The bed of Sydney Harbour, Botany Bay, Newcastle Harbour and Port Kembla Harbour is publicly-owned land. This land is vested in Roads and Maritime Services who manages it for the benefit of the people of NSW.

Any development, occupation or use of these waterways requires the consent of Roads and Maritime as landowner, in addition to any required planning or construction approvals. You may also require an appropriate form of tenure prior to undertaking any development on Roads and Maritime land. For more information on tenure agreements see Leasing.

There are numerous planning approval pathways for development in NSW, depending on the nature and type of development proposed. Most development for new or replacement structures within Sydney Harbour requires development consent. However, in some cases, repairs and maintenance works and other more minor development may be categorised as exempt development, complying development or development permissible without consent.

More information on the development and planning processes for development on Sydney Harbour:

The Property, Strategy & Planning Branch can be contacted at: to:

  • obtain hard copies of any of the guidelines or forms,
  • discuss your application
  • organise a time to discuss your proposal in person at either Rozelle or Parramatta, or
  • if you require any further information.
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