In October 2012 the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW (IPART) commenced a review into the rental arrangements for communication tower sites located on public land administered by the Department, Forestry Corporation of NSW (Forests NSW) and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage - National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
In July 2013, IPART released its final report Review of rental arrangements for Crown land communication tower sites (IPART 2013 report).
In July 2014 the NSW government adopted all 23 recommendations within the IPART 2013 report. Subsequently, the three agencies have been working together to implement the recommendations in a consistent manner.
The IPART 2013 report recommended that an existing fee schedule based on 9 user categories from the IPART 2005 report, be replaced by a single user fee schedule for each density location. This new rental fee schedule from the IPART 2013 report has been set for each density location category and will apply from 1 July 2013.
Eligible users may apply to the department for a rebate, to offset the rent fee. Further information can be found in the rebate general information fact sheet.
The department makes Crown land available under licence to a variety of organisations to construct and operate communication infrastructure. In many situations, the owners of these facilities make them available to other organisations on a co-user basis. At each site, the department licenses both the tower owner and any other organisation co-located on the facility by issuing a Head Licence Agreement and Site Appendices for co-users and primary users. Co-located organisations require a separate agreement with the tower owner to use their facility. The co-user rental charged by the department is separate and in addition to any negotiated rental paid to the tower owner.
Communication tower owners
Organisations seeking to construct new communication tower facilities on Crown land require consent from the Minister administering the Crown Lands Act 1989 (Minister) in order to occupy that land and to lodge any required development applications or other applications to relevant approval authorities e.g. local council. Applicants are required to apply direct to the department for consent to occupy Crown land and enter into a licence agreement.
The following information is available to assist proponents to comply with departmental requirements:
- Information for organisations seeking to construct new communication tower facilities on Crown land
- Documentation guidelines for communication facility proponents on Crown land
Communication tower co-users
Co-user organisations require the conditional approval of the tower owner to co-locate on the facility prior to submitting an application. The department cannot grant a licence to a co-user without sighting the conditional approval of the tower owner. Similarly, the tower owner is unable to allow another organisation to utilise its facilities without the Minister's consent.
The following information is available to assist co-users to comply with the department's requirements:
- Information for organisations seeking to co-locate on communications facilities on Crown land
- Communication tower sites co-user application
Rents, rebates and density classifications
Information for communication organisations occupying Crown land regarding current rents, rebates/rebate application and densities is available below:
- Rental fees and rebates for communication organisations occupying Crown land
- Rebate General Information for Communications Facilities located on Crown land
- Communication Providers Rebate – Community Groups – Factsheet
- Communication Providers Rebate – Budget Funded Sector – Factsheet
- Communication Providers Rebate – Local Service Provider – Factsheet
- Communication Providers Rebate - Telephony Service Provider Rebate – Small Country Automatic Exchange (SCAX) – Fact sheet
- Crown Lands Rebate Application form
- Density classifications for Crown Land communication sites