Process for making claims for compensation for compulsory acquisition of land

These pages outline:

  • claims that can be made in this class
  • who has the right to make a claim
  • when the claim must be made
  • how to file a claim
  • what to expect during the course of the claim.

The Land and Environment Court can hear and finalise proceedings involving such claims for compensation under s 19(e) of the Land and Environment Court Act.

Claims for compensation may be made in accordance with the:

Claims of this kind are allocated to Class 3 of the court’s jurisdiction.

Practice and procedure

The Court has published a formal document that sets out the process and requirements for proceedings involving claims for compensation by reason of the acquisition of land. This is called the Practice Note – Class 3 Compensation Claims. (PDF , 356.1 KB)

The Practice Note explains the steps that need to be taken before the first direction hearing, at the first direction hearing, at the pre-trial mention, before and at the final hearing, and opportunities for conciliation, mediation and other means of resolving the proceedings without a hearing.

Resolving disputes

Claims for compensation for acquisition of land are usually resolved by conciliation and hearings, although mediation and neutral evaluation are also offered. Information is available on:

Process

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State and local government agencies may acquire land through compulsory process for a range of public purposes.

For example, land may be needed to build a new road. A person whose land is acquired has a right to claim compensation. The government agency acquiring the land is required to give written notice to the person of the acquisition of their land, their entitlement to compensation and the amount of compensation offered (as determined by the Valuer-General).

If the person does not receive a compensation notice and their claim for compensation is rejected, the person can appeal against the rejection of the claim to the Land and Environment Court.

If the person receives a compensation notice but feels that the amount of compensation is not enough, that person can lodge with the Land and Environment Court an objection to the amount of compensation offered.

Claims for compensation may be made in accordance with the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 (the Just Terms Act)Roads Act 1993 (the Roads Act) or any other Act (see s 24(1) of the Land and Environment Court Act 1979These laws specify who has rights to apply to the Court. 

Claims under the Just Terms Act

The Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 states that:

  • a person who has claimed compensation but is dissatisfied with the amount of compensation offered by the authority which acquired an interest in the person’s land, may lodge with the Land and Environment Court an objection to the amount of compensation offered (see s 66(1) of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991)
  • a person who has not been given a compensation notice and whose claim for compensation has been rejected, may appeal to the Land and Environment Court against the rejection of the claim (see s 67(1) of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991).

Claims under the Roads Act

The Roads Act 1993 provides for the acquisition of land on application by private individuals. Persons whose land is so acquired may appeal to the Land and Environment Court against a rejection of the person’s claim of an interest in the land (s 188(1) of the Roads Act 1993). The claimant for compensation, applicant for acquisition or the Minister may apply to the Court to determine the compensation to be provided (s 193(1) of the Roads Act 1993).

Power to join other claimants

The Court also has power, in hearing and disposing of proceedings involving claims for compensation, to order any other person who claims to have had or who may have an interest in the land acquired, to be joined as a party to the proceedings (see s 25(2) of the Land and Environment Court Act).

The laws giving the right to appeal to the Court specify the time period within which the application needs to be made. 

Claims under the Just Terms Act

Under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 (the Just Terms Act), an objection to the amount of compensation offered by the acquiring authority must be lodged with the Court within 90 days of receiving a compensation notice (s 66(1) of the Just Terms Act). The Court may be able to hear an objection lodged after the 90 day period if it is satisfied that there is good cause for the person’s failure to lodge the objection within that period (s 66(3) of the Just Terms Act).

Similarly, an appeal against the rejection of a person’s claim for compensation must be lodged within 90 days after the rejection of the claim (s 67(2) of the Just Terms Act) but the Court may be able to hear an objection lodged after the 90 day period if it is satisfied that there is good cause for the person’s failure to lodge the appeal within that period (s 67(4) of the Just Terms Act).

Claims under the Roads Act

An appeal against rejection of a person’s claim of interest under the Roads Act 1993 is to be lodged within 28 days after the date on which the claim was rejected (s 188(2) of the Roads Act 1993). An application to the Court for determination of compensation under the Roads Act 1993 is to be made within 12 weeks after service of the notice to interest holders (s 193(1) of the Roads Act).

Steps

Helpful materials:

For links to useful Court information and documents, legislation and case studies relating to claims for compensation for compulsory acquisition of land, see: Helpful materials.

Claims for compensation for compulsory acquisition of land
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Last updated:

17 Dec 2020

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