Leases, licences and permits to occupy

Obtaining approval for a sublease

Leases issued under the Land Act 1994 can only be sublet if the Minister for Resources, gives written approval, or you have an appropriate general authority to sublease. If a sublease is approved, the registered owner of the lease will continue to be liable for all lease conditions.

The proposed holder of the sublease must be eligible to hold a sublease under the Land Act.

Before beginning your application, please read our Policy on Minister’s approval to sublease (PDF, 25KB).

Note: Information provided here also covers sub-subleases.

Requirements and conditions

To be approved, the sublease must:

  • be consistent with the purpose and conditions of the lease
  • be for a term that is no more than the balance of the lease term, less 1 day
  • start no earlier than the date of the ministerial approval
  • include a clause regarding the resolution of disputes between the leaseholder and the sublessee.

Requirements are detailed in our Policy on Minister’s approval to sublease (PDF, 25KB).

Prescribed terms

The Prescribed terms framework aims to protect and clarify state interests in land that is subject to a sublease of a Land Act lease.

The framework for prescribed terms replaces the mandatory standard terms document (MSTD) that previously applied to these types of subleases.

From 1 July 2020, the prescribed terms:

  • define the legal requirements for entities holding a sublease of a Land Act lease
  • replace MSTD 713040803
  • ensure that the state’s interest and public benefit in the land is protected
  • apply to subleases of Land Act leases (irrespective of whether the sublease document references the new prescribed terms).

Read more on the prescribed terms contained in Schedule 4 of the Land Regulation 2020.

Commencement timeframes

From 1 July 2020, any new sublease of a Land Act lease will automatically be subject to the prescribed terms, irrespective of whether the tenure document refers to the prescribed terms.

A transitional period of 12 months from commencement will allow a new document that refers to the MSTD to still be registered, however, it will automatically be subject to the prescribed terms regardless of any previous MSTD.

For any existing registered sublease of a Land Act lease lodged at any time prior to 1 July 2020, a transitional period of 12 months will apply. From 1 July 2021 these interests will also be subject to the prescribed terms.

From 1 July 2021:

  • Any new sublease of a Land Act lease document lodged for registration in the Titles Registry must not reference the MSTD.
  • All subleases of Land Act leases, whether registered in the Titles Registry or not, will be subject to prescribed terms.

General authorities

If you hold a general authority for subleasing a Land Act lease and/or a corresponding registered standard terms document, you will continue to be able to use the existing general authority up to and including 1 July 2021.

Prior to 1 July 2021, you must apply for a new general authority to be issued to you for subleasing and/or a new standard terms document, to remove any reference to the MSTD.

All general authorities for subleasing and the corresponding registered standard terms document (if any) must not refer to MSTD after 1 July 2021.

Leases that cannot be sublet

Subleases are not allowed or will not be supported if:

  • the lease contains a condition prohibiting subleases
  • the lease is for development purposes issued under the previous Land Act 1962
  • the sublease is over part of a lease for tourism purposes or over a national park, unless the sublease is to be over part of a building complex (e.g. a newsagency, kiosk, shop, tourism-related activity)
  • the lease requires specific development and the development has not been finalised by the leaseholder.

How to apply

Your application should include:

To avoid processing delays, read the forms carefully and include all required information.

Lodging your application

You can lodge your state land application by emailing or by posting it to Department of Resources, PO Box 5318, Townsville QLD 4810.

Payment options

If a fee applies to your application, payment options are cheque (by post) or credit card.

Cheques should be made out to the 'Department of Resources' and marked 'not negotiable'.

Credit card payments are accepted over the phone.

We will send you a receipt once we have established that your application meets all requirements and has been properly made.

Contact us

If you have any questions about lodging your application or payment, contact:

How your application is assessed

We will assess your application against legislative requirements. We will seek the views of other stakeholders (e.g. state, regional and local agencies) and inspect the land if required.

Policies and legislation

Native title

Our review will also include an assessment of whether native title issues need to be addressed, and how this should be done. Depending on the outcome, you may be required to address native titles issues as a condition of the offer.

What happens next?

Once we have received the advice of other stakeholders and investigated all issues, including native title, we will send you a written notice.

The Minister may give 'in principle' approval for a sublease, which may be subject to conditions.

Registering the sublease

If the sublease is approved, we will provide you with a Titles Registry Form 18—General consent.

For the sublease to be valid, you must register it with the Titles Registry.

Amending a sublease

A registered sublease may, with our approval, be amended by registering an amendment to the sublease. Our approval is not required if you hold an appropriate general authority to sublease.

The amendment must not increase or decrease the area subleased; add or remove a party to the sublease; or increase the term of the sublease.

In this guide:

  1. Leasing state land
  2. Applying for a permit to occupy
  3. Renewing a lease
  4. Extending a rolling term lease
  5. Transferring a lease or licence
  6. Surrendering a lease, licence or permit to occupy
  7. Converting/purchasing a lease
  8. Subdividing a lease
  9. Amalgamating leases
  10. Amending the description of a lease
  11. Changing the purpose or conditions
  12. Obtaining approval for a sublease

Print entire guide