There is a lot of community interest at the moment in the proposal by Brisbane City Council to build a zipline project in the Mt Coot-tha Parkland DOGIT. So we thought it would be helpful to explain just what is a DOGIT?
DOGIT stands for a Deed of Grant in Trust and is a form of property rights in Land.
It helps to think of property rights as a bundle of rights in land, including the right to enjoy, control, exclude others and buy and sell.
In Australia, apart from native title, all property rights start with the Crown (ie. the Government).
Government can grant rights to land and usually grants Freehold title which is the full bundle of rights to enjoy your land. This is usually what you get when you buy a house.
But government can also grant a partial set of rights to land through a lease or on trust. An example of a lease is the pastoral leases which cover much of Queensland and, unlike freehold, are limited in time and usually for a limited purpose, such as grazing.
Trust land is land that is granted on trust for a particular purpose. It can only be used for that purpose and typically can’t be bought or sold.
That is what a DOGIT is: it’s a deed of grant of land in trust. They are now administered in Queensland under the Land Act 1994 (Qld).
DOGITs have fallen out of favour recently but were once popular ways of granting Aboriginal reserves and public park land.
A prominent example in Brisbane is the Mt Coot-tha Parkland created in 1933 for the purpose of “as a site for a public park and for no other purpose whatsoever”.
Although trust land must only be used for the purpose for which it is given the holder of the trust land can apply to the Minister to approve actions or leases inconsistent with the purpose. The minister can approve those actions provided they are satisfied the actions or leases do not diminish the purpose of the DOGIT.
The current Minister administering the Land Act 1994 (Qld) is Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham.
For example the Brisbane City Council has acknowledged the Zipline project is inconsistent with the purpose of the Mt Coot-tha Parkland DOGIT by applying to Minister Lynham for approval of this action.
If you think Minister Lynham should reject the proposed inconsistent use you can write to Minister Lynham.
You can also find out more about the project on the Brisbane City Council website and, if you are opposed to its impacts, get in touch with local community groups such as Mt-Coot-tha Protection Alliance or Metro North Wilderness Society, or your local representatives to help.
This webpage is for general information purposes only, it is not legal advice. Important legal details have been omitted to provide a brief overview of this area of the law. If you require legal advice relating to your particular circumstances contact EDO or your solicitor. © EDO Qld Current as at October 2018.