A suite of land reforms has been passed by parliament which is set to give Queensland councils expanded powers of the day-to-day management and use of land, allowing for more timely responses to community needs. 

The Land and Other Legislation Amendment Bill No 2 introduces a new process which will be established to make it easier for trustees to convert land used for public infrastructure like aged care facilities, emergency services, and water treatment plants to freehold. 

The reform supports Queensland’s economic growth through timely delivery of priority projects by simplifying land allocation to government departments. This will enable projects like housing, hospitals and schools to be developed sooner.

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

The Queensland Government has also taken steps to update the state’s place names framework, including enabling a faster process for removing names that include derogatory, racist or sexist terms and expanding the allowed format for public submissions on proposals to include video and audio rather than only in writing.

Queensland Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals, Scott Stewart, said that these reforms will modernise the state land allocation and administration process to better support economic, environmental, and social growth. 

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

“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 our regional communities.”

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