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Ministerial Circular 2 2017

An close up image of a trail bike river on a dirt road

The Control of Vehicles (Off-road Areas) Act 1978 (the Act) currently only operates in certain areas of the State, meaning that the provisions of the Act can only be enforced in these areas. It also means that ?Permitted Areas?, established under the Act, cannot be established until such time as the Act covers the relevant area.

This significantly limits the options available to local governments for controlling off road vehicle use.  Other legislation must be relied on such as:

  • local laws;
  • the Conservation Land Management Act 1984 and Regulations 2002;
  • the Land Administration Act 1997;
  • the Metropolitan Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Act 1909 and By laws 1981;
  • the Road Traffic Act 1974 and subsidiary legislation; and
  • the Motor Vehicle (Third Party Insurance) Act 1943 and Regulations 2009.

However, the Act provides the Governor with the authority to extend the operation of the Act to particular areas or an entire local government district. Local governments are encouraged to consider this option.

Extending the area of operation to cover your district has a number of potential benefits including:

  • greater deterrent measures to combat anti-social and illegal rider behaviours;
  • compulsory registration of off-road vehicles and easier user identification;
  • the ability to establish a Permitted Area for off-road vehicles that is in an appropriate and safe location for users to ride; and
  • the ability to establish a Prohibited Area to prevent all vehicles from accessing an area for public interest reasons, such as environmental preservation.

The attached page outlines where the Act currently operates. More information on the current Permitted Areas and Prohibited Areas can be found on my department's website.

For further information, including the process to ​extend the operation of the Act, please contact Mr Troy Hancock, Senior Legislation Officer at my department, on 61 8 6552 1624 or via email at

Hon Paul Miles MLA
Minister for Local Government; Community Services;
Seniors and Volunteering; Youth



Page reviewed 27 February 2023