The department is responsible for ensuring Crown land is managed effectively and equitably for the benefit of the public. This means that some activities require special permission or access rights, or tenure over the land.

Crown Lands Program

Crown land is administered by the department’s Crown Lands Program. The Crown Lands Program team is responsible for;

  • administering the legislation
  • authorising the use, access and occupation of Crown land
  • ensuring activities and developments on Crown land are complying
  • assisting government agencies, local councils and property professionals
  • issuing tenure over Crown land such as licences, leases, easements and dedications
  • selling Crown land
  • identifying and locating Crown land

Making decisions

One of the safeguards to make sure that Crown land is managed and used for the benefit of all South Australians is the objects and principles of the Crown Land Management Act 2009.

The objects of the Act are to:

  • provide administrative procedures for the efficient handling of Crown land transactions
  • encourage fair and transparent decision making in the allocation of Crown land
  • provide a system for the management of Crown land that achieves a balance between the social, economic and environmental needs of the community.

The principles of Crown land management ensure:

  • the principles of ecologically sustainable land management are observed in the management and administration of Crown land
  • the objects and objectives of other relevant legislation are given due weight; and
  • Crown land is occupied, used, sold, leased, licensed or otherwise dealt with in the best interests of the State, consistent with the above principles.

Crown land assessments

When assessing the allocation of Crown land, consideration must be given to the objects and principles of the Crown Land Management Act 2009 being;

  • efficient administration of Crown land in the best interests of the State
  • fair and transparent allocation of unalienated Crown land
  • managing Crown land to achieve a balance between the social, economic and environmental needs of the community.

The department will also consider other factors such as;

  • how the proposal may align or interact with state economic priorities an other policies and guidelines
  • the impacts of current or previous uses (biodiversity and contamination)
  • the status of native title over the land.


Crown land is administered and managed pursuant to the Crown Land Management Act 2009 and the Crown Land Management Regulations 2010 to support services and for the benefit of the community.

Other relevant legislation when dealing with Crown land includes:

  • Crown Rates and Taxes Recovery Act 1945
  • Land for Public Purposes Acquisition Act 1914
  • Real Property Act 1886
  • Conveyancers Act 1994
  • Development Act 1993
  • Local Government Act 1999
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988
  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth)
  • Natural Resources Management Act 2004
  • Native Vegetation Act 1991
  • Environmental Protection Act 1993
  • Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act 1989
  • Coastal Protection Act 1972
  • National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972
  • Heritage Places Act 1993
  • River Murray Act 2003
  • Irrigation Act 2009
  • Renmark Irrigation Trust Act 2009