• Land Asset Sales Program

    Introduction

    The Land Asset Sales Program (LASP) reflects the Government's commitment to implement an orderly program for the sale or lease of surplus and underutilised State-owned land – and for the proceeds from land sales to be used to reduce State debt.

    Cabinet has directed that the LASP is to be led by, and coordinated through, the Department of Lands under the direction and delegation of the Minister for Lands.

    The objectives of the LASP are to: 

    • coordinate the efficient identification and sale of land that is not being used or held for its highest and best purpose;
    • identify opportunities for land to be used for another Government priority;
    • coordinate and facilitate the preparation of land in order to optimise the return on investment that can be achieved having regard to any constraints that might apply (such as native title, heritage, zoning and site contamination);
    • clarify the key issues associated with the preparation of land for sale including the benefits, costs, timing and risks; and
    • reduce the levels of debt held by the State and by agencies through the timely sale of land that is no longer required.

    LASP Policy 

    As directed by Cabinet and as conveyed in Premier’s Circular 2015/06, all agencies (including public non-financial corporations) are required to actively cooperate with the Department of Lands to achieve the LASP objectives.

    The LASP Policy explains the overall principles, requirements and governance arrangements for the program. To achieve the Government’s objectives, the LASP enables productive liaison and negotiation involving the Department of Lands and the agencies that manage land. This interaction occurs primarily through the Land Asset Management Advisory Group (LAMAG).

    A key LAMAG objective is to provide high quality advice to the Minister for Lands and Cabinet on appropriate land asset disposals, including their scale and timing, and the extent of the net sale proceeds that will be achieved.

    Financial Guidelines

    The LASP Financial Guidelines are designed to assist agencies to address the detailed financial, budgeting and accounting issues associated with land asset sales under the program. The guidelines have been developed by Treasury and the Department of Lands, based on experienced gained from land sales and related net debt reduction principles.

    The Guidelines clarify the steps taken by a general government agency, statutory authority or GTE respectively, depending on the type of land being sold, and whether the agency is subject to special legislative provisions relating to the sale.

    While the treatment of most land sale items is straightforward and consistent with Australian accounting standards, LASP-specific considerations need to be addressed. The Guidelines will therefore be updated periodically to reflect lessons learned from the resolution of complex cases, such as when an agency is subject to special legislative provisions that may affect a land sale.

    Net Debt Reduction: Progress

    Throughout each year, Treasury and the Department of Lands monitor the progress achieved through the LASP in allocating net sale proceeds to the reduction of debt held by the State and by agencies, including the GTEs.
    The monitoring system is explained in the LASP Financial Guidelines. In brief, the system involves regular reporting on the progress of land sales from the Department of Lands to Treasury, and follow-up by Treasury with the selling agency in order to facilitate the receipt of proceeds.

    Liaison with Treasury

    Treasury is available to assist agencies with the implementation of the LASP policy and financial guidelines, particularly to resolve complex arrangements.

    However, before contacting Treasury, agency officers should:

    • read both the LASP policy and financial guidelines in detail; and
    • determine, in conjunction with their Chief Finance Officer, whether an issue can be resolved within the agency or how best to focus an unresolved question for discussion with Treasury.

    After the necessary internal liaison has been completed, agency officers or CFOs can contact the:

    Overall, this approach enables the efficient development of important, unresolved issues for consideration by Treasury, while providing agencies with a single point of contact in response. 

    Liaison with Department of Lands

    Comprehensive information on the operation of the LASP is available on the public internet site for the Department of Lands, including land that is currently for sale or being prepared for disposal.

    After reading this information, agencies can contact the Department of Lands for additional advice and to register an interest in a future land asset sale.

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