More security for agricultural leaseholders

MAJOR reforms to Queensland's leasehold land system will provide greater security of tenure for leaseholders and help drive growth in the key agriculture and tourism sectors.

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said the Land and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 introduced into the Queensland Parliament this week, would slash red tape, reduce costs and modernise tenure administration for around 6600 leases worth more than $60 billion, including rural and offshore tourism leases, across the state.

"We promised at the election to grow agriculture and tourism as key pillars of the Queensland economy and increased security of tenure will provide the foundations on which they can be established," Mr Bennett said.

"They represent the first significant phase of restructure to Queensland's land tenure system, and the Land Act since it came into effect in 1994.

"The proposed amendments will deliver greater security of tenure for leaseholders in the Burnett and significantly reduce red tape and business costs.

"The reforms will also encourage more investment opportunities in the agriculture and tourism sectors; generating jobs and economic benefits for communities, particularly in rural and regional areas."

Mr Bennett said the reforms would allow rolling term lease arrangements for agriculture, grazing and pastoral land including state forests and timber reserves, as well as offshore island term leases, with a much quicker and simpler lease renewal process and minimal requirements for the roll-over of a lease.

He said the reforms would also remove corporation and aggregation restrictions under the Land Act 1994, which are outdated, inflexible and ineffective in today's business and land management environments.

The repeal of these provisions will give lessees in the region greater security of tenure and certainty to grow their businesses and streamline the administration of the restricted tenures.

Reforms to state leasehold land tenure will be made in two phases and deliver on the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into the future and continued relevance of government land tenure in Queensland.

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