Compulsory Land Acquisition

Compulsory Land Acquisition

Most land interests acquired through this process are usually for mineral exploration, mining activities, and the development of infrastructures for public purposes. However, conflicts arise when the government decides to fully or partially acquire your land using the compulsory acquisition process.

Opening Letter

Before a proposed acquisition notice (PAN) is issued, you have a minimum period of six months to contest the acquisition or negotiate the compensation terms. You and the acquiring agency need to reach an agreement by the end of the fixed negotiation period. This is an opportunity to resolve all issues through negotiation and settlement. As commercial litigators, we help you develop purchase contracts and negotiate your case within the pre-acquisition negotiation period. If settlement can not be reached, then the compulsory acquisition process is followed.

Land Acquisition Act

Compulsory land acquisition is a statutory process featured in the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991. The process comes into play when the government develops an interest in a private property. The Land Acquisition Act protects your interest on a property against that of the Commonwealth Government. It also provides the detailed steps and process by which parties involved in a compulsory land acquisition can resolve their disputes on the amount of compensation payable to the property owner.

Types of Compulsory Acquisition Disputes

Most disputes that occur during a Compulsory Land Acquisition are related to compensation. The concept of value and the basis for calculating value is usually the core of the dispute. Many of these cases arise after the proposed acquisition notice has expired. Call us for legal advice, guidance, and assistance in matters to do with compensation under the Land Acquisition Act. Factors that contribute to your compensation include:
Claims that may arise during compulsory land acquisition:

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The Proposed Acquisition Notice (PAN)

When the government develops an interest in your land, it sends a formal notice through the Acquiring Agency declaring its intention to acquire your property. The Proposed Acquisition Notice (PAN) or pre-acquisition declaration is the first step of the compulsory acquisition. This notice states the period (usually 90 days) compulsory acquisition of the land can occur.

Judicial Review

After receiving the PAN, you have 28 days to appeal the pre-acquisition declaration in writing to the Minister. If the Minister fails to revoke or vary the pre-acquisition declaration, then you can appeal the decision before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or Supreme Court for review. Call us when you need to negotiate the terms and conditions or apply for a review by the tribunal.

Acquisition Notice

If the 90 day PAN period has expired and contracts have not exchanged for the voluntary conveyance of property, the acquiring authority can proceed to publish an Acquisition Notice. The publication of the Acquisition Notice in the NSW Government Gazette within 120 days after the PAN is issued, marks the end of the compensation discussions and the property is officially acquired by the acquiring authority. Therefore, you need to act fast before the notice period expires. Reach out to us when the dispute is still in the early stage so that we can explore various available options.


The Valuer General (another Government agency) is meant to provide an objective and independent valuation of the property for the purpose of calculating compensation. Rarely is this a satisfactory figure for the citizen, and may be challenged through the Land and Environment Court.

Legal Representation

You are also entitled to a legal specialist to help you identify the best settlement possible. The acquiring authority must pay your reasonable legal costs in relation to the compulsory acquisition. When you involve us in your case, we will first help you understand the acquisition procedures and then guide you through the compensation claim process. Having provided legal advice to commercial property owners affected by compulsory land acquisition, we guide you in lodging claims for compensation, making submissions, and developing reports or valuations.
Call us for advice, guidance, and representation in matters to do with:
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