Following on from the creation of a Public Access Route (PAR) on Uralla Station by the Shire of Ashburton in Western Australia, Track Care WA endorses and supports the creation of additional PARs that would improve access to remote areas suitable for public recreation.
While there is currently only one PAR in our State, there are 24 PARs in South Australia that range in length from a few hundred metres to more than 200 kilometres in length. Our involvement in the creation of the Shire of Ashburton PAR has been a driving force that has fuelled our desire to encourage government to use this little known mechanism to provide managed access to locations of interest to recreationalists and tourists like.
What is a Public Access Route?
In Western Australia a Public Access Route (PAR) is a form of statutory easement granted by the relevant Minister in favour of members of the public generally. PARs may be declared to provide access to areas of recreational or tourist interest, over Crown land whether unallocated or subject of reservation, management order, dedication, lease or any other tenure, or subject to an Act such as the CALM Act.
Section 64 of the Land Administration Act 1997 (LAA) allows for the Minister to provide the public with access through Crown land to an area of recreational or tourist interest.
For all intentional purposes a Public Access Route (PAR) is to be treated as an easement granted by the Minister under section 144 of the LAA in favour of members of the public generally.
These ‘interests’ over land are usually for access for tourist sites and will be treated as de facto easements. They will be depicted on a Crown Plan with a purpose of ‘Easement’.
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Other Australian Jurisdictions.
Public access routes are established under the South Australian Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act 1989 to provide public access over pastoral land without the need for travellers to ask permission from the lessee.
A network of 24 public access routes has been established.
Public access routes are not roads or part of the formal road network. They are unimproved and unsurfaced dirt tracks intended to provide four wheel drive access in dry conditions only.
Short routes, including Arkaringa Hills (2km), Curdimurka (1km) and Strangways Springs (2.5km), are traversable by a two wheel drive.
The longest PAR is the Walkers Crossing Track (226km) that provides access from the Strzelecki Track to the Birdsville Track, via Innamincka, without leaving South Australia. It follows the 15 Mile Track in the Innamincka Regional Reserve from Innamincka to the Gidgealpa Homestead Road from Moomba. It then crosses Tirrawarra Gasfield Road and runs north, passing other gasfields, before crossing Cooper Creek at Walkers Crossing. From there it follows Christmas Creek downstream for approximately 15km, before heading generally north westwards across an increasingly arid landscape to the Birdsville Track.