The NSW Minister for Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts said when he released the independent report into land access arbitration by Mr Bret Walker SC the NSW Government had accepted all 32 recommendations made by Mr Walker to improve the process for landholders and explorers.
This move by the government to accept the recommendations has been applauded by the NSW Farmers Association, Lock the Gate and The Greens.
Land access agreements have been a contentious issue for many years and the report highlighted many of the current arrangement’s deficiencies.
Among the recommendations was the right for both parties to have legal representation, that mediators and arbitrators inspect the site where the exploration is planned and that the explorer pay for the landholders time spent in negotiations, their legal costs up to a capped amount and costs of any experts the landholders engage as part of the negotiations and arbitration process up to a capped amount.
Anything that makes the arbitration a more level playing field is good news indeed.
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