Strangways Land Act

The Strangways Land Act was legislation enacted in January 1869 in South Australia to enable closer settlement in areas of the province suited to more intensive agriculture rather than vast pastoral runs on uncleared land leased from the government. It is named for Henry Strangways who was premier and attorney-general when the legislation was passed, and had previously been the Minister for Crown Lands.

Land had been surveyed and sold for farming in the more temperate climate areas of the province, and nearer to Adelaide, with the much larger expanses retained as crown land. Squatters had established pastoral runs in this crown land. A system of crown leases was established to provide some level of tenure to the pastoralists and income to the government from these lands. The parliament gained responsibility for these crown lands in 1857.[1]

Several attempts had been made for land legislation after 1857. A Select Committee on the Sale of Crown Lands was chaired by C. H. Goode in 1865, however its report was of marginal value.[2] Strangways introduced a bill in 1868 which was eventually passed in January 1869, despite conflict with pastoralists. There was an increasing demand for more land to be available for farmers to clear of scrub for the purpose of more intensive agriculture such as growing grain crops and mixed farming. The legislation provided for the creation of agricultural areas and sale of crown land on credit.[3] The Act allowed a person to purchase up to 640 acres (260 ha), with a payment of 20 per cent at the fall of the hammer at auction, and four years to pay the remainder.[4]


  1. Jaensch, Dean (1976). "Strangways, Henry Bull Templar (1832–1920)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 6 (MUP ed.). Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  2. "THREE YEARS OF LAND REFORM.β€”ITS INITIATION". South Australian Register. Adelaide. 28 November 1868. p. 2. Retrieved 30 December 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. "MR. STRANGWAYS". The Express and Telegraph. Adelaide. 6 December 1917. p. 2. Retrieved 30 December 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. An Act to further amend the Waste Lands Act ( SA ) accessed 30 December 2015
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