How to buy Crown land

To be fair and transparent, public competitive processes are the primary methods used when Crown land is released for sale or lease.

Crown land can be sold directly under certain circumstances to private individuals, developers and businesses for commercial, residential, agricultural or other purposes.

To find out more, read the policy guidelines on the sale or grant of Crown land on the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics website.

Find out more about Crown land sales and Crown land management.

The method of sale depends on the Northern Territory (NT) Government's aims for the land. The sale of land is undertaken in accordance with the Crown Lands Act 1992.

The methods are:

  • call for expressions of interest
  • auction
  • ballot
  • direct sale
  • legacy Crown leases
  • community land grant.

More information on each of these methods and their requirements can be found on the Release of Crown Land Policy on the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics website.

Before you apply

Before applying you should meet with a Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics officer to assess your eligibility and discuss application requirements.

When applying to lease or purchase Crown land you must provide evidence of all the following:

  • your eligibility to make a direct application by addressing criteria set out in the Release of Crown Land Policy
  • your ability to complete the proposed development including, at a minimum, evidence of financial capacity and relevant expertise to complete the proposed development within a defined period
  • any relevant corporate information, including details about the entity proposed as the leaseholder, and if the entity is not the applicant, the entity's relationship with the applicant
  • details of the development, such as site plans and staging
  • timelines for delivery of the development and how these will be achieved
  • confirmation that the development complies with the NT Planning Scheme and/or promotes best practice land use planning principles - especially where a planning scheme amendment (rezoning) is proposed
  • confirmation that you are authorised to submit the application.

You can only submit your application if all of the items above have been provided.

Applications will not be accepted for land that has an existing application by another entity.

How to apply

In particular circumstances the government may consider a direct sale of Crown land.

Applications made directly will be considered where one of the following exists:

  • current market value of the land is low relative to the cost of conducting a competitive process
  • competitive processes have not produced a satisfactory outcome
  • you own a Crown lease or freehold interest in adjoining land and the subject land is a remnant parcel
  • the proposed development is of a scale or nature that would make it of strategic, economic or social benefit to the NT
  • you hold an eligible legacy Crown lease term granted before the year 2000.

Submitting an application does not guarantee the government will sell the land as it may already be set aside for a future purpose, be unsuitable, or is to be released by a public competitive process.

To apply follow these steps.

Fill in the direct sale or grant of Crown land form PDF (77.0 KB).

Contact a Crown Land Estate office to arrange a time to meet with a project officer to lodge the completed application form, report and application fee.

Direct applications are subject to a $1,520 non-refundable processing fee.
If your application is found eligible you will receive access to the online application system and information on the following:

  • fees and any associated costs
  • how long the process will take
  • how to submit you application.

Direct applications are subject to a $1,520 non-refundable processing fee.

You will receive an invoice for an application fee once you have submitted your application. Your application will not proceed until you have paid this fee.

The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics will investigate your proposal and whether your application meets the requirements listed above and the status and availability of the land.

Once submitted, applications will be advertised in a local newspaper and circulated to local government, relevant NT Government agencies and relevant service authorities for comment.

Successful applications will be offered an opportunity to purchase Crown land with conditions.

Most offers will be for a Crown lease to cover the construction period of the proposed development.

The lease will contain conditions and covenants that will require the development to be undertaken in accordance with an agreed development plan.

You will also have to pay fees for any of the following:

  • rezoning, development or subdivision applications
  • title document registration
  • connecting or upgrading services such as power, water and sewerage
  • rates, taxes and service bills that apply to the land once sold.

Once the development is finished the Crown lease may convert to either freehold title or to a further Crown lease.

Some Crown land is not for sale because it is currently used, or has been identified for future development by the NT Government.

This includes land that is needed for government and community facilities such as hospitals, schools, utility needs and infrastructure.


For more information contact the Crown Land Estate office.

Last updated: 14 May 2020

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