I have just had a read of the document. Very interesting. It certainly
will not allow open slather entry to leasehold land. I also don't
think it will change the status quo much, as far as allowing people,
such as birders, entry to leasehold property without let. The way page
3 reads regarding non-pastoral uses of leasehold land, access will
most likely mainly be via organised groups, such as fishing, 4WD tag-
along or nature tours, with those organising the the tours paying fees
in the manner set out on the page. It will provide the opportunity,
though, for leaseholders to set up eco-tourism enterprises as a means
of diversification of income, which will be no doubt be welcomed by
It will certainly be interesting to watch the progress of the
proposals, especially with the current make-up of the NT Parliament
and an election scheduled for August 2012.
On 06/04/2011, at 3:19 PM, Paul Jacobson wrote:
Anyone interested in the public access issue should at least take a
look at the following summary which is on the site linked from Chris'
It appears what is being discussed is access routes _across_
leaseholds rather than unrestricted access to leasehold land.
The current provisions of the Act relating to access across pastoral
land whereby the Board declares a route for public access across
pastoral land have proven to be unworkable. Landholders were unwilling
to grant access due to issues such as road maintenance, property
security and public liability.
The proposed amendments provide a legislative mechanism for the
Minister for Natural Resources, Environment and Heritage to negotiate
public access across pastoral land and to declare an access route if
necessary. The amendments provide public liability cover, provisions
for closure of access (due to mustering activities, seasonal
conditions and road conditions), construction of adequate roads and
associated access infrastructure and limitations of visitor numbers.
The most significant change to the proposed amendment is that
government will assume public liability. It is not intended that the
access provisions will allow unfettered public access; the rights of
the pastoralist to operate a pastoral enterprise and to protect their
financial investment will be recognised. Agreements will be formal and
recorded on title."
On 06/04/2011, at 12:41 PM, Carl Clifford wrote:
Any idea on what the feelings of the leaseholders on this change is?
If I was a leaseholder, I would be fighting this tooth and nail. The
incidence of damage to property and theft on large rural holdings
all over Australia is high enough now, even with the right of a
landholder or lessee to challenge the right of anyone to be on their
property. With anyone being able to enter leasehold land willy-
nilly, the temptation to loot unattended outstations may be too
great for some.
The NT Government says they will underwrite public liability claims
and maintain roads on properties. Anyone who has mounted a public
liability claim against a Government, will no doubt wish future
claimant under this scheme lots of luck. As for maintaining the
roads on properties, well, unless the NT Government has a secret pot
of gold, I imagine that they, as are other States and Territories,
are struggling to maintain their present road infrastructures.
I believe it is possible in the NT for leaseholders to convert their
properties to Fee Simple. If this is so, I can easily imagine there
will be a rush to convert from Leasehold, which would change matters
slightly. It would be a game Government which would allow the public
free access to Fee Simple properties.
The plan to open up leasehold land will be great for birders,
amongst others, but there will be many problems to be solved, not to
mention a lot of fighting between vested interests.
One final point on the matter, which might have a bearing on the
matter, there is an election next year in the NT. It always pays to
look at the long game.
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