Recreation Access to Land in Western Australia: Summary Final Report.

Research Report

Project:

Right to Roam

Authors:

Dr Michael Hughes, Professor Marian Tye

Published:

2014

This report outlines findings of the recreation access to land in Western Australia (WA) project. The project was initiated in 2009 based on concerns expressed by WA outdoor recreation groups that rights for public access to land for recreation in WA were being eroded and opportunities reduced. Advocates in WA pointed to the UK and New Zealand where restrictions on access were recognised and laws amended to counter these restrictions. There is currently no equivalent legislation in Australia specifically granting public rights of access to land for recreational purposes. Consequently, a need to better understand the complex legislative and non-legislative determinants governing recreation access to land in Western Australia was identified. In the context of this project, recreation access refers to individual or group walking based activities (on land of various tenures) centred on responsible interaction within natural environments.

The project included two general phases of research between 2009 and 2013 to identify the key issues associated with access to land for recreation in WA. Phase 1 reviewed policy and management in two regions comparable to WA where the legal right for recreation access has been established, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. A comparison of the legal, historical and social contexts of walking based recreation access enabled identification of a strategic research direction for public access policy in WA.

Phase 2 gathered information from recreation users and land managers in order to determine the key issues inhibiting or facilitating access. This stage gathered information based on the experience of recreation users and land managers in WA to determine whether perceptions regarding recreational walking access to land in WA are supported by evidence. The information gathered from Phases 1 and 2 was used to formulate recommendations for management of recreation access to land in WA.

How to cite:

Hughes, M., and M. Tye. Recreation Access to Land in Western Australia: Summary Final Report. A report for the Department of Sport and Recreation WA, Perth. March, 2014.