Licences to use Crown land

A licence allows a person or organisation the right to use a specified portion of Crown land for a specific purpose and period.

A licence may be granted for an unmanaged reserve or Crown land under certain circumstances by the Minister for Lands under the Land Administration Act.

A licence does not grant an exclusive right to the land and members of the public cannot be excluded from licensed Crown land. In some circumstances public access may be restricted in the interests of public safety.

To apply for a licence, you will need to complete the Crown land enquiry form.

Please note - If the proposed event or activity is on Crown land that is owned or in the care, control or management of a number of land owners, bodies or authorities, then you may need a separate licence or approval from each land owner, body or authority. 

Licences for the purpose of events and other activities on Crown land

When do I need a licence?

A licence may be required if you are proposing to hold an event or conduct an activity over Crown land. The type of licence or other approval that may be required depends on the location of the Crown land to which you require access, as well as the type and length of the event or activity.

Where do I get the licence from?

In most cases, a licence to access Crown land would be issued by the department under section 48 or 91 of the Land Administration Act 1997 (LAA).

However, in some cases, a licence or approval might be issued by a local government, Main Roads Western Australia or another body managing Crown land (see type of land and responsible bodies below). 

How do I know if my event or activity is on Crown land?

If you are unsure if the location of your proposed enquiry is on Crown land, your first step is to contact Landgate to identify the owner or management body of the land by:

  • calling +61 (0)8 9273 7373 
  • visiting Landgate's website
  • in person at the Landgate Office, at 1 Midland Square, Midland.

If the land is private or freehold, then you will need to contact the owner of that land.

If the land is Crown land, please see below some of the most common types of Crown land and the bodies, authorities or land owners responsible for granting a licence or approval to access.

Type of land and responsible bodies
Managed Reserves

Responsible body - Relevant management body

For use of land that comprises managed reserves, the applicant should contact the respective management body in the first instance. For example, this could be a Local Government, a State Government agency, or an Aboriginal corporation. The Management Body can be determined by contacting Landgate.

Unmanaged reserves

Responsible body - Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage

With respect to unmanaged reserves, the applicant is to contact the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage.

Unallocated Crown land

​Responsible body - Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage

The applicant is to contact the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage.

Pastoral leases

Responsible body - Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage

Pastoral lessees of Crown land can only use the Crown land for pastoral purposes and in accordance with any permit. It will depend on the nature of the event as to whether the pastoral lessee can authorise the conduct of the event or activity over the leased area, as pastoral lessees do not have the authority to permit or authorise non-pastoral activities on the land. The applicant is to contact the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage in the first instance.

Crown leases

Responsible body - Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage 

With respect to Crown lessees, it will depend on the nature of the event or activity and the designated purpose of the particular lease as to whether the lessee can authorise the conduct of the event or activity over the leased area. The applicant is to contact the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage in the first instance.

Roads

Responsible body - Local government 

The applicant should contact the road management authority which in most instances is the Local Government, or Main Roads Western Australia for major roads.

Major roads

Responsible body - Main Roads Western Australia

The applicant is to contact Main Roads Western Australia for use of land that comprises major roads.

Tips for submitting licence enquiries

Please submit your application at least three months prior to date(s) on which the event or activity is to take place.

Provide as much information as possible to ensure timely processing of your application.

Please obtain and provide all documents (including approvals, permits and licences) that may help in the assessment of your application.

Important information

  • Submitting an application does not in itself grant the right to access Crown land, and the department reserves the right to decline any application. 
  • The application is solely seeking the grant of short term access to Crown land for which the department is responsible. 
  • It is your responsibility to consult with all other relevant agencies, bodies, authorities and adjoining land owners as to their requirements for the event or proposed activity, and to obtain all other licences, permits and approvals required by that owner, agency, body or authority in order to hold the event or undertake the proposed activity.
  • Event organisers should be aware that the department will require the event organiser to take out a public liability insurance policy and that such insurance shall include the interests of the State of Western Australia.
  • The department requires that adequate levels of planning, liaison and co-ordination for events are in place and documented. This includes emergency plans, as well as risk management and response procedures. In developing these procedures and arrangements the event organiser will need to liaise with all relevant authorities and agencies such as Tourism Western Australia, the local government, and any local emergency management committees.
  • Licences granted by the department require the payment of a fee. The fee will vary depending on the extent of the department's involvement in the assessment, review, documentation and inspection of the site.
  • The department will consider the impact on native title rights and interests.

If you have any questions or need help with your application, the application form or the process, please contact the department and ask for the Land Use Management Team responsible for the area within which your proposed event or activity is to take place (refer to the regions on the map).

For additional information regarding event approvals, support or advice, please visit the Tourism Western Australia website

Page last reviewed 21 January 2019
Go toTop of the page