Who owns the land.

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ian-and-penny
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Who owns the land.

Post by ian-and-penny » 09 November 12 5:07 pm

Discussing Geocache locations with a friend today, and wondered: Who actually owns "Public Land"?

For example if a cache is placed in a tree stump in a public park in town, does the council own the land, or are they just managing the park on behalf of the rate payers?

Legal opinions welcome.

Skippy
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Re: Who owns the land.

Post by Skippy » 09 November 12 7:39 pm

crown land as far as I know unless the council maintains it

Dooghan
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Re: Who owns the land.

Post by Dooghan » 09 November 12 8:26 pm

I remember seeing something on DERM's website here in QLD that said "78% or 79% of QLD was crown land. This included all public roads, parks, sports grounds, showgrounds, etc". Basically all council owned land is state crown land but maintained by council. Just can't find the link now.

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WazzaAndWenches
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Re: Who owns the land.

Post by WazzaAndWenches » 09 November 12 8:31 pm

Not sure about other areas, and not really sure about the true facts around here but...

Most "public land" in my home town is "owned" by the Dept of Green Overalls (Sustainability and Environment or whatever their name is this week.)

The majority of "public" land is under a "committee of management" with that committee being the local Shire.

We've (fire brigade) struck a number of issues with excessive fire risk in local parkland and similar areas with DSE handballing responsibility back to the Shire, and, in some cases, the Shire quickly claiming DSE is the responsibility authority. The problems almost always ends up with a happy result but sometimes it is a problem finding out who is responsible.

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Yurt
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Re: Who owns the land.

Post by Yurt » 09 November 12 8:56 pm

I've always wondered about what seem to be reserves in NSW but then at some entries they have a sign which says "Crown Land No Entry" which is obviously ignored by everyone going by the number of bike tracks and horse trails through the bush. Plenty of geocaches in such bush.

I once posted a thread about this here but no one replied.

rinsemesocks
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Re: Who owns the land.

Post by rinsemesocks » 09 November 12 8:58 pm

Depends on lots and lots of things. A council park can be Crown Land, can be owned by the Council outright, can be the subject of a trust, or a lease, or be owned by somebody else and subject to a dedication. There is no one answer other than checking the title deeds. The answer will also vary from State to State.

There may also be easements, covenants, native title rights, mining rights, rights of way, etc, which affect it.

No simple answer other than it is not the ratepayers.

Laighside Legends
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Re: Who owns the land.

Post by Laighside Legends » 09 November 12 9:14 pm

I think it depends a bit on what land...
Major road sides are owned by the highways department
Minor road sides are owned by council (I think)
National, conservation and regional parks are owned by DENR
Public places like beaches, small parks, ect are owned by "The Crown"
Although some small parks may be owned by council (I think it depends how long they've been there for)

That said, I'm not 100% confident on any of it...

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Cheesy pigs
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Re: Who owns the land.

Post by Cheesy pigs » 09 November 12 9:36 pm

We need to get Pjamesk to weigh in, he works for the council,

My understanding from a Tasmania Police perspective is that all land is owned by the federal government, who delegate to states. State government administers National parks and national highways, the A and B roads, and further delegate to local councils who are given control of land in their area, they are responsible for maintaining local roads, public parks, swimming pools and municipal buildings and charge fees and rates as they need to.

It's like policing at a federal and state level, unlike USA for example where each city has its own police department and the state police manage the highways and assist local law enforcement.

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quiet1_au
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Re: Who owns the land.

Post by quiet1_au » 09 November 12 9:53 pm

Laighside Legends wrote:I think it depends a bit on what land...
Major road sides are owned by the highways department
Minor road sides are owned by council (I think)
National, conservation and regional parks are owned by DENR
Public places like beaches, small parks, ect are owned by "The Crown"
Although some small parks may be owned by council (I think it depends how long they've been there for)

That said, I'm not 100% confident on any of it...
I've been meaning to create a couple of Earthcaches, and they are one publicly accessible beaches - yet the EC rules mean you have to show permission to place the cache (in loose terms). But how/why/who? Write HRH? The extra numbers of visitors there to do the caches I suspect who'd be unnoticeable compared to those who already visit... ](*,)

:-$

nutwood
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Re: Who owns the land.

