Direct Sale Step 1: Decide if you should apply

What is a direct sale?

Direct sale is a method of land release permitted by the Planning and Development Act 2007, by which the ACT Government can offer a lease of land to an eligible applicant without going through a competitive land sales process.

A direct sale may only occur after an applicant and their proposed use of land are approved by Government, it having been satisfied that the legislative requirements have been met, including any relevant eligibility criteria under the Planning and Development Regulation 2008. Assessment of an applicant’s eligibility for direct sale does not guarantee an offer of a grant of a lease.

There are three types of application form: community, commercial and government. The community form caters predominately for the not-for-profit sector and includes non-government schools and supportive accommodation. The commercial form is available for the profit sector. The government form is utilised for all ACT Government directorates requiring land. All forms allow for an application to be made on contiguous land (land adjoining an existing lease that is not viable for separate sale).

What is the direct sale process?

The Directorate receive applications and manage the direct sale process by which:

  • the eligibility of applicants to apply for a direct sale is assessed by an interdepartmental Direct Sale Panel
  • suitable sites of land are identified for direct sale
  • recommendations are made to Government for the direct sale of suitable sites to applicants assessed as eligible
  • site investigation and site preparation is undertaken, and
  • lease offer documentation is prepared.

What the Panel will do?

The Panel assesses the eligibility of direct sale applicants and their proposed use of land in accordance with the Planning and Development Act 2007. This includes an assessment of whether applicant and the proposal:

The direct sale application forms are designed to assist you in demonstrating your eligibility and require you to provide a business case for the Panel to consider.

Identification of Sites for Direct Sale

We will co-ordinate the identification of sites that may be suitable for direct sale, if you are found eligible. The site identification process gives consideration to:

  • specific site or locational preferences indicated in your application
  • the suitability of the site to meet operational requirements as specified, and
  • costs to the Territory in making land available for release by direct sale.

The Government will make the final decision about whether an offer of a lease by direct sale will be made to you for a particular site.

Am I eligible?

Government Directorates (Territory, Territory Entity and Commonwealth Entity)

The eligibility for a direct sale of land depends on your ability to meet the statutory requirements which include:

  • demonstrating that an amount has been appropriated, or is otherwise available to develop and manage the land, and
  • the land is suitable for the proposed use.

Community

Your eligibility for a direct sale of land depends on your ability to meet the statutory requirements which includes:

  • meeting the criteria of a community organisation based on your organisations purpose, incorporation and registration documentation
  • demonstrating financial capacity to undertake the proposed project
  • demonstrating the proposed community benefit, and
  • providing a viable business case for your proposal.

The non-government educational establishment, community use and supportive accommodation lease types also require you to demonstrate that your organisation is eligible based on its purpose, incorporation and registration documentation.

Commercial

Land for commercial purposes is usually sold by a competitive process (e.g. auction). There are some exceptional circumstances where an application for the direct sale of land for commercial use can be considered. These include situations where the applicant can do one of the following:

  • demonstrate compliance with statutory eligibility criteria for a lease of contiguous unleased land, or
  • provide evidence that the sale would achieve one or more specific grants objectives under the Planning and Development Act 2007 .

Specific grant objectives include benefiting the economy of the ACT or region, contributing to the environment, introducing new skills, technology or services in the ACT or facilitating the achievement of a major policy objective.

Are there alternatives to a direct sale?

If you don’t think you can meet the eligibility criteria for a direct sale, there are other options for you to consider. These might include:

  • participating in a public auction (View the Land Release Program)
  • renting space in a Government-owned facility (View information on Leasing Government Property
  • renting space in a privately owned facility, or
  • co-locating with another organisation.

If you choose to apply you will need to:

  1. Provide a business case as part of your application

The application explains the information required to develop your business case.

Specific business case criteria are set out in section 101 of the Planning and Development Regulation 2008 and apply to certain lease types. Under these regulations you must demonstrate:

  • you have the financial capacity to develop and manage the land
  • you have the experience, qualifications, expertise and other resources to develop and manage the land
  • your proposed use of the land will meet a genuine need in the community, and
  • you don’t have access to other Territory land that could be used for the proposed project.

For commercial proposals that do not meet statutory criteria, your business case must demonstrate that your proposal meets one or more grant objectives under the Planning and Development Act 2007 and that the grant of a lease by means other than direct sale would not meet the grant objectives to the same extent as a direct sale. Consideration of the benefit to the ACT Community is important and inherent in this regard.

  1. Provide an indication of the lease type you are seeking

Statutory eligibility criteria exist for several lease types including:

  • Non-government educational establishments, in accordance with section 108 of the Planning and Development Regulation 2008 .
  • Community use, in accordance with section 112 of the Planning and Development Regulation 2008.
  • Supportive accommodation, in accordance with section 113 of the Planning and Development Regulation 2008.
  • Contiguous land (land adjoining the applicant’s existing lease):

    • That is public land, in accordance with section 110 of the Planning and Development Regulation 2008.
    • That is not public land, in accordance with section 122 of the Planning and Development Regulation 2008.

Government Directorates

All ACT Government directorates are required to seek the acquisition of land through the direct sale process. This process ensures the allocation of Territory land is transparent. Directorates must demonstrate through the application process how the proposed acquisition of land meets the relevant criteria, which include:

  • the land is suitable for the proposed use, and
  • an amount has been appropriated to develop and manage the land.

Funding for government land proposals is normally acquired through the government budgetary processes.

Community Organisations

You must demonstrate through your application how your proposed use of the land meets the relevant stated criteria. Depending on the lease type you are applying for, this may include establishing that the way you propose to use the land will:

  • be consistent with or promote relevant ACT or Commonwealth government policies
  • meet a need for specific services in the community, and
  • benefit a disadvantaged group in the community.

The non-government educational establishment, community use and supportive accommodation lease types also require you to demonstrate that your organisation is eligible based on its purpose, incorporation and registration documentation.

Commercial Organisations

Contiguous Land

You must be able to demonstrate that the land would not be viable for a competitive sale because of its size, location or configuration, and explain how your proposal maintains or enhances the amenity of the surrounding area and promotes better land management.

Non-contiguous land (a standalone block)

In some exceptional circumstances the Government will agree to a direct sale of land to the commercial sector where the proposal provides a compelling benefit to the ACT in terms of community service, economic development, environmental improvement or contribute to the achievement of a key Government objective.

The direct sale application forms are designed to ensure you provide all the information, including relevant supporting documentation, required to assess whether you re eligible to be considered for a direct sale of land.

Next Step

Maps and land information

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