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Requirements of Minerals Explorers for Accessing Privately-Owned Land

Current legislation requires explorers to consult with landholders and have a land access agreement in place for any privately-owned land that the minerals explorer wishes to undertake exploration work on, before any work can start on that land.

Current legislation also sets out specific requirements of explorers for accessing private land including consultation, consent, compensation and dispute resolution.

Licensees are also subject to biosecurity obligations in other legislation. For example, licensees must take all reasonable measures to minimise the spread of weeds, pest animals and plant diseases and to prevent adverse impacts to livestock and crops whilst undertaking exploration activities.

Licence holders can only access private land and/or do any work on the private land with the informed consent of a landholder, or a written, registered compensation agreement.

Compensation may include a cash payment and/or other things of value to the landholder such as a new access road.

If agreement cannot be reached, the matter can be referred to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Helping landholders and explorers with land access discussions

Discussing minerals exploration programs and potential arrangements for accessing land with an explorer is often an unfamiliar and challenging process for landholders.

This is why the department is developing improved land access arrangements and assistance for landholders and explorers, which is being put in place as part of the Stavely Ground Release.

The department wants to make sure landholders feel well prepared and confident in discussing potential land access arrangements with mineral explorers.

The new land access arrangements and support for land holders includes:

  • Free workshops and information sessions for landholders in regional centres about the land access process and how to negotiate access and compensation agreements with explorers.
  • A simple, voluntary land access and compensation agreement template and supporting guidance material, to help and guide landholders in discussing specific aspects of land access with explorers.
  • Providing training to legal practitioners within the Stavely Arc to equip them with the right information and boost their capabilities about land access, and help local landholders in their discussions about land access with explorers.
  • Developing a new dispute resolution approach and support, which will be put in place after the award of any licences through the Stavely Ground Release tender.