Land tenure

Crown land

Crown land is known as all land which is “remaining” that is not freehold title and is still held by the Crown.

Crown land is regulated by the relevant State government legislation and certain requirements must be met before Crown land can be dealt with by, for example, being leased or sold.

It is vested in the relevant Government, although they may give another person the ability to manage or control that land. Examples of where the Crown may grant access or rights of control over the land include:

  • Crown lands held under lease including pastoral leases
  • licence or permit
  • community managed reserves
  • lands retained for public infrastructure
  • lands retained in public ownership for environmental purposes
  • lands within the Crown public roads network
  • other unallocated lands.

Many non-tidal waterways and tidal waterway land across the state also comprise Crown land, although many man-made lakes and canals are not Crown land.

These Crown lands should not be confused with other forms of Crown or State owned lands such as National Parks, State Forests, State Rail property etc.

Crown land in the Northern Territory

The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics (NT) website has useful information about:

State land in Queensland

In Queensland, Crown land is known as State land (under the Land Act 1994) and defined as land that includes State land that is leased or dedicated to the public as a road or reserve; or the subject of a permit to occupy or a licence; or land that has not been allocated (unallocated State land) under some form of tenure.

Information regarding purchasing, exchanging or allocating State land is provided by the Queensland Government. There is also information about land and property initiatives and mining and resources initiatives to drive growth and jobs in Queensland.

Crown land in Western Australia

Approximately 92% of Western Australia is Crown land, whether unallocated or subject to reservation, dedication or leasing. The Department of Lands provides useful information about Crown land, including unallocated crown land and vacant crown land. This includes:

A program has been developed to allow the private sector to apply to develop irrigated agricultural projects on Crown land in locations where the State is not taking a lead role. The 'Water for Food' project aims to assist proponents including pastoralists and third party investors to obtain more secure land tenure. More information about this project can be found here, or on the Department of Lands website.

An Unsolicited Bids Guideline for the Sale or Lease of State-Owned Land has recently been developed. The guideline provides for the purchase or lease of State-owned land on an exclusive, non-competitive basis to facilitate development proposals that are unique, and will result in a significant economic, social or environmental benefit to the State. More information about unsolicited bids can be found on the Department of Lands website.