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Transfer a Crown road


For development and planning reasons, councils and other roads authorities may request the transfer of a Crown road from the department to a council or another roads authority. This can allow the road to be maintained to council construction standards, as use of the road changes over time.

There are 2 types of transfers administered by the department:

  • Crown road transfer at the request of council or another roads authority – this requires the roads authority to submit a transfer Crown road application.
  • Crown road transfer initiated by the department – the department will consult with council before a Crown road is transferred, with each proposed transfer considered on a case-by-case basis.

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The department has established criteria for determining whether a Crown road is suitable for transfer to council.

Criteria for transferring Crown roads to council

Crown roads are considered suitable for transfer to council or another roads authority (for example Roads and Maritime Services) if they meet one or more of the following criteria:


A roads authority requests transfer of a Crown road, including for the purpose of Section 44 of the Roads Act1993 (Roads Act).

To initiate the road transfer process, the request by council must be in writing and be accompanied by diagram showing the extent of the road subject to the transfer.

The Crown road provides formed road access to urban/rural areas or provides formed road access within country towns, villages, local communities and public areas.

These roads generally service public traffic. Council may have traditionally maintained or repaired the road and/or named the road for addressing purposes. Transfer of the road allows for administrative arrangements to formally rest with the appropriate roads authority for management as part of their road network.

Road works on a Crown road are proposed by someone, other than the department, who requires development consent under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act).

Transfer allows council to regulate the standard to which road access should be established and issue a construction certificate as the relevant roads authority under the Roads Act.

Development consent has been granted by a council that requires a Crown road to service a development that increases traffic on the road.

A key issue influencing the use of affected Crown roads is incremental traffic-increasing developments and local council’s role in development consent, planning and public road management. The responsibility for managing these roads rests with council as the relevant roads authority.

A Crown road requires maintenance to a specified standard as per a condition of development consent.

Transfer places the onus on council, as the consent authority, to manage the road in accordance with the requirements of the development approval. If standards were not specified by council as a condition of consent, transfer may still apply on the basis that the Crown road already conformed to council’s access standards to service the development.

A Crown road was constructed or is being maintained by a council to facilitate access as part of its local road network, including drainage structures such as bridges or culverts.

Transfer places council in a position to formally manage the road in accordance with pre-existing access and traffic conditions. This includes road standards requirements and administration of compliance against these requirements.

Construction or upgrade of a Crown road is required to meet council standards.

Transfer delivers outcomes that are consistent with council’s role in managing public roads for residential and rural needs.

A council objects to the closure of a Crown road on the grounds that the road is required for public access.

Transfer preserves the road for current and future access needs.

The department will not support council’s objections to a Crown road transfer where the reason for objection is that the road is not generally used by the public.

For department-initiated road transfers, the following claims are also not considered as valid reasons for objection:

  • road condition — where council objects to the transfer on the basis that the road is in a state of disrepair or does not conform to council minimum standards
  • financial implications — where council objects to the transfer based on (potential) costs incurred. Local councils have the ability to levy funds through development contributions, rates and grants for road repair and maintenance.