Multiple Land Use Framework

Mineral and energy resources and land ownership rights in Australia are separated. Mineral resources are owned by the Crown with State and Territory governments the principal authorities for regulating onshore mining and exploration in Australia. Land use tensions typically arise due to the challenges of co-existence, shared-use and sequential use. Changes in land use can trigger a diverse pattern of support or resistance, in the context of complex, expansive, overlapping and often competing interests.

Multiple Land Use Framework

On 10 June 2011 the Standing Council on Energy and Resources commissioned the development of a Framework in response to conflict arising from land access and land uses, noting that continued growth of all Australian industry sectors is reliant on access to land, inclusive of multiple stakeholder needs covering economic, environmental, heritage, societal and cultural values.

The then Land Access Working Group, under the Standing Council on Energy and Resources, was tasked with delivery of the Framework, by developing a nationally consistent methodology to land use development and planning across all jurisdictions. The Framework will enable land access and land use challenges, expectations and opportunities to be met into the future by more effectively utilising multiple and sequential land use in a sustainable manner. It will also retain current and future land use options to maximise the net benefits for present and future generations.

The development of the Framework was underpinned by a comprehensive research study undertaken by Sinclair Knight Merz. The study identified multiple and sequential land use issues, challenges and opportunities confronting access to land, which provided the evidence base to identify approaches used to overcome similar issues and challenges. The study included:

  • Stakeholder consultation;
  • Land use multi-perspective analysis;
  • Policy and planning analysis;
  • Leading practice analysis; and
  • Multiple land use principles analysis.

The Framework consists of eight guiding principles and nine components (methods and tools), providing a clear direction for policy, planning and development to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Instill a shared commitment between the minerals and petroleum sector and regulators on multiple and sequential land uses;
  • Better inform public discourse;
  • Provide for merit based land access decisions; and
  • Deliver better outcomes for affected communities and land holders.

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