Managing surplus government land

Expected to be tabled in February 2018


Objective To determine whether government agencies are achieving best value from surplus land.

Issues The community places a high value on public land, particularly open space, and the sale, lease or development of this land can create a strong reaction from local communities and interest groups.

The Victorian Government owns land, including Crown land, for a variety of public purposes. Land can be leased, licensed or sold when it is considered surplus to agency requirements. Government land is considered surplus when it is no longer required for current or future service delivery, it is not a priority for protection and it is no longer of financial benefit to the state.

In 2008, the Select Committee of the Legislative Council on Public Land Development identified a range of issues with the system for assessing and disposing of surplus land. Since then, the government has taken steps to improve land management practices across the public sector.

In 2015 and 2016, government developed a suite of policies and guidance which provide the overall framework for the management of land assets by all agencies. This included, in 2015, the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) setting surplus land sales targets to incentivise government agencies to identify and release surplus land in a timely manner.

This audit aims to determine whether these changes have improved the achievement of best value from surplus government land.

Proposed agencies DELWP, DTF, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education and Training and Victorian Rail Track (VicTrack).