Consolidation of Oyster Lease Information Kit
When is an application for consolidation of oyster leases required?
An application for consolidation of oyster leases is required when the lessee intends to combine two or more adjoining leases into one lease. Leases to be consolidated must share common boundaries and lessees.
When can oyster leases be consolidated?
Oyster leases can be consolidated at any time while the leases are current. Any lease that has expired or been surrendered or cancelled can not be consolidated. If a lessee has overdue rent, contributions or other amounts payable to the Minister in respect to any lease, the application may be rejected.
How is an application duly made to consolidate oyster leases?
- Complete the lease consolidation application form. This involves filling out every section of the form in clear and legible print. An incomplete application form will result in the application being rejected.
- Attach the original lease documents (deeds and plan). If the lease documents are not supplied with the application form the application will be rejected. If the deeds are lost or destroyed, the current lessee(s) must complete the statutory declaration on the back of the form and replacement documents applied for with the relevant fee (see fee schedule).
- Submit all payments with the application. The applicant must submit the consolidation application fee (see fee schedule) and any other payment required with the application. If payment is made at a local office of NSW DPI, a copy of the receipt must be attached to the application. Any overdue account matters relating to the relevant aquaculture account should be settled prior to an application being lodged.
Do I need to provide a surveyed plan as part of the application process?
Yes. An approved survey and new lease plan will be required, prior to the lease areas being consolidated. An Aquaculture Officer will contact you when the initial assessment of your application has been completed advising you to engage a surveyor to submit the required survey plans.
For further information on Aquaculture Lease Surveys please refer to Specifications for Surveyors or alternatively, contact Aquaculture Administration on 02 4982 1232.
What if the consolidation includes previously unleased areas?
If the applicant wishes to acquire additional area that is not currently leased, a new lease application will need to be lodged. For further information on applying for a new lease, refer to the new lease information kit or contact Aquaculture Administration on 02 4982 1232.
What if the consolidation includes an area to be surrendered?
If the applicant wishes to relinquish a portion of one or more of the leases to be consolidated, a part surrender application must be submitted with the consolidation application. For information on surrendering a lease, refer to thelease surrender information kit or contact Aquaculture Administration on 02 4982 1232.
What is the term of the consolidated lease?
The earliest expiry date for any of the original leases will be adopted as the expiry date of the new consolidated lease.
Who arranges the ordering and installation of lease signs?
After the consolidation is approved, the new consolidated lease will be allocated a new lease number. NSW DPI sends an oyster lease sign order form to the successful applicant (lessee), specifying the quantity of lease signs required to adequately mark the lease.
The lessee must place the order and arrange payment, delivery and installation of the lease signs. The lessee is required to install the lease signs within 30 days of taking delivery of the lease signs.
Is the processing fee refundable if the application is withdrawn or refused?
If an application to consolidate aquaculture leases is withdrawn or refused, NSW DPI is not required to refund the processing fee. The department may however, refund the whole or part of the fee in such circumstances as considered appropriate.
How can the consolidation fee be paid?
There are several methods available for the payment of fees.
- Submit a cheque or money order with your application, made payable to Department of Trade & Investment.
- Pay at any office of NSW DPI using the methods available there and attach the receipt to the application.
- Complete the credit card section on the application form to make payment by credit card.
What happens after an application is lodged?
When the application is lodged with the department it is checked to ensure the applicant has addressed all matters relating to the consolidation. If anything is missing or outstanding, the application will be rejected and sent back to the applicant for further action.
If all matters are in order the department accepts the application as being duly made. A new lease identification number will be allocated to the proposed consolidated lease and an Aquaculture Officer will contact the lessee advising you to engage a surveyor to submit the required survey plans. Once the survey plan is received and accepted by the department, a new set of lease documents for the consolidated lease is prepared and sent to the applicant for signing. Both the original and duplicate documents must be signed, witnessed and returned to the department within 90 days of receipt. Failure to return the lease documents within this timeframe may result in the refusal of the application.
If the lease deeds are returned within the 90-day deadline, the Minister’s delegate endorses them and the consolidation is published in the Government Gazette. The lessee is then sent the endorsed original deeds and an amended aquaculture permit, which reflects the consolidated lease’s status and expiry date.
Where can more information about consolidating oyster leases be obtained?
More information about consolidating oyster leases may be obtained from Aquaculture Administration at Port Stephens on 02 4982 1232.
Information about Aquaculture lease area condition statement (ALAC)
What is the purpose of an ALAC?
The purpose of the ALAC is for all parties subject to the consolidation of the leases to identify and agree on the condition of the lease areas or work required, prior to the consolidation being progressed. The ALAC aims to improve the time taken to process oyster lease transactions. The lease condition statements relate mainly to neat and tidy and marking provisions.
Where do I find information about lease condition standards?
Standards for lease marking, signs, neat and tidy, other structures, storage and mooring can be found in the NSW Oyster Industry Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy (OISAS) at NSW DPI Fisheries Offices or by contacting Aquaculture Administration on 02 4982 1232.
What parts of the form must I complete?
All condition statements 1 to 11 must be answered and the ALAC declaration signed and dated. Photographs of the lease area with the lease number, date and time they were taken written on them must be attached. If the ALAC is incomplete the application will be rejected and returned to the applicant.
What if I answer No to any of the lease condition statements?
Where any one item from 1 - 11 on the ALAC is answered No the consolidation application will be rejected unless there is an approved work plan. To obtain an approved work plan complete a work plan form. After completing the work plan form the District Fisheries Officer for the area where the lease is situated will need to approve and sign the work plan – always leave a message if the office is unattended. The approved work plan must then be submitted with the rest of the consolidation application to NSW DPI Aquaculture Administration at Port Stephens. Alternatively, contact Aquaculture Administration on 02 4982 1232.
Who has to sign the ALAC declaration?
- All current aquaculture permit holders who have the lease numbers listed on their aquaculture permit.
- All current lessees (If two or more people own the leases they all must sign).
I do not agree with the answers on the lease condition statement. Do I have to sign it?
- DO NOT sign it until you agree with it.
- Talk with all parties involved and make it a truthful condition statement BEFORE anyone signs the declaration.
- If an agreement over the lease condition statement can not be made you can engage the District Fisheries Officer to complete the statement for all parties to sign. A fee of $250 is payable to NSW DPI for this service.
How do I get the District Fisheries Officer to complete the ALAC?
- Contact the NSW DPI District Fisheries Office for the area where the leases are situated.
- Once the ALAC has been completed and signed by the District Fisheries Officer it will be sent to all relevant parties for signature. All people involved in the transaction MUST sign the statement and submit it with the rest of the consolidation application.
What happens if the condition statement is false or misleading?
Where false or misleading information is provided penalties may apply and the work may be completed by NSW DPI and costs recovered. Action may also be taken to have the leases and aquaculture permit(s) suspended or cancelled.
- This checklist will help you to lodge a successful application.
- Has the applicant completed every section of the application form?
- Is the processing fee, or receipt of such fee, or credit card details attached to the application?
- Are the leases current at the time of application?
- Are the leases free of notices to mark, tidy or to remove noxious fish?
- Do the leases to be consolidated have an adjoining (common) boundary?
- Have any outstanding account matters been settled prior to the lodgement of the application?
- Are the lease documents attached, or a statutory declaration for lost or destroyed documents completed and the replacement fee submitted?
- If a mortgage or other interest is noted on the lease documents, has the written consent of the mortgagee or other party been submitted with the application?