Land management and compliance

Land management

We are responsible for management of natural assets on Crown land in NSW. These include areas of high ecological value, cultural and historical heritage, recreational value, and areas with high aesthetic and scenic values.

Land management includes weed and pest control, revegetation projects, cleaning up illegal dumping, waterway management, managing recreational access, and sediment and erosion control. Compliance and enforcement also forms part of land management.

We protect and manage our native environment across NSW by working in partnership with a range of agencies and stakeholders. We support Crown land managers to help fulfil their natural asset management requirements through the Public Reserves Management Fund.

To help protect land against illegal activity that threatens its environmental values, we focus on compliance and implementation. This is based on four key principles:

  1. education and awareness
  2. monitoring
  3. auditing
  4. compliance investigations

We also take a whole-of-government approach to emergency management.

Natural asset management

Improving and conserving the natural resources of Crown land including water, soil, flora, fauna and scenic quality is our top priority.

We monitor, evaluate and report on progress through the Natural Resource Management Plan. This plan guides the prioritisation of natural resource management works on ground and the records the type of work we do.

As well as supporting on-ground work, we work in partnership with a range of agencies, including the Office of Environment and Heritage, to make sure that natural resource management is managed across public land in NSW, and regulations and policies are met.

Contaminated land

Contamination of Crown land can be an issue across the state. We’ve developed a Contaminated Land Management Strategy and program to address the risks to human health or the environment.

Crown lands maintains a register of known and potentially contaminated sites and undertakes a risk assessment of the sites. We work with a range of public land managers to ensure consistency and to share knowledge.

We also manage high risk site remediation and coordinate reports to the Environmental Protection Authority when required.

To report a potential contamination issue, contact us.

Bushfire mitigation

To protect our community and environment, the department manages and mitigates bushfire risks on Crown land by working with local stakeholders and agencies.

Our ongoing bushfire mitigation program includes maintaining fire trails and asset protection zones (APZs) and undertaking hazard reduction burns within bush fire districts across the state. All work is governed by the Rural Fires Act 1997.

In the event of an emergency, always call 000 first. For other bushfire mitigation related enquiries on land which are managed by our department, contact us.

Weeds and pests

Many weeds and pests can disrupt the native environment. We apply best practice pest management programs that have minimal impact on the environment.

If pesticides are used, we’ll provide notice of use in public places, in one or more of the following ways:

  • placement of signs in the area
  • letters and letterbox drops
  • media
  • directly via telephone or email

We work with the Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services to manage weeds and pests on Crown land. We also work with Biosecurity NSW and other stakeholders to implement the NSW Biosecurity Strategy

Grants for weed and pest control funding are also available under the Public Reserve Management Fund.


The department has an active compliance and enforcement regime to help protect Crown land against illegal activity that threatens environmental values or the enjoyment of Crown land users.

To ensure Crown land is used sustainably and lawfully, we engage early to help people do the right thing. We support our Crown land managers and users by setting expectations through guidelines and conditions and working with individuals and communities to meet these requirements. We monitor use by undertaking inspections and conducting audits and undertake enforcement action when required.

Report an issue

We need your help to keep our state’s Crown land sustainable and safe for all. If you observe instances of illegal dumping of rubbish or toxic or hazardous substances, abandoned vehicles, trees on Crown land requiring maintenance, safety hazards or any other issues that impact your community, please report it.

When reporting the issue please include as much detail as possible so we can correctly locate the incident and arrange for the appropriate follow-up.

You can contact us to report an issue or concern regarding Crown land management.