New Government Guideline Enables Transfer of Gas Infrastructure to Landholders

A new guideline has been published by Department of Environment and Science (DES) to help facilitate the transfer of infrastructure from petroleum and gas activities (like bores, access tracks, small dams, fences and sheds) to Queensland landholders. The process is part of the Queensland Government’s commitment to work in partnership with industry to keep the economy moving through COVID-19 recovery.

DES recognises the value of certain petroleum and gas infrastructure, particularly for agriculture, and that landholders could significantly benefit from having access to these assets. As part of any transfer, the operator will need to ensure that the infrastructure is safe, stable and doesn’t cause environmental harm. The types of infrastructure that can be transferred include items commonly constructed on farmland such as bores, access tracks, hardstand areas, pipes and pumps for irrigation, fences and sheds. Water storage dams are also included but require specific consideration. These types of infrastructure have an ongoing value to landholders.

To transfer petroleum infrastructure, the petroleum operator and landholder will need to come to an agreement in writing. Depending on the infrastructure they wish to transfer, the operator may need an approval from the department to amend their licence. A new guideline has been produced to assist petroleum operators with this process.

Cover pages of the Department of Environment's 'transferring petroleum infrastructure to landholders guideline'
  • An information sheet to inform landholders of their options and provide guidance has also been published.
  • The new guideline and accompanying fact sheet for transferring petroleum infrastructure to landholders are available on the DES website.

What should landholders expect?

If you’re a landholder in the Surat, Galilee or Bowen Basins and wish to know more about what to expect regarding land access, the GasFields Commission (the Commission) strongly encourages you to download a copy of our flagship publication, The Gas Guide 2.0, to obtain all the information you need to negotiate a fair and reasonable outcome should a resource company request to operate on your land.

Gas Guide 2.0 catalogues pertinent information that landholders need to know about the various stages of petroleum and gas development in Queensland – including a chapter outlining ‘Land Rehabilitation & Asset Handover’ (see Chapter 9).

If you have any questions regarding the exploration process, Queensland’s onshore gas industry or you would like to receive a hard copy (ring binder) of The Gas Guide 2.0, please contact us directly via:

Who are the GasFields Commission Queensland?

Established as an independent statutory body in 2013, the Commission’s purpose is to manage and improve the sustainable coexistence of landholders, regional communities and the onshore gas industry in Queensland. The Commission manages sustainable coexistence in petroleum and gas producing regions of Queensland, and will continue to do so as the industry expands into new and emerging basins.

Our vision is to achieve thriving communities in areas of gas development that are free from discord and supported by well-informed, respectful and balanced stakeholder relationships.

One way the Commission is endeavouring to realise this vision is by providing transparency and independent assurances that the onshore gas industry is appropriately regulated and held to account when needed. This in turn will help cultivate sustainable coexistence, whilst ensuring community and landholder confidence in the regulators and gas industry increases.

Drawing on its wealth of experience in the development of the gas industry and by collaborating with other relevant entities, the Commission provides a range of support to communities and landholders, primarily through education and engagement. These education and engagement activities occur with individual landholders via Commission facilitated webinars, information sessions, publications (The Gas Guide, Shared Landscapes Reports), face-to-face meetings and public workshops.

It should be noted that the Commission does not engage in individual negotiations between landholders and gas companies, but rather provides communities and landholders with the information and support they need to make informed decisions and achieve good outcomes.