Off-road vehicles legislation
The Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) is responsible for administering the
Control of Vehicles (Off-road areas) Act 1978 (the Act). The Act:
- prohibits the use of off-road vehicles in certain places
- makes provisions as to the use of off-road vehicles otherwise than on a road
- provides for areas where the use of off-road vehicles is permitted
- provides requirements for the registration of off-road vehicles.
The Act and associated regulations apply throughout Western Australia. These are available at the
State Law Publisher.
Permitted areas are established under the provisions of the Act and are the areas where registered off-road vehicles, as well as licensed on‑road vehicles, are allowed to be operated. Private land can only be declared as a permitted area with the written authorisation of the owner. Restrictions may be placed on the type of off-road vehicle that can use a specific permitted area; for example, it may be restricted to motorcycles of a certain size and noise output.
The current publicly available permitted areas and the respective land manager is as follows:
All vehicles, including licensed on-road vehicles, may be forbidden from prohibited areas, whether or not the land is private, if the Minister for Local Government is of the opinion that public interest requires it to be done. This can only be exercised over private land without the consent of the owner and occupier for the following reasons:
- need to protect livestock or preserve wildlife;
- environmentally sensitive nature of the land;
- proximity of the land to residential development; and
- provisions of any town planning scheme.
A person who is the owner or occupier of land declared a prohibited area or worker for such a person has the right to use a vehicle on that land. Prohibited areas may be declared so that they apply to limited classes of vehicles. The full list of prohibited areas can be obtained from DLGC.
The Advisory Committee is appointed under the Act and is responsible for providing advice and recommendations to the Minister for Local Government in relation to the use of land by off-road vehicles, including the declaration of prohibited and permitted areas.
Local governments can enact local laws and are responsible for enforcement of the Act. Local laws enacted by a local government apply only to the area administered by that local government and are not State-wide laws. Information about local laws relating to permitted/prohibited areas for off-road vehicles can be obtained from the relevant