Improving the management of Crown land
On 9 November 2016 the NSW Parliament passed the Crown Land Management Bill 2016 which will deliver modern, streamlined and transparent management of the state’s vast Crown lands.
This is the first stage in a process that will consolidate eight complex pieces of legislation into one harmonised and clear piece of legislation. The new legislation will reduce complexity and duplication, and will deliver better social, environmental and economic outcomes and facilitate community involvement with Crown land.
It is anticipated that the majority of the new legislation will commence in early 2018. This will enable sufficient time to inform and engage with stakeholders and customers with an interest in Crown land, as well as prepare the required policies and systems to support the implementation of the Act. Further information will be provided in 2017 as we track towards commencement of the new legislation.
In the meantime, all current legislation remains in place. Crown land will continue to be administered in accordance with existing legislation. There are no changes for existing reserve trusts, lessees, licence holders or others with an interest in Crown land.
More information about the Act:
The Act implements reforms identified through the comprehensive review of Crown land management. The Act provides for:
- stronger and more effective community engagement in decisions about Crown land (PDF, 257.15 KB)
- continuing community involvement in the management of Crown land reserves (PDF, 628.84 KB)
- local management for the benefit of local communities (PDF, 321.11 KB)
- enabling the most appropriate local owner of Crown land (PDF, 182.87 KB)
- protecting our environment, social and cultural heritage (PDF, 142.33 KB)
- meaningful involvement for Aboriginal communities in Crown land (PDF, 315.78 KB)
- effectively managing Crown land with native title rights and interests (PDF, 238.25 KB)
- a fairer and more consistent approach to Crown land tenures (PDF, 264.21 KB)
- facilitating a sustainable and prosperous Western Division (PDF, 225.35 KB)
- greater powers to stop illegal activity on Crown land (PDF, 210.42 KB)
The Bill was subject to the review and approval of the NSW Parliament. A number of amendments were passed by the Parliament. These amendments are not reflected in the above factsheets.
Recognising and protecting the values of commons
On 24 January 2017 the Department of Industry – Lands (the Department) commenced consultation with key stakeholders on the future of commons, to ensure that their values are protected and their historical significance is recognised in the new Crown land legislation.
The 2014 Crown Land Legislation White Paper proposed that the Commons Management Act 1989 would be repealed and consolidated into the new Crown Land Management Act 2016 (the Act). This proposal did not proceed in the Act that was passed last year due to concerns from certain stakeholders, including a number of commons trusts.
To ensure that appropriate provisions for commons can be included in a further Bill that will be introduced later this year, the legislative proposal for commons has been rethought. The updated proposal balances legislative recognition of the rich history and ongoing importance of commons and the role of commons trusts with the need to ensure that the values of commons are protected for all the people of NSW.
More information about the updated proposal can be found here:
- recognising and protecting the values of commons (PDF, 264.28 KB)
The Department invited submissions from commons trusts and other stakeholders on the updated proposal.
Submissions closed on 21 February 2017 at 5.00pm.
The Department will review all submissions received by the closing date. All submissions and a summary of submissions will be published and key issues raised in submissions will be taken into account when developing the final proposal for commons in NSW. The final proposal will be included in a further Bill that will be introduced into Parliament in the first half of 2017.
Enhanced community engagement
The Crown Land Management Act 2016 proposes significant improvements to how the community is engaged and involved in the management of Crown land.
The Act introduces the requirement for a Community Engagement Strategy to be developed and adhered to for key decisions concerning Crown land.
The types of Crown land decisions that will be covered by the strategy include certain sales, leases, licences, changes to the reserve purpose, revocations of reserves and entry into plans of management.
The Government will engage with community and stakeholders during the development of the Community Engagement Strategy in 2017. This will include publicly exhibiting a copy of the proposed strategy for at least 28 days and inviting submissions. The Strategy will be finalised and approved by the Minister for Lands prior to the expected commencement of the new legislation in early 2018.
Further details of the Strategy are included in: “Community engagement: a new way forward” (PDF, 1727.95 KB).
If you’d like more information about the review, or to get in touch with the department, please email us or call on 1300 886 235.