Land is the foundation of any nation. We must protect our land rights as fiercely as we protect our own family
Despite this, the politicians have sold vast tracts of Australian land to overseas interests. They have even leased Australian military facilities to overseas interests without the approval of the people voting in a referendum. This is nothing less than treason.
We will initiate an investigation into which politicians have sold out our birthright to foreign interests. Those found guilty should be put on trial for treason and if found guilty they should be given the ultimate penalty for treason. There is no excuse for selling our land to potential enemies. The politicians never asked We the People in a referendum. Therefore, they have acted illegally.
Under our proposed changes to the Constitution, Aborigines will not have the right to claim land based on “traditional tribal claims”. Instead, Aborigines will be treated with the same rights and responsibilities as all other Australians, including the right to own land..
We will initiate a referendum to make the following changes to land ownership laws. We realize these changes are contentious, and we will be bound by the will of the people voting in a referendum. All we ask is that you consider the implications of the following carefully. Will this change be good for the nation as a whole, and will it help protect our land from overseas investors?
We propose the following changes to the law:
The relationship between persons and Australian land shall be subject to the following provisions to be inserted into the Constitution.
Australian Citizens Land Rights
Only Australian citizens shall have the right to own Australian land with freehold title, and the right to buy, sell, lease to others, or bequeath their real estate property to their heirs. This right shall include the right to own and develop any and all minerals below the ground without an restriction on the depth.
Torrens Registration: Property legislation is currently based on the Torrens, or Freehold as it is more commonly known, principle of registration of title. Each Regional government will maintain a central register of all land which shows the owner of the land, and the land title is the official record confirming that citizen’s ownership rights. Where appropriate, it shall also include information about mortgages, covenants, caveats and easements.
Search facilities shall be provided by regional government land titles registries.
These titles are registered by the state government and are guaranteed. The greatest number of properties in Australia fall under this system because it covers almost all residential titles and also most commercial titles. Providing there is no mortgage on the property then the property completely belongs to the ‘title owner’ who is named as such on the ‘Title Deed’.
The property may have encumbrances for sewerage or other services, but we propose deleting the current caveat that all values below the surface – such as coal or oil – are retained by the Crown. Instead, we propose that freehold land and all values below it shall be the property of the Freehold Title Deed holder.
At one time a ‘Title Deed’ was a large sheet of parchment and the reverse of it contained a history book of previous owners going way back. Recently, the practice has changed and now the ownership, in some states, is often only noted within a data bank unless the new owner requests a written copy of ownership. This is likely to be provided on an A4 sheet of copy paper, though, and show only your own particulars as owner. We propose maintaining this registration system, subject to a vote by referendum.
We do not propose changing the current system of land ownership, or the types of ownership that land and/or property may be owned by Australians. These are:
Group title or strata title
The exact name of this title can vary slightly between states but should give an indication that there are some conditions on ownership.
It can apply to both residential and commercial properties, either standing singly or grouped under the one roof. What they have in common is the fact that they are all probably sited on the one title deed parcel of land, and that they share certain facilities such as roads, gardens, etc.. They can also share common walls, roofs, stairwells, entrance halls and community facilities. These properties can offer a lower purchase price because of this sharing but the privacy and individuality of the owner can be jeopardised.
The owner of a property owns the inside of their unit but usually not the outside which is termed ‘common property’. This means that an external awning over a window needs permission before it can be erected.
A ’Body Corporate’ is elected from amongst the owners to control the total property and govern the compulsory collection of fees for the cleaning and maintenance of the ‘common property’. They also have a ‘sinking fund’ which levies fees to cover major expenditure such as repairs to the roof, repairs to the lift, etc.. These fees can be quite a significant total and a potential buyer needs to fully understand them. In the past, some ‘body corporates’ were set up and conducted by a connection with the developer. They were conducted, perhaps unfairly, having a hold even over the provision of services provided to the total property and even restricting future leasing agreement. Read the contract and any agreement very, very carefully.
