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The Crown Lands Act 1989 (CLA) introduced the requirement for land assessment prior to the allocation of Crown land, whether for public or private use. At that time, there were large areas of Crown land that had not been allocated. Much of this land was either in a remote location or in a natural state. The policies of the current government have meant that much of these large areas of Crown land have now been incorporated into the national park or the state forest estates.

Significant areas of the State, however, remain in public ownership as Crown land and are subject to the land assessment process. Land assessment is pivotal to decisions concerning the use and management of Crown land, and is one of the key mechanisms for identifying land management issues. It was intended to be:

  • the basis of a broad scale allocation of land use consistent with the principles of Crown land management; and
  • a safeguard against the inappropriate alienation of Crown land.

The CLA requires that:

  • the Minister institutes a program of land assessment; and
  • land assessment is carried out before reservation, dedication, exchange, vesting, lease, licence or sale of Crown land (except in very limited circumstances or where land assessment is waived).

Part 3 of the CLA establishes the land assessment process and criteria for identifying suitable uses, including the principles of Crown land management and any current policies relating to the land approved by the Minister (Section 33(1)(c)). The Crown Lands Regulation 2006 sets out detailed land evaluation criteria and notification processes.

The process for land assessment includes:

  • inventory of the physical characteristics of the land;
  • assessment of the capability of the land, including criteria to be used;
  • identification of suitable uses and, where practical, the preferred use or uses for the land; and
  • public exhibition period of at least 28 days.

Although the CLA requires that a land assessment be undertaken before a number of actions are taken over Crown land (eg sale, lease or licence), there is no statutory link between the land assessment process and:

  • environmental studies and plans under Part 3 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (EPA Act);
  • owners consent to lodgement of a development application under Part 4 of the EPA Act; or
  • environmental assessment of an activity, not subject to lodgement of a development application, under Part 5 of the EPA Act.

Following the public exhibition period, the LPM Authority will consider any submissions received before recommending preferred uses of the land. 

Draft Land Assessments currently on exhibition

There are no Draft Land Assessments currently on exhibition.

Draft Land Assessments that have been exhibited

Berrygill Creek (north-east of Narrabri) Draft Land Assessment

Phillip Bay Draft Land Assessment

Whoota Draft Land Assessment

Giro Draft Land Assessment

Curricabark Draft Land Assessment

Walgett Draft Land Assessment

Finalised Land Assessments

The following Land Assessment report has completed public exhibition and is available for viewing in final form:
Bloomfield Final Land Assessment