The Department for Environment and Water’s (DEW) Crown Lands Program is responsible for the administration of Crown land under the Crown Land Management Act 2009 and in accordance with Premier and Cabinet Circular 114 Government Real Property Management 2019.
Crown land may be unalienated or held under various tenure arrangements including dedication, lease or license.
Local Councils are often the custodians of dedicated Crown land and may have Crown land included on its Community Land Register as required under the Local Government Act 1999.
Premier and Cabinet Circular 114 (PC114) outlines government’s direction for dealing with Crown land including the sale of land to Councils.
PC114’s Schedule E: Crown Land Disposal (Crown Agencies) is relevant to Councils, in particular Parts 9, 10 and 11.
Release of Crown land
Council’s may enquire about purchasing Crown land or identify Crown land within its local government area which may be suitable for release.
Should Council submit an application to purchase or enquiry about the release Crown land, it would be beneficial for Council to provide DEW with the following information:
- Parcel(s) Description of land;
- Current use(s) including leases – what is proposed to happen to existing users;
- Strategies relating to any loss of community facilities;
- Description of the proposal;
- Masterplan/Business plan and;
- Triple bottom line benefits – social, economic and environmental needs of the community.
Providing the above details will assist in expediting the process as it will provide the necessary information and show that it is a well thought out and supported concept.
Crown land assessments
When assessing the disposal 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; and
- Managing Crown land to achieve a balance between the social, economic and environmental needs of the community.
In addition, when making an assessment of the disposal of Crown Land, DEW takes into consideration factors such as how the proposal may align or interact with state economic priorities and other policies and guidelines, the impacts of current or previous uses (biodiversity and contamination) and the status of native title over the land.