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Reserves and trust land

Trustee leases

Before issuing a trustee lease to authorise the use and occupation of trust land by third parties, the trustee must obtain our permission.

Note: The trustee must make the application, not the proposed trustee lessee.

State or local government trustees

State or local government trustees may not need to obtain approval for a trustee lease. Please refer to the Written authority no. 1, Trustee lease over trust land (PDF, 432KB) for details.

Before applying

  • Read our policy on the secondary use of trust land, listed on this page.
  • Contact us to confirm that the proposed lease will be considered and to determine requirements (e.g. survey plan, sketch map). See section 5.7 of the Registrar of Titles directions for the preparation of plans for detailed requirements.
  • Negotiate a draft trustee lease and produce a draft management plan, if required.

Prescribed terms

The Prescribed terms framework aims to protect and clarify state and community interests in land that is subject to a trustee lease or trustee lease sublease created under the Land Act.

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

From 1 July 2020, the prescribed terms:

  • define the legal requirements for entities holding a trustee lease or trustee lease sublease
  • replace the MSTD 711932933
  • ensure that the state’s interest and public benefit assigned to the land is protected
  • apply to trustee leases and trustee lease subleases made under the Land Act.

Read more on the prescribed terms contained in Schedule 3 of the Land Regulation 2020.

Commencement timeframes

From 1 July 2020, any new trustee lease or trustee lease sublease will 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 document that refers to MSTD to still be registered, however, it will automatically be subject to the prescribed terms regardless of any previous MSTD.

For any existing registered trustee lease or trustee lease sublease document 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 trustee lease or trustee lease sublease document lodged for registration in the Titles Registry must not reference the MSTD.
  • All trustee leases and trustee lease subleases, whether registered in the Titles Registry or not, will be subject to prescribed terms.

Land management plans

In some cases, you may need to provide a land management plan (LMP) as part of your application.

The LMP process gives you the opportunity to plan the use and development of the trust land and to consult with the community.

Use the land management planning resources to help you prepare your plan or contact your nearest business centre for more information or to arrange a pre-lodgement meeting.

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 in person at your nearest business centre, by emailing SLAMlodgement@dnrme.qld.gov.au or by posting it to Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, PO Box 5318, Townsville QLD 4810.

Payment options

If a fee applies to your application, payment options are cash (in person only), EFTPOS (in person at some centres only), cheque (in person or by post), or credit card.

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

Credit card payments are accepted in person or 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:

You can contact your nearest business centre to arrange a pre-lodgement meeting.

How your application is assessed

We will assess your application against legislative requirements and our own policies, procedures and guidelines. 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 all issues, including native title, have been investigated, we will send you a written notice.

We may give 'in principle' approval for a trustee lease, which may be subject to conditions.

If approved you will be provided with a Titles Registry Form 18—General consent.

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

Amending a trustee lease

A registered trustee lease may, with our approval, be amended by registering an amendment to the trustee lease.

However, the amendment must not increase or decrease the area leased; add or remove a party to the lease; or increase the term of the lease.

Other transactions relating to trustee leases

A trustee lessee may transfer, mortgage or sublease a trustee lease if they first obtain the trustee’s written approval to the transaction.

In this guide:

  1. Community purposes for dedicating trust land
  2. Model by-laws for trust land
  3. Trustee leases
  4. Roles and responsibilities of trustees
  5. Deed of grant over an operational reserve
  6. Land management planning

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