NT opens the door to recreational access on pastoral land

To: Paul Jacobson <>
Subject: NT opens the door to recreational access on pastoral land
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2011 16:52:21 +1000
Hi Paul,

I have just had a read of the document. Very interesting. It certainly will not allow open slather entry to leasehold land. I also don't think it will change the status quo much, as far as allowing people, such as birders, entry to leasehold property without let. The way page 3 reads regarding non-pastoral uses of leasehold land, access will most likely mainly be via organised groups, such as fishing, 4WD tag- along or nature tours, with those organising the the tours paying fees in the manner set out on the page. It will provide the opportunity, though, for leaseholders to set up eco-tourism enterprises as a means of diversification of income, which will be no doubt be welcomed by birders.

It will certainly be interesting to watch the progress of the proposals, especially with the current make-up of the NT Parliament and an election scheduled for August 2012.


Carl Clifford

On 06/04/2011, at 3:19 PM, Paul Jacobson wrote:

Hi Carl,

Anyone interested in the public access issue should at least take a look at the following summary which is on the site linked from Chris' blog.

It appears what is being discussed is access routes _across_ leaseholds rather than unrestricted access to leasehold land.

"Public access

The current provisions of the Act relating to access across pastoral land whereby the Board declares a route for public access across pastoral land have proven to be unworkable. Landholders were unwilling to grant access due to issues such as road maintenance, property security and public liability.

The proposed amendments provide a legislative mechanism for the Minister for Natural Resources, Environment and Heritage to negotiate public access across pastoral land and to declare an access route if necessary. The amendments provide public liability cover, provisions for closure of access (due to mustering activities, seasonal conditions and road conditions), construction of adequate roads and associated access infrastructure and limitations of visitor numbers.

The most significant change to the proposed amendment is that government will assume public liability. It is not intended that the access provisions will allow unfettered public access; the rights of the pastoralist to operate a pastoral enterprise and to protect their financial investment will be recognised. Agreements will be formal and recorded on title."


On 06/04/2011, at 12:41 PM, Carl Clifford wrote:


Any idea on what the feelings of the leaseholders on this change is? If I was a leaseholder, I would be fighting this tooth and nail. The incidence of damage to property and theft on large rural holdings all over Australia is high enough now, even with the right of a landholder or lessee to challenge the right of anyone to be on their property. With anyone being able to enter leasehold land willy- nilly, the temptation to loot unattended outstations may be too great for some.

The NT Government says they will underwrite public liability claims and maintain roads on properties. Anyone who has mounted a public liability claim against a Government, will no doubt wish future claimant under this scheme lots of luck. As for maintaining the roads on properties, well, unless the NT Government has a secret pot of gold, I imagine that they, as are other States and Territories, are struggling to maintain their present road infrastructures.

I believe it is possible in the NT for leaseholders to convert their properties to Fee Simple. If this is so, I can easily imagine there will be a rush to convert from Leasehold, which would change matters slightly. It would be a game Government which would allow the public free access to Fee Simple properties.

The plan to open up leasehold land will be great for birders, amongst others, but there will be many problems to be solved, not to mention a lot of fighting between vested interests.

One final point on the matter, which might have a bearing on the matter, there is an election next year in the NT. It always pays to look at the long game.


Carl Clifford


To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU