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Apply for a Western lands lease

Nearly all the land in the Western Division is held under Western lands leases granted under the Western Lands Act 1901. From 1 July 2018, this legislation was replaced by the Crown Land Management Act 2016 (the CLM Act).

These figures are subject to change as leases are purchased and converted to freehold title.

The CLM Act also allows many Western lands leaseholders to apply to buy their leases to get freehold title, if they meet eligibility criteria.

Conditions of a western lands lease

Conditions are attached to each Western lands lease to ensure the land is managed sustainably. That means that land must not be over-grazed and that leaseholders must get approvals to cultivate land and to subdivide or transfer the lease. The minister responsible for Crown land can impose notices on lessees to destock areas, refrain from certain activities, or rehabilitate damaged or degraded areas.

Terms and purpose of western lands leases

Most leases are perpetual (ongoing) and can only be used for a designated purpose. The CLM Act allows leaseholders to carry out approved activities on perpetual western lands leases, in addition to the existing activities authorised by the lease purpose, as long as the activity does not become the primary use of the land.

The approved activities, such as farm tourism, recreation and sport and leisure events, are prescribed in the Crown Land Management Regulation 2018. The activity must comply with any requirements specified in the regulations.

If the leaseholder wants to carry out different or additional uses (outside of the approved activities) on the land, or the approved activity will become the primary use of the land, then the leaseholder must apply to alter the lease purpose or lease conditions. This may require a review of environmental factors.

Annual rent for leases

The Crown charges an annual rent for leases. In accordance with the CLM Act, grazing and agriculture lease rents are based on the total area of the property and on the environmental impact of the land use, including a credit for managed conservation. Rents for residential and business leases are 3% and 6% of the unimproved land value, respectively.