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Water Licences

Agricultural water can have many different purposes, consequently it is imperative that when it comes to water entitlement, you have surety over any water licences, such as Take and Use licences or Water-use licences.

How do I know what my responsibilities are?

Your responsibilities to the relevant water authority and entitlement are set out in your licence.

What happens if I breach my licence?

Breaching your licence may result in an offence. Offences can include:

  1. taking and using water without permission;
  2. exceeding your licence volume;
  3. failing to comply with a contravention notice for using water in a way that does not meet the conditions of your licence; and
  4. tampering with metering equipment.

How can Coulter Legal assist you?

If you are unsure of your obligations or are found in breach of your obligations, contact one of our agricultural practice lawyers to discuss whether or not you have made a statutory offence and the possible implications.

Crown grazing licences

Crown land is a valuable public asset and it is essential that it is managed wisely to maximise social, environmental and economic benefits to the State. With the increasing pressures of population growth and environmental stress, the Victorian Government recognises the importance of having a robust and relevant policy for leasing Victoria’s Crown land .

As a lease is an agreement in which the landlord agrees to give a tenant the exclusive right to occupy land for a specific term, subject to the lease terms and conditions. A lease differs from a licence in that a licence gives permission to the holder to carry out a permitted activity without the right of exclusive occupation.

A licence is a non-exclusive use of Crown land. Similar to leases, licences are typically issued by the responsible minister, a delegate of the responsible minister, the Council or a delegated land manager.

A licence or lease may be granted over:

  • unreserved Crown land
  • reserved Crown land that is not vested in trustees or a municipal council and does not have a management committee
  • unused roads
  • water frontages.

Licences for Crown land can be issued for specified uses under legislation, for example, agricultural purposes such as grazing livestock is required, and for other uses that may not be specified explicitly under legislation. A general licence of Crown land is for non-agricultural purposes which can include uses of gravel extraction, scout/guide hall, water storage and recreation/tourism. A licence for unused roads is for an owner/occupier of the adjoining private land for agricultural use, including grazing livestock.

You will require approval if you intend to use land under a licence arrangement for agricultural purposes. These forms of agreements must be consistent with the public purpose designation over the land and be in the public interest.

The licensing of Crown land must preserve the environmental, historic, recreation, tourism, natural resource, social and culturally significant values of the land.

Generally speaking there are strict conditions placed on the applicant, such as provisions for public access. These conditions are usually outlined within the licence in accordance with section 130 of the Land Act 1958 (Vic).

The rights conferred by this form of licence are non-exclusive, do not create or confer any form of tenancy or any estate or interest in the land it. It is important that in the event of a sale, you disclose any crown licenses and transfer them appropriately.

How can Coulter Legal assist?

We have broad experience with advising, negotiating or varying Licenses for Crown land.  Contact one of our Property & Development lawyers today for a confidential discussion. 


Many livestock owners keep their livestock on land that is owned by another person. This is referred to as agistment.

It is beneficial that these forms of agreements are confirmed by way of written agreement, signed by both the landholder and the livestock owner, the terms of agistment are clearly stated so there is less chance of a dispute arising through misunderstandings.

This form of agreement will ensure that each party knows exactly what their responsibilities are, what the fees are, when they are due and what happens if they are not paid. This also prevents the landholder having to care for livestock that is not being paid for.

An indirect benefit of agistment is to ensure high quality pasture is available of the agistment.

If I agist, am I eligible for the Primary Production Exemption?

There are land tax considerations on agisted properties, for more information see click here.

What happens if I have a dispute in relation to our agistment agreement?

Our team is experienced in providing practical and cost effective legal advice in relation to disputes and shall assist you in rectifying any breaches or issues that have arisen.

How can Coulter Legal assist?

We can assist you in advising or drafting an agistment agreement to protect all parties. A properly drafted agistment agreement shall reduce the likelihood of a dispute arising and mitigates issues and costs if a dispute does arise.

Get in touch with us today

If your require any further information please contact our Agri Business team

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or call us on 03 5273 5273