Queensland has appointed its first land access ombudsman to help landholders and resource companies resolve disputes over conduct and compensation agreements, as a free alternative to legal action.
Jane Pires, currently the energy and water ombudsman, will take up the new position, Natural Resources Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham announced on Friday.
“Pires has a proven track record in resolving complex complaints – helping more than 10 200 Queenslanders work through issues with their electricity or water providers during 2017/18.
“There are more than 5 700 conduct and compensation agreements in place in the petroleum and gas sector alone, with more than $387-million paid in compensation to landholders as at 30 June last year.’’
The land access ombudsman will help facilitate the resolution of referred disputes that are within its jurisdiction, give advice to the parties and make nonbinding recommendations as to how a dispute could be resolved, refer potential breaches by companies to appropriate government departments for investigation, identify and advise government on systemic land access issues and promote public awareness of the ombudsman’s functions.