Significant change in stamp duty law for resource industry

The Queensland Government has enacted legislation which will retrospectively impose stamp duty on the direct and indirect transfer of most exploration permits and authorities to prospect (Exploration Permits). The Fiscal Repair Amendment Act 2012 (Act) also makes other important stamp duty changes.


From 13 January 2012, agreements for transfer and transfers of Exploration Permits are dutiable transactions in Queensland. From that date, Exploration Permits are also included as land-holdings of an entity for landholder duty purposes. Certain transitional rules apply.

Where a taxpayer has a liability (or an increased liability) for transfer duty or landholder duty as a result of this change, and the liability arose during the period from 13 January 2012 to 20 September 2012, the taxpayer must lodge the relevant documents with the Queensland Office of State Revenue within 30 days after 21 September 2012 (the date of Royal Assent).

Resource Rights

Generally, the direct transfer of other authorities, leases and licences under Queensland’s resources legislation (Resource Rights) has been a dutiable transaction on the basis that the Resource Right is a statutory licence. The Queensland Commissioner of State Revenue also took the view that the indirect transfer of Resource Rights was subject to landholder duty on the basis that a Resource Right could be an interest in land.

The Act makes an amendment to prospectively clarify that Resource Rights are land for both transfer duty and landholder duty purposes. The correctness of the Commissioner’s view prior to this amendment is open to question, and there may be a temporary window of opportunity for this issue to be tested for a recent transaction.  Please contact us for any assistance.

Other changes

As of 21 September 2012, the highest transfer duty rate is 5.75% (up from 5.25%) for the part of the dutiable value of a dutiable transaction or relevant acquisition exceeding $1,000,000.

Also, an entity’s land-holdings for landholder duty purposes has been expanded to include anything fixed to the entity’s land that may be separately owned from the land whether or not the entity has an interest in the thing fixed to the land.

The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.

Related Content


Heran Kim

Special Counsel. Sydney
+61 2 9210 6200