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    Employment, Skills and Mining
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Free legal aid for CQ landholders in mining land access negotiations

    Employment, Skills and Mining
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Free legal aid for CQ landholders in mining land access negotiations

    Free legal advice will soon be available to help Central Queensland landholders in their dealings with resource companies over land access and compensation issues.

    The Minister for Employment, Skills and Mining, Stirling Hinchliffe, said the Bligh Government is investing $300,000 to fund a legal officer to service the region.

    “The lawyer will be able to offer advice and assistance to rural landholders dealing with resource companies about access and compensation issues,” he said.

    “It’s a free, non-means tested service and the lawyer will be able to travel throughout Central Queensland.”

    Mr Hinchliffe said the government recognised the global commodities boom is putting pressure on landholders as resource companies seek to access their land for exploration and development activities.

    “We’ve taken this action to ensure local communities and individuals get the help they need to negotiate complex land access issues.”

    “Queensland’s land access laws ensure landholders receive adequate compensation and have a say in how companies access their property and how they must conduct activities to minimise impacts.

    “They also provide for compensation to be recoverable by landholders for legal, accounting and valuation costs incurred in negotiating or preparing a conduct and compensation agreement.

    “Negotiating legal agreements with resource companies for conduct and compensation can be a complex and costly exercise.

    “That’s why the government is providing Central Queensland rural landholders with free legal assistance,” he said.

    It is important to note the lawyer cannot provide representation in court nor can they carry out conveyance work, so landholders should always engage their own solicitor, particularly before they sign any agreement.

    The Central Queensland initiative builds upon a similar rural landholder legal service the government funds in Toowoomba through Legal Aid Queensland.

    “The Toowoomba service has been operating since 2009 and has been highly successful, delivering significant benefits to Surat Basin landholders,” he said.

    Media Inquiries: Minister’s Office 3227 8824