Topics > Crown land

Crown land tenure

Authorisation to use, access and occupy Crown land is subject to the Crown Land Management Act 2009 which ensures that all Crown land is used in a manner consistent with ecologically sustainable land management practices.

Crown land may be held under a range of tenure types, or in some cases, sold. Types of tenure include:

  • Licence – A Crown Licence may be issued to a person or organisation for a specific purpose for a specific area of Crown land. A licence is a non-exclusive right to the land.
  • Lease – A Crown Lease may be issued to a person or organisation to have exclusive right to occupy a specific area of Crown land.
  • Dedication – Dedicated land is Crown land that has been reserved for a specific public purposes, including recreation, conservation and emergency services.
  • Easement – An easement is an ongoing registered right to use a portion of land for a particular purpose. An easement is not ownership or an exclusive right to the land.
  • Purchasing Crown land – In some circumstances Crown land may be sold.

If you are unsure of the type of tenure you have or want, contact us. If you know what type of tenure transaction you would like, complete the relevant application form.

Note: Crown land can be accessed by the public on a casual basis, however for an extended period of time authorisation is required.

Assessing tenure

The department undertakes a range of assessments when considering the issue of tenure. These may include;

  • native title
  • biodiversity and native vegetation
  • current state and national policies
  • local and state strategic planning
  • development plans and zoning
  • community consultation
  • access, existing infrastructure or easements.

Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis and other assessments may be necessary.

Find out more about how we manage Crown lands.

Assessment time-frames

Crown land assessments may take months to complete depending on the type of tenure requested and the location of the subject Crown land.

Some assessments have legislated mandatory time-frames and notification durations such as native title notifications which is a minimum of 8 weeks and will impact on assessment time-frames.

Other approvals

You may need approval from the Minister to:

  • apply for, amend, transfer, or cancel a licence over Crown land
  • apply for, amend, transfer or purchase a Crown lease
  • sublease a lease
  • apply for, amend or revoke a dedication
  • issue a commercial lease over dedicated Crown land.

You will also need approval if you would like to purchase or develop Crown land or undertake other activities requiring a permit. If you are unsure if you require approval, contact us.

Temporary permission to access Crown land

If you wish to have temporary use or access to Crown land for an event or a specific purpose you will need approval.

To support your request, you need to provide:

  • land details, description and a map
  • dates of access required
  • sufficient time prior to the activity (a minimum of 4 weeks’ notice)
  • details of the proposed activity (relevant party, dates, timeframes and activities)
  • proof of public indemnity insurance (Certificate of Currency).

If the land is dedicated, that is land allocated to a custodian for a specific purpose, you will need to enquire directly with the custodian.

Find out more about identifying Crown land.

If you would like to approach the department with a proposal for a new or innovative idea that supports our state's development and is of benefit to South Australians, find out more about our unsolicited proposal process.