Tips for purchasing small rural landholdings

Page last updated: Thursday, 17 May 2018 - 1:46pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

10-point checklist

The checklist over the next few pages will help if you are thinking about buying a rural property.

Some of the things you need to consider:

  • Why are you buying this property?
  • Where do you want this property to be?
  • What do you want to do on this property?
  • How do you plan to make this happen?
  • When are you going to be able to do it?
  • Who is going to help you?

Abbreviations and websites referred to in the 10-point checklist

Abbreviations Department name Website
DAFWA Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia

agric.wa.gov.au

DER Department of Environment Regulation

der.wa.gov.au

DFES Department of Fire and Emergency Services

dfes.wa.gov.au

DoH Department of Health

health.wa.gov.au

DPaW Department of Parks and Wildlife

dpaw.wa.gov.au

DoW Department of Water

water.wa.gov.au

LGA Local Government Authority (Shire)

walga.asn.au

MRWA Main Roads Western Australia

mainroads.wa.gov.au

WC Water Corporation

watercorporation.com.au

WP Western Power

westernpower.com.au

Working through a 10-point checklist can help you decide.

Ask yourself:

  1.  Is the property capable of sustaining what you want to do?
Information source

Are the soils and land classes suitable for what you want to do?

DAFWA

Agricultural consultant

Depending on your plans you may need to consider capital improvements such as fencing, stockyards and fertiliser inputs.

 

Do you have the funds for this?

Local laws — LGA
Stock agent
Agricultural consultant

What fencing and yards are onsite? All boundary fences should be stock-proof and maintained. Fencing costs are a shared responsibility by all adjacent neighbours, except reserves and council land who are not required to share fencing costs. A sturdy fence can keep pest animals and free-ranging livestock off your block. A sound set of yards is required to handle and/or isolate animals for treatment.

Dividing fences Regulations — local government law

Are there any restrictions on building a house or shed?

LGA

Is there an existing house or shed — are there any maintenance issues that could be expensive?

LGA

Builders

 

  1. What are the relevant planning requirements?
Information source

Restrictions on construction, land use etc. may prevent you from doing what you want or make it difficult to do.

LGA

What are your legal obligations in relation to managing the property?

Local Laws — LGA
DAFWA
DER/DPaW
DoW
Landgate (Property Title)

Check availability and cost of power, water and access, and are there rebates for alternative sources to electricity?

MRWA
WC
WP
Telstra

What are phone and internet connection costs and the age and capacity of the lines to the required service?

Are there any mobile black spots and is broadband internet via satellite a viable option if you need to work from home?

Telstra

Broadband service providers

What is the access to the land? Is the access road serviced or sealed?

Does the local council place any limits on the property buildings based on access?

Is this access via Crown Land road? Are you better off buying that land to get direct access?

LGA
Landgate
DER
Other landholders

What are the waste and effluent regulations? Seek details on the local council regulations for septic tanks and waste management.

LGA

DoH

 

  1. Does the property have the required water quality and quantity?
Information Source

Does existing water supply cater for intended land use?

WC

DoW

DAFWA

Will you be able to access more water if needed?

Water planning consultants

What water is needed for drinking, household use, fire control, livestock, vegetation and production? Water quality is an important element given some areas have high levels of nutrients such as salt or calcium, which are fine for livestock but not human consumption.

LGA

WC

DoH

 

  1. Do you want to graze animals on this property?
Information source

Investigate soil type, (structure/ texture) and general soil health. Do you have access to the results of any soil testing done in the past three years?

DAFWA

Vendor

What would the stocking rate be?

DAFWA

Do you know how much feed and water livestock will need?

DAFWA

Do you understand your responsibilities under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007, the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Regulations 2013 and National Livestock Identification Scheme?

DAFWA

Is there a risk of previous chemical contamination that might affect your ability to graze livestock?
Are there any chemical management notices in place?
Are there any stock disease management notices in place?

DAFWA

Vendor

DER

What is the pasture like? Is it native, naturalised or improved and what is the carrying capacity and cost of maintenance?

DAFWA