UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS
We have many years of extensive knowledge and expertise in acting for land owners and other persons affected by compulsory acquisitions. Our rich history of practice in this area, which extends over a century in land use law, means that our clients can expect us to achieve excellent outcomes for their case. We do not act for public authorities so that we will not be conflicted when asked to act for any individual.
It is important that persons understand their rights, especially when an authority serves notice relating to a compulsory acquisition (or proposed compulsory acquisition) of their land. There may also be other rights that a person may not be aware of, such as compensation where an interest in land is not acquired but somehow otherwise affected, or where a person has some other interest in the land such as a leasehold interest or an easement (whether registered or implied by prescription) Commonly, landowners’ rights are affected by compulsory acquisitions when an authority (or sometimes another landowner) seeks to acquire an interest in private land, airspace or land below the surface, by a compulsory process. We maintain that a right to quiet and uninterrupted enjoyment of private land by its owner is the cornerstone right of any property ownership. While there are legal mechanisms that allow a Victorian Government agency, public authority or others to disturb one’s ownership, it is important that any existing rights are understood and preserved. This includes the right to fair compensation and ensuring that proper process is followed.
In such a case, Best Hooper can guide you through the complex process. We have the experience in both a legal and strategic perspective that has helped us develop an intricate understanding of the legal processes involved in each step of a compulsory acquisition. Our experience also extends across a broad range of public infrastructure projects to understand the stages involved in each type of project that may affect a person and their proprietary interests. Our market position assists us in sometimes knowing in advance how and when a person will be affected prior to receiving notice of an acquisition or proposed acquisition.
It is often overlooked that legal and other professional expenses are generally recoverable from the acquiring authority as a matter of right. This assists our clients in seeking our advice as property experts from the outset to assist with any concerns and strategy. We also have a strong connection with various external consultants that will assist in understanding your position, such as valuation and strategic planning advice.
We have worked with other professionals and experts to achieve strategic outcomes for our clients affected by the many projects over the last century including, more recently:
West Gate Tunnel Project
The project will include:
West Gate Freeway: upgrading and widening the freeway from 8 to 12 lanes. New express lanes between the M80 and the West Gate Bridge will reduce weaving and merging that leads to traffic congestion.
A new tunnel from the West Gate Freeway to the Maribyrnong River, taking motorists and trucks underground and off residential streets.
Port to City: a new bridge over the Maribyrnong River and an elevated road along Footscray Road will provide direct links to the Port of Melbourne, CityLink and an extended Wurundjeri Way.
Melbourne Metro Rail Project
The Melbourne Metro Rail Project (marketed as the Metro Tunnel and formally known as the Metro Rail Capacity Project) is a metropolitan rail infrastructure project currently under construction in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It includes the construction of a twin rail tunnel between South Kensington station (north west of the Melbourne City Centre) and South Yarra (in the south east) with five new underground stations.
Level Crossing Removal Project
Over the course of eight years the Level Crossing Removal Authority will oversee the removal of 50 dangerous and congested level crossings across Melbourne.
Several level crossings have already been removed with many more in construction, planning and early consultation.
Desalinated water from the plant at Wonthaggi is piped to Melbourne via an 84 kilometre underground pipeline. This pipe will affect many residents and their homes throughout greater Melbourne as it snakes it’s way from Wonthaggi to metropolitan Melbourne.
Regional Rail Link
The Regional Rail Link (RRL) is a 47.5 kilometre length of railway through the western suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria. The main aim of the project was to separate regional V/Line Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong services from the electrified Melbourne suburban services, thereby increasing rail capacity and reliability.
If you own a property or have some other interest in a property affected, or likely to be affected, by a compulsory acquisition or public infrastructure project, we recommend you seek advice from Best Hooper as soon as possible to optimise your strategic position and to be compensated fairly for any compulsory acquisition or proposed compulsory acquisition.