Under the Crown and Other Roads Act 1990 (now repealed) a clear distinction was made between 'Crown roads' and 'public roads'. That Act was repealed on 1 July 1993. With the introduction of the Roads Act 1993 the distinction was removed and all Crown roads became public roads. These roads are vested in fee simple as Crown land.
It is important to note that Crown public roads may be held as Crown land under Crown title, Old System title or Torrens title. Where there is doubt about the status of the road clarification should be sought from the nearest Regional office of Crown Lands.
Any plan proposing to open a public road over Crown land must have consent of Crown Lands. The public road is only created when a notice is published in the Government Gazette see ss.11 and 12 Roads Act 1993. See also Act 4 William IV No.11 roads and Quarter Sessions roads page.
Boundary roads and reserved roads
There were previously two categories of Crown roads:
Boundary roads were mostly unprepared strips left between parish portions or Crown grants to provide no more than token access. As the portion boundaries were usually surveyed to the cardinal points of the compass, many boundary roads were created without regard to the features of the land and for practical purposes are impassable for traffic. Many of these unformed boundary roads are in use by the adjoining landowner as part of their property. In these situations the local Lands Office may issue an appropriate permissive occupancy or enclosure permit.
It was the practice of the Crown to reserve from parish portions and Crown grants the sites of tracks and roads in use by the public. These roads were commonly referred to as "reserved roads". This practice was extended to cover roads similarly provided in private subdivisions.
A resumption of Crown road may include a parcel of land cut off by the road. This parcel is shown as a lot in the plan and is defined as 'severed land' in the notice in the Government Gazette. Severed land is vested in The State of New South Wales as Crown land.
Transfer of Crown road to Council
Crown Lands, on behalf of the Minister Administering the Crown Lands Act 1989, may publish an order in the Government Gazette transferring a Crown road to another roads authority see s.151 Roads Act 1993.
Note An order transferring a Crown road to the Roads and Maritime Services may not be made except with the consent of the Roads and Maritime Services.
Western Division roads
Deposited plans of survey for new roads in the Western Division of New South Wales will be accepted with an abbreviated survey procedure providing:
- an accurate EDM traverse is made of the centre line of the road as constructed
- the full dimensions of both sides of the road together with a lot number and area are shown
- each existing parcel boundary cut is referenced or marked with a permanent mark
- extra pairs of permanent marks are to be placed within each 10 kilometre interval if there are no intersecting boundaries
- normal cadastral connection is made on boundary cuts
- no other marking of road boundaries need be made and an appropriate note must be made on the plan
- a statement must be made on the plan that the centre line of the road was the centre line of the existing formation as at the date of survey
- the residue of each affected parcel held in the titling system is to be compiled from available survey information, given a separate lot number and a deducted area shown.
Amendments to Western Lands Act 2002
The Western Lands Amendment Act 2002 commenced on 1 December 2002. The amendment empowers the Far West Regional Office, Crown Lands Division, on behalf of the Minister, to exclude roads from Western Lands Leases that commenced prior to 1 December 2002 and dedicate them as public road see sch.1 Western Lands Amendment Act 2002.
Roads located in the Western Division of NSW are defined in plans of survey filed in the R....1603 series or the WDT....series.
WDR plans have been catalogued in the DP97000 series - eg WDR23 has been re-catalogued as DP97023.