Monday, 10 September 2012

Rural leasehold land threatens viability of agriculture.

By Virginia Tapp 

An inquiry into government-owned lands has heard calls for a mass conversion of land from lease hold to free hold.

Five years ago, the Delbessie agreement was created to modernise the rural leasehold land arrangement between government and land holders.

But increasing rent payments on properties and more questions surrounding the relevance of government land ownership have prompted a new inquiry.

Policy Manager of Agforce Queensland, Lauren Hewitt, says the new government seemed keen to work out a better way to manage land.

"They've been travelling around Queensland to listen to people who placed submissions to that inquiry and hear about their own personal issues with the tenure system in Queensland."

"We've looked to places like South Australia, Western Australia and internationally to see what's happened there... things like a template compensation figure that would make it easier to facilitate freeholding for lessees.

"if you look at mass conversion opportunities or mass freeholding opportunities that have occurred in other jurisdictions, they've really had to set the figure quite low, so any freeholding scheme would have to be affordable for lessees in order to be able to do that."

Ted Malone is Chairman of the Parliamentary working committee for State Development, infrastructure and Industry.

He says native title and state forests must be taken into account before leasehold can be converted to freehold.

Mr. Malone believes the government will act swiftly on receiving the committees recommendations.

The committees recommendations will be tabled in Parliament on November the 30th and a transcript of the public hearings is available at
Original Article Here

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