- Types of lease
- Obtaining a lease, licence or permit
- Converting a lease to freehold
- Survey plans for leasehold land—term leases
- Native title
- Rural leasehold land
State leases include:
- large pastoral leases in the northern and western parts of the state
- grazing leases in more intensively farmed areas from the coastal belt to the centre of the state
- leases for commercial or industrial purposes
- leases for large tourism complexes over Queensland islands or prime sites
- leases that allow various types of developments (e.g. large housing estates), that are then sold as freehold blocks
- leases of land below high water mark
- leases of reserves, e.g. to a sporting organisation or club.
The Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) is responsible for dealing with these leases (e.g. transferring a lease from one lessee to another, or subdividing, or converting a lease to freehold) under the Land Act 1994.
Tenure security for offshore island resorts
The Queensland Government has announced reforms aimed at providing greater security of tenure to facilitate investment in our State's island tourism resorts.
Reforms will provide existing and new island tourism resort operators who lease State land under the Land Act 1994 the opportunity to maximise the security of their leasehold land tenure.
Options for offshore tourism operators include:
- Consolidation of ancillary term leases above the high water mark into existing perpetual leases; and
- short-term development leases for new significant developments, with a legislative guarantee of long-term leases upon completion of the development.
The following options will also be available after proposed amendments to the Land Act 1994 are passed, expected in mid-2014:
- Establishment of rolling leases for term leases issued for a tourism purpose;
- issuing of 50 year term leases for significant developments, with an option of a further 49 years; and
- conversion of existing term leases to perpetual leases where significant development has been completed.
All leases will need to be considered on a case by case basis by the department to determine what options are available and appropriate. The department will contact eligible resort operators to invite them to discuss their options for improving tenure security.
A map showing the locations of Queensland's island tourism leases (PDF, 2.3M)* is available.
Types of lease
The main types of State lease are:
- term leases (granted for 1–100 years)
- perpetual leases (held by the lessee in perpetuity—not for 99 years as commonly believed)
- freeholding leases (where freehold title has been approved, but the lessee is paying off the purchase price and the freehold title will not issue until this is fully paid).
Other tenures which can be issued are:
- permits to occupy—for short-term occupation of State-controlled land. This tenure cannot be sold, sub-let or mortgaged.
- road licences—when a road has been temporarily closed, this tenure allows the licencee to use the land until such time as it is again required as a road.
Obtaining a lease, licence or permit
The first thing you need to establish if you are interested in a parcel of land is its ownership. You can obtain this information from the nearest business centre.
If the parcel is unallocated State land, you can apply to the department for allocation of the land, using the application form, and paying any prescribed application fee. Depending on where the land is, and what you intend to use it for, the department will consider making it available:
- as a lease, licence, permit or freehold
- through a ballot, auction, or tender process, or without competition.
Converting a lease to freehold
Some term or perpetual leases issued under the Land Act 1994 may be considered for conversion to freehold. This excludes the following, which cannot be converted:
- a lease over a reserve
- a lease that contains a specific condition that restricts the conversion of the lease to freehold
- a term lease issued for pastoral purposes (note: however an application may be made to convert it to a perpetual lease)
- road licences, occupation licences and permits to occupy.
The department assesses all applications for converting a lease to freehold against criteria set out in the Land Act 1994.
The landholder of a State lease, licence or permit to ccoupy is required to pay an annual rent to DNRM.
Rental arrangements for leases, licences and permits to occupy and freeholding leases are in accordance with the Land Act 1994 and the Land Regulation 2009.
Survey plans for leasehold land—term leases
When a term lease is to be renewed, the department assesses the current plan for the land and determines whether or not the current description is adequate. If the department decides that a more suitable and correct description of the land is required, the requirement to produce a new survey plan will be contained in a letter of offer which sets out the conditions for the renewal.
Learn more about survey plans for leasehold land—term leases.
Native title may exist on some of these leases, and any native title issues would have to be considered under state and federal native title legislation Acts, as would any other requirements of the Land Act and other relevant State laws. Any dealings in these lands must also comply with federal and state native title legislation.
For more information on state leases, contact the nearest business centre.
Rural leasehold land
Leases are subjected to a range of conditions to ensure their appropriate management and that a ‘duty of care’ for the land is exercised by the lessee. Additional requirements for using rural leasehold land for agricultural, grazing and pastoral purposes are outlined in the State Rural Leasehold Land Strategy.
What if you no longer require the use of the State land?
Should you no longer require the use of the State land for which you have been invoiced, you may apply to DNRM to surrender your lease, licence or permit to occupy.
Application forms are available online or by contacting the department on 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
If the surrender is approved, you will be required to immediately cease using the land, remove all improvements and leave the land in a clean and tidy state.
What if you want to purchase your lease, licence or permit to occupy?
If you wish to purchase your existing Land Act lease details of the process are available on the fact sheet L116—Application for conversion of a lease (PDF, 58K)*.
An application to convert a lease cannot be made if the existing lease:
- is a freeholding lease
- is a lease over a reserve
- contains a specific condition that restricts the conversion of the lease.
If you wish to purchase the land that is currently held as a occupation licence or a permit to occupy details of the process are available on the fact sheet L126—Purchase state land (PDF, 56K)*.
If you wish to purchase the land that is currently held as a road licence details of the process are available on the fact sheet L141—Application for road closure (PDF, 55K)*.
Application forms and supporting factsheets are available online or by contacting the department on 13 QGOV (13 74 68). It is preferable to contact a DERM business centre, nearest the property involved, before making an application, where staff can discuss with you the particular details for your lease, licence or permit to occupy.
See the list of DNRM business centres or contact the department on 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
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Last updated 27 August 2013