This style of ownership originated almost a century ago but may still be present in some areas. A company will be the owner of the complete complex and by right of purchasing and holding the appropriate number of shares one can attain the rights to a particular apartment. A somewhat similar system exists in places where a large parcel of rural land is purchased by people who wish to erect a residence and enjoy the rural atmosphere without having to care for a large block of land. Four, five or more people may club together to afford the property and erect homes but share the land as a whole. Restrictions are placed by the local council on the way that it is developed.
There is little known about this kind of title among the general public and the subsequent selling of a property will require the sale of the shares which may be difficult. It may also require the other residents to approve the new buyer. This type of title will be applied to foreign entities or persons wishing to buy and operate a business on Australian land
In the main, this method of holding property is utilized over government properties in rural areas. The large cattle or wheat properties for example, are under long-term or perpetual lease. There can be an initial cost involved plus annual rental. The same Terms and conditions shall remain as apply today, subject to change by the regional government. However, the regional government shall be required to hold open and public discussions between the current leaseholder, the public, and the regional government body tasked with managing leasehold property. These consultation will prevent arbitrary changes to leases by a regional government.
At times, regional governments may decide to subdivide and release these properties if the area is becoming desirable for residential development. It has happened that leasehold has been mistakenly purchased in the presumption that it was freehold but this occurrence is only likely to be encountered in rural areas. A title search of the property before purchase is required.
Some old church property is also tenanted in this manner.
Currently, all land in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is held under leasehold title but with some slight difference. Any changes to this system of land management will be subject to a referendum of the people within the appropriate regional government territory. As with any property purchase, prospective buyers/leaseholders should study the ownership and management status carefully before signing any documents.
There are a number of very good retirement villages offering different types of tenure. They can be either leasehold, strata, community ownership or other. Certain conditions are applicable and it is important that legal advice be sought and fully understood. There may be restrictions on your occupancy, how it must be financed, whether it can be resold individually or only through management etc.. Annual fees can apply. Look into the matter very carefully.
Freehold Investment Title
We propose a new type of land ownership title to be called a “Freehold Investment Title”. This category of land ownership will apply only to companies set up with up to 49% foreign ownership and no less than 51% Australian ownership for the purposes of investing in manufacturing or other business activities. This type of title will not allow the property to be used for residential purposes. All infrastructure built on the property will be owned 100% by the investors, but must be surrendered intact with the property if the ownership is sold to any other entity or Australian citizen.
Of all these, the most common titles are freehold and strata or group title.
Rules for Foreign Land Use
- Foreigners will be required to lease land for a set number of years, with the option to renew. Those leasing land will be allowed to pass on the leasehold to their heirs, provided the heir renews the lease immediately.
- Any foreigner may buy and own 100% a leasehold title to a condominium, provided that the property it is situated in is owned by at least 51% of Australians. Foreigners may only own up to 49% of any Group Title or Strata Title property.
- Foreign companies wishing to invest in a business and protect their investment in any Australian property they occupy may do so by forming a company with Australian Directors holding a minimum 51% of the company shares. Companies with foreign shareholders may buy land and own it 100% under Freehold Investment Title to operate a business, but not for investment or for residential purposes.
- Leaseholders will be allowed to use the leased land only for the purpose(s) stated in the company charter. All improvements to the land, including buildings, earthworks, and infrastructure shall automatically become the property of the Australian land owner on expiry of the lease.
- We propose that small businesses investing no more than $5 million leases be for 30 years, and large business investing over $5 million shall sign a 99 year lease. As long as the leasehold fee is paid in advance and maintained without default the leaseholder will be able to stay on, develop, and use the land.
- A Leaseholder may renew or pass on a lease to their heirs to continue occupying the land under the same conditions provided they pay the lease fee on time.
Currently, all land owners are required to pay annual rates set by local councils who are authorized by each State government to set the amount and collect the monies. This system has resulted in unfair and illegal taxation methods, as the Constitution clearly states that only the Federal government may impose and collect taxes. In some cases, local councils have confiscated properties due to an inability to pay the rates fees.
We propose scrapping the Rates system. Instead, an annual budget will be allocated by the Federal Government to each Regional government that will be used to provide all services to the region. The budget will be set by the Federal Treasurer, based on revenue collected from the flat bank transfer tax we propose, and each region will be required to submit a proposed budget each year so that they can provide adequate services to the region and to all citizens within the region.