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On 1 July 2015 all eligible Western Australian pastoral leases that met renewal conditions were renewed.
The renewal of 2015 pastoral leases marks an historic event that will likely never happen again.
It is the only time in Western Australian history every pastoral lease has expired on the same date, and it is the only time in Western Australian history every eligible pastoral lease that met the renewal conditions was renewed on the same date.
Lease renewal gives pastoral lessees security and certainty with new leases providing tenure for up to 50 years. Lease renewal allows pastoralists to continue to focus on their pastoral business and contribute to the economic and social fabric of Western Australia.
Renewal of the 2015 pastoral leases is the result of two decades of consultation and collaboration between the State Government and the pastoral industry. The Department of Lands acknowledges and thanks all those involved in the 2015 renewal process for their hard work and cooperation. The Department will continue to work with pastoral lessees on the administration of their leases.
On 1 July 2015 435 stations had their leases renewed, representing 99.5 per cent of stations eligible for renewal.
This is an extremely high level of compliance among pastoral lessees and reflects the strong cooperation and collaboration between Government and the pastoral sector.
See the Pastoral Leases page for further information about pastoral leases including details about compliance, mortgages/encumbrances and sub-leases.
All existing pastoral leases in Western Australia were granted under the Land Act 1933 (repealed) and expired on 30 June 2015. As a result, all mortgages, subleases, permits, caveats and encumbrances associated with the lease expired on the same date.
All pastoral leases renewed on 1 July 2015 have been granted under the Land Administration Act 1997 for the same term and on substantially the same conditions as the previous pastoral leases.
The renewal process started in 1990, at which time 23 pastoral leases (mainly small historical leases in the South West land division) were informed that they would not be considered for renewal.
The initial phase of the renewal process for the remaining leases took place between 1995 and 2002, with the vast majority of lessees being offered renewal of their lease (subject to a number of conditions relating to compliance with their statutory requirements.)
The second phase of the renewal process involved the identification of areas of land proposed to be excluded from the pastoral lease on its renewal, as the land was required for a public purpose (e.g. conservation, expansion of townsites etc). In 2004 negotiations were entered into between the acquiring agencies, pastoralists and the Department of Lands, to agree on the areas to be excluded from pastoral leases from 1 July 2015.
In 2014, following extensive stakeholder consultation, lessees were offered a choice of two lease renewal options (Option 1 and Option 2). Lessees who met the conditions for renewal had their leases renewed on 1 July 2015.
1997 & 2001
Pastoral lease process began
Lands Minister's letter offering renewal subject to meeting
Lessees advised of proposed exclusions
Consultation and feedback period
Release of two lease options
Leases expire 30 June
Leases renewal 1 July
Some pastoral leases were subject to exclusions, where certain areas were agreed to be excluded from the land covered by the lease so it can be used for public purposes (e.g. conservation, expansion of townsites etc). The exclusions which occurred on 30 June 2015 account for about 0.6% of WA's total pastoral estate.
In 2004 there were 95 exclusion areas across 75 pastoral stations.
Exclusion agreements were signed in 2004. Many of these have been further negotiated recently to take into account current requirements and, as a result, the areas have been reduced.
In addition, since 2004, 25 exclusion areas have been surrendered and 35 have been determined that they are no longer required.
As of 1 July 2015 there are 35 exclusion areas over 32 pastoral stations.
Where lessees have been affected by exclusions, rent has been adjusted to reflect the new lease area. Lessees are eligible for compensation for any lawful improvements on any areas excluded during the 2015 pastoral lease renewal process.
In total, there are 95 areas to be excluded over 75 leases.
A number of exclusions have already been completed, and the department is currently working with the affected lessees, acquiring authorities and Landgate to finalise the remaining exclusions. In some cases, the acquiring authorities have indicated that they no longer wish to manage the areas originally identified. Where this has occurred, the department is working with the lessee and other stakeholders to find an appropriate alternative solution.
The area of the pastoral lease commencing 1 July 2015 will be the area of the pastoral lease expiring 30 June 2015 reduced by the area of the exclusion, if any.
Rent will be adjusted to reflect the amount of area excluded. If the lease is subject to an exclusion and a lessee wishes to sell their lease prior to 30 June 2015, the incoming lessee is required to acknowledge in writing their awareness that this area will not form part of the lease after 30 June 2015.
On 1 July 2015 lessees may be eligible for compensation for any lawful improvements on any areas excluded during the 2015 pastoral lease renewal process. An improvement is something that increases or improves the value of the land, and can include water points, fences, and other pastoral infrastructure.
Where lessees are affected by areas of land excluded from the pastoral lease on 1 July 2015, or where lessees have not been offered a renewal of their pastoral lease, they may be eligible for compensation for lawful improvements made to the land.
If a lease is not renewed because the lessee has not met the conditions for renewal, the lessees may also be eligible for compensation for lawful improvements made to the land.
The Department of Lands has already requested details of any lawful improvements from those lessees affected by exclusions and lessees who were not offered renewal in 1997.
Fill out the form: Affected lessees are encouraged to complete a Lawful Improvements Declaration form and return it to the Department of Lands.
Offer of compensation: The amount of compensation payable is assessed by the Valuer General's Office at market value on 30 June 2015.
Compensation for lawful improvements will be determined by the Valuer General. The compensation amount will be the market value of any lawful improvements as at 30 June 2015. The Valuer General may make a site visit to inspect the lawful improvements and, if required, may contact lessees to help identify the location of the improvements in question. Compensation will be offered to lessees after valuation has been determined. In the case of non-renewed pastoral leases, compensation will be offered after the lessee has vacated the land.
Compensation for Lawful Improvements Non-Renewable Pastoral Leases and Exclusions
Forwarding contact details
Lessees required to vacate the land must inform the Department of Lands of their new contact details, including the address for service of notices from 1 July 2015.
Phone: +61 8 6552 4574
Media Statement - Western Australia's pastoral leases renewed
Media statement - Pastoral lease rents due
Lawful improvements declaration form
Option 1 - Renewal of existing lease documents
Option 2 - 2015 lease document
Pastoral lease renewal information pack
Letter to pastoralists - 3 November 2014
Summary of changes to pastoral lease documents
Consultation sessions feedback
Department of Lands
ABN 68 565 723 484