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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 56

Land System of Western Australia

Land System of Western Australia.

The head of the department of lands is the Commissioner of Crown Lands, who [unclear: also] is Surveyor-General of the colony. The land revenue from all sources, during [unclear: 1888] amounted to £90,471.

The colony is divided into five land districts, viz., Central, Central-Eastern, Soul Eastern, North, and Kimberley.

In the Central or Home district, land is alienated to the first applicant at 10s. acre, in lots of any size not less than 40 acres, except for garden purposes, [unclear: when] little as 10 acres can be bought, or on special occupation, with certain [unclear: improvement] by annual instalments for 10 years of 1s. an acre. When the improvements, which consist of fencing the whole and cropping one quarter, are completed, and 10s. an [unclear: a] is paid, a Crown grant issues; but until the improvements are completed the [unclear: an] instalment of 1s. per acre must be continued, even after the full 10s. has been [unclear: fair] The minimum size of blocks under special occupation is 100 acres; there is no maxima Free selection before survey is permitted. Crown lands are leased for pasture in [unclear: the] Central district in blocks of not less than 10,000 acres, to the first applicant, at£ [unclear: per] 1,000 acres, and on annual licence for areas not less than 1,000 acres at the same [unclear: rate] The termination of all leases in this district takes place at the end of 1887.

In the Central-Eastern, South-Eastern, and North districts land is sold in [unclear: blocks] not less than 400 acres, at 5s. an acre, and is leased for pasture at 5s. per 1,000 [unclear: ace] for the first half, and 10s. per 1,000 for the second half of the lease, in blocks [unclear: of] less than 20,000 acres. All such leases terminate at the end of 1893. A lessee may page 19 any time during the first seven years of his lease select from his run any land, not less than 1,000 acres in extent, which he desires to hold under an unconditional pre-emptive right, at an annual rental of £5 per 1,000 acres. All such unconditional pre-emptive rights may be redeemed in fee on the following terms:—In the North district, if within the first seven years of the lease, by payment of 5s., and during the remainder of the term, of 10s. for each acre redeemed. In the Central-Eastern and South-' Eastern districts, if within the first seven years of the lease, by payment of 2s. 6d., and during the remainder of the term, of 5s. for each acre redeemed.

In the Kimberley district land is sold at 10s. an acre to the first applicant, in blocks of not less than 200 acres, and leased for pasture at 10s. per 1,000 acres, in blocks of not less than 50,000 acres on frontages, and 20,000 where there is no frontage. Leases in this district terminate also at the end of 1893. A stocking clause provides that one head of large stock or ten head of sheep for every 1,000 acres held by a lessee shall be kept in the district after the first four years of the lease, or double rent paid until such time as the required number of stock are within the district. In the event of the required number of stock not being in the district at the end of seven years, the lease will be forfeited.

Leases and licences can be transferred with the approval of the Commissioner of Crown Lands, and on payment of a fee of 10s.

New regulations will be proclaimed before 1887 for the Central district, and before 1893 for all other districts.

Lessees are entitled to receive from the purchasers of land within their leaseholds the actual value of any improvements they have made on the land purchased.

Town lands are sold by public auction, the upset price being fixed by the Government.

Timber.—Licences to cut timber are issued at 5s. a month for each man employed. Special licences, at £20 per annum for each 640 acres, are also issued. To encourage timber companies on a large scale, special concessions are given.

Minerals.—Leases for areas not less than 20 acres are granted for seven years, on certain conditions, at a rental of 5s. an acre, and the land can be purchased by the lessee at £3 an acre, provided certain machinery has been erected and that the mine has been properly worked.