From 13 Jan 2012, the Queensland government will not accept new applications for coal tenure over the counter. A restricted area, RA 394, has been granted over Queensland as a transitional provision that will prevent new applications for coal being accepted over any land in Queensland until such time as the government can legislate a new competitive bidding tender process and controlled land release.
The new application process will be similar to the process under the Petroleum and Gas safety (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Qld) in which areas will be made available by a call for tenders.
Applications will be assessed against established criteria to ensure the applicant best able to optimize the value of the states resources is selected. In addition areas that are considered highly prospective will have an additional cash-bidding provision.
RA 394 does not affect the current application system in place for minerals, current applicants for coal or existing application holders.
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The Duties Act 2001 will soon be administered (pending legislation) on the basis that the following are included in the definitions of land and statutory licence:
prospecting and exploration permits under the Mineral Resources Act 1989;
authorities to prospect under the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (and those under the previous Petroleum Act 1923).
Transfer duty will apply to agreements for transfer and transfers made or entered into at, or after, the start time. This includes the transfers of or a part interest in a permit.
A transfer will not be liable for duty where:
an agreement for transfer of an exploration permit is entered into before the start time, and a transfer of the permit made after the start time pursuant to the agreement;
the contract date on a pending assignment or transfer occurred prior to the start time.
DEEDI will require all applications for pending assignments or transfers to supply a statutory declaration confirming the contract date. The statutory declaration must be lodged with the appropriate office before the transfer or assignment will be finalised.
Exploration permits will also be taken into account in determining whether transfer duty applies to other dutiable transactions such as the creation or termination of a trust or partnership or a change in beneficiaries’ or partners’ interests.
Exploration permits held by a corporation or listed unit trust will be included as landholdings of the entity and be taken into account for landholder duty purposes where a relevant acquisition in the landholder occurs at, or after, the start time. The time of a relevant acquisition will be determined under the Duties Act.
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