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Management of Public Land

Central Coast Council has responsibility for a range of public land.  This includes:

  • Operational land (see below)
  • Community land (see below)
  • Crown reserve land – where Council is Crown Land Manager
  • Crown reserve land – where land is devolved to Council
  • Ministerial land

This land is listed in the Statutory Land Register.

Council can issue leases and licences over a variety of public land.  These are also listed in the Statutory Land Register.

Council is required to classify land that it owns or manages as either operational land or community land.  Operational land can be bought and sold (subject to any public trusts on the land) and can be leased out or otherwise occupied as if the land were private land, subject to the provisions of land use legislation such as the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Community land cannot be sold and must be managed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 6 Part 2 (Public land) of the Local Government Act 1993. Where land is owned by the Crown, Crown lands must be involved in the plan of management (POM) process.

Community land must be categorised on the basis of the core objectives that will apply to the management of the land in the future.  The five applicable categories are Natural Area, Sportsground, Park, Area of Cultural Significance and General Community Use.  Natural Area community land can be further sub-categorised ie. as Bushland, Wetland, Escarpment, Watercourse or Foreshore.

Illustration of Ownership

A POM, once adopted, facilitates the use of the land by the public in a manner consistent with the categorisation of the land included within it.  A POM is required, by law, to be in place prior to the issue of certain leases and licences for the use of public land, and any development application applying to community land must also be consistent with its categorisation in an adopted POM. Thus, the use of community land is restricted where there is not an adopted POM in place that appropriately categorises community land for community use.

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