Queensland resources law has major flaw says expert

A QUIRK in Queensland resources law means a neighbour can be stuck with all the problems of gas development without any of the benefit, according to a Brisbane law academic who wants to see change.

There is currently no way for any property owner in Australia to formally lock the gate on gas exploration or development on their land.

National laws dictate the state can give permission for companies to prospect.

But University of Queensland's Dr Tina Hunter would like to see a fairer deal to those living next door to resource-rich properties.

Property owners must negotiate in good faith with resources companies, but if they settle on a deal that involves the drilling of wells on a far side of their block, it could be the neighbour that suffers.

"It's adjoining land so it is not on your land, but it impacts on you - you can't negotiate a compensation agreement," Dr Hunter said.

"It's something I'd like to see changed from my point of view.

"There are a number of instances that I'm very aware of, in Queensland, where people have been affected."

In other parts of the world, the community is compensated for the activities in the area.

The property owner may not care that 30 or 40 trucks are visiting the wells in the evenings, she said, but a community agreement could make sure people can have a say in how they are affected.

Dr Hunter leads UQ's Centre for International Minerals and Energy Law.

She is currently researching how negotiations between landholders and gas companies interact, if their dealings are working and if they could be improved.



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