The Federation Press

State Leasehold in Queensland


The State lease in Queensland is a unique creature. In the hands of Public Land Administrators it is an influential land management tool. To the casual observer it is not all that different to a lease as commonly understood. But appearances can be deceiving.

In recent times the State Lease has been examined in the context of native title, most notably in the decision of the High Court in Wik Peoples v Queensland (1996) 187 CLR 1. Its importance in Queensland, however, goes beyond that. This book examines the origins of the State lease and explains its significant role in terms of land management policy and the land tenure system in Queensland. As well, comparisons are made with general law leases thus giving the reader a highly practical understanding of the ways in which rights given by State leases operate and are to be interpreted. Importantly, the reader will gain an insight into the distinct legal problems that State leases give rise to.

This book is written for those who deal with or who are interested in the law relating to State leases, including lawyers, governments and academics. Although the text is limited to a consideration of State leases in Queensland, the book will also be of use to those who deal with State leases in other Australian jurisdictions.


“This book is well written and the concepts of the State Lease are explained in easy to understand terms. The author uses cases well to demonstrate points, without overwhelming the reader with a list of authorities. Likewise the references contained in the text are very useful indeed. The book would be of interest to both academic and practitioner ... [it] enjoys a practical focus.” - Queensland Lawyer (June 2001)

Table of Contents

The Land Act 1994 – A Land Allocation and Land Management Statute

The State Grants System and the Doctrine of Tenure
Land Tenure in Queensland – Of Feudal or Unique Historical Origins?
General – The Statutory Basis of the State’s Authority to Create Interests in Land
Land Act 1994, s 15(1) – Governor in Council May Lease
Lease in Perpetuity
Lease for a term of years
When is a State Lease Necessary?

Power To Lease

The Governor in Council’s Power under s 15(1)
Section 15(1) – Part of a Statutory “Code” as to the Creation of Interests in Unallocated State Land and Land in a Reserve?
When is Land “Leased” under the Land Act 1994?
When Does a State Lease End?
Distinguishing a “Lease” from Other Uses of Unallocated State Land

A State Lease under the Land Act 1994 – What Type of Lease is it?

The General Nature of General Law Lease
The General Nature of a Statutory Lease
The Nature and Incidents of a State Lease Once Granted
Interpreting the Land Act 1994 as a Whole

The Relationship between the State and a Lessee under a State Lease

Purely Statutory or Statutory and Contractual?
The Nature of the Statutory Lessor and Lessee Relationship
The Statutory Lessor and Lessee Relationship and the Property Law Act 1974 (Qld)
The Residual Operation of General Law Principles to State Leases

Implying a Right of Exclusive Possession by Necessary and Unavoidable Intendment

Rights under a State Lease as a State Grant
Construction of the State Lease
The Express Rights of and the Obligations Imposed on a State Lessee
“Necessary and Unavoidable Intendment”
The General Rule of Statutory Construction and Native Title
The Provisions of the Land Act 1994
Determining Whether a Right to Exclusive Possessions is Conferred in Respect of Some Leases for Non-Pastoral Purposes
Enjoyment and Derogation from a Grant


Table of Cases
Table of Statutes

Of interest...