Crown Land Management Act 2016 to take effect on 1 July 2018

The NSW Government has announced that the new Crown Land Management Act 2016 (CLMA) will come into effect on 1 July 2018.

Crown land is significant to the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Network. Aboriginal Land Councils can claim unused Crown land under section 36 of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (ALRA).

The CLMA does not make any amendments to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 and Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) can still claim Crown land. However, there will be changes to how the community is notified about the disposal of Crown land, as well as changes in Crown land governance.

Background

Crown land is currently managed under the Crown Lands Act 1989, and at least ten other separate pieces of legislation.

In 2012, the NSW Government began a review into Crown land management. A key recommendation of the review was to simplify Crown land legislation.

Following the review recommendations, the CLMA was passed by the NSW Parliament in late 2016.

What will happen on 1 July 2018?

The new CLMA will come into effect on Sunday 1 July 2018. Concurrently, 11 Acts of the old Crown land regime will be wholly repealed, including the old Crown Lands Act 1989.

The Crown Land Community Engagement Strategy (CES), which covers the requirement for public engagement on certain Crown land dealings and activities, will also come into effect on 1 July 2018.

Any existing lease, licence or permit issued under current legislation will continue for its term when the CLMA commences.

Considerations for LALCs

The new CLMA includes an objective 'to facilitate the use of Crown land by the Aboriginal people of New South Wales … and, where appropriate, to enable the co-management of dedicated or reserved Crown land'.

NSWALC secured certain changes to the CLMA including that sales and disposals of Crown land undergo a process of community consultation. NSWALC will push for further reform to Crown land management including mechanisms for joint management, improved access and greater involvement by Aboriginal people in land management.

Partly in response to NSWALC, the Minister has also announced an intention to appoint a Crown Land Commissioner to provide independent advice to the Government and the community on Crown land matters.

More information

LALCs with questions regarding the CLMA and CES can contact NSWALC's Strategy and Policy Unit on (02) 9689 4444 or via e-mail: policy@alc.org.au.

For information from Government, please note the details below: