New powers in relation to roads

The SRL Act includes, in new sections 186 to 186E, clearer and distinct powers to authorise different types of actions and activities in relation to roads. The amendments are intended to cover much the same field as section 186 and 189 of the current Act, but in a way that better aligns with the legal framework for managing roads in the Road Management Act 2004. The amendments include:

A power, in s 186, for the project authority to carry out, or authorise any person to carry out works to, on over, or under or in relation to a road for the purposes of an approved project. The works may be conducted for any type of infrastructure (whether road related or not), and without obtaining any further permission under the Road Management Act.

A power for a project authority to discontinue a road or realign a road (s 186A). The power to discontinue a road is in much the same terms as currently provided in section 186. The realignment power enables the project authority to, by a single notice, discontinue the road over those parts of the land no longer intended to form part of the road, and to declare the new alignment to be a road.

A power, in s 186D, for a project authority to temporarily manage roads and traffic, including: provide for temporary roadways on relevant land (a defined class of land the authority has obtained the power to use by other means); temporarily deviate a road over relevant land; temporarily divert traffic onto a temporary roadway or a temporarily deviated road; and to close or open a road to traffic. These powers may apply to any part of a road (for example, to close one lane of a road to traffic).

A clarification and expansion of existing requirements that a road authority not exercise its powers inconsistently with an approved project (s 188), and a new consent procedure in section 189 for works on roads and road discontinuances proposed in a project area by road authorities.

A new Subdivision 3 is inserted into Division 8 of Part 6 into the MTPF Act to provide the project authority with similar powers with respect to vehicles that road authorities possess under the Road Management Act 2004. The project authority will have:

  • powers to alter parking conditions on roads closed to traffic for the purposes of an approved project and
  • powers to remove vehicles or objects from closed roads if the vehicles or objects are obstructing or delaying works for the purposes of the approved project.