The crown lessee is subject to a number of restrictions and requirements. Most controls are concerned with the good husbandry of the land and to ensure that the lessee is a bona fide farmer.
LEASE IN PERPETUITY
Crown Lands Act, Irrigation Act: The Perpetual Lease is the chief estate in crown leasehold. The lease term is "forever" not 99 years which is sometimes erroneously thought. Most perpetual leases are in the cereal belt, land suited to mixed farming or relatively good grazing land. The estate approaches freehold in that the "bundle of rights" allows the land to be sold, mortgaged and passed on as inheritance in the same way as freehold land. However, an important qualification that affects value is the requirement of "minster's consent" to transfer.
In practice, the consents are rarely withheld but may not be given where the lessee intends to subdivide the land into parcels less than a "home maintenance area" (HMA).
The majority of leases have a fixed rental but some are subject to 14 or 21 year reviews. The lessee can purchase the lease at 15% of the unimproved value where policy permits.
Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act: The next most common lease is the Pastoral Lease. As the name implies this is a crown tenure over the pastoral lands of South Australia that is, the more arid lands north of and immediately below the dog fence. The period is generally, for 40 years and is subject to a fixed rental. New legislation requires the updating of rents every 3 years and the requirement for the lessee to follow a farm management plan developed by the Department of Lands. Further, the lessee covenants with the crown to effect certain improvements and maintain stock rates within a certain limits (a 10% variation is allowed).
Any improvements contemplated by the lessee should be approved by the Pastoral Board as in case of resumption or sale, the lessee can recover from the crown or the new lessee, the value of the improvements.
The lease must be reapplied for, before the term expires and generally, they are regranted if the lessee has met the prescribed conditions.
NEW PASTORAL LEASES
Pastoral leases granted from 7.3.1990 generally, have a 42 year term and rents are subject to yearly review based on a formula contained in the statute. The land usage is for pastoral purposes only. Land management practices are monitored by an ongoing land assessment. The lessee cannot purchase the land but can transfer, mortgage or sublet subject to the minister's consent. The minister has power after 14 years to grant an extension of the lease to "top it up" to a new 42 year period.
MISCELLANEOUS AND MARGINAL LEASES
CROWN LANDS ACT
These are less common leases and generally, are for a short term. Land uses vary from broadacre agriculture to holiday accommodation.
They also cover the poorer land of the state, water reserves, timber reserves, quarries etc and give the lessee the right to graze stock only or in certain circumstances, to cultivate and grow crops. They are commonly granted to an adjoining owner of a Perpetual Lease as an adjunct to his present holding.
The lease are generally, for a period of 30 years maximum for agricultural or 21 years for irrigated land. Rental is subject to 3 year reviews based on market rentals.
Upon termination or resumption the lessee is only compensated for any improvements he/she may have carried out. In some instances the lessee can purchase the lease but only in environmentally stable areas.
Lessees can transfer, mortgage or sublet their land but subject to the minister's consent. Further, the minister's consent is necessary prior
to applying to the Native Vegetation Management Authority for consent to clear.
ANNUAL LICENCES - CROWN LANDS ACT, IRRIGATION ACT
Annual licences are issued for any period up to 12 months. The rent is based on market rent. Such licences are granted for a short term occupation and do not convey any rights of ownership.
Stringent conditions apply to the land use. Being a licence they can be revoked on one month's notice without payment of compensation. In some circumstances the licence can be purchased at freehold market value.
AGREEMENTS TO PURCHASE - CROWN LANDS ACT
The act allows occupiers of crown tenures to apply to purchase the land. Payments are by annual or half yearly amounts. Generally, the period is 5 to 10 years but the purchase can be completed any time before that. The interest rate charged is the current treasury rate of interest. The rate is fixed.
Land management practices are not administered by the minister. Lessees can transfer, mortgage, sublet but the minister's consent is required.
DEDICATED LANDS - CROWN LANDS ACT
Dedicated lands are untitled. The original intention of dedication was to reserve crown lands from sale which were deemed to be for public purposes such as schools, cemeteries, and parklands.
Lands are placed under the care, control and management of some interested body such as the local council. The land is not owned by the controlling body. Being trustees they are subject to such prohibitions and conditions as the Minister thinks fit.
