Ownership and Disposals

Commonwealth Property Disposals

Property should only be held by the Commonwealth where it demonstrably contributes to government service delivery outcomes and ownership represents value for money.

Disposing of Property

Commonwealth property, having no alternative efficient government use, must be sold on the open market at full market value, unless agreed otherwise by the Minister for Finance. 

The structure and conditions of all disposals of land suitable for housing are subject to the approval of the Minister for Finance. 

For off-market sales, Commonwealth entities must not enter into any sale negotiations with potential purchasers, or discussions that might give rise to commercial obligations, whether on concessional terms or not, before receiving the Minister for Finance’s approval. 

In the first instance, any proposal for an off-market disposal of Commonwealth property should be referred to Finance for discussion at LAA, and to the relevant portfolio Minister for consideration.

Entities must provide notification of surplus property suitable for disposal through the Clearing House.

For access to the Clearing House contact Divestments.

The Lands Acquisition Act 1989 applies to the disposal of an interest in land by an ‘acquiring authority’ (defined to mean ‘the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority’).

The LAA has specific requirements for the disposal of an interest in land that has previously been acquired under the LAA, which must be taken into account when disposing of any such interest.

Additional guidance on the disposal of property is available in the Commonwealth Property Disposal Policy, available under Policies, legislation and guidelines, and in RMG-501 Lands Acquisition Framework, available under Resource Management Guides.

Property Disposals Clearing House

The Property Disposal Clearing House (Clearing House) provides a framework for entities to identify surplus Commonwealth properties within Australia and determine if other Commonwealth entities have an alternative efficient government use for a property prior to being disposed outside the Commonwealth.

The Clearing House framework applies to all disposals of real property, except those with no marketable value or those with previous owner rights.

Surplus properties must be listed on the Clearing House for up to 10 business days. Once this period has passed, the disposing entity will then engage with any entity that has proposed an alternative use to discuss the proposal further. If no proposals are received, entities should proceed with the disposal of the property in accordance with the CPDP.

If multiple alternate Government uses are proposed: Finance will progress discussion with interested entities, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and of the Treasury to determine the proposal that best aligns with the government's policy objectives and priorities. No alternate Government use proposals received: Entities should proceed with the disposal of the property in accordance with the Commonwealth Property Disposal Policy (CPDP).

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