Opening new public road

A public road may only be opened in accordance with the provisions of the Roads Act 1993 or some other Act - see s.8 Roads Act 1993. This does not bind the Crown.

These other Acts include (but are not limited to) the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Act 1998, the Darling Harbour Authority Act 1984 and the Albury-Wodonga Growth Centres Act 1974. The authorities constituted under these Acts may surrender land to the Crown for dedication as a public road.

Land may be dedicated as a public road in the following ways:

  • Registration of a plan of subdivision (or other plan) bearing statement of intention to dedicate specified land as public road - see s.9 Roads Act 1993. For more information see New roads created in a DP page.
  • Publication of a notice in the Government Gazette dedicating as a public road, land held by a council or the Roads and Maritime Services (including land acquired under Division 1 of Part 12 of the Roads Act 1993) - see s.10 Roads Act 1993. For more information see Acquisition by road authorities (not the Crown) page.
  • Publication of a notice in the Government Gazette dedicating as public road, land acquired by the Minister administering the Crown Lands Act 1989 under Division 1 or 2 of part 12 of the Roads Act, 1993. The notice must declare whether or not the new road is to be a Crown Road - see s.11 Roads Act 1993.
  • Publication of a notice in the Government Gazette dedicating any unoccupied Crown land as a public road. The notice must declare whether or not the new road is to be a Crown public road - see s.12 Roads Act 1993.
  • Proclamation by the Governor dedicating as a public road any land owned by a public authority and used by the public as a road. The recommendation of the Minister responsible for the public authority is required - see s.13 Roads Act 1993.
  • Publication in the Government Gazette of an acquisition notice in respect of land the subject of proposed road widening, obtaining public road status without further dedication - see ss.14 and 203 Roads Act 1993.
  • Land that has been set aside for the purposes of road in a subdivision of land effected before January 1907 (the date of commencement of the Local Government Act, 1906) or registered by the Registrar General before 1 January 1920 (the date of commencement of the Local Government Act 1919), may be dedicated as public road by the publication of an appropriate notice in the Government Gazette - see ss.16 and 17 Roads Act 1993.

A public road may not be opened by a person other than the Crown unless the opening is approved by the local council, or in the case of land outside a local government area, by the Minister. An approval may be granted subject to conditions, and cannot be given unless all affected parties consent to the dedication. An approval ceases to have effect two years after it was given, unless the land is dedicated as public road within that time.

Opening of public roads prior to 1 July 1993 roads opened prior to 1993 may have been by prescription, common law, memorandum or by local council.

Road opening by the Roads and Maritime Services a notice published in the Government Gazette may vest land in the RMS as public road.