The Department of Lands [III] was established following the commissioning of the 4th Carr Government on 2 April 2003. The Department of Land and Water Conservation was abolished, with units administering the Crown Lands Act 1989, the Roads Act 1993 in relation to Crown roads, the Minor Ports Unit, and the Soil Services Unit transferred to the Department of Lands [III].
The Department of Lands [III] was comprised of three divisions: (3)
i) Land and Property Information Division
was responsible for maintaining a record of land titles and registration through the Torrens Title register and the General Register of Deeds
general valuations of local government areas and all NSW properties at regular intervals
provision of property information including land titles and associated plans and dealings, valuation information, survey control data, mapping and spatial information
implementation and monitoring of standards for the survey industry, and provision of access to State Control Survey data
mapping and spatial information, maintenance of a digital cadastral map and a digital topographic map of the State, aerial photography and satellite imagery (4)
ii) Crown Lands Division
was responsible for the sustainable and commercial management of Crown land held under lease, licence or permit, and the administration of Crown land tenures and unallocated Crown lands, including all Crown reserves in NSW dedicated or reserved for public purposes. Services provided include the issue of licences, leases, enclosure permits authorising the inclusion of a Crown public road or waterway into a property boundary, Aboriginal Land Claims on vacant Crown land, the acquisition of Crown land by other authorities for public purposes, the marketing of Crown land for residential, commercial, and industrial usage, accounts management and financial searches, issuing of easement rights, land survey and title creation for Crown land, investigation of any variation in Mean High Water Mark boundary definitions of tidal waterfront freehold property, and the administration of waterways (with the exception of Sydney Harbour, Botany Bay, Port Hunter and Port Kembla Harbour). (5)
iii) Soil Services Division
operated as a commercial consulting and contracting business specialising in environmental protection and rehabilitation techniques, and offers professional and technical services in erosion and sediment control, soil and water testing, land assessment, farm water supply, and revegetation. The Soil Services Division operated from centres in both metropolitan and country NSW. (6)
The Department of Lands [III] also provided administrative support to the Board of Surveying and Spatial Information of New South Wales.
Following the abolition of the Department of Natural Resources, the group of staff principally involved in the administration of the Western Lands Act 1901, the Hay Irrigation Act 1902, and the Wentworth Irrigation Act 1890, were transferred to the Department of Lands (7), commencing on 27 April 2007. (8)
From 1 July 2009 the Department of Lands [III] was abolished and its functions were transferred to the newly established Land and Property Management Authority, a division of the new Principal Department, the Department of Services, Technology and Administration. (9)
(1) NSW Government Gazette Special Supplement No. 67, 2 April 2003, p.4327
(2) ibid, p.4331-32
(3) The Department of Lands, Annual Report 2002/2003, p.4
(4) www.lands.nsw.gov.au - accessed 17/12/2004
(7) NSW Government Gazette, No 47, Special Supplement, 2 April 2007, p.2103
(8) NSW Government Gazette, No 56, Special Supplement, 20 April 2007, p.2435.
(9) Public Sector Employment and Management (Departmental Amalgamations) Order 2009 (2009 No 352), cl. 31; notified on NSW Legislation website, 27 July 2009.
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