Queensland appoints new Land Access Ombudsman

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.

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