private land access agreements
Beach will require access to land in order to construct and operate the proposed Enterprise Pipeline and may seek to establish either long-term or temporary access agreements with landowners and occupiers. This could include easement purchases or licencing arrangements for construction and operation of the proposed pipeline.
Beach is committed to clear and transparent communications during tenure and other discussions with landowners and occupiers to ensure they have an appropriate understanding of the requirements and potential impacts of the construction and operation of the proposed pipeline.
Notice of intention to enter land for survey
Under Section 19 of the Pipelines Act, Beach is required to notify each landowner and occupier of the impacted land (including Crown land) of the Beach’s intention to enter the land for purpose of any survey.
Notice of Pipeline Corridor
Before applying for a pipeline licence, Beach must give a Notice of Pipeline Corridor to each landowner and occupier within the pipeline corridor, as prescribed in Regulation 7 and set out in Schedule 1 of the Regulations (Notice pursuant to section 27 of the Pipelines Act).
Notice of Pipeline License Application
Following submission of the Pipeline Licence Application to the Minister, a Notice of Pipeline Licence Application, pursuant to Section 32 of Pipelines Act, must be given by Beach to each landowner and occupier directly affected by the Licence Application.
The Notice of Pipeline Licence Application will be published in the Herald Sun, and local newspapers, the Cobden-Timboon Coast Times and Warrnambool Times (The Standard). A copy of the licence will be made available on the Beach website and on display in hard copy at selected Beach offices.
There is a statutory opportunity for landowners and occupiers to make submissions to the Minister about the Pipeline Licence Application. This is described in the Pipelines Act. The Notice of Pipeline Licence Application provided to the landowners and occupiers includes a date for submissions determined by the Minister. Landowners and occupiers have until the submission date to make a submission to the Minister regarding the Pipeline Licence Application.
The Pipelines Act and the Pipeline Regulations outline a process to guarantee fair and equitable treatment of landowners leading to the negotiation of easement rights. Beach is dedicated to providing fair and equitable compensation to impacted landowners for the negotiation of easements and additional temporary workspace arrangements. Compensation will be negotiated in line with the Pipelines Act.
The proposed route for the Enterprise Pipeline requires only a small number of new easements to be created as the route has been selected to utilise the existing easements for the PL250 pipeline.
Where negotiations with a landowner/occupier regarding the Options for Creation of Easement has been unsuccessful, under the Pipelines Act, Beach is permitted to apply to the Minister responsible for the Pipelines Act for approval to compulsory acquire the easement area after six months from the service of the Pipeline Corridor Notice. This will only occur if negotiation has been unsuccessful and Beach must be able to clearly demonstrate compliance with the required steps and measures for this process.
Land Acquisition and Compensation Act
If a process for compulsory acquisition of land is required throughout landowner and occupier negotiations, Beach must adhere to the relevant sections of the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic) (LACA) and the Land Acquisition and Compensation Regulations 2010. This process is only established if Beach is successfully granted Ministerial consent pursuant to the Pipelines Act, of an application for Consent to Compulsorily Acquire an Easement Over Private Land. A Notice of Application, provided to all interested parties will contain a statement of rights and obligations, which will include the interested party’s right to make a written submission to the Minister by a specified date, determined by the Minister. Beach will also promptly provide the Registrar of Titles with the prescribed Notice of Application, which the Registrar will record.
The outcome of the application for compulsory acquisition will be decided by the Minister within 28 days of the submission date. If the Minister grants the application, a Notice of Acquisition outlining the acquisition will be published in the Government Gazette, as well as provided to all interested parties and published in a local newspaper relevant to the era of acquisition.
Once the notice is gazetted, Beach has 14 days to make a fair and equitable compensation offer payable to the landowner/occupier. The interested parties then have a three-month period to respond to the offer and may lodge a counter claim for compensation with Beach within this period. Beach will consider the counter claim and must respond within three months of receiving the claim. If a settlement over the level of compensation payable cannot be reached, either Beach or the landowner/occupier may refer the matter to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for amounts less than $50,000 or either party may seek a court hearing for disputes greater than $50,000.
Attempt to negotiate the terms of access must be undertaken by Beach, and a minimum seven days’ notice must be given before entry into tenure of the land. In the case where the land is the primary place of residence or business of the landholder, Beach must allow three months from the date of acquisition to take tenure of the land, unless an agreement is reached with the landholder(s) for access and tenure of the land.