Modernising Queensland`s Resources Acts

MERCPA 2014 – An Overview
Oil and gas
Introduction to the new Act
Dealings, caveats and associated agreements
Land Access
Overlapping tenement regime
Introduction to MERCPA 2014
Modernising Queensland’s Resources Acts (MQRA) program
– 5 Acts into 1 over 3 to 4 years
– Rationale is a cutting ‘red-tape’ and compliance costs (consistent with
Newman 20% election pledge)
*Mineral and Energy (Common Provisions) Act 2014
– Passed by Parliament on Sept 9 after consultation process
– Comes into force on “proclamation” (when Gov’t decides), mirroring repeal
of Resources Acts
– Creates the ‘shell’ for the final Act into which provisions will be incrementally
transferred from the Resources Acts
– First step in MQRA process creates many common ‘processes’ (dealings,
caveats and registers / tenure applications) but there are also substantive
changes to law relating to land access (private and public land),
overlapping tenure (coal/CSG) and public notification and objection rights for
mining lease applicants
Section 3: Sets out the “main purposes” of Act – consolidate
provisions; provide for common processes; new coal/CSG
overlap regime; achieve purposes of Resources Acts.
Section 6: Sets out the relationship between this Act and the
other resources Acts. This Act has primacy.
Section 6(5): The key where there is inconsistency is
whether it is “possible” or “impossible” to comply with both
Section 10: New concept of the “resource authority”, referring
to all exploration and production tenures under the 5 Acts.
Dealings, caveats and associated
Different processes and requirements for notification and
registration of ‘dealings’ across the five Acts
Lengthy and complicated when compared with equivalent
legislation in other Australian jurisdictions
Largely harmonised under the Mines Legislation (Streamlining)
Amendment Act 2012 (Qld) (intro’d online processing via
DNRM’s MinesOnline)
Further streamlining under MERCPA by introducing one set of
administrative processes that focuses on outcomes, leaving
prescriptive processes to be covered off by Regulations
Purports to reduce Government processing times, costs +
indirect savings to industry
Chapter 2 - Dealings, caveats and
associated agreements
Source: Modernising Queensland’s Resources Acts Program – Dealings, caveats and associated
agreements February 2014
What is a dealing? Broad “catch-all” with ability to prescribe
other transactions.
‘Prescribed dealings’ require registration and Minister’s
approval to have effect (generic provisions regarding
“applications” will apply – see Chapter 5, Part 1)
Will be prescribed by Regulation, however expect:
Transfer of RA (or share thereof)
Mortgage over RA (or share thereof)
Release, transfer or surrender of mortgage
Change of name of holder of RA (even if same person)
If RA is a lease, sublease of the lease, transfer of sublease (or share
thereof) and ending of sublease
‘Prohibited dealings’ have no effect
– Transfer of divided part of authorised area for RA excluding
Sublease or transfer of a sublease
– Per Regulations
Indicative approval system retained
– Still includes ‘preconditions’ for IA that may prevent registration of
dealing where not satisfied
– IA valid for a prescribed period, but what if lapses before RA holder
is able to lodge transfer application due to circumstances outside of
its control (e.g. delays in regulatory approval or due to transfer duty
Caveats and associated agreements
As before
Something to consider...
Changes to the mining lease notification and
objections process under the Mineral Resources Act
1989 and the EP Act:
– only “affected persons” and certain other individuals
such as occupiers, owners of adjoining land and
infrastructure owners will receive notification of the
mining lease application
– only certain affected persons can object on limited
– should consider these changes if you are a landholder,
occupier or adjoining landholder where there is a
mining lease overlap to preserve your rights to object (if
you can)
Land Access: Overview
Good news! Regime generally the same
What has changed?
