Curnow, K., Hunter, T., Weir, M. & Boulle, LJ. (2017). Negotiation and regulation of land access agreements: Lessons from Queensland. Journal of World Energy Law and Business,P. Roberts.
Unconventional gas resources (UGR) development activities in Queensland frequently require co-existent use of private land by petroleum companies that have been granted a licence to undertake these activities. This necessitates transactional negotiations between private landholders and petroleum companies about access to landholders’ private land to undertake UGR development activities. Concerns about these negotiations have led to the Queensland Government attempting to regulate aspects of these processes. This article utilizes interview data from a pilot study conducted by the authors to examine private landholder perceptions of negotiations that have taken place over the last decade. In particular, it explores what the data reveal about a number of factors relevant to the justifiable regulatory objective of managing information asymmetry and unconstructive negotiation tactics and behaviours by and between the parties. The analysis in this article demonstrates the need to promote integrative dimensions of the negotiations and reasonable and good faith conduct in the negotiations by all parties, as well as the imperative of ensuring landholders receives sufficient information. The analysis and recommendations can inform the design of new regulatory regimes or the refinement of existing arrangements in Australian and international jurisdictions where there are co-existent UGR development activities and private land use, particularly in New South Wales and Western Australia which are yet to finalize their regulatory regimes.
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