholders may have multiple agreements (because they own multiple parcels of land or various gas infrastructure)
|Compensation to Landholders
|$238 million paid to landholders to June 2015
|Ranging from small payments for minor works to over $1 million for major gasfield developments. (Many landholders have negotiated upfront plus annual compensation payments)
|Beneficial use of CSG Water
|Landholders have negotiated in-kind outcomes (Such as new fencing, roads, grids, sale of gravel & water, & in some areas access to treated CSG water for cropping)
|Land Access Code
|Resource rights holders entering private land have obligations to landholder
Preliminary activities - notice of entry
Advanced activities - conduct & compensation agreement