Queensland’s local councils the winner in land reforms

Published Tuesday, 16 April, 2024 at 02:55 PM

Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals
The Honourable Scott Stewart

  • New laws passed to streamline Queensland’s state land administration framework
  • Changes will allow local councils to better manage land they hold in trust.
  • Mining companies will be required to pay council rates as part of their resource authority

Queensland’s local councils and their communities are the big winners in a suite of land reforms passed by parliament.

The Land and Other Legislation Amendment Bill No 2 gives local councils expanded powers over the day-to-day management and use of land they hold in trust, allowing timely decisions that are responsive to community needs.

A new process will be established to make it easier for trustees to convert land used for public infrastructure like aged care facilities, emergency services, and water treatment plants to freehold.

The reform supports Queensland’s economic growth through timely delivery of priority projects by simplifying land allocation to government departments. This will enable projects like housing, hospitals and schools to be developed sooner.

The legislation also makes it a mandatory condition for companies to pay local government rates and charges as part of their resource authority.

The Queensland Government has also taken steps to update the state’s place names framework, including enabling a faster process for removing names that include derogatory, racist or sexist terms and expanding the allowed format for public submissions on proposals to include video and audio rather than only in writing.

Quotes attributable to Resources and Critical Minerals Minister Scott Stewart:

“These reforms will modernise the state land allocation and administration process to better support economic, environmental, and social growth”, he said.

“We’re working together with local councils to provide them flexible options to manage trust land and ensure it continues to meet their communities’ needs.

“For instance, under the proposed self-assessable framework, a council wouldn’t need my approval to hold a music festival on a recreation reserve provided they have appropriate management plans in place.

“This is about empowering councils and other trustees to respond to what they communities require at any given time.

“We know resources projects provide benefits to the regions and local communities in which they operate.

“Paying their local government rates and charges is an important way resources companies can support both the growth of the sector and the sustainable development of our regional communities.

Further information. 

60 per cent of Queensland is administered by the state under the Land Act 1994 (Land Act).

This land is allocated for a range of purposes, such as pastoral, residential, tourism, commercial and industrial and administered through leases, permits, licences and as trust land reserves.