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Crown land

Crown land comprises approximately half of all land in New South Wales. Some of this land is allocated to public uses such as national parks, state forests, schools, hospitals, sporting, camping and recreation areas, as well as lands which are managed and protected for their environmental importance.

This leaves other significant portions of Crown land that can be used in a number of ways, including leasing for commercial or agricultural purposes, through to land development and sale.

Crown land management

The Department of Industry is responsible for the sustainable and commercial management of Crown land. The department administers an area of approximately 33.5 million hectares of Crown land (this includes the 3 nautical mile zone and Western Crown land). It is responsible for the professional management of some 44,844 licences and permits state wide, along with 8,442 leases.

The department also manages the development, marketing and sales of Crown lands not required for public purposes. Various land uses are authorised by the department including: waterfront occupations; commercial; grazing and agriculture; residential; sporting; community purposes; tourism; and industrial. It manages these Crown lands through a variety of methods such as licensing, leasing, sale and disposal of surplus Crown and other State-owned lands. We also provide land information/status and land accounts services as well as a map and products sale centre.

Crown Reserves

The Crown reserve system is NSWs oldest and most diverse system of natural, cultural and open space, providing many of the states town squares and local parks, state heritage sites, buildings, community halls, nature reserves, coastal lands, waterway corridors, sport grounds, racetracks, showgrounds, caravan parks, camping areas, travelling stock routes, rest areas, walking tracks, commons, community and government infrastructure and facilities.

Through our network of regional offices we ensure that Crown reserves are responsibly managed and that natural resources such as water, flora and fauna and scenic beauty are conserved, while still encouraging public use and enjoyment of the land.

Crown reserves are generally managed by either reserve trust boards, the Department, local councils or State government departments. More than 21,200 volunteers help to care for Crown reserves as members of community trust boards.

Tenured land

Tenured land is Crown land that is directly leased, licensed or allowed to be used under an enclosure permit by the State for a wide range of public, private and community uses, including commercial or agricultural purposes.

Submerged land

Submerged land is generally classified as a type of Crown land. Bordering the coast of New South Wales (NSW), it lies below the mean high water mark. Submerged land includes most coastal estuaries, many large riverbeds, many wetlands and the State's territorial waters, which extend 3 nautical miles (5.5 km) out to sea.

Submerged Crown lands of the coastal estuaries and riverbeds are generally Crown lands reserved from sale and lease. These lands may be:

Minor dams

In 2003 the Department took over the responsibility for 11 small dams in NSW located throughout the state.

These dams include Bethungra, Bargo and DeBurgh in the south of the state, West Gosford on the Central Coast, Burraga, Gallymont and Junction Reefs in the central west and Moore Creek and Sheba dams in the north west.

State Water is continuing its duty of care by fulfilling its dam safety responsibilities for surveillance of all these minor dams under an agency agreement while Soil Services have been engaged by the Department to project manage all major and maintenance remedial works for this program for the 2006/07 financial year.

Dividing fences

Dividing fences separate the lands of adjoining owners. Information on classification, costs and dispute resolution is provided.

Water boundary determination

These determinations include Mean High Water Mark, banks of lakes, rivers and streams and landward boundaries of roads and reserves.