Improving resource assessment efficiency consultation
In 2018, the Queensland Government investigated opportunities to improve the efficiency and timeliness of resources assessment processes. The aim of this was to reduce duplicate processes and deliver efficient services. We also wanted to ensure that private investors and other resource stakeholders were finding it easy to do business in Queensland.
To do this, we invited our industry partners and members of the community to submit their ideas, to help inform future policy development.
About Queensland’s resource industry
Queensland is rich in mineral and energy resources. Resources are essential to our economy, earning billions of dollars in royalties each year, creating and supporting thousands of jobs, and attracting investment and infrastructure development into regional Queensland.
Actions and recommendations
We recognise that to remain globally competitive as a destination for resource investment, we must review and where appropriate, implement more efficient and effective ways of doing business; while retaining our strong environmental protection framework and maintaining social licence.
We received a number of submissions from industry, peak bodies, environmental groups, and members of the community. The submissions received have identified several opportunities to improve the way the resource industry is regulated in Queensland.
In response to this, the Queensland Government has released the report Resource authority regulatory efficiency and duplication: Investigations, outcomes and actions (PDF, 359.9KB).
Key actions from the report
The responses to the consultation cover five key areas. The actions that come from it will be delivered by both the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) and the Department of Environment and Science (DES). The department responsible for the delivery of the actions is specified below.
Decision-making time frames
- DNRME will publish key performance indicators for resource and tendering decision time frames by March 2020.
Environment impact statements
- DES, in collaboration with other government agencies, will investigate options to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the EIS process, by December 2019.
The small-scale mining industry
- DNRME, in consultation with relevant government agencies, will engage an independent entity to assess the benefits and costs associated with small mining, including any benefits the sector creates for regional communities and the state, and will publish this assessment by June 2020.
- DNRME will review the existing mining claim application forms and other materials to determine whether there are any redundant requirements and whether forms could be simpler to complete and understand by December 2019.
- DES will initiate a project to undertake a complementary review of financial assurance for small mining. The scope of this project is intended to identify the environmental risks of resource activities; a proportionate management response; and financial provisioning options for small mining into the future.
Access to government information
- DES will review Connect workflows and business rules to improve customer experiences. Robust business analysis will be conducted throughout 2019.
- DNRME is currently investigating how its existing services can better meet users’ needs and is seeking to improve available web content, review publicly available information in relation to resource applications, and investigate the sending out of reminder notices for resource reporting, renewals and expiry by 31 December 2019.
- DNRME will engage with industry and the community to assess options to provide a push model to improve public access to information on resource applications.
Legislative improvements to the regulatory framework
- DNRME will continue to investigate the suggested legislative amendments to the Resource Acts, and will consult with key stakeholders on any proposals that arise from these investigations.
While this investigation has concluded, the next step in this process is to ensure the findings of this investigation result in real change that benefits the environment, communities, and the resources industry.
To this end, the responsible agencies will be working together to deliver the actions outlined in this document and in the reference document. This may involve departmental officers proactively contacting submitters for further information and specific details on their issues.
Other ways we are improving resource assessment efficiency
In May 2019, a Bill was passed by the Queensland Parliament to improve and streamline the tenure management system related to the Mineral Resources Act 1989 and the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004.
The changes were in response to feedback from the resources industry about land turn over, land relinquishment conditions and the current administrative and regulatory burden.
Last reviewed 18 October 2019