QUEENSLAND expertise in resolving disputes over resource development proposals was in danger of being diluted by legislation for the merger of the Land and Resources Tribunal with the Land Court, according to Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche.
The Queensland State Parliament has passed The Land Court and Other Legislation Bill 2007.
The peak representative body for minerals and energy companies in Queensland is concerned that there is no provision in the legislation for the appointment of at least one member experienced in mining or petroleum issues.
“While knowledge of mining or petroleum issues will be added as a criterion for appointment to the Land Court, this is only one in a set of criteria that can be applied when considering appointments,” Roche said.
“Industry is adamant that at least one member of the expanded Land Court should have an extensive legal background in resource sector activities.
“After all, we are talking about the future of industries worth more than $25 billion a year to the Queensland economy and industries that employ, directly or indirectly, one in every eight Queenslanders.”
Roche said the QRC would seek further discussions with the Premier over the legislation, which required only minor amendment to ensure continuity of the expertise built up by the Land and Resources Tribunal since its creation by the Beattie Government in 1998.
“What is now recognised as a supercycle of growth in the resources sector is occurring at pace around the state.
“In such unparalleled circumstances, it would be a tragedy to see the potential emerge for development opportunities to be delayed or lost,” Roche said.