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Developing on Crown land

If you are planning a development on Crown land, make sure you have identified all regulatory considerations managed by the department by downloading the Department Requirements Checklist.

All development on Crown land requires approvals both under the Crown Land Management Act 2009 by the department and the Development Act 1993 by local council. Approval under one legislation doesn't constitute approval under both.

You will also need to contact your local council to determine if development approval is required. This is separate to your Crown lands licence application. If you do need local council approval you will be required to lodge an application with your council.

To apply to the department for a licence to develop on Crown land, you will need to provide:

  • a copy of your local council's development approval; or
  • a copy of your council development application; or
  • written confirmation from your local council that development consent is not required.

Before conducting work on Crown land involving any kind of soil disturbance or the erection of any structure, you should contact the department to determine if native title rights exist on the land.

If native title is not extinguished, additional processes to notify the native title claimant group of your application will be required. This will take a minimum of 8 weeks.

Encroachments on Crown land

Crown land encroachments are any unauthorised structures, fixtures, plant or improvements on Crown land including but not limited to buildings, sheds, fences, pathways, steps, retaining walls or storing private property.  

Crown land belongs to the public and should not be used for exclusive private use.

If the department detects an unlawful encroachment you will be require to remove it and compliance action may be taken.

The department will also notify the local council and you may face action under the Development Act 1993.

Coastal development

The Coast Protection Board deals with protection works on coastal Crown land. The Board will not protect private property nor provide local councils with funds for this purpose, unless there is an associated public benefit.

If you wish to undertake private coastal protection works on Crown land, you will need to gain both approval from your local council and the department. Neither approval guarantees the other, and you must obtain both before work can commence.

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