QLS concern at Bill consultation

The Queensland Law Society (QLS) has sounded the alarm over a lack of consultation on a Bill to address coal seam gas (CSG) induced subsidence which is likely to have widespread effects.

In a submission to the Clean Economy Jobs, Resources and Transport Committee, QLS President Rebecca Fogerty said the Bill, which proposes a framework to manage the impacts of CSG-induced subsidence, may have a significant impact on parties’ rights.

“It is extremely disappointing that a Bill of 315 pages has been introduced without first releasing an exposure draft of the Bill for public comment,” Rebecca said.

The lack of opportunity to comment on a public exposure draft was compounded by the nine business days allowed to respond to the Committee on the Bill, titled the Mineral and Energy Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024, she also noted.

“The Bill amends complex legislation and it has not had the benefit of public analysis before its introduction,” she said.

“We hold genuine concerns that the short time available for comment means there are likely to be unintended consequences arising from changes in this Bill.”


When undertaking consultation with the Department of Resources in late 2023 on a suite of proposed reforms, QLS warned it would be critical to carefully consider the detailed drafting of the legislation to ensure the intended outcomes were achieved.

“This is particularly the case in the resources sector, where there is a multitude of inter-related legislation and regulation across different industries. We would be pleased to review any draft legislation before it is introduced to Parliament,” the 2023 submission said.

In last week’s submission Rebecca noted subsidence concerns had existed for many years and QLS was generally supportive of such a framework being implemented.

“However, this new framework will have significant consequences for both resource tenure holders and landholders,” she said.

Some of the significant changes to parties’ rights and obligations, when conducting their business, proposed in the Bill include:

  • mechanisms for imposing obligations on relevant tenure holders to undertake land monitoring and assessments;
  • a compensation obligation for relevant tenure holders to compensate landholders for effects suffered through CSG-induced subsidence;
  • limited rights of review following the preparation of a subsidence impact report, which is then relied upon to improve obligations on resource tenure holders;
  • a process for the chief executive to undertake compliance and enforcement action for breaches of legislative requirements;
  • new offences that relate to failing to comply with obligations to manage the impacts of CSG-induced subsidence. The maximum penalty units attached to each offence range from 100 penalty units ($15,480) for less offences to 4,500 penalty units ($696,600) for the most serious offence, with a body corporate found guilty of an offence exposed to penalties of up to five times these maximum amounts.

QLS recommended that further consultation be carried out for detailed analysis of whether the legislation was consistent with the Legislative Standards Act 1992, in particular, the significant regulation proposals as part of implementing the framework and the limited rights of review available during the subsidence impact report process.


Submissions to the Bill closed on Friday.

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