Purchasing, exchanging or allocating state land

Applying to allocate or purchase a reservation in title

A reservation in title is an area excluded from a title for a public purpose; it may be contained on either freehold or leased land. Road reservations, esplanades and railway reservations are common types of reservations in title.

Reservation localities are normally undefined; however, some are in a fixed location.

If your freehold land contains a reservation, you can apply to purchase it at any time. You can also apply for an allocation of a road reservation when boundaries are realigned by local council or state government.

Note: Reservations in title are different from land which is set apart as a reserve.

Subdivisions or reconfiguration of lots

You must obtain our approval before lodging a plan of subdivision or reconfiguration of a lot, if the lot contains a public purpose reservation. Ideally, public purpose reservations should be considered in the initial planning stage of any subdivision proposal.

Except in the case of hardship or family transfer, a public purpose reservation will not be allocated to a lot on subdivision and must be purchased unless it is required for a public purpose.

Family transfer

We will consider allocating the reservation to the largest parcel when a subdivision or reconfiguration of a lot is being undertaken to provide benefit to a family member. This is subject to the subdivision constituting a family transfer based on the council’s development approval.


If you can demonstrate that you will suffer hardship if there is a requirement to purchase a reservation in title prior to subdivision or reconfiguration of a lot, you may request the reservation be allocated to one lot within the subdivision. We may, in some circumstances, agree to do this on a temporary basis, provided you sign a written agreement to purchase the reservation upon sale of another parcel within the subdivided area.

Hardship will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

How to apply

Your application should include:

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

Lodging your application

If you can't lodge your application online, apply through the PDF applications and lodge 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.

Other considerations

Owners of freehold land must consult the local council or the Department of Transport and Main Roads (where there is a possibility of state-controlled road) before we will consider the application.

Constructing authorities who intend to request that the department re-allocate a reservation in title to an owner’s/lessee’s land as part of a resumption action, must notify the registered owner/lessee of this intention. Evidence of notification to the registered owner/lessee (e.g. a copy of the notification email or document) must be included with the application forms.

What happens next?

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

If your purchase of a reservation in title is approved, you will be required to pay the market value of the area of land within the reservation. The valuation will be determined by us.

The purchase price must be paid in a single payment.

In this guide:

  1. Purchasing state land
  2. Exchanging state land
  3. Applying to allocate or purchase a reservation in title

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