The Queensland government has welcomed the appointment of the state’s first Land Access Ombudsman, a move the government says will provide a new avenue to resolve disputes over conduct and compensation agreements.
Minister for Natural Resources Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said the LAO office would provide a faster, free alternative to legal action for industry and landholders.
“Ms Jane Pires is currently the Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland with extensive experience as a dispute resolution specialist,’’ Dr Lynham said.
“She will bring these highly transferrable skills to the role of the Land Access Ombudsman.
“Ms 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 5700 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:
provide a free alternative to legal action for landholders and resource companies who have a land access dispute
facilitate the resolution of referred disputes that are within its jurisdiction
give advice to the parties and make non-binding 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
promote public awareness of the Ombudsman’s functions.