Purchasing a property?
It is important to do your research and be well-informed before committing to purchasing a property.
If you are just at the beginning stages of looking for your perfect piece of property, there are a few things to consider to make sure you get the piece of land that suits your future plans. Living in a rural zone may seem a quiet lifestyle, but at times of peak production, or with neighbours who actively farm, you may be exposed to a variety of farming practices including land cultivation, animal husbandry and crop harvesting activities. These often come with noise, dust and smells that you may not have considered when looking at the beautiful Tasmanian landscape. Farmers often change the use of their paddocks from year to year, so it is important to remember that what may be under pasture with grazing animals one year, may be used for intensive cropping in other years.
Investigate with the local council the zoning and planning schemes of the area in which you are considering purchasing land. Due to the unique landscape of Tasmania, some local councils have specific planning rules for agricultural zones, and this may impact on your ability to build houses or undertake some agricultural or business activities.
To find out what the local scheme is for an area of interest go to
iPlan, which is a State Government online resource for planning and assessment in Tasmania.
Reserved roads, titles, boundaries
The LIST (Land Information System Tasmania) for information on titles, landscape, status of reserved roads and mapping tools to help you plan your purchase.
Bush, pasture or water?
The landscape of Tasmanian properties often come with a mix of elements. Bush, pasture, native grasslands and water courses all influence on what you may need to do to maintain or improve your property.
If the property has watercourses running through it or access to neighbouring dams, the rights to access this water or use it to fill property dams may not automatically pass with purchase of the property title. Ensure you clearly have documented what passes with the property and ensure transfer of water licences as part of the agreement of purchase.
Understanding how to manage the landscape of your property can be daunting, but a bit of research and contacting your local Natural Resource Management (NRM) or Landcare group can set you on a path that may avoid costly mistakes. Local council contacts are also useful to help you know what programs may be running in your area to assist you in your land management.
Below are some links to assist in your management plans:
Responsibilities as a neighbour
Being a good neighbour and being a proactive, forward-thinking and innovative farmer will reduce the risk of misunderstandings between neighbours and reduce the risk of disagreements developing.
When people buy land and move into rural areas, problems may arise for one or more of the following reasons:
- They have expectations of a certain type of lifestyle that may be unrealistic.
- They have not done enough local research.
- They may not understand rural life.
- They may not understand their responsibilities as landowners.
Established landowners can take a leading role in helping their new neighbours settle in, providing advice and knowledge of the local area, and giving a hand where possible.
It is important, however, to be sensitive to the possible reactions of your established neighbours.
Follow these recommendations and be the sort of neighbour you would want to live next to:
Be aware that what you may not expect in their farming operations might be things they completely take for granted.
Be aware and prepared for the fact that some of their farming activities might impact upon you, and vice versa.
Be aware that you should not take for granted aspects of amenity that in fact depend entirely on your neighbours' management of their own land, and that it may change.
Try to establish the sort of relationship that will encourage your neighbours to inform you in advance of activities that might affect you, such as weaning, harvesting, shearing, sowing and cultivating. You may be able to arrange to be elsewhere during these times if they are disruptive.
Be receptive to advice from your new neighbours on things you may simply not know about yet, such as your responsibilities for land, pest and weed management.
As far as possible or relevant, take note of what good farmers do and see them as examples for your own practices.
- Be open to offers to help you with small tasks, and be prepared to offer help yourself, perhaps using skills you have that may not be common in your new location.
What to know if your neighbour is Crown Land or Parks
Many private properties have common boundaries with Crown Land or reserves managed by the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) (part of DPIPWE). Some properties also have Crown Land reserved roads that run through them, but are yet to be developed or placed under licence or leases. It is important to understand the status of these lands, as you may wish to apply to either buy or have a lease or licence on such property as part of your land management plans.
Buying, leasing or licensing Crown Land
PWS' Property Services (PS) facilitates the appropriate management, use and development of Crown Land, including the licensing, leasing and sale of Crown properties. Most land management functions undertaken by PS are governed by the
Crown Lands Act 1976 and the
Crown Lands Regulations 2011.
Visit the Parks and Wildlife Service
website for information on applying for leases, licences or sales of Crown land.
