In the event of there being more than one applicant the matter was to be decided by lot.
Agricultural areas were to be proclaimed from time to time after a plan of such areas had been laid before both Houses of Parliament for fourteen days.
"Land Reform", now in the fourth year of its existence, was a kind of reaction from the Squatting Agitation of 1864. William Townsend both failing to form a Cabinet, the task was undertaken by Mr. The new Ministry met on the 6th of October, and resigned on the 8th, when the Hon. On the land question he stated that the proposed plan was to sell land by auction as at present, but that the payment might be made in cash, or partly cash, and credit for the remainder.
In a review of his administration it was said, "The patient sincerity and ingenuousness of the man preserved him from the wiles and snares of statecraft.The House of Assembly agreed to the extension of time, to an increased area being given, and that steps should be taken to survey the laud without any unnecessary delay. Then the acting Governor was advised to prorogue Parliament with a view to an immediate dissolution of the House of Assembly. There had been six weeks of "crisis-mongering", and the real work of the country had again been trifled with by party strife. George of the Land Reformers", as the Register dubbed him—announced to the House of Assembly the Policy of the new Ministry.On the 3rd of September the Treasurer in his budget speech drew rather a gloomy picture of the state of public finances, the deficiency in the revenue for the previous three years amounting to £500,000, which deficiency was ascribed mainly to the drought in the north, the red rust in wheat, and the consequent falling off in the sales of land and in the customs receipts. Glyde, the Commissioner of Crown Lands, introduced the Government scheme for the reform of the land system generally. This catastrophe was, however, averted, and a new Ministry was formed by the Hon. Each Ministry had propounded a Land Bill, no two of which were in any respect identical, and in each debate the difficulty of the situation had become more and more complicated. With regard to the Northern Territory, it was similar to that of its predecessors; it was their intention to raise £40,000 for the purpose of continuing the survey of that country, and for the carrying out of the provisions of the Northern Territory Act.The plan propounded met with fairly general approval in the House of Assembly, and a Committee was appointed to prepare a New Waste Lands Bill embodying the scheme.This Bill occupied much attention, and "the Battle of the Areas" was warmly contested, but after the reassembling of Parliament on the 8th of January, 1869, the Bill was specially sent up to the Council.