On 11 October 2021, the Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title) Act 2021 commenced, which abolished the Certificates of Title (CTs) and the control of the right to deal (CoRD) framework. All existing CTs have been cancelled and CTs will no longer be issued. Existing CTs will not need to be produced, and CoRD holder consent will not be required, for a dealing or plan to be registered. All existing Guidelines subject to this change are currently being reviewed and will be updated to reflect these changes. For further information regarding the abolition of CTs, please see https://www.registrargeneral.nsw.gov.au/property-and-conveyancing/eConveyancing/abolition-of-certificates-of-title

Permits and licenses

Permit to investigate

A person or company, the applicant, must first apply to the Minister for Energy to obtain an authority to enter lands for the purpose of investigating possible routes for the proposed pipeline(s). The application must have a schedule of affected lands attached. After examination of the proposal and consideration of all submissions the Minister may grant the applicant a permit to begin preliminary surveys.

Note 1  Land and easements are acquired in the name of the applicant.

Note 2  The Act allows the permit to be varied after granting.

After the permit is granted

The applicant is allowed to enter the land specified in the schedule to carry out surveys to define the route of the new pipeline(s) and to determine the land(s) required for access to the pipeline.

Once the route is finalised a compiled plan is lodged in NSW LRS indicating the intended centreline of the proposed pipeline and the relevant titles affected. The plan will show:

  • the site of the proposed pipeline by bearing and distance
  • a statement in the 'statement of intention panel' on the administration sheet indicating that it is intended to acquire a pipeline easement
  • a statement in the 'statement of intention panel' indicating that the compiled plan will be replaced by a survey plan showing full connections to parcel boundaries prior to granting of the licence and vesting of easements.

Licence to construct and operate

After carrying out surveys determining the route for the pipeline the applicant may apply for a licence to construct and operate the pipeline. The licence application must have a schedule of affected land see Form 15 Pipelines Regulation 2013.

Note  Both the application for permit and application for licence are widely publicised throughout New South Wales. Individual notices are served on owners, occupiers and councils of affected land.

After the licence is granted

After a licence is granted to construct and operate a pipeline (and before vesting by Gazettal) the Minister is required by s.20 Pipelines Act 1967 to have a plan of survey defining the land and easements lodged in NSW LRS. The plan should be accompanied by an instrument listing the identities of parcels affected and setting out the various easements for pipeline and access.

Note  The plan of survey is to be completed after construction of the pipeline in order to limit the need for subsequent variations to the site.

Notification of the licence is published in the Government Gazette after which, the licensee must lodge in NSW LRS a Request form 11R (PDF 131 KB) to endorse on all affected titles a notification indicating the existence of the pipeline licence.

If the applicant (now the licensee) has not come to an agreement for the acquisition of all of the land in the schedule attached to the application, the Minister may, by way of notification in the Government Gazette pursuant to the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991, declare that any lands or easements not already acquired by the licensee, vest in the licensee.

Note  The Act allows the licence to be varied after granting.

Variation of a licence area

Variation of a licence area, after gazettal and registration of the Request, will require that the easements originally created must be released by way of a new Request and executed by the authority having the benefit of the easement see s.21(2) Pipelines Act 1967.