The Land: Melbourne Recital Centre

Our Client: Major Projects Victoria; The Issue: Authorisation of projections into airspace above roads

The Land: Murray River frontage at Mildura

Our Client: Places Victoria; The Issue: Assembly of land parcels for redevelopment

The Land: Coasts, Lakes and Rivers across Victoria

Our Client: Department of Transport, Planning & Local Infrastructure; The Issue: Governance of recreational boating facilities

The Land: Lake Boga

Our Client: Goulburn-Murray Water; The issue: Strategy for managing 140 illegal encroachments

The Land: Anywhere that people congregate

Our Client: Victorian Environmental Assessment Council; The Issue: What makes Melbourne ‘liveable’?

The Land: Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne

Our Client: Lend Lease on behalf of Myers Pty Ltd; The Issue: Acquisition of rights to airspace for pedestrian bridge

Terra Publica Archive

View the archive of our free monthly Email Bulletin of information, commentary and analysis of public land issues in Victoria.

Date Articles

2017
Sep 2017 September edition 2017
  • Crocodile Rock! (40 to 1) - With the Spring Carnival almost upon us, all eyes will turn to Flemington and Caulfield racecourses. Perhaps they deserve more attention at other times, too. We think a look at Caulfield in particular would provide some insights into what’s wrong with public land systems in Victoria.
  • Congratulations to our recent graduates!
  • The Law Relating to Works on Roads - So far as is Reasonably Practicable
  • What’s the connection between Melbourne’s trams and public land?
  • Our calendar of one-day training courses through to December
Aug 2017 Winter 2017 edition

Not another restructure!

Governments seem to be forever reconfiguring the public service. Here at Terra Publica we are often sceptical about the merits of such restructures.

But if the creation of Land Use Victoria leads to implementation of VEAC’s recommendations for public land, then we must approve.

And we’ve done a restructure ourselves – of our training courses relating to roads. More details in this edition.

May 2017 May-June edition
  • VEAC recommends a total overhaul of Victoria’s public land legislation
  • Major developments on freehold can be brought undone if they cross over their title boundaries
  • Roadsides can be hazardous for the public, and for their managing councils
Apr 2017 March-April edition
  • How do we tackle unauthorised retaining walls on roadsides?
  • Our suite of 3 one-day training courses for road managers
  • Our schedule of Professional Development courses for April-June 2017
Jan 2017 January edition
  • Coastal conflicts
  • Q&A - when must a Council put tenure proposals on public exhibition?
  • Professional development for road managers - our new one-day training courses
  • Our full schedule of professional development courses for February to June 2017
2016
Dec 2016 December 2016
  • Change management
  • Q&A - Carriageway easements
  • New one-day Roads courses
  • Workshops and Masterclasses in 2017
  • Our 2017 Training Calendar
Aug 2016 August 2016

Amendments: challenging

Wholesale reform: even more challenging

Jun 2016 June 2016

Coastal Special
• Barney at Killarney
• Towards a new Marine and Coastal Act
• What's that on the beach? Pretty sure it's not sand...
• Reconfiguring Coastal Governance
• Victoria's Aboriginal Heritage Act 2004 - our workshops on the forthcoming amendments
• Our calendar of training courses

May 2016 April-May 2016

Planning the statutory Council Plan
Reconfiguring Coastal Governance
Public Land Committees
Our 2016 Training Courses calendar

Mar 2016 February-March 2016

Hey, Watch Where You're Walking, Dude - 'Your Honour, Council should have protected me from walking into the traffic while I was texting...' 
The Aboriginal Heritage Act gets some teeth;
If Crown land is subject to a lease, can that land be sold off as freehold?
Best Value from Community-Use Land - a half-day Seminar

Jan 2016 January 2016 edition

 

 

We report on some work we're doing for VEAC on the subject of Council managed community use reserves;

 

We give you an update on our Professional Certificate courses; and

 

We address the question of driveway access onto arterial roads.