Opt-out agreements (OOAs)
Title notations
Restricted land
Public Land
Land Access: opt-out agreements
Landowner elects to “opt-out” of requirements for CCA,
deferral agreement and NOEs
Must meet “prescribed requirements”
10 business day “cooling-off” period
Does not negate compensation liability
Land Access: title notations
CCA or OOA must be noted on property land title
Full agreements not recorded or searchable
Condition of the RA
RA holders must notify land titles registrar within 28 days
after entering CCA or OOA and when it ends
Existing CCAs must be registered – 6 month period for
Land Access: restricted land
Old regime under P&G Act: “600m rule”
New regime under Act: “must not enter restricted
land…to carry out a prescribed activity…unless
each relevant owner or occupier for the restricted
land has given written consent…”
Land Access: restricted land
No surface activities, or activities impacting the surface, without owner or occupier
written consent within “prescribed distance” (200m) of listed buildings or areas:
Place of worship
Childcare centre
Pig farm
Poultry farm
Intensive feedlot
Other business
Land Access: restricted land
Surface activities
Activities below the surface of the land which are
likely to cause an impact on the surface of the land
Land Access: public land
Periodic entry notices are a new requirement
Additional requirements for notifiable road uses
Land Access: transitioning
Land Access Code continues until replaced by new
Land Access Codes
Agreements / arrangements in force when Act
commences - continue
– CCAs, deferral agreements and access agreements
– Entry notices and waiver of entry notices
Agreements “being negotiated” when the Act
commences - completed under the provisions of
the P&G Act
– CCAs, deferral agreements and access agreements
Overlapping tenure context
• Galilee Basin –
39% of overlapped
• Bowen Basin –
50% overlapped
• Surat Basin 25%
overlapped tenure
Coal/CSG Overlapping Tenure Regime
Rationale for change
Existing framework: Mineral Resources Act
1989 (Qld) and Petroleum and Gas (Production
and Safety) Act 2004 (Qld)
Maximising Utilisation of Queensland’s Coal and
Coal Seam Gas Resources – A New Approach
to Overlapping Tenure in Queensland May 2012
(White Paper)
Industry response to Mines and Petroleum
Legislation Amendment Bill 2011
April 2014 - draft legislative framework released
for comment
September 2014 – Mineral and Energy
Resources (Common Provisions) Act 2014 (Qld)
New Coal/CSG Overlapping Tenure
Direct path to grant for coal and CSG production
Right of way for coal, subject to:
– Notice periods and confirmation requirements; and
– Compensation
Information exchange
Dispute resolution process – referrals to arbitration
(final decisions)
Transitional arrangements - different provisions for
the Surat Basin
Flexibility for parties to enter into alternative
arrangements outside the legislative framework
The ‘Rolling Abandonment Model’
Area for re-access by CSG party – SSM
takes over
Example 1
MLA over ATP
ATP holder
 If yes
 If no
Year 0 3 mths
MLA lodged
Advance Notice
proposed JDP)
18 Months Notice
 If yes
 If no
6 mths
If JDP is not
either party
can refer to
ML granted
Agreed JDP in
Year 1
Year 1.5
IMA forms
(where no PLA
Mining can
Year 9 – 9.5
Year 11
Confirmation IMA forms
(where PLA
Mining can
Compensation: ATP Major Gas Infrastructure (e.g. pilot well being used or held for
future production as well as associated infrastructure).
Example 2
MLA over PL or PLA
No acceleration and no exceptional circumstances
ML granted
Agreed JDP in place
Duration of IMA
(10 years)
PL production
(10 years)
Year 0
MLA lodged
Advance Notice
proposed JDP)
Year 9 – 9.5
Year 11
IMA forms
Mining can
Year 19.5
Compensation: Compensation payable by the Coal Party to the Gas Party for the cost of
replacement of the PL connecting infrastructure and the PL major gas infrastructure.
Year 21
Example 3
MLA over PL or PLA
Acceleration and no exceptional circumstances
ML granted
Agreed JDP in place
Duration of IMA
(10 years)
Year 0
Year 1.5
MLA lodged
Advance Notice
proposed JDP)
IMA forms
Mining can
Compensation Payable for Lost
Production + Compromised
Year 10 Year 11
RMA Notice
Year 11.5
This would be the date the
IMA forms and mining
commences if acceleration did
not occur i.e. 11 years after
the Advance Notice is given
Diagram – Accelerated mining
Contracting out, ‘sort of’
Advance Notice (incl. JDP)
*Exceptional circumstances
Agreement of JDP and
approval by Minister
*Acceleration notice
Concurrent notice process
Subsequent petroleum
Information exchange
Ministerial powers – e.g.
amendment of JDP
Note Co-dev Agts not ‘grandfathered’, so
retrospective effect on agreements ‘soundly struck’
Transition plan?
Transitional provisions and concluding
Complex transitional provisions…
– Will apply to production applications over exploration tenure
– Will not apply to production applications over production
tenure (dealt with under current regime)
– Concurrent production applications overlaps (i.e. MLA/PLA
and vice versa) not expressly dealt with but we think new
regime will apply
– Surat Basin Transitional Area: special arrangements
‘Whiteboard legislation’ – we are here to help!!!
Role play
The following is a discussion between an
overlapping MLA Holder and ATP Holder in months
leading up to commencement of the new regime.
The ATP Holder is sitting on a massive CSG
reservoir that has been highly prospective during
testing, however it is struggling financially and
reluctant to brief external counsel.
The coal strike containing the gas is also potentially
very lucrative to the MLA Holder. It is a multinational
mining house with a large, in-house legal team.
Thank you
Resources and Energy

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