Resources Minister Scott Stewart

April 16, 2024

Queensland councils are expected to benefit from a suite of land reforms passed by State Parliament on Tuesday.

The Land and Other Legislation Amendment Bill No 2 will give councils expanded powers over the day-to-day management and use of land they hold in trust, allowing timely decisions that are responsive to community needs.

A new process will also be established to make it easier for trustees to convert land used for public infrastructure – such as aged care facilities, emergency services, and water treatment plants – to freehold.

The State Government said the reforms would support Queensland’s economic growth through timely delivery of priority projects by simplifying land allocation to government departments.

This would enable projects like housing, hospitals and schools to be developed sooner.

The legislation also makes it a mandatory condition for resource companies to pay local government rates and charges as part of their resource authority.

The State Government has also taken steps to update the State’s place names framework.

The reforms include a faster process for removing names that include derogatory, racist or sexist terms.

The amendments also expand the allowed format for public submissions on proposals to include video and audio rather than only in writing.

“These reforms will modernise State land allocation and administration process to better support economic, environmental, and social growth,” Resources Minister Scott Stewart said.

“We’re working together with local councils to provide them flexible options to manage trust land and ensure it continues to meet their communities’ needs.

“For instance, under the proposed self-assessable framework, a council wouldn’t need my approval to hold a music festival on a recreation reserve provided they have appropriate management plans in place.

“This is about empowering councils and other trustees to respond to what their communities require at any given time.

“We know resources projects provide benefits to the regions and local communities in which they operate.

“Paying their local government rates and charges is an important way resources companies can support both the growth of the sector and the sustainable development of regional communities.”

In February, South Burnett Regional Council CEO Mark Pitt PSM was part of a Local Government Association of Queensland panel which addressed a State Government committee discussing the proposed amendments.

Mr Pitt spoke to the difficulties councils have in rating resource companies.


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