The Crown Land Estate in New South Wales (NSW), managed by the Department of Primary Industries – Lands, totals 33 million hectares, covers 42% of the state, and is valued at approximately $11 billion. It does not include national parks and state forests managed by other government departments. By far the largest component (more than 30 million hectares) is the Western Division leasehold land, which is mostly under grazing and pastoral leases. The remaining lands comprise 34 000 reserves, including beach and estuary areas, rivers and other waterways, community and cultural facilities, sports and recreation reserves, caravan parks, and land used for grazing and as travelling stock reserves (TSRs).
In June 2012, the NSW Government began an internal interagency Crown Lands Management Review. Its stated aims were to ‘improve the management of Crown land and increase the benefits and returns from Crown land to the community’ (NSW Trade & Investment 2014a:vii)...This paper explains the importance of Crown lands to Aboriginal communities in NSW and how certain elements of the review may affect land of significance to Aboriginal people, indicating risks as well as opportunities.