Areas Legislative instrument Description Status and relevance to the Lake Eyre Basin rivers Resource development (continued) Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (and the Petroleum Act 1923(Qld) ) This Act assists safe and efficient exploration, development and transport of petroleum and fuel gas by pipeline. Development should be ecologically sustainable. It also controls water rights for petroleum tenures, allowing interference and unlimited take of water when drilling petroleum wells or observation bores. Petroleum tenure holders have to meet ‘make good’ provisions if their extraction of water impacts on landholder’s bores. All environmental assessments and authorities for petroleum and gas wells are dealt with under the Environmental Protection Act but these activities are exempt from the Sustainable Planning Act and local authorities planning schemes. This is strong legislation, outside the control of the statutory groundwater allocation and management plans. The petroleum and gas industries have a statutory right to take or interfere with underground water associated with their operations. For un-conventional gas industries (i.e. CSG and shale gas), the Queensland Government has adopted an ‘adaptive management’ approach, changing management frameworks, as risks are identified or impacts occur. Cumulative impacts of CSG operations are managed under a Cumulative Management Area framework in the Surat Basin. Custodianship Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld) This Act controls the recognition, protection and conservation of Aboriginal cultural heritage, and is underpinned by respect for Aboriginal knowledge, culture and traditional practices. While this legislation recognises Aboriginal cultural heritage, it lacks appropriate powers compared to other legislative instruments. Nothing in the Act makes the state liable to be prosecuted for an offence against Aboriginal cultural heritage values. It takes an ‘all care and no responsibility’ approach. Land Act 1994 (Qld) This legislation governs the administration and management of non-freehold land and land held under a deed of grant in trust. It also sets out and manages the process for creating freehold land. The Act embraces the principle of sustainable resource use and development and requires lessees of leasehold to demonstrate a ‘duty of care’ for the land during development. This Act is moderately strong for use and management of leasehold lands, the predominant land tenure in Queensland’s Lake Eyre Basin. Initiatives to link sustainable land management to leasehold lands during renewal and extensions (Delbessie agreements) were significantly rolled back by the Liberal National Government (2012–15). Table 20.1. (continued) Lake Eyre Basin Rivers 202
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