The Crown Land Management Act 2016

What does it do?

  • significantly improves the way Crown reserves are managed and facilitate better decision making about the future use of Crown land. It mandates that a range of environmental, social, cultural heritage and economic factors are considered before decisions are made
  • requires that important decisions under the Act comply with a community engagement strategy that provides for meaningful community engagement in appropriate circumstances
  • acknowledges the spiritual, social, cultural and economic importance of Crown land to Aboriginal people and recognises and facilitates Aboriginal involvement in the management of Crown land
  • continues to support community involvement in the management of Crown land
  • allows land of local significance to be transferred to local councils, supporting the Crown Land Management Review recommendation for local councils to own such land, enabling decisions to reflect local concerns and benefit local communities. State significant land will be retained for the benefit of the people of NSW
  • applies more consistent management across Crown land through consistency in tenures and rents and standardising lease and licence arrangements
  • provides a Crown reserve management model that better recognises the diversity and capability of current managers
  • introduces modern governance and compliance provisions.

What’s not affected?

Although the Act includes significant changes, it is important to understand what does not change.

The new Act carries over the Minister’s existing powers to:

  • dedicate or reserve land
  • grant leases, licenses, permits, easements or right of way
  • appoint managers for dedicated or reserved Crown land
  • sell or dispose of Crown land.

The path to new legislation


The Crown Land Management Act 2016 commenced on 1 July 2018. The Crown Land Management Regulation is also in force, providing further information on how the Act is implemented.

The Community Engagement Strategy also commenced on 1 July 2018.

Parts of the Act that enable Western land leaseholders to convert their lease to freehold came into force on 19 March 2018.


It was determined that commons in NSW will continue to be administered under the Commons Management Act 1989.

A report summarising the submissions received and the key issues raised is available Approach to commons: report on stakeholder submissions

NSW Parliament passes the Crown Land Legislation Amendment Act 2017 to make changes required to certain legislation that deal with Crown land as a consequence of the Act and to update provisions for Crown roads.

Exhibition of the Draft Crown land Management Regulation 2017 setting out draft principles and rules proposed to govern conduct of the users and managers of Crown land. Exhibition of a Draft Community Engagement Strategy setting out a new approach to engaging about Crown land.


Parliamentary Inquiry into Crown land allows community views on Crown land management to be incorporated into the new legislation. NSW Parliament passes the Crown Land Management Act 2016 to deliver modern, streamlined and transparent management of the state’s vast Crown lands.


The NSW Government responded with a summary of issues and next steps in the NSW Government response to the Crown Lands Legislation White Paper 2015.


A proposal to amend legislation is released in the Crown Lands Legislation White Paper and the community had their say about what’s important to help build, manage and protect Crown land.


The NSW Government conducted the first major review of Crown land in more than 25 years. The independent review recommended a number of reforms, including replacing the eight existing acts with one new piece of contemporary legislation, and a response to the review was provided by the NSW Government.

Supporting documents

Stakeholder updates