Land Sales Act 1860 (Nicholson Act) 

The first Victorian land selection Act was passed in 1860 (Nicholsons Act of 1860). Under this Act surveyed land was available in allotments of 80-640 acres. Each block was divided in half. The selector purchased one half of the allotment at £1 per acre and leased the other half. The lease was for a period up to seven years at the rate of one shilling per acre per year. At any time during this period the selector could pay the balance owed at £1 per acre to obtain a Crown Grant (ie. the land was alienated from the Crown and the purchaser gained the title). The Nicholson Act and its successor (Land Act 1862 [Duffy Act])) failed to thwart the pastoralists and their land grabs because if more than one person applied for the same allotment it went to the highest bidder.

Land Act 1862 (Duffy Act)
This Act allowed smaller allotments of 40 acres and changed the lease to 2s 6p per acre per annum for eight years. These payments could contribute towards the cost of ownership of the land at the end of the lease. Improvements had to be made by the landholder in the form of a substantial fence, cultivation of one-tenth of the acreage, or the erection of a habitable building.

Land Act 1865 (Grants Land Act)
The option of purchasing the land outright was removed. A selector had to register interest in the land and his name was drawn by wheel of fortune. A winning ticket gave him the choice of the surveyed land under offer. The selector then had to rent for three years at 2s per acre and make improvements to the value of £1 per acre per annum. Having met these conditions at the end of the lease, the selector could then purchase the title for £1 per acre or pay 2s per acre for the next seven years. 

Section 42 of this Act allowed gold miners to take up licensed land, to a maximum of twenty acres, beyond the surveyed parishes but within a ten mile radius of a goldfield. By 1868 the maximum acreage was increased to 160 acres and the radius to thirty miles.

Land Act 1869 (Grants Land Act of 1869)
All Crown land in Victoria was opened to selection. The maximum area that could be purchased was reduced from 640 to 320 acres. The land was leased for the first three years under licence. If improved and enclosed the selector could then lease for another seven years. During this period he could purchase at any time with the rent incorporated in the purchase price.