First freehold conversion for Western lands

Media release | 9 November 2018

In a first for the Western Division, graziers Gerard and Denise O’Brien have secured freehold title on their 8500 hectare cattle and cropping property, Neirbo Plains.

Minister for Lands and Forestry Paul Toole was in Walgett today to meet the couple and said their conversion to freehold from a lease would give them greater security over their land and future business decisions.

“Unlike the rest of NSW, nearly all land in the Western Division is held under a perpetual lease, often for grazing or agriculture,” Mr Toole said.

“Under reforms delivered by the NSW Liberal & Nationals Government, eligible leased land can be purchased and converted to freehold, with more than 230 applications currently being assessed.

“This is an important step toward ensuring graziers, like Gerard and Denise, can plan for the future as owners.

“They will no longer have to pay an annual rent, renew cultivation consents or gain permission to transfer or sell their property.

“This conversion is just the first, with more expected in the coming months.”

Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries said the opportunity for leaseholders to convert to freehold would enable more land diversification opportunities in the region.

“We’re supporting families in the region by making it easier to do business and encouraging investment,” Mr Humphries said.

“This will help our communities to continue to grow and provide opportunities for new jobs, which is particularly welcome during drought conditions.”

To convert to freehold, leaseholders need to meet land capability criteria to ensure land continues to be managed sustainably in the region.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply visit Western lands leases.