Earlier in 2014 the Queensland Government enacted amendments to the Land Act 1994 (Qld) (Act). The Act deals mostly with State leasehold land.

One of the amendments to the Act relates to rolling term leases.  A rolling term lease is defined as:

  • a lease for tourism purposes for land on a regulated island;
  • a lease used for agriculture, grazing or pastoral purposes and if the lease land is rural leasehold land, the lease land is 100ha or more in area;
  • a lease used for agriculture, grazing or pastoral purposes, the lease land is rural leasehold land less than 100ha in area and the Minister has approved the lease as a rolling term lease;
  • allowed by another provision of the Act [1].

A lease is not considered to be a rolling term lease if the lease land is used for agriculture, grazing or pastoral purposes, unless the Minister is satisfied that this is the most appropriate use of the land [2].

So long as the lease was not granted on the authority of another act, the amendments to the Act now allow the Minister to extend the term of any leases for the period of the initial term of the lease [3]. This means that a lease which was initially granted by the Minister for a period of 20 years can be extended for a further period of 20 years.

The purpose for the introduction of these provisions is stated to ‘improve tenure security for term leases used for agriculture, grazing and pastoral purposes and declared offshore island tourism leases issued under the Act and begin to reduce red tape and regulatory burden on landholders, business and government’ [4]

A lessee must use the State Government’s prescribed forms in order to apply for the extension of a rolling term lease.

Based on our discussions with various stakeholders and the State Government it appears that the State Government is currently in the process of sending letters to affected lessees, where appropriate, asking whether a lessee would like to extend the term of their lease.

It appears that there are time frames which apply to these offers which lessees will need to ensure that they meet in order to receive the benefit of the Minister’s offer rather than needing to make their own separate application.

As part of the Minister’s renewal process, we have been advised by a representative of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines that they are planning to offer an amended condition to lessees of forestry leases in the coming weeks.  We are not certain when orif this will come to fruition but it seems indicative of the State Government’s commitment to reducing red tape.

Lessees should keep an eye out for further notification by the State Government in relation to State leasehold land which may issue in the coming months.

Lessees should ensure that they review any amended terms provided to them by the State Government and ensure they are satisfied with the terms before signing any acceptance of the terms.

If you have any further questions in relation to the above or need further assistance in relation to your State leasehold land, please contact Holding Redlich’s Agribusiness & Rural Industries Group.

Author: Kara Pennisi

[1] Section 164 of the Act

[2] Sections 164 and 164A of the Act

[3] Section 164E of the Act

[4] Explanatory notes – Land and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014


Contact Details

Sydney

Alistair Salmon
Partner
T +61 2 8083 0467
E alistair.salmon@holdingredlich.com

Brisbane

Ron Eames, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0629
E: ron.eames@holdingredlich.com

Disclaimer

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed above.

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