Thursday, March 18, 2010

National Park Newcastle

To the Councillors of Newcastle City Council 
and the residents and ratepayers of Newcastle

Dear Councillors in the first instance,

Newcastle Council needs clear Title to National Park Newcastle and the whole park must be Categorised as Park 36G as well as Sportsgrounds 36F.

It was brought to my notice that Councllors were concerned about Newcastle Council’s tenure of the land known as National Park.

I searched the Title yesterday, Wednesday, 17 March 2010 and I can report that Council does not hold a clear Torens Title of the land conveyed in the Indenture and possibly never will.

I don’t know what Council did last Tuesday night but I hope that they clearly resolved to obtain:

1. An accurate land survey of the area we now regard as National Park and apply for a clear title with the Council of the City of Newcastle as proprietor and to;

2. Crategorise the whole of the park as Park and catagorise the whole park as Sports ground to show good faith and clear responsibility for the park in the terms of the principal Indenture.

These things should have been done before the Council decided to enter into discussions about further leases and licences with anyone.

The land is Old System Title and is actually smaller than the area described and conveyed under conditional title in 1913. It has been alienated with encroachments since the original grant to the Council by the AA Company.

Council has however made an application for a Title to land at National Park on the 3/2/2009.

No doubt it will take some time to obtain clear title to the unincumbered land. The park needs a modern survey to identify the land and the encroachments. Agreement will need to be reached between the various parties that have an estate in the land before Title can be issued.

In the PPM response to the exhibition of the POM I referred to the conditional title of the land at National Park which was agreed and declared by the Council and the Company that the land would hensforth be used as a Public Park and Recreation Grounds. I also enclosed part of the original 1913 hand written Indenture which in legal terms is still the principle indenture..

The AA Company gifted many parcels of land to the former Newcastle, Hamilton and Waratah Municipal Councils but was unable to trust the Councillors to abide by the their agreements and declarations and therefor included provision within the indentures for the Company to reenter the lands if the Council should default.

On the 21/9/1972 The AA Company and the Council agreed and declared that the principal indentures could be varied to remove certain rights of reentry etc for the parks described in the various indentures. But the lands have never been accurately surveyed and clear title issued.

Sadly the area of land conveyed to the Council in 1913 was much larger than the actual area that is National Park today. 

National Park Newcastle Dedicated for Park and Recreation Grounds (2/5/1913) 

Yours Sincerely,

 Doug Lithgow