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Natural resources such as minerals, petroleum and geothermal energy have shaped Australia’s history, economy, society and environment for more than 150 years and continue to do so. The exploitation of these resources involves governments as proprietors and regulators, together with private enterprise,as explorers and developers. The complex relationship between governments and private enterprise provides the central theme of the subject. Australia’s federal system of government adds to the complexity of that relationship. The subject begins by identifying fundamental legal principles applicable to exploration for and production of natural resources. It then examines the application of these principles in statutory title regimes in selected Australian jurisdictions, as well as state agreements. The Australian approach to these matters is examined in the international context of legal arrangements in various foreign countries.
Principal topics include:
- Foundations of natural resources law
- Property in mineral, petroleum and geothermal energy resources
- Jurisdiction over mineral, petroleum and geothermal energy resources
- Statutory titles
- Government royalties
- Unit development
- Production controls
- Dealings and registration
- Private royalties
- Access to land
- Environmental controls
- State agreements
- Greenhouse gas storage
- Case study 1: Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (Vic)
- Case study 2: Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (Cth).
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Understand the law relating to exploration for and production of mineral, petroleum and geothermal energy resources in Australia
- Be familiar with the statutory regimes governing exploration for and production of mineral, petroleum and geothermal energy resources in selected Australian jurisdictions
- Be able to apply the relevant law to problems arising in relation to these activities in Australia.
Last updated: 18 December 2020