Leases and licences

With the consent of the Minister for Lands and Forestry, Crown reserve trusts can enter into leases and licences with third parties to use all or part of the reserve on an ongoing basis.

In granting leases and licences (other than temporary licences) reserve trusts are encouraged to engage a solicitor to provide legal advice on the proposed tenure.


Use a lease:

  • when the lessee needs exclusive use of the whole or part of the reserve or a building because of the type of business or activity they will be conducting
  • If the lessee has invested or proposes to invest, substantial sums of money installing or improving facilities on the reserve, for example, a sporting club.

A leaseholder has effective control of the leased area in the same way someone renting a house has sole rights to use the house.


Use a licence:

  • when the proposed user does not need exclusive use of any part of the reserve
  • If it is for occasional or short-term use, for example, the use of a showground by a show society on specific days of the year.

Licences provide greater flexibility of use by different users who may operate at the same time. For example, a sporting club can use a playing field under licence, while food and other goods are sold on the site by a vendor under a separate licence.

Temporary licences

Temporary licences permit short-term (up to one year) and generally low impact activities on the reserve without the Minister's consent, provided they fall within one of the permitted purposes under clause 31 of the Crown Lands Regulation 2006.


If you are considering the leasing or licensing of reserve assets, particularly if the reserve hasn't been used for the proposed purpose before, please contact us to discuss the proposal. You will need to make an application to the department, who will then obtain the Minister’s written consent.

The Minister will consider all aspects of the proposal against the relevant legislation including:

  • public interest
  • compatible with the reserve purpose
  • consistent with the principles of Crown land management
  • environmental impacts.

There is also a full review of the proposal terms including rent, termination, insurance and indemnity among others.

More information is available on the
procedure for reserve trusts to prepare a lease or licence.