Good Neighbour Charter
Good Neighbour Charter
aims to ensure the framework is in place for constructive and co-operative dialogue between DPIPWE and its many adjacent landholders. This approach may lead to better outcomes in land management and assist resolution of differences if they arise.
The Charter does not intend to anticipate every situation that may arise, but rather establish the basis of DPIPWE's land management approach, which is about working together.
The Charter has been developed in partnership between DPIPWE, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, the Tasmania Fire Service, the Local Government Association of Tasmania and the Department of State Growth.
Considering organic production
Organic farming is farming without the use of synthetic chemicals, artificial fertilisers, pesticides, irradiation or genetically modified organisms. The links below can assist you with understanding what is necessary to become a certified organic producer and what the options are when making business decisions about whether to choose organic production.
Overview of organic production
Information about certification
Gross margin analysis for organic production
Key management strategies for land management may include fencing. There are times when the issue of fencing can cause great conflict between neighbours. The
Boundary Fences Act 1908 consolidates the law in relation to boundary fences in Tasmania, in particular the repair and erection of boundary fences, and provides guidance on the responsibilities of neighbours in boundary fencing.
Weeds can have a significant impact on the environment and on the productive capacity of rural operations. Management of weeds on your property can aid in preventing the spread on your own property and onto neighbouring land.
There are also declared weeds that require active management under legislation. Property managers are required by law to control declared weeds. The
Weed Management Act 1999
is the central legislation covering weed control and eradication in Tasmania. In addition, Tasmania has a comprehensive response and weed management strategy plan.
For resources to help you identify weeds, understand which weeds are declared and what management strategies are in place for management of declared weeds visit the Department's
Invasive Species Weeds
NRM and Landcare groups may provide assistance in preparing your property weed management plan, and local councils may also be able to offer local knowledge, resources and assistance in the management of weeds in your local area.
Managing wildlife browsing and grazing losses
Damage by wildlife can result in significant costs to Tasmania's primary producers. The Department assists land managers to develop and implement effective integrated damage control strategies.
Resources to assist you in the
planning to control losses caused by wallabies and possums can be found on the Department's Wildlife Management web page.
Tools for property planning
Links to a range of tools that have been developed to assist in
property management planning can be found on the Department's Land Management Information web page.
Property Planning is useful for property of any size - not just commercial farms. A plan for your property can help you achieve your lifestyle goals, while also maintaining environmental values. A plan helps identify the work and costs required to develop and maintain your property. Remember, with proper planning you will often only need to do things once!
Property planning involves assessing all your resources, both natural and built, as well as planning the enterprises or activities you would like to undertake on your land. It is a plan to use the land according to its capacity and to ensure you don't deplete its natural resources. In fact, good planning will protect and improve these resources.
A property plan also helps you to identify problem areas and risks to your enterprises, such as waterlogged soils, vegetation decline or the risk of flooding.
Enterprise suitability tools
Enterprise suitability maps can assist farmers and prospective investors to analyse potential crop or enterprise options for a property or district. The information is intended as a guide to the further on-farm investigations and business analysis required before making investment decisions.
Work Health and Safety on the farm
Often the purchase of new land and holdings involves moving into new ventures that require new plant and equipment. Work, health and safety on farms can be overlooked in the development of businesses. The
Safe Farming Tasmania program has been developed to help you undertake risk assessments and to ensure you understand and can manage the risks of farm work.
Below is a link to resources to help in your WH&S planning, including induction handbooks and YouTube instruction videos.
Safe Farm Planning
Planning for unseasonal conditions and natural disasters (flood and fire)
Managing seasonal conditions is part and parcel of farming in Tasmania and represents one of the biggest challenges for land holders.
dry seasonal conditions this essentially means being able to manage water so that it last longer on your property, even when it many not have rained for some time. If you have stock, you will also need to consider how you manage feed / fodder supplies.
Preparing a bushfire plan and an evacuation or animal management plan for fire or floods can greatly assist in reducing harm to livestock during a natural disaster.
Checklists have been developed to assist with this preparation.
Cradle Coast NRM
Land for Wildlife
Land Use and Management Information for Australia