To ensure your rights and interests are protected it is important you obtain independent legal advice before you negotiate a Land Access Arrangement with an explorer. The explorer is required by law to pay your reasonable legal costs in obtaining initial independent legal advice in relation to a land access arrangement. Lawyers often specialise in certain areas of the law, so you will want to approach a lawyer who has the appropriate skills and experience to advise you.


Why should I get a lawyer?

When it comes to negotiating a land access arrangement, an explorer will often be more experienced and better resourced than you. You should ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities, and engaging a lawyer to give you independent advice during the negotiations can provide you significant support. 


An explorer will often provide you with a draft land access arrangement when they first approach you which they may urge you to sign. You should consult a lawyer up front rather than sigining this arrangement without futher to help you negotiate a water-tight arrangement that protects your interests.  


For more information on negotiating a land access see the pages:

Land Access


Land Access Checklist


How will I pay for legal advice?

When negotiating a land access agreement the explorer must pay your reasonable legal costs of obtaining initial advice about the land access arrangement. You should make use of this.

Ask your legal advisor for a quote and inform the explorer to see whether they are willing to pay that amount.


In July 2013 the NSW Government announced its intention to amend the law to require an explorer to pay your reasonable legal costs for the entire land access arrangement negotiation period.


The Government further committed to amending the law in response to the Walker Review of the arbitration framework in NSW.


For more information on the Walker Review of the arbitration framework see:

Walker Review of the arbitration framework


How can I find a lawyer?

There are many factors which will determine who is the right lawyer for you in relation to a land access arrangement and deciding on who best meets your needs is a decision for you.


If you already have a relationship with a lawyer then you may want to use them. However, if they don’t have specific experience in environmental or land law then you may want to find a lawyer that suits your needs.


Your existing lawyer may be able to recommend a lawyer who has experience in environmental or land law, or you may have friends or neighbours who are able to recommend someone.


Other professionals who you engage, such as accountants, may also be able to recommend someone.


If you are a member of NSW Farmers’ your member benefits also include access to limited legal services. For more information on those services contact the NSW Farmers Member Services Centre on 1300 794 000.


Law Society of NSW Referral Service

The Law Society of NSW keeps an online registry of lawyers in NSW which allows you to search for lawyers with particular skills and expertise in your local area.    


To find a lawyer through the Law Society visit the online registry at:

Law Society

or by phone to:

1800 422 713.


The Environmental Defender’s Office

The Environmental Defender’s Office (EDO) is a community legal centre which provides free initial legal advice.


The EDO is experienced in environmental and planning law and has a staffed hotline where you can request legal advice on these matters.


You can contact the Environmental Defender’s Office by phone at:


  1. Sydney Callers:

    2.00pm to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday

    (02) 9262 6989


  2. Northern Rivers callers:

    9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday

    1300 369 791


  3. Rest of NSW callers:

    2.00pm to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday

    1800 626 239