 

Plus, our schedule of one-day & half-day training courses to July 2016

 

 

2015
Dec 2015 December 2015 edition

The VEAC Statewide Assessment of Public Land

Acres and Shillings - what are these weird units?

Professional Certificates in Land Administration and Governance

Koondrook Cricket Ground - an object lesson in confusion

Our 2016 Training Courses calendar

Sep 2015 September 2015 edition
  • Make public spaces work harder - can Melbourne continue to waste land for surface ("at-grade") car parks?
  • Introducing Professional Certificates in Land Administration and Governance
Aug 2015 August 2015 edition
  • Victorian Environment and Assessment Council (VEAC) may recommend that riparian land be set aside as a ‘Streamside Reserve’ but for most waterways the good old Land Act 1958 and Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 continue to thwart sound management outcomes.
  • The 12mm stumble – At last, the Supreme Court provides some insights into the effectiveness of the Road Management Act.
Jul 2015 June-July edition

A Commendable Dereliction of Duty
As Minister of Lands in the Bolte Liberal Government, Bill Borthwick had a fight on his hands. In the aftermath of the 1970 elections, he was committed to setting up the Land Conservation Council. It wasn’t the Labor Opposition that stood in his way, it was the Country Party.
Also in this edition – why Crown reserves should be donated to local government, in freehold.

May 2015 May 2015 edition

North of the Border
They have public land in NSW, too – including types we Victorians know nothing about, like Travelling Stock Routes. But one thing we share: the need for reform of Crown land law. And it seems NSW is a step or two ahead of us.

Apr 2015 Easter 2015 edition

Living with the Rate Cap: how councils can make use of clever public land management.
Auditing Public Land Tenures: reassure yourself that your council’s landlord-tenant relationships are sound.
Also – some of our forthcoming one-day courses

Mar 2015 March 2015 edition
  • The crocodile that ate the powerboats: conservation groups enlist a 4million year old fossil to oppose the expansion of a motor-boat club
  • Is Leunig’s goat committing an offence? The Summary Offences Act illustrates a serious flaw in Parliament’s management of the statute book.
Feb 2015 February 2015 edition

Why do some public places succeed? Why do others fail? – Our theory is that one key factor is governance. Questions about Parks Vic’s enforcement powers; and irrigation channels in road reserves. Our calendar of Professional Development courses for February- April 2015.

Jan 2015 January 2015 edition

In this edition we:

  • offer Daniel Andrews some suggestions for reforming public land law and policy
  • reflect on the governance of recreational boating facilities
  • address some questions about volunteer land management groups
2014
Nov 2014 November 2014 edition

Public Land from the right – a brief look at how conservative theorists view public land

  • One question about municipal boundaries (and parking) and two more questions about parking.
  • Our schedule of one-day training courses through to March 2014
  • Coming soon: Offences on Roads and Public Land – a course for Enforcement Officers.
Sep 2014 September 2014 edition

The East-West link, cutting its swathe through Royal Park, has emerged as the principal differentiating issue in the State election.
PLUS – we follow-up on local-significance reserves; and follow-up on bathing boxes.

Jul 2014 Lead story: IF ONLY…

If we could turn back the clock, we’d surely retain more land in public ownership. Idle speculation? Well, if we don’t imagine what could have been, we’ll have a very limited vision of what might still be.

Apr 2014 Lead story: Unwanted Gifts

Should Crown reserves be handed over to municipalities?
Readers’ question: At what point does an urban Arterial Road become non-urban?

Mar 2014 Lindsay Fox’s appropriation of Portsea beach highlights the need for legislative reform.

How a murder on the Murray River defined the NSW-Victoria border.
Readers’ question: Can a Council really sell off Public Open Space?

