It is important that the government manage its landholdings effectively and efficiently to ensure it is making best use of available resources. The need for governments to own land changes in response to population growth and shifting demand for public services. As needs change, government land may become surplus to requirements. The sale of surplus public land generates significant revenue for government and attracts strong community interest.
This report examines whether government agencies are achieving the best value possible from surplus land.
As the government introduced new policies for managing government land in 2015 and 2016, the audit focuses on surplus land sales conducted under the new policy framework. We examined whether:
- the systems and targets used by agencies support the best use of surplus land
- agencies accurately identify surplus land and release it for sale in a timely way
- agencies can demonstrate value from the sale of surplus land.
The audited agencies were the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF), the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), the Department of Health and Human Services including the Director of Housing, the Department of Education and Training, and Victorian Rail Track.
We made two recommendations for DTF, five recommendations for DEWLP, two recommendations for land-selling agencies, and a further four recommendations for DTF and DEWLP.