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Reserve Trusts

A reserve trust is a corporation established under the Crown Lands Act 1989 to manage a Crown reserve. It is not a branch of a department of government. The trust is responsible - under the oversight of the Minister - for the care, control and management of a specific Crown reserve. Reserve trusts are not conducted for private profit.

Trusts can be managed by:

  • corporate managers either a community/local organisation, or a council, or the Ministerial Corporation
  • a community Trust Board, or
  • an administrator when special skills are required

A reserve trust enjoys a level of autonomy in its care, control and management of the Crown reserve. This includes entering into maintenance contracts, determining the development of the land (subject to Crown consent), setting entry fees, and employing people to work for it.

The Crown land (the Department) provides each trust with operational support, financial assistance and guidance. By working together, the Department and the community are able to:

  • recognise and conserve the special values of Crown reserves;
  • ensure that all appreciate and enjoy these values;
  • protect reserves for future generations; and
  • expand the reserves to meet community needs.

Trust board membership

Membership of a trust is an honorary position. A trust can have not less than three and no more than seven members (excluding ex-officio members). Members of trust boards are appointed by the Minister administering the Crown Lands Act, for a term not exceeding five years. However, members may apply for reappointment for a further term on expiry of their term of office.

Trust board members are expected to attend meetings regularly and to make an active contribution to trust affairs. A trust board member is not entitled to benefit in any way financially from the position, but may recoup out-of-pocket expenses incurred in carrying out duties as a member. A trust board member is not entitled to payment for loss of time incurred in trust board or reserve trust duties.

In the event of a vacancy on a trust board, the Department will take action to fill the vacancy to ensure continuity of management of the reserve.

Trust handbook

The Department assists reserve trusts and the community in the care, control and management of Crown reserves. The Trust Handbook provides guidance to trust board members in performing their duties as members of:

  • Trust boards of Crown reserves
  • Trust boards of commons
  • Trustees of schools of arts

Crown Reserve Reporting

All trusts are required to submit to the Minister an annual report as prescribed in section 122 of the Crown Lands Act 1989 and section 35 of the Commons Management Act 1989. This report provides important information to support the partnership between the Department and trusts, in the management of the Crown reserves. Annual reports can now be submitted online in the Crown Reserve Reporting System (CRRS).

Further information on CRRS and annual reporting is available on the