Politics and management of recreational lands: a case study of crown land policy-making in NSW, 1856–1980

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Jenkins, JM 1999, 'Politics and management of recreational lands: a case study of crown land policy-making in NSW, 1856–1980', Annals of Leisure Research, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 1-27.

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This paper examines aspects of the politics of the establishment and early management of national parks and state recreation areas (SRAs) in New South Wales (NSW). The premise of this paper is that, to understand the contemporary politics of recreation policy and management, one must first understand their historical development. Considerable attention is given to Crown land legislation and policy from the early nineteenth century to 1980, and to the NSW Department of Lands, the organisation responsible for much Crown land administration and policy for most of that period. The discussion leads to an explanation of why national parks and SRAs were initially established and managed by the Lands Department but then transferred to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service in 1967 and 1980, respectively. Crown land legislation and policy dating back to the nineteenth century left indelible marks on recent public land administration and management in NSW. Compounding these broader historical influences were the archaic organisational frameworks and entrenched culture of the Department of Lands, the institutional and management structures of which adapted too slowly to the challenges and demands of the mid- to late-twentieth century.

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