Posted on June 8, 2021 by Megan Hawley, Frances Tse and Elaine Yeo

ALERT: Amendment to Crown Land Management Regulation – Removal of POM Adoption Deadline

On 4 June 2021 the Crown Land Management Regulation 2018 (CLM Regulation) was amended to remove the deadline for councils managing Crown land (Council Crown land managers) to adopt plans of management for that land by 30 June 2021, and removing certain restrictions on how such land can be dealt with.

Previously:

  • a Council Crown land manager was required to adopt the first plan of management (POM) for Crown land it managed in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993 (LG Act) by 30 June 2021,
  • a Council Crown land manager was required, during the period between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2021, to comply with section 3.23(7) of the Crown Land Management Act 2018 (CLM Act) which sets out specific requirements in relation to how a POM was to be prepared and adopted, and which contained an express provision prohibiting a change in the nature and use of the Crown land during that period, and
  • under clause 70(2) of the CLM Regulation, a Council Crown land manager could grant or renew specified leases and licences of Crown land prior to adopting a POM without needing to manage that land as community land under the LG Act, but only until 30 June 2021. In this regard, there was some uncertainty as to whether a lease or licence granted under that clause could have the effect of changing the nature and use of the Crown land.

The changes to the CLM Regulation made by the Crown Land Management Amendment (Plan of Management) Regulation 2021 on 4 June 2021 have the following effect:

  • there is no longer a 30 June 2021 deadline for a Council Crown land manager to adopt the first POM for Crown land, councils do not have to have their POMS for Crown land prepared by that date and no new deadline has been set,
  • a Council Crown land manager no longer has to comply with s3.23(7) of the CLM Act in preparing and adopting the first POM for Crown land under the LG Act. A council will still have to adopt a POM in accordance with the LG Act however, it will not be required to hold a public hearing for the adoption of the POM where that POM proposes to alter the categorisation of the land,
  • a Council Crown land manager will be required to obtain the Minister’s consent before adopting a POM,
  • there is no longer a 30 June 2021 deadline for the granting or renewal of leases and licences under clause 70(2) of the CLM Regulation. A Council Crown land manager can rely on clause 70(2) of the CLM Regulation to grant such leases and licences until the Council adopts the first POM for the land, and it is clear that a lease or licence granted under that clause can have the effect of changing the nature and use of the Crown land.

A circular published by the Office of Local Government to local councils also states that councils that have received grants under funding agreements will be able to utilise the funding for a further two years, up until 1 July 2023 for the purpose of developing new POMs.

The Crown Land Management Amendment (Plan of Management) Regulation 2021 can be found here.

If you would like to discuss the changes to the CLM Regulation, or any other Crown land related matters, leave a comment, or call Frances Tse on 02 8235 9711 or Megan Hawley on 02 8235 9703.