Jan 2014 Governance systems for public land:

Our view differs from that of New-York think-tank Project for Public Spaces (PPS)
Victoria’s new Waterway Management Strategy
Readers’ questions about ‘Private Roads’ and Committee of Management funding

2013
Dec 2013 Splish Splash: Land is land, even if it’s covered by water.

Council land is protected from theft by trespass – isn’t it?
Can a Plan of Subdivision alter an abutting road?

Nov 2013 Coles, Woolworths and the Queen Victoria Market:

How the economics of public land differ from the economics of private land.
Is a Crown land Committee an Incorporated Association?

Oct 2013 Tony Abbott's Green Army - we're sceptical, but prepared to be convinced.

Waterways - a cadastral taxonomy.
Questions about road reserves

Sep 2013 We argue that public land of national significance should get meaningful national support.

Also in this edition: feedback from our 'Road Less Travelled' workshops.

Jul 2013 Why are some offences never prosecuted? Roadside Weeds and Native Vegetation.

Fences Act - Parliament accepts our recommendations

May 2013 Melbourne's bathing boxes: leases or licences?

Parks Victoria's commitment to its avowed philosophy gets tested.
Finding 'Titles' for Crown Land. What's happened to Victorian Government Departments?

Mar 2013 Will developments in National Parks compromise the very values they're celebrating?

We don't want a repeat of the Stonehenge visitor centre.
Also Land Tax on Crown Land.

Feb 2013 A blockage in the bowel?

The law governing Victoria's riparian land resembles something requiring a dose of salts.

Jan 2013 Billions of dollars.

That's the value of fences alongside Victoria's roads and public land. Who should pay?

2012
Dec 2012 December Edition

141 years after the statutory separation of church and state, taxpayer assets are still being handed out, free.

Nov 2012 What's wrong with section 32 vendors' statements?

Perhaps property purchasers should be warned: If the property has an abuttal to a road reserve, that road may be discontinued by your local council without your consent, without you having any avenues of appeal, and without due compensation.™

Oct 2012 If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If is broke, do fix it.

Five examples of dysfunctional public land legislation.

Sep 2012 Off the Rails:

Between Hamilton and Caseterton in Western Victoria, a well-engineered process has gone totally off the rails.

Jul 2012 July Edition

In the July edition we bring you our long-awaited schedule of courses through to October 2012.

Jun 2012 The Presumption of Consent:

It's almost as fundamental as the presumption of innocence. In the absence of some law to the contrary, citizens are allowed to do whatever they want on Crown land. Some people in DSE seem to think the opposite: in the absence of some explicit consent, they say, citizens are prohibited from entering or using Crown land.

Apr 2012 Mabo Day - Three Cheers or Black Armbands?

Competing interpretations of history have their roots deep in the Nineteenth Century. Our ancestors knew full well that they were dispossessing Aboriginal people at the point of a gun. The shameful thing is that the legislation under which they did it is still on the statute books.

Feb 2012 Excuse me, You seem to be Uncovered…

Victoria's municipalities are required to have insurance - but when they're acting as Crown land committees of management there seems to be an embarrassing degree of exposure.

Jan 2012 Land Ownership ain't wha it used to be

There was a time when, if you owned the land, you owned everything on it – the water, the wildlife, the trees – and you held unrestricted usage and development rights. Not any more. This month we comment on easements and covenants, reform of the law governing them.

2011
Sep 2011 Hermaphrodites and Orphans

The authors of the Transport Integration Act 2010, and VicRoads, stretch our capacity for metaphors.
Public Open Space in Subdivisions - a quick review of case law

Jul 2011 Are there Big Cats out there?

The Baillieu Government comes to grips with public land.
Also - Risk Management: the Take-Home Messages.
Terra Publica celebrates 10 years of Q&A…

Mar 2011 See You in Court Sir!

In this edition Terra Publica bemoans the decline of Mabo-style litigant, whose case helped us to better understand public land law...

Feb 2011 Visigoths and Besieged Castles

How public spaces make European cities different from Australian cities

How council road discontinuations could have disastrous consequences for landowners