Consolidate aquaculture leases - information kit

What is involved in a lease consolidation?

A consolidation of aquaculture leases is where a lessee decides to combine 2 or more adjoining leases into one lease. Leases to be consolidated must share a common boundary and be held by the same lessee.

When can aquaculture leases be consolidated?

An application to consolidate aquaculture leases may be submitted at any time while the leases are current. Any lease that has expired or has been otherwise terminated cannot be consolidated.

If a mortgage or other interest is endorsed on one of the leases, a consolidation application will not be progressed without the written consent of the party who has a registered interest in the lease.

How is an application to consolidate leases duly made?

  • Complete the lease consolidation application form (link provided above). This involves completing every section of the form in clear and legible print. Ensure all lessees sign the form. An incomplete application form will be rejected.
  • Submit payment of the application fee (refer to the aquaculture fee schedule).

Do the leases need to be surveyed and a new lease plan to be generated for the proposed new lease?

Yes. A survey of the proposed lease area will be required, at the lessee’s expense, prior to the consolidation of any aquaculture leases. NSW DPI will advise you when to engage the services of a registered surveyor.

For further information on aquaculture lease surveys, refer to the lease survey specifications.

What if the consolidation includes an area to be surrendered?

If the lessee would like to relinquish a portion of a lease to be consolidated, a part surrender application must be submitted with the consolidation application.  The prescribed application fee for the part surrender does not need to be paid in this instance.

What will be the term of the new lease created by the consolidation?

The earliest expiry date of the original leases will be adopted as the expiry date for the new consolidated lease.

Is the consolidated lease given a new lease number?

Yes. A new aquaculture lease number will be allocated to the newly created lease. This new lease number will need to be shown on the new lease plan.

Who is responsible for ordering and installing new lease markings and lease signs?

Once the consolidation is finalised, NSW DPI will provide the lessee with details of the lease marking and lease sign requirements. The lessee is responsible for the installation of lease markings and signs within the timeframe given.

Lease sign specifications are outlined in the NSW Aquaculture Industry Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy 2021 (OISAS).

How can the lease consolidation application fee be paid?

Payment options are provided on the lease consolidation application form.

Is the application 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 application fee. NSW DPI may refund a portion of the fee if appropriate.

What happens after an application is lodged?

NSW DPI will check to ensure the lessee has addressed all matters relating to the consolidation. If anything is missing or outstanding, the application will not be progressed until all outstanding requirements are met.  If these are not met in a reasonable timeframe, the application may be refused.

Once all requirements are met, NSW DPI will create a new lease number for the proposed lease and advise the lessee to engage the services of a registered surveyor, who will need to survey the proposed lease and generate a new lease plan.

Once the lessee lodges this draft lease plan and NSW DPI approves this plan, the department will generate new lease documents, which will be sent to the lessee for signing. There are 2 copies of the lease documents - original and duplicate - and both must be signed, witnessed and returned to NSW DPI within 60 days. Failure to return the lease documents within this timeframe may result in the refusal of the consolidation application.

If the lease documents are returned within the 60-day timeframe, NSW DPI will finalise the consolidation and publish the details in the NSW Government Gazette. The original lease documents will be returned to the lessee for safekeeping.

When would an application to consolidate leases be refused?

An application for the consolidation of aquaculture leases may be refused if:

  • the applicant is disqualified from holding an aquaculture permit.
  • the applicant fails to complete any requirements of the transaction within a reasonable timeframe.
  • the applicant has aquaculture debt that has been outstanding for more than 90 days.
  • the applicant has failed to clean up a previously terminated lease area.
  • the consolidation of the leases is not in the public interest.

Before an application is refused, NSW DPI may write to the applicant inviting them to lodge objections to the refusal of the application.

Where can more information about consolidating aquaculture leases be obtained?

For more information, contact Aquaculture Administration via email at

Application checklist

This checklist will help you to lodge a successful application.

  • Have you completed every section of the application form?
  • Has the application form been signed by all lessees?
  • Are the leases current at the time of application?
  • Do the leases have an adjoining (common) lease boundary?
  • Have you paid any outstanding aquaculture lease or permit fees?
  • Have you addressed all outstanding clean up responsibilities on any terminated lease area?
  • If a mortgage or other interest is endorsed on the lease documents, have you organised for this mortgage or interest to be discharged? Have you attached evidence of the discharge to the consolidation application form?