Property should only be held by the Commonwealth where it demonstrably contributes to government service delivery outcomes and ownership represents value for money.
Commonwealth property, having no alternative efficient government use, must be sold on the open market at full market value, unless agreed otherwise by the Finance Minister.
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 Finance Minister’s approval. In the first instance, any proposal for an off-market disposal of Commonwealth property should be referred to Finance for discussion, and to the relevant portfolio Minister for consideration.
The Lands Acquisition Act 1989 (LAA) 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.
Entities must provide notification of surplus property suitable for disposal through the Clearing House Mechanism.
The Clearing House Mechanism provides a framework for entities to identify surplus Commonwealth properties and determine if other Commonwealth entities have an alternative efficient government use for the property.
Interested entities have ten business days (from notification) to express a need for the surplus property, prior to disposal being pursued.
Finance will monitor the Clearing House Mechanism and provide assistance to entities as required or where multiple alternative uses are proposed.
A process chart on the Clearing House Process is available from the Resources page.
For access to the Clearing House Mechanism on GovTEAMS, or further information, contact Finance.
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The Department of Finance acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, water and community.