LANDOWNERS will be able to access a free service to assist them in dealings with the resource sector.
From July 1, Rural Business Support will be hosting the Landowner Information Service as part of a 12-month pilot, which will take public enquiries and provide free, easy to understand information to any individuals or businesses affected by activities from the state's mineral exploration and mining sectors.
Energy and Mining Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the core function of the Landowner Information Service was to offer landowners the right information empowering them to make informed decisions when liaising with the resources industry.
"The government recognises the importance of both the agricultural and resources sectors to SA's economy and the need for respectful working relations between them," he said.
"I encourage landowners who have concerns about the potential impact of resource companies on their property to make use of this excellent service that is being provided free of charge.
"This innovative project will also present resources companies with an independent and credible central point of contact to refer landowners who require information and support about the mining and exploration process.
"This service is not designed to provide legal, commercial, or financial advice, but rather offers a helping hand to landowners to point them in the right direction and help them navigate the often complex technical and legal processes involved with mining and mineral exploration on their land."
Mr van Holst Pellekaan said this service was beginning at an important time in the state's post-COVID recovery phase and could help primary producers and the mineral sector to "coexist and engage respectfully".
RBS chief executive officer Brett Smith said RBS was engaged to operate the service because of its trusted track record in offering free, independent and confidential services to primary producers and small business owners in rural areas.
"We understand that, for some landowners and community members, it can be an anxious and uncertain time when trying to navigate the resources exploration and mining process for the first time," he said.
"So, we will be working with them to help them understand what the technical information means and how to liaise with companies seeking land access.
"It really is about helping people to understand the process by explaining it in easy-to-understand terms and being available to answer questions on topics like land access, consultation stages and regulation.
"If people have very specific queries about the Mining Act or legislative or regulatory requirements, RBS will know who to refer to for specific advice."
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RBS has appointed Brett Klau to the position of Landowner Information Service officer.
Mr Klau will be working across SA to deliver the service, either face to face, on the landowner's property, at one of RBS' regional offices or at a mutually agreed convenient location.
He has significant history and experience in regional SA, and interests and skills that span both the agricultural and mining industries.
He has spent 30 years in liaison roles with companies focused on grain, fertiliser and insurance and his background in engineering means he is well placed to understand and communicate technical detail.
Primary Producers SA chair Rob Kerin welcomed the launch of the new Landowner Information Service, saying the introduction of a free and impartial information service will help landowners being able to make informed decisions and understand how to navigate their path to an outcome.
"PPSA and its member organisations often speak to landowners and community members anxious for information to help them understand the mining and mineral exploration process and how to liaise with companies seeking land access," he said.
"Many of these people have concerns because they haven't dealt with the mining sector before; it is a steep learning curve for them and they are uncertain about what is involved.
"A regional-focused landowner information service has been long-sought by primary producers as a way for them to understand their options, rights and responsibilities when it comes to mining and mineral exploration and how it can impact upon them.
"While RBS's Landowner Information Service will not advocate directly for landowners or community members, it will offer information across all commodity types and offer regional community stakeholders easily accessible and targeted information when they need it."
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