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Changes in buying/selling commercial cropping or horticultural land in Reef regions

Buying or selling commercial cropping or horticulture land in some areas of Queensland may be impacted by recent legislative changes that require environmental permits.

Under Great Barrier Reef protection measures in Chapter 4A of the Environmental Protection Act 1994, some growers undertaking commercial cropping or horticulture on five hectares or more of land that does not have a cropping history must have a permit before they undertake any work.

A cropping history is where the land has been used for cropping or horticulture for three out of the last 10 years.

Reef regions include Cape York, the Wet Tropics, Burdekin, Mackay Whitsunday, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary.

The changes, which came into effect from 1 June this year, may mean that clients buying or selling properties could have to provide or request evidence about which land has been cropped in the past. This may include photos, spray records or satellite imagery.

Also, permits may be transferred between landholders, and clients may request a permit to be transferred as a condition of purchase.

More details, including frequently asked questions, are available online, or email officeofthegbr@des.qld.gov.au for more information.

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