Land Acquisition and Compensation

Best Hooper's experience includes acting for claimants in land acquisition and compensation claims for the acquisition of land for a range of public purposes and for financial loss arising in compensable circumstances under planning legislation before the Supreme Court of Victoria and the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Understanding the Process

In Melbourne and greater Victoria, statutory authorities such as VicRoads, water authorities, municipal councils and government departments have powers to acquire interests in your land without your consent.

An acquisition may involve acquiring the title to all or part of your land. On other occasions easements or other interests might be acquired so that the authority can put in an underground pipeline or an overhead electricity line or similar.

While you may not be able to prevent compulsory acquisition, both tenants and land owners have important rights under relevant legislation governing land acquisition and compensation practices.

It is important to get expert advice from lawyers experienced in land acquisition and compensation to ensure you receive fair and appropriate compensation.

Assessments

In general terms, compensation is assessed on the basis of market value of the land that is acquired, plus any additional amounts and allowances which may apply to an individual's particular circumstances.

Market value is assessed on the unaffected value of the land. Where previous compensation has been paid under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to a previous owner of the property compensation is adjusted in accordance with the terms of the Act.

If after publication of a Notice of Acquisition an agreement cannot be reached, the matter may be referred to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal or the Supreme Court for a resolution.

Independent Advice

As soon as you receive a Notice of Acquisition, contact Best Hooper for independent advice on the documentation and information about the procedure the acquiring authority must follow as set out in the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986.

Melbourne Metro Rail Project

Best Hooper commonly acts for clients who have been affected by the compulsory acquisition of land through public infrastructure projects. Recently, we have represented clients in seeking compensation under the Regional Rail Project, Craigieburn Bypass Project and numerous other projects by VicRoads and Yarra Valley Water. In most cases, it is the acquiring authority that pays the land owner’s reasonable legal and consultant costs in assessing the value of the compensation payable.
 
On 22 September 2015, the Victorian Government released plans for the Melbourne Metro Rail Project. The Age reported that 21,000 residents and businesses have been notified by the Authority about the Melbourne Metro Rail Project. There is a real chance that these people may have their land compulsorily acquired.
 
If you want more information about the Melbourne Metro Rail Project and how it affects you, please contact Matthew Francke or Joel Snyder to arrange an initial consultation.
 

FIND OUT MORE

If you are not affected by the Melbourne Metro Rail Project, but would like advise on other land acquisition and compensation matters, please Contact us. Telephone (03) 9670 8951 or click here to find one of our lawyers.