Post by nutwood » 09 November 12 9:56 pm

There's absolutely no sensible answer to this one. Basically, you find a pot of gold on it and they'll be queuing up to claim it. Find a noxious weed that needs an expensive eradication program and no-one owns it. There's reserves, road reserves, reserved roads, easements, rights of way, bit of land that the crown's resumed but have forgotten to transfer, it just goes on and on!
Cheesy Pig presents a very practical answer but when you dig down into the detail you'll find a complete mess with various sections of Government either claiming control or running for cover, depending on the situation.

belken
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Re: Who owns the land.

Post by belken » 09 November 12 10:18 pm

I thought the states/territories own the land in the first instance. The Federal goverment owns some but only those areas like World heritage, NAtional Parks and National Highway corridors.

The most Freehold title under individual ownership is Victoria which I believe is 60% private freehold.

rinsemesocks
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Re: Who owns the land.

Post by rinsemesocks » 09 November 12 10:57 pm

You can easily find out who owns the land by doing a title search. That costs money. Most title in Australia is held through Torrens Title, even parks and road sides.

Basically, the principle of ownership is:

The High Court Wik decision says that land is not initially owned by anybody (ie. as in 1788)

Once a State Government makes a grant of land, the land comes under the control of the State Government aka Her Majesty. The grant then passes it into private hands ie. you or the Council or becomes Crown land. The Federal Government can resume land (eg airports), or the States can cede land to the Feds (eg. the ACT and NT).

Laighside Legends
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Re: Who owns the land.

Post by Laighside Legends » 09 November 12 11:17 pm

If you in SA goto http://www.propertyassist.sa.gov.au/plb/index.html# for an interesting map of all the titles. It doesn't tell you who owns them but it is interesting to see where they all are...

And yes, that is the worst map interface I have ever seen...

Toriaz
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Re: Who owns the land.

Post by Toriaz » 11 November 12 7:22 pm

rinsemesocks wrote:You can easily find out who owns the land by doing a title search. That costs money. Most title in Australia is held through Torrens Title, even parks and road sides.

Basically, the principle of ownership is:

The High Court Wik decision says that land is not initially owned by anybody (ie. as in 1788)

Once a State Government makes a grant of land, the land comes under the control of the State Government aka Her Majesty. The grant then passes it into private hands ie. you or the Council or becomes Crown land. The Federal Government can resume land (eg airports), or the States can cede land to the Feds (eg. the ACT and NT).
Doing a title search will only give you the legal ownership, it won't give you the beneficial ownership (which can be different). It also may not (but may in some cases) tell you who has a leasehold interest in land that means they will be treated as the owner of land for some NSW legislation (eg lessees of some Crown or Council owned land are regarded as the owner of the land in some circumstances).

Can't speak for all NSW legislation, but under the legislation I deal with, land owned by the Crown is distinguished from land owned by a Council.

Not all roads are owned by the Crown or a council - some are either privately owned or are subject to a longterm lease to a private corporation which gives them rights of ownership. One road in northern NSW is owned by the Qld government (not regarded as the Crown in NSW).

rinsemesocks
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Re: Who owns the land.

Post by rinsemesocks » 11 November 12 10:14 pm

The land title for a property is conclusive under the Torrens title legislation across Australia for ownership. Whilst there may be a trust in favour of somebody, or an unregistered lease, the legal title bumps out any unregistered interests. Even with a registered lease, it doesn't change ownership, as the lease only gives you possession for a fixed period, which can't exceed 99 years.

The original question was ownership, which is a fairly straightforward legal question. Crown Land in NSW is trickier, because it doesn't have to be under Torrens Title.

However, as you say, the real world is different. Permission for a cache could come from the owner, the leasee or the occupier, depending on the terms of the lease or licencee. For example, an advertising company might licence the airspace to put up a billboard, from somebody who has a 50 year lease, from the owner of the property, which is the subject of trust, which is mortgaged to a bank, with the mortgage subject to deed of collaterization.

I'm interested in the road in Northern NSW. Is it coal mining road?

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