Posted on March 18, 2021 by Lindsay Taylor

Discussion Paper – Review of Crown Land Management Act 2016 – Issues for Local Government

Recently, we published an alert (see here) about an opportunity for public input into the independent statutory review of the Crown Land Management Act 2016 (NSW) (‘CLM Act‘), run by the Crown Land Commissioner, Professor Richard Bush (‘the Commissioner‘).

The 25 March deadline is fast approaching. In this post, we provide a brief rundown of the issues and questions for local government as identified in the Discussion Paper (which you can see here).

A key aim of the CLM Act has been to allow Crown land to be managed at the most appropriate levels of government. Local government is seen to be most appropriate for ‘locally significant land‘, which councils now manage as if it were council-owned public land under the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW).

Another key aim has been to ensure Crown land management is consistent with native title laws. For councils, this means employing or engaging a certified native title manager to ensure all Crown land is managed consistently with the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

As councils will be aware, there have been teething issues associated with the implementation of the CLM Act. Resource constraints are frequently identified as one such issue.

The independent statutory review is an opportunity for councils to raise such issues with the Commissioner. To help councils structure their submissions, the Discussion Paper has invited responses to three broad questions:

  1. Do you think the new provisions facilitate more streamlined and better management of Crown land by local councils?
  2. What is the resourcing gap being experienced by your local council under the new requirements?
  3. Do you have any suggestions for improving the management of locally-significant Crown land?

Councils should also take the opportunity to provide feedback on the native title aspects of the program, such as the voluntary transfers of locally significant land between the State, councils, and Aboriginal Land Councils in practice.

To make your submission, click here.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Lachlan Penninkilampi or Dr Lindsay Taylor.