Currently, land acquired or divested under the MTPF Act becomes Crown land by 'default'. Sometimes there is an option for the land to vest in the project authority, but not for all powers.
The amendments either enable or make it simpler for land to vest in the project authority (though the default position remains that land becomes Crown land). They include:
- Interests in land acquired under s 112, of any kind (not just a fee simple estate), may vest in the project authority if the Notice of Acquisition provides for that result. A new approved form will be created to make it easier for Notices of Acquisition to clearly provide for that result, when that is the desired outcome.
- Orders divesting land owned by Councils or public authorities under section 134 will be able to specify that land vests in the project authority, rather than becoming Crown land. Under the current Act, there needs to be subsequent grant of Crown land under section 137A for the project authority to obtain fee simple title to divested land.
- Orders revoking the reservation of Crown land under section 139 or 140 may be accompanied by a Crown grant of that land to the project authority under new section 142B of the MTPF Act, made at the same time as the revocation order.
- Orders acquiring a stratum of underground land may also specify that the stratum vests in the project authority, rather than becoming Crown land, by operation of new sections 162(4) and 162A(1)(a) of the MTPF Act.
The amendments also provide a broader power to enable the grant of any unreserved Crown land to a project authority under new section 142B. The narrower power currently in s 137A of the MTPF Act is accordingly repealed.