Easements, including easements in gross, involving prescribed Crown land may be created in the usual manner.
Easements may also benefit Crown land not held under the Real Property Act 1900. Easements involving prescribed land that is not Torrens title may be created by Section 88B Conveyancing Act 1919 or by publication of a notice in the Government Gazette. The easement takes effect on the date of publication of the notice or the date specified in the notice.
Prescribed Crown land
For the creation of easements involving prescribed land, refer to s.52 Crown Lands Act 1989. Prescribed land is stipulated in that Act as:
- Crown land not held under the Real Property Act 1900,
- land dedicated for a public purpose, and
- land held under the Real Property Act 1900 of which The State of New South Wales is the registered proprietor,
but does not include land:
- comprised in a Crown land tenure (e.g. Perpetual Lease), or
- Crown land reserved as the whole or part of a State Recreational Area under s.47B National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
As regards Torrens title land, prescribed land consists of titles:
- with The State of New South Wales shown in the First Schedule.
- with a notification referring to a dedication for a public purpose in the Second Schedule.
- with a notification referring to s.102 Crown Lands Act 1989 in the Second Schedule.
Easement for public access
An easement for public access may be created for the benefit of the Crown:
- over Crown land proposed to be sold under the Crown Lands Act 1989 at any time before sale
- over land held under lease from the Crown with the consent of the lessee
- over freehold land by the owner.
Where the land is Torrens title the easement for public access, including easements in gross, may be created in the usual manner.
Where the land is not Torrens title the easement may be created by Section 88B Conveyancing Act 1919. The instrument should be registered and filed in the General Register of Deeds.
An easement for public access may be defined by reference to a natural or physical feature and a plan showing the easement will not be required. The description of the easement must refer to the natural or physical feature to which it relates.
Removal of easements
An easement benefiting Crown land created by a Crown Lands Act may be released by the Minister pursuant to ss.53 & 54 Crown Lands Act 1989:
- by transfer and release if the land is held under the Real Property Act 1900, or
- by publication of a notice in the Government Gazette if the land is not held under the Real Property Act 1900. The release of easement takes effect on the date of publication of the notice or the date specified in the notice.
Easements affecting the bed of Crown rivers and streams
Easements for Transmission Line, Electricity Purposes or Pipeline are created over long distances and often traverse the bed of a Crown river or stream. The parcels adjoining each bank of the stream are often Torrens Title. In these cases, easements may be created pursuant to s.52 Crown Lands Act 1989 for that part of the site that comprises the bed of the river or stream, and as such may be included in the Section 88B Instrument prepared with the deposited plan for easement purposes that defines the remainder of the site.
The survey plan must place appropriate Reference Marks at suitable locations on the easement site in each of the Torrens Title parcels adjoining the river or stream. The site must then be depicted as a straight line (without bends or corners) between those marked locations. Connections along the easement site are to be shown to each bank and across the stream bed.