A recent Court decision may have wide implications for how Crown Lands are used and managed.
In NSW, parcels of Crown Land have typically been dedicated for a specific use. The court case involved land Reserved for Public Recreation. The judge found that such land can only be used for public recreation.
In the past, many parcels of Crown Land Reserved for Public Recreation have been alienated for Private Use. Typically, the land has been leased (either by the State Government of local Councils) to a private body (such as a tennis club, swimming pool or golf club). Often these leases contain clauses that the land must also be available to the public (often for a fee).
The Court determined that clauses seeking to provide access to the public for such land did not meet the relevant test. So, the finding has widespread implications.
We are waiting to see if Councils and the Land Department appeal the decision. If not, we would like to see the process and timeline for returning alienated Crown Land to the public.