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Find out more about roads in Western Australia, the legislation governing these roads and the role we play in road creation, closure and disposal. Additional procedures and practices relating to our roads can also be found here.

Types of roads

Under the Land Administration Act 1997 (WA) , there are two types of roads. The Act defines each type as follows:
Roads - being land dedicated at common law or reserved, declared or otherwise dedicated under an Act as an alley, bridge, court, lane, road, street, thoroughfare or yard for the passage of pedestrians or vehicles or both.
Private roads - an alley, court, lane, road, street, thoroughfare or yard on alienated land or a right of way created under Section 167A of the Transfer of Land Act 1893 (WA) which is not dedicated (under either written law or at common law) for use by the public but is shown on a plan or diagram deposited or shown in an instrument lodged with the Registrar of Titles.

Legislation governing roads

Part 5 of the Land Administration Act 1997 (WA) (LAA) provides the current primary legislative basis for the creation/dedication of roads as well as the closure of roads and private roads in Western Australia.
The Main Roads Act 1930 (WA) (MRA) also contains a legislative framework for roads, but more particularly in relation to highways, main roads and secondary roads. Section 53 of the LAA provides that the MRA prevails where there is any inconsistency between the LAA and that Act.

Our role

Road closure and disposals:

The department:

  • Considers the future disposition of the land in the closed road
  • Arranges any easements and survey/graphic requirements
  • Undertakes conveyancing.

Road creation:

For roads created from State land or acquired from freehold land, the department works closely with local government to ensure the documentation for the creation of a road is complete.
Upon completion, the department:
  • Ensures Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) approval has been obtained, where applicable
  • Checks compliance with the Land Administration Act 1997 (WA) • Performs tenure search and historical tenure search
  • Consults with relevant interest holders, the management body/statutory vestee, as well as public and private utility service providers to ensure they are agreeable to the dedication of the land as a road
  • Checks that the Department of State Development and the Land Access Minister to the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline have agreed to the construction of the road
  • Undertakes necessary future Act processes under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cwlth) for the land
  • Considers the request and makes a recommendation on behalf of the Minister for Lands.

Guidance material – procedures, practices, fees and charges

If any action is required in relation to a private road or road, the following need to be undertaken:

An appropriate search must be made at Landgate

This search needs to be undertaken to determine its tenure, management provisions and whether or not there are encumbrances affecting the land which is the subject of the private road or road.

Contact relevant public and private utility service providers

It is likely that public and private utility service providers will have overhead or underground installations located within a road corridor, for example power lines, gas mains, telephone cabling, and water and sewerage mains. Contact needs to be made with all public utility service providers to advise them of any change in tenure to the road and obtain their comments and/or agreement to any tenure changes.

If you require more information please contact us.