Pastoral lease

A pastoral lease, sometimes called a pastoral run, is an arrangement used in both Australia and New Zealand where government-owned Crown land is leased out to graziers for the purpose of livestock grazing on rangelands.


Pastoral leases exist in both Australian commonwealth law and state jurisdictions. They do not give all the rights that attach to freehold land: there are usually conditions which include a time period and the type of activity permitted. According to Austrade, such leases cover about 44% of mainland Australia (3,380,000 km2 (1,310,000 sq mi)), mostly in arid and semi-arid regions and the tropical savannahs. They usually allow people to use the land for grazing traditional livestock, but more recently have been also used for non-traditional livestock (such as kangaroos or camels), tourism and other activities. Management of the leases falls mainly to state and territory governments.[1]

Under Commonwealth of Australia law, applicable only in the Northern Territory, they are agreements that allow for the use of Crown land by farmers, etc.[2]

In the Australian states, leases constitute a land apportionment system created in the mid-19th century to facilitate the orderly division and sale of land to European colonists. Leases within state jurisdictions have variations as to applicability from state to state.[citation needed]

Native title can co-exist with pastoral leases, and Indigenous Land Use Agreements may be made between the leaseholder and the affected native title group.[1]

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has conducted research on pastoral lands in the terms of the lands as rangelands on a country-wide basis.[3]

Relevant legislation and managementEdit

Australian jurisdictions have land management legislation that affects the administration of pastoral leases:[4]

  • New South Wales - Western Lands Act 1901[5]
  • Northern Territory - Pastoral Land Act 1992 and Crown Lands Act 1992[6]
  • Queensland - Land Act 1994
  • South Australia - Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act 1989 and Crown Lands Act 1929[7]
  • Western Australia - Land Administration Act 1997

Pastoral lease informationEdit

New ZealandEdit

The statutory provisions of pastoral leases are covered by the New Zealand Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998 and the Land Act 1948. The holder of the lease has:[11]

  • the exclusive right of pasturage
  • a perpetual right of renewal of the lease for terms of 33 years
  • no right to the soil, and
  • no right to acquire the fee simple of any of the land.

Pastoral leases are undergoing a voluntary tenure review process.[when?]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Pastoral leases". Austrade. 26 February 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  2. ^ "Land & Sea Rights: Community Living Areas: History". Casuarina, Northern Territory, Australia: Northern Land Council. Archived from the original on 15 December 2005. Retrieved 16 October 2005.
  3. ^ Young, M. D. (Michael Denis), 1952-; Harrington, G. N. (Graham Norman), 1935-; Wilson, A. D. (Allan Durham), 1938-; CSIRO. Division of Wildlife and Rangelands Research (1984), Management of Australia's rangelands, Division of Wildlife and Rangelands Research, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia, ISBN 978-0-643-03614-7CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Australia. Productivity Commission (2002), Pastoral leases and non-pastoral land use Commission research paper, Productivity Commission, ISBN 978-1-74037-082-0
  5. ^ New South Wales; Brierly, E. W. (Edward Weir); Irish, T. W. (Thomas William); New South Wales. Western Lands Act 1901 (1914), The Crown Lands Acts of New South Wales : containing the Crown Lands Consolidation Act and the Western Lands Acts with notes, table of cases, regulations, appendices and indexes (3rd ed.), Law Book Co, retrieved 6 September 2014
  6. ^, personalName=Web Services; contact=89994497. "Department of Natural Resources, Environment and The Arts".
  7. ^ Vickery, F. J. (Frederick James), 1928-; South Australia. Department of Lands (1981), The Administration, management and tenure of South Australia's pastoral lands : a report, S.A. Dept. of Lands?, retrieved 6 September 2014CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Alick, Terrence (Terrence J.); Alick, Rosemary; Queensland. Department of Natural Resources; Terrence Alick Mapping Services (2010), Atlas of Queensland and Northern Territory pastoral stations etc (8th ed.), Prepared and published by Terrence and Rosemary Alick, ISBN 978-0-9756998-2-9
  9. ^ Queensland. Land Administration Commission (1989), Index of pastoral leases, Brisbane, retrieved 6 September 2014
  10. ^ Donovan, P. F (1995), In the interest of the country : a history of the Pastoral Board of South Australia, 1893-1993, Pastoral Management Branch of the South Australian Department of Environment and Natural Resources, ISBN 978-0-646-26803-3
  11. ^ "Guide for pastoral leaseholders" (PDF). Land Information New Zealand. November 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2011.