No change to landowner laws for coal rights royalities

FORMER Treasurer Andrew Fraser once labelled the property law rule as an "accident of history".

It means some blocks of land titled before 1910 give ownership of coal below the land's surface to the landholder rather than to the State Government.

Mr Fraser dismissed amending the legislation so the state received the royalties, and Treasurer Curtis Pitt is also not considering it.

A spokesman for Mr Pitt said the Government had no plans to review the legislation and would not explain why the government would not consider changing the law.

But a property lawyer who has represented landholders with these title deeds said it would be complex because it would require changing the Acquisition of Land Act and working out new methodology for compensation.

It could also be costly.

The lawyer, who chose not to be named, said it was difficult to discover whether land fell under this category because it would mean working out whether any changes to the block would alter its status since the original deed was issued.

Along with many politicians and community members, he said many property lawyers were unaware of the legislation.

He said some landholders, although he was unaware of any, in Queensland could have been caught unaware and missed out on the opportunity to receive money for royalties.


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