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or part thereof, and in no case shall the rent or license fee be fixed at : higher rate than 7d. per sheep on the carrying capacity determined by the Commissioners. In the case of new leases, the rents are determined for periods not exceeding ten years, and in the case of leases extendei under the provisions of the Act for periods ending 30th June, 1930, and 30th June, 1943. The rent fixed in the case of existing leases, and for the first term in the case of new leases, cannot on reappraisement be either increased or decreased more than 25 per cent. on the first reappraisement, and the provision applies at each subsequent reappraise. ment to the rent last determined.

Homestead Selection. Among the special features of the Act of 1895 was the introduction of the principle of classification and measurement of lands prior to selection. Under this system suitable land is set apart and rendered available for the purposes of the selector. The appropriation of areas for homestead selection is another prominent feature of the Act. The tenure of such a selection is freehold, subject to perpetual residence and perpetual rent, and the construction of a dwelling-house at à cost of not less than £20. Six months' rent and part of the survey fee must be lodged when application is made. Until the grant issues, the rent is fixed at 14 per cent. on the capital value of the land ; afterwards, it is raised to 2} per cent., and the selection is subject to reappraisement every ten years. Provided an application is made before the 31st December, 1900, the capital value of homestead selections applied for, on or before 29th December, 1899, may be reappraised. In cases where the application for the homestead selection is of a subsequent date, reappraisement may be made before the selection is confirmed, or within twelve months after, but not later. Tenant-right in improvements is secured, and the holding may be so protected that it cannot by any legal procedure, or under any cireum stances, be wrested from the selector. This form of alienation ceased to operate within the Western Land Division from the 1st January, 1902, existing rights being preserved.

Settlement Leases. Another departure under the Act referred to is the provision for settlement leases for gricultural and grazing purposes. Under this form of tenancy, lands gazetted in any division as available for settlement lease are obtainable on application, accompanied by a deposit consisting of six months' rent and survey fee. Of agricultural land the maximum area which may

thus be taken up is 1,280 acres, and of grazing land, 10,240 acres. The lease is issued for a period of twenty-eight years, and the conditions which attach to it are that the lessee shal) reside on the land throughout the term, and fence it in during the first five years. Provided an application is made before the 31st December, 1900, the capital value of settlement leases applied for on or before the 29th December, 1899, may be reappraised. In cases where

the application for the settlement lease is of a subsequent date, reappraisement may be made before the lease is confirmed, or within twelve months after, but not later. Tenant-right in improvements is secured to the outgoing lessee, who may, during the last year of the term, convert a portion not exceeding 1,280 acres into a homestead selection. This form of lease ceased to operate within the Western Land Division from the 1st January, 1902, existing rights being preserved.

Scrub and Inferior Lands. The principle of improvement leases secures, in the Eastern and Central Divisions, the utilisation of scrub or inferior lands that would otherwise remain unoccupied, the form of lease having ceased to operate in the Western Division since the 1st January, 1902, subject to existing rights being preserved and the extension of tenure referred to later on. The term for which such a lease is issued is twenty-eight years, except in those cases in the western division brought under the provisions of the “Western Lands Act of 1901," when the lease expires on the 30th June, 1943, and the rent is determined according to the circumstances of each case, the object being to secure the profitable occupation of otherwise valueless lands. The maximum area obtainable is 20,480 acres. The outgoing lessee has tenant-right in improvements, and may, during the last year of the term of his lease, convert into a homestead selection 640 acres on which his dwelling-house is erected.

