Posted on July 19, 2018 by Frances Tse and Katie Mortimer

Changes to the Roads Act by the new Crown Lands Legislation

When the Crown Land Management Act 2016 (CLM Act) commenced in full on 1 July 2018, provisions relating to Crown roads and public roads in the Roads Act 1993 (Roads Act) were amended.

Significantly, the Roads Act now distinguishes between ‘council public roads‘, being public roads for which a council is the roads authority, and ‘non-council public roads‘. Local councils may now close council public roads in certain circumstances. Previously public roads could only be closed by the Minister administering the Roads Act.

As we previously blogged, key changes to the Roads Act caused by the commencement of the CLM Act are:

New section Change
38A – 38E New provisions governing the closure of council public roads by local councils themselves
38F Appeal rights to the Land and Environment Court relating to a council’s closure of a council public road
108 – 110 New powers for the Crown Lands Minister to direct persons to undertake specified actions on Crown roads, and make contributions towards repairs and maintenance on Crown roads
152A – 152J New provisions simplifying the process for the sale and disposal of Crown roads

Relevant savings and transitional provisions

Provisions of the Roads Act that were in force before 1 July 2018, continue to apply:

  • for a period of 3 months (that is, until 30 September 2018) – in respect of a proposal by the Minister to close a public road, if the public notification that was required had already occurred and submission period had ended before 1 July 2018, and
  • for a period of 12 months (that is, until 30 June 2019) – in respect of Crown land forming part of a former public road that is sold, if the contract for the sale was entered into before 1 July 2018.

Supporting Regulations

The Crown Land Management Regulation 2018 (CLM Reg) fully commenced on 1 July 2018 to support the CLM Act. The CLM Reg does not contain any provisions relevant to the amended Roads Act.

Separately, the Roads Amendment (Incomplete Crown Road Purchases) Regulation 2018 also commenced on 1 July 2018 and inserted provisions in the Roads Regulation 2008 which:

  • prescribe additional authorities that must be notified for the closure of a council public road, and
  • deal with the sale of Crown roads by the payment of purchase price instalments.

Should you wish to discuss the changes, please contact Frances Tse, Special Counsel on 8235 9711 or by email, at frances.tse@lindsaytaylorlawyers.com.au.

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