The Right to Roam: A Review of Policy and Management of Public Access to Land.

Research Report


Right to Roam


Dr Michael Hughes, Professor Marian Tye, Mariyam Zulfa



The report reviews legislation and management regimes in the UK, New Zealand and WA regarding public recreational walking access to land of varying tenure, to inform strategic direction for public access to land in Australia. The tradition of Australian landholders having exclusive rights over access to their land is found to be a potential source of resistance to the right to roam. The complex determination of access to land in WA involving multiple parties is also set to create complications when seeking permission for public recreational access. Demonstration of broad community support (recreationists, managers and land holders) for the right to roam is seen as vital for its introduction to WA. Creating a public right of way that crosses several local government areas would require a specific planning process to be initiated with each local government that includes respective state government involvement and community consultation for each local government area. The WA Physical Activity Taskforce which promotes walking and cycling based activity could form the foundation for development of right to roam policy.

How to cite:

Hughes, M., Tye, M., and M. Zulfa, M. The Right to Roam. A Review of Policy and Management of Public Access to Land. A report for the Department of Sport and Recreation WA. Perth. October 2010.