Pastoral and other Leases. Under the Act of 1884 pastoral leases were surrendered to the Crown, and divided into two equal parts. One of these parts was returned to the lessee under an indefeasible lease for a fixed term of years ; the other half, called the resumed area, might be held under an annual occupation license, but was always open to selection--by conditional purchase in the eastern and central divisions, and by homestead lease in the western division. Under the Act of 1895, the tenure of pastoral leases in the western division was fixed at twenty-eight years, but if the leases are brought under the “Western Land Act of 1901,” they expire on the 30th June, 1943. In the central division a pastoral lease extends to ten years. In certain cases a further extension ranging up to five years has been secured by virtue of improvements effected ; beyond this, however, the Crown has power to further extend the term of the lease for the remainder of a pastoral holdir.g where a portion of such holding has been resumed for the purpose of settlement. Tenant-right in improvements made with the consent of the Crown is secured to the outgoing lessee. If in the western division he may, during the last year of his lease, convert into a homestead selection 640 acres on which his dwelling-house is erected. When application is made for an occupation license for the expired leasehold area, a license-fee, equal in amount to the sum formerly payable as rent, must be lodged as a deposit. This form of lease ceased to operate in the Western Land Division since the 1st January, 1902, subject to existing rights being preserved and the extension of tenure referred to.

In addition to pastoral leases, special leases on favourable terms are granted of scrub lands, snow lands—that is, lands covered with snow during a part of the year,—and inferior lands. Annual leases for pastoral purposes, and residential leases on gold and mineral fields, are also granted; and special leases are allowed in certain cases. Within the Western Land Division all forms of lease prescribed by the Crown Lands Act ceased to operate on the 1st January, 1902, subject to existing rights and the extension of tenure provided in respect of pastoral, homestead and improvement leases, and occupation licenses. Within that division all new leases are to be submitted to competition and expire on 30th June, 1913.

Auction Sales. Auction sales to the extent of not more than 200,000 acres in any one year are permitted. The upset price is fixed by the Minister for Lands. For town lands it must not be less than £8 per acre ; for suburban lands, £2 10s. ; and for country lands, £1 5s. Special terms can be made for the purchase of land on gold-fields, and for reclaimed lands.

Labour Settlements. In the middle of 1893 an Act was passed to establish and regulate labour settlements on Crown lands, following the example set by New Zealand, and imitated by several other colonies. Under this Act the Minister may set apart certain areas for the purpose of establishing labour settlements. A settlement is placed under the control of a Board, which enrols such persons as it may think fit to become members of the settlement; makes regulations concerning the work to be done ; apportions the work among the members; and equitably distributes wages, profits, and emoluments after providing for the cost of the maintenance of the members. Any trade or industry may be established by the Board, and the profits apportioned among the enrolled members. A Board is constituted as a corporate body, with perpetual succession and a common seal ; and the land is leased to the Board ils such, in trust for the members of the settlement, for a period of twenty-eight years, with right of renewal for a like term.

When a Board has enrolled such a number of persons as the Minister for Lands may approve, it may apply for monetary assistance on behalf of the members of the settlement. The Minister bas power to grant an amount not exceeding £25 for each enrolled member who is the head of a family dependent upon him ; £20 for each married person without a family; and £15 for each unmarried person. On the expiration of four years from the commencement of the lease, and at the end of each year following, 8 per cent. of the total sum paid to the Board becomes a charge on its revenues, until the total amount advanced, with interest at the rate of 4 per cent. per annum, has been repaid.

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VICTORIA. During the earlier period of the colonisation of Victoria, then known as the District of Port Phillip, in New South Wales, the alienation of Crown lands was regulated by the Orders in Council of the mother state, to which reference has already been made. In the year 1840, however, the upset price of country lands, which in New South Wales was limited to 12s. per acre, was specially raised to 20s. in the District of Port Phillip. The Orders in Council continued in force until 1860, when the system of free selection of surveyed country lands was inaugurated, the uniform upset price being fixed at £1 per acre. dition was required to be fulfilled by the selector other than that of making a cash payment for the whole of his purchase-or for one-half only, the other half being occupied at a yearly rental of ls. per acre, with right of purchase at the original price. In 1862 a new Act was passed. Large agricultural areas were proclaimed, within which land could be selected at a uniform price of £l per acre.

