Family Farm Transfers – Back to the Future

Amendments to the Duties Act 2008 to replace the old Stamp Act gave rise to some unintended consequences for family farm transfers.

Bailiwick Legal regularly advises farmers on one of those consequences.  Currently, under the Duties Act, an exemption of duty is not available where the transferor of the land continues to be involved in the business farming the land after the transfer has taken place. This outcome was confirmed in the decision of West v Commissioner of State Revenue [2015] WASAT 36 (West).

Revenue Laws Amendment Bill 2018

In late 2018, the WA Government introduced the Revenue Laws Amendment Bill into Parliament. One of the proposed changes relates to the operation of the family farm transfer exemptions.  It proposes to re-establish the flexibilities that were available under the old laws for the generational transferring of farmland.

In the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill, it is said that the proposed changes will provide for the exemption from duty to apply where:

The government anticipates that the Bill will be passed in the autumn of 2019. If enacted, these changes to the family farm exemption provisions should allow greater flexibility for generational transfers of farmland. This will be a positive outcome for rural law.  Bailiwick Legal, specialists in rural law, will continue to monitor the passage of the Bill.

If you would like assistance with family farm transitions between generations, or family and business succession planning, please contact us on (08) 9321 5451 or by email at or


The above information is a summary and overview of the matters discussed. This publication does not constitute legal advice and you should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.


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