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Crown Lands Act: will there be stealth sales?

stock route crown land

At stake, travelling stock routes, crown roads, parks and reserves.

THE NSW OPPOSITION has raised the alarm about July 1 start of the Crown Lands Act that opens the door to public land sales without community consultation.

In regional NSW Crown Lands include old Crown roads that provide public access; travelling stock routes; parks; and reserves on public land including recreational facilities.

The Crown Lands Management Act 2016 allows the Government to sell Crown Land (comprising one-third of the State) through agencies like Property NSW without any consultation with the community.

“Stamp duty receipts are drying up, so the Berejiklian–Barilaro Government will be looking to “recycle” assets like Crown Land,” warns Shadow Minister for Lands Mick Veitch.

caravan park on Crown Land
Under threat: caravan parks located on Crown Land. Credit NSW National Parks.

“The community engagement strategy still appears to exempt transfers of public land to agencies like Property NSW.”

He said a community engagement strategy “sneakily” removed sections that referred to transfers of Crown Land to other Government agencies.

The strategy also allows the Minister for Lands to waive requirements for engagement:

  • In emergency or exceptional circumstances (not defined)
  • To enable approved NSW Government priorities
  • Where the Minister is satisfied that a waiver is in the public interest.

The current Minister for Lands, Paul Toole (surprise, again National Party control of regional public assets ), previously oversaw the local government amalgamation.

MAIN IMAGE: Travelling stock routes on Crown Land. Supplied Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

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