The Crown Lands Acts of 1895 established several new types of land tenure including homestead selection under a perpetual lease arrangement. Under the terms of the act, land could be occupied by paying an annual rental of 1.25% of the capital value of the block. If all the conditions were met after 5 years, then a Homestead Grant was issued and the annual rental increased to 2.5%.
Homestead portions were to be no larger than 1,280 acres. However, most of those in the Currency Creek area of NSW for example, averaged 40 acres which was designed to be sufficient to support one family carrying out orcharding and mixed farming. Married women were also allowed to acquire a homestead portion with permission of the NSW Minister for Lands. The selector was required to commence residency on the block within three months and to erect a dwelling with a value of not less than £20 within eighteen months of the date of confirmation of the application by the department.
In 1917 legislation was passed by the New South Wales Government to enable those occupying land under the former Labour Settlement Schemes (for example Wilberforce and Pitt Town) to convert the tenure to homestead selection and then into conditional purchase and therefore freehold under the new Crowns Lands Act. Under the provisions of the Closer Settlement Act of 1901 and subsequent acts, land in New South Wales was made available under several different schemes.
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