What are Greenways?
“Greenways” is a common or colloquial term for the network of access ways or corridors in Bywong and Wamboin, NSW. It is a matrix or patchwork of different types of public roads and public access ways that allow people to walk, cycle, horse ride and enjoy the local Bywong and Wamboin area and in some cases, facilitates wildlife and native vegetation corridors. Roads and access ways include crown roads in all forms — paved, unpaved and unmade road reserves — and also council reserves and specially gazetted as a “Greenway” (see below). This means ownership of these Greenways is with either local or state governments.
Greenways Renewal Working (GRoW) group aims to identify new areas for walking and enjoying our local area in non-motorised ways by working with the community to identify suitable access ways and promoting their use. We also look to see if we can also enhance the environment for walkers, wildlife and flora at the same time.
What is a Crown Road?
A crown road is a strip of land or reserve of land, usually 20m wide, which is legally owned by the Federal Government and legally maintained by the NSW Government for the sole purpose of access to properties. Many crown roads form the basis of our roads network – highways, main roads and local roads. They can also be used as driveways into properties. There are also many crown roads that have not ever been used as roads because they have not been needed. However, these are still legally known as crown roads and must always be available to provide through access, even though they are unmade roads and legally remain so until such time they become private land. Technically, this means that all Crown road reserves must be accessible and this makes them useful also for recreational purposes. For more information about Crown roads, see NSW Crown roads website
What is a Council Reserve?
A council reserve is a parcel of land set aside by council for specific or designated public use. This could be a park or an access way or some other council access or amenity. The Les Reardon Reserve is an example of this.
What is a “Greenway”?
An access way that is set aside by council, usually as part of a sub-division, to provide amenity to the local population. Many of these have come about as part of sub-divisions that have absorbed crown roads, and the Greenway has become a substitute or requirement of a sub-divided parcel of land.
Why are the Greenways important?
The Greenways provide an important public amenity for recreational access for safe public social walking, cycling and horse riding for the community in a rural residential setting that has few alternatives: where fenced properties are the norm. The Greenways also provide potential wildlife corridors that may not be available in areas that are increasingly built-up and developed. Both these aspects will become increasingly socially and environmentally important in future as the local population expands and available public land decreases. We are privileged in our community to have access to public land for recreation.
Who owns the Greenways?
Ownership depends on who is responsible for the specific access way. For example, those Greenways that are crown roads are legally owned and maintained by NSW Government, even those that have enclosure permits or are leased by adjacent landholders. Those Greenways that are either gazetted as such or are council reserves are the responsibility of council. Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council has a s.355 committee — Greenway Management Committee— comprising a councillor and local residents who oversee the maintenance of the existing Greenway network.
Can people walk on crown roads that go across or next to my property?
Yes. If you have a crown road running across your property or alongside it, you will have this noted on your title deed. A crown road is public property and exists for access. This will be the case even if you have an enclosure permit that allows you to “fence in” that road as part of your property. Part of the arrangement for having an enclosure permits means you must have an unlocked gate and no barriers that will prevent access across that crown road, from one end to the other. For more information about Crown roads, see NSW Crown roads website.
All Greenways website pages are currently being maintained by Nora Stewart. Last updated (email address) 22 August 2020.
You can find us on FaceBook – Greenways Bywong and Wamboin