Any person can object to an application for a mining claim or mining lease or an associated environmental authority.
For more information on making an objection to an application for a mining lease or mining claim, visit the Queensland Government’s website.
For more information on making a submission on an environmental authority for a mining lease or mining claim, visit the Queensland Government’s website.
Grounds of objection are the reasons you say the application should be refused or only granted on certain conditions. You cannot change or add to your grounds of objection once they have been referred to the Land Court. However, you can abandon a ground of objection at any time.
The Court can strike out all or part of an objection if it finds the objection is:
- frivolous or vexatious;
- outside the jurisdiction of the Court; or
- otherwise an abuse of the Court’s process.
Once you have lodged your objection with either the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) (if you are objecting to a mining lease application), and or the Department of Environment and Science (DES) (if you are objecting to an associated environmental authority), the relevant department will refer all objections to the Land Court.
The Court hears all objections to the mining lease and environmental authority for the same matter at the same time.
Under s 269(4) of the Mineral Resources Act 1989, when making a recommendation to the minister about a mining lease application, the Land Court must consider whether:
- the provisions of the Act have been complied with;
- the land applied for is mineralised or the other purposes for which the lease is sought are appropriate;
- there will be an acceptable level of development and utilisation of the mineral resources within the area applied for the proposed lease is of an appropriate size and shape;
- the term sought is appropriate;
- the applicant has the necessary financial and technical resources;
- the past performance of the applicant has been satisfactory;
- any disadvantage may result to the rights of other applicants or holders of exploration permits or mineral development licences;
- the operations to be carried on under the lease will conform with sound land use management;
- there will be any adverse environmental impacts caused by the mining operations;
- the public right and interest will be prejudiced;
- any good reason has been shown for a refusal to grant the mining lease; and
- the proposed mining operation is an appropriate land use taking into consideration the current and prospective uses of the land.
Under s 191 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994, when making a recommendation about an environmental authority application, the Land Court must consider the following matters:
- the application and related documents;
- any standard conditions for the relevant activity or authority;
- any draft environmental authority for the application;
- any objection notice for the application;
- any relevant regulatory requirement;
- the standard criteria outlined in Schedule 4 of the Act; and
- the status of any application under the Mineral Resources Act for each relevant mining tenement.
An objector does not have to prove one or more grounds of objection. The Court must consider all grounds of objection in making its recommendation.
The Court must weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed mine based on the miner’s application and taking into account the objections.
The Court may recommend that the Minister should:
- grant the application;
- grant the application, subject to conditions; or
- refuse the application.
The Court may also make a conditional recommendation, which means that the Court’s recommendation only comes into effect if certain things happen.
The Court cannot conduct its own investigation into your grounds of objection. You will need evidence if you want your grounds of objection to influence the Court’s recommendation.
As the Court relies on evidence to make its recommendation, it may be difficult to support your ground of objection without expert evidence. However, it is your choice whether to call expert evidence. The applicant (miner) may call evidence from expert witnesses on issues raised by a ground of objection. At the hearing you can ask questions of any expert witnesses about issues raised by your grounds of appeal.
You may withdraw your objections to an application for a mining lease, mining claim or an associated environmental authority at any time by writing to the court, the relevant government department and the applicant miner.
In cases before the court where there are multiple objectors – the case will continue as long as there is at least one objector remaining.
If your objection is to an application for an environmental authority that was made before 31 March 2013, you must also submit the following forms:
Prior to the end of the objection period:
- Withdrawal of an objection to an application or amendment application for environmental authority (mining lease or mining claim) prior to end of objection period
After the end of the objection period:
The Court makes recommendations to:
- the Minister of the DNRME; and/or
- the Chief Executive of the DES.
In the case of a mining lease, the Minister of the DNRME:
- must consider the Court’s recommendation;
- may recommend to the Governor in Council that:
- the mining lease should be granted in whole or in part; or
- that the mining lease should be rejected; or
- may direct the Court to conduct a further hearing.
A mining lease or claim will not be granted until compensation to the landholder has been determined. For more information on mining compensation, and conduct and compensation matters in the Land Court, click here .
The Chief Executive of the DES will make a decision about any associated EA.
You do not have a right to appeal a recommendation decision of the Land Court in mining objection matters if you do not agree with the Court’s recommendation.
However,you may apply to the Supreme Court of Queensland for a review of the decision under the Judicial review Act 1991.
How do I get procedural assistance?
Contact the Land Court to discuss your options. Attend an interview at the Land Court Registry in person, by phone or video conference