Office of Strategic Lands

10 August 2017

 

The Office of Strategic Lands effectively fulfils most aspects of its defined role, according to a report released today by the Acting Auditor-General of New South Wales, Ian Goodwin. However, it could do more to support strategic land planning by identifying and acquiring land for future public use proactively rather than waiting for agencies or landholders to approach it. It may also have greater impact if it expanded its activities beyond greater Sydney.

The audit assessed whether the Office of Strategic Lands effectively fulfils its role to identify, acquire, manage and dispose of land, and whether it is sustainable over the long-term to meet its objectives.

'New South Wales government agencies we spoke with consider the Office of Strategic Lands to fulfil an important role as a self-funding long-term land holder and manager. However, it is not used as extensively as it could be. It has the potential to play a much bigger role in assisting New South Wales Government agencies with longer term planning by partnering with them to identify, acquire, hold and manage land for future needs.' said Ian Goodwin.

While the Office of Strategic Lands is diligent in its financial management over the short and medium terms, it has identified that relying on the sale of surplus land to continue funding its ongoing operations is not sustainable, but is yet to finalise a strategy to address this.

The Office of Strategic Lands expects to finalise and implement a Strategic Business Plan to guide its future direction and long-term sustainability, in late 2017. The creation of its own business strategy is an opportunity to clarify its long-term business direction, and set clear and relevant goals and performance measures to support its unique role in longer-term land planning. This strategy should be supported by business and financial models, to ensure it is operationally and financially sustainable for the long term.

The Office of Strategic Lands is a Corporation Sole acting on behalf of the Minister for Planning to identify, acquire, manage and divest land required for long-term planning purposes by the New South Wales government. It is run within the Department of Planning and Environment, and it currently operates only within the greater Sydney region.

Further information

A full copy of the report is available here.

Please contact Barry Underwood on 9275 7220 or 0403 073 664 and email barry.underwood@audit.nsw.gov.au

Our vision

Our insights inform and challenge government to improve outcomes for citizens.

Our purpose

To help parliament hold government accountable for its use of public resources.

Our values

  • Purpose – we have an impact, are accountable and work as a team.
  • People – we trust and respect others, and have a balanced approach to work.
  • Professionalism – we are recognised for our independence and integrity and the value we deliver.