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Pastoral leases in South Australia

Pastoral leases

A pastoral lease allows the occupation and use of Crown (government) land for the use of grazing or raising livestock (pastoralism). There are 323 pastoral leases that cover over 40% of South Australia.

The Pastoral Board of South Australia is responsible to the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water for the administration of the Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act 1989.

The objectives of the Act are to ensure that pastoral leases:

  • are well managed so its resources are maintained and its yield sustained
  • provide a system of tenure for pastoral purposes, that is, for the pasturing of stock and other ancillary purposes
  • recognise Aboriginal persons' rights to follow traditional pursuits
  • provide a system of public access to and through pastoral land
  • provide for the operation of wind farms.

Updates to the Act

Minor amendments to the Act are proposed to confirm that pastoral leases can be used for carbon farming and conservation.

These changes were informed through consultation with a range of organisations who have a close interest in pastoral land management and further discussions have also been held with pastoralists, coordinated by Livestock SA, and several conservation organisations, coordinated by the Nature Conservation Society of SA.

Further information:

Pastoral Board

The Pastoral Board supports the Minister to administer the Act by providing policy advice, and general advice when requested by the Minister.

Pastoral Unit

The Pastoral Unit supports the Pastoral Board and the Minister in managing the Act.

Pastoral lease holders

Pastoral lease holders (lessees) manage properties across the vast South Australian outback. Lessees’ responsibilities include following good land management practices, preventing land degradation, endeavouring to improve the condition of the land, and complying with their lease conditions.

Pastoral lease tenure forms

For dealings related to tenure such as transferring a lease or sub-leasing complete the relevant pastoral lease tenure form.

Travelling across a pastoral lease

Certain routes through pastoral land can be accessed by the public. These are known as 'public access routes'. To travel on other tracks on a pastoral lease, permission from the lessee must be obtained. Find out more about camping and travelling across pastoral leases.

Pastoral land can also be used by Aboriginal persons for the purpose of following traditional pursuits.


Pastoral Unit
Phone: (08) 8429 0333