This includes land management conditions. The authority of dedication is by government gazette. No rent is charged for occupation. No compensation is payable on resumption.
THE CONSOLIDATED ACT 1945
The Consolidated Act empowered the government to repurchase land for the purpose of providing properties for discharged servicemen from he 1914-18 war. "Dry land" blocks were held under either an agreement to purchase or perpetual lease. On "irrigated land" it was an Irrigated Perpetual Lease.
MARGINAL LANDS ACT 1940
Farmers trying to farm the drier parts of the "settled areas" were covered by the Marginal Lands Act. Under the scheme with commonwealth money the state government purchased uneconomic properties (less than a HMA) which were then added to other properties to provide the holders with a living area. The accent was on grazing, there being restrictions on the amount of land which could be cropped.
The tenure allocated to settlers was the Marginal Lands Perpetual Lease.
The War Service Land Settlement Scheme was a joint Commonwealth/State scheme to settle returned soldiers from World War 2 and subsequent wars. Under the scheme "dryland" properties were brought to a stage of production before allotment. These were a perpetual lease but with the option to purchase after 10 years.
In irrigation areas the tenure was the Irrigation Perpetual Lease which did not have the later option of purchase.
CROWN LANDS DEVELOPMENT ACT 1943
This Act provided for the development of crown lands before allotment. A large number of properties were purchased under the previous act but not suitable for settlement and therefore, were later allocated under the 1943 Act.
The act allowed lessees to surrender their properties for reallocation of a new and more viable farm. The tenure used was the Development Lands Perpetual Lease granted on rents, terms and conditions determined by the Land Board. Closer settlement and soldier settlement schemes are no longer carried out by the government.
LAND SETTLEMENT (DEVELOPMENT LEASES) ACT 1949
This act allowed the AMP and other approved organisations to develop large areas in the upper south east of South Australia. Purchasers were issued with perpetual leases at rentals based on the unimproved value.
CROWN LANDS ACT (SA)
The current act allows any lessee to surrender his lease for conversion to a purchase. Current policy is to refuse such applications except for crown land located within towns or being a small parcel adjacent to a town or surrounded by freehold land. Therefore, for all practical purposes the only type of tenure available today are leases in perpetuity. The only limiting factor is the amount of land which can be held by any one person.
The control is the requirement of the minister's consent to transfer.
Perpetual (liable for land tax) CP
Perpetual (not liable for land tax) NP
Homestead (liable for land tax) CH
Homestead (not liable for land tax) NH
Closer Settlement Perpetual CP
Acquired Lands Perpetual AP
Surplus Lands Perpetual SP
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Marginal Lands Perpetual MP
Village Settlement Perpetual LP
Irrigation Perpetual PI
Irrigation Soldiers Perpetual XI
Irrigation Town Perpetual (liable for land tax) TI
Irrigation Town Perpetual (not liable for land tax) NI
War Service Perpetual WP
War Service Irrigation Perpetual WI
Developed Lands Perpetual BP
Miscellaneous Irrigation IM
LESS COMMON LEASES
Soldiers Crown Lands Perpetual XP
Homestead, Perpetual Closer Settlement Lands CH
Homestead, Perpetual Repurchased Lands PH
Repurchased Lands, Perpetual PL
Agricultural Graduates' Lands Perpetual GP
Town Lands (Whyalla) Perpetual UP
Surplus Lands Miscellaneous SM
Closer Settlement Lands Miscellaneous CM
Repurchased Lands Miscellaneous PM
Aboriginal Leases AM
Town Perpetual (other than Whyalla) TP
Education Lease (liable for land tax) OE
Education Lease (not liable for land tax) NE
AGREEMENTS TO PURCHASE
Crown Lands OA
Closer Settlement Lands CA
Soldiers Acquired Lands AA
Surplus Lands SA
Town Lands TA
Irrigation Town IA
Irrigation Licences IL
Eyre Peninsula Railway Land EA
Pinnaroo Railway Land PA
Murray Railway Land MA
Freehold categories F
Dedication categories D
Vacant land categories V
Reserve land categories R