Compulsory Acquisition of Land by New South Wales Government

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The New South Wales Government via any of its authorities can compulsorily acquire land from owners for any reason such as new roads or road widening, schools, hospitals and land for new rail lines.

Whilst the owners are usually given notice of any proposed acquisition and are invited to negotiate with the relevant Government Authority for the amount of compensation to be paid to them in respect of the acquisition of their land, a problem can arise if the owner does not want to sell for sentimental or other reasons or if agreement cannot be reached as to the appropriate amount of compensation to be paid.

Where this occurs, land owners have rights under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act.

This Act does not entitle the land owner to object to the acquisition of the land however it does provide a mechanism for the determination of the appropriate amount of compensation.

If negotiations for the purchase of the property by the Government authority breakdown the authority must issue a formal notice known as a Proposed Acquisition Notice. This effects the compulsory acquisition of the land by the New South Wales Government and converts the owner’s rights from an interest in the land to an interest in a claim for compensation in respect of its acquisition.

If the amount of compensation remains in dispute the land owner may have the amount of compensation to be paid determined by the land and environment Court. This is done by both the land owner and the New South Government submitting their own valuations and any other relevant evidence for determination by the Court.

There are other instances where a land owner can require a New South Wales Government authority to acquire its land particularly where the use to which the land may be put is changed subsequent to its acquisition.

For further information on the acquisition of land by the New South Wales Government and land owner rights, please contact Tim Osborn on
(02)4925 2077.

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