Modifications were introduced in the mode of payment; the maximum area which could be selected by one person was limited to 640 acres; and it was stipulated that certain improvements should be effected or part of the land placed in cultivation. This Act was amended in 1865, when the principle was introduced of leasing Crown lands within agricultural areas, with right of purchase after the fulfilment of certain conditions as to residence and improvements; and a new provision was added to meet the demand for land adjacent to gold-fields.

The legislation in force was, however, superseded by the Land Act of 1869 and the Pastoral Act of the same year.

Until that time the free selection system in the state had been limited to certain lands proclaimed within agricultural areas, and to allotments previously surveyed, thus avoiding the conflict which was then beginning to take place in New South Wales between the selector and the pastoralist. Under pressure of a sudden increase in the demand for land, arising from the enormous immigration into Victoria which had followed the discovery of gold, and the necessity for the people tinding other means of employment, and other and more permanent sources of income, the Victorian Legislature adopted the system in vogue in the neighbouring state, with modifications to suit the local conditions. The Act of 1869, which was amended in 1878, was further amended in 1884, the main tendency of the latter amendment being towards the restriction of the further alienation of the public estate by limiting the area which might be sold by auction, and substituting for the existing method of selecting agricultural land a system of leasing in certain defined areas, and at the same time conserving to the lessee the privilege of acquiring from his leasehold the fee-simple of 320 acres under the system of deferred paynients. A portion of the public domain, known as the “ Mallee Scrub,” comprising some 11} million acres wholly or partly covered with various species of stunted trees, was separately dealt with by the Mallee Pastoral Leases Act of 1883. The land legislation of 1869, and the special enactment just referred to, were again modified by the Acts of 1890, 1891, 1893, 1896, 1898, and 1900, the whole being consolidated as the “ Land Act, 1901,” which came into force on the 31st December, 1901.

The Land Act of 1869 is inoperative as to future selections, but concessions as to payments of arrears of rent, the option of converting their present leases into perpetual leases, and of surrendering part of and obtaining new leases on better terms for the balance of their holdings, have been granted to selectors thereunder by the most recent legislation.

For the purposes of land administration, the state is divided into districts which are merely arbitrary divisions, and in each district there are land offices under the management of land officers. As occasion requires, the land officers hold board meetings to deal with applications for, and any matter pertaining to, Crown lands.

Unalienated Crown lands are divided into the following classes :Good agriculturalor grazing land; agriculturaland grazing lands; grazing lands; inferior grazing lands ; pastoral lands (large areas); swamp or reclaimed lands ; lands which may be sold by auction (not including swamp or reclaimed lands); auriferous lands ; State forest reserves ; timber reserves; and water reserves. Provision is made for a reclassification of lands within the first, second, third, and fourth classes, where it is recognised that an inequality exists, and for this purpose Land Classification Boards are constituted, each Board to consist of three inembers who will be officers of the Lands Department or other competent persons.

Land

may be acquired in the following manner :(1) By the lessee of pastoral lands, by selection of a homestead up to 640 acres of land not superior to third-class land out of his leasehold at 10s. per acre; (2) by the lessee of a “grazing area" who is entitled to select thereout an agricultural allotment, obtaining a perpetual lease of the allotment in lieu of a license; (3) by licensee or lessee of an agricultural allotment on the surrender of his license or lease, obtaining in its stead a perpetual lease ; (4) by the holder of a mallee allotment, eligible to select an agricultural allotment thereout, obtaining a perpetual lease instead of a license ; (5) by perpetual leases of any Crown lands available as agricultural or grazing allotments, or mallee lands available as agricultural allotments, or swamp, or reclaimed lands; (6) by purchase at auction of town or country lands within specified areas; (7) by purchase at auction of detached portions of Crown lands of an area not exceeding 50 acres ; (8) by the holder of a residential agricultural allotment under license within mallee territory; (9) by farm allotment under conditional purchase lease, within areas required for the purpose of closer settlement.

Pastoral Lands. Pastoral leases are granted to the person first lodging an application after public notice has been given that the land is available, and expire

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