NSW Government Introduces Fairer Acquisition Laws

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October 31, 2016

NSW Government Introduces Fairer Acquisition Laws

The bill seeks to amend the original Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 2016 (NSW). This Act:

  • Statutorily enshrined the right to just compensation, at no less than market value, for the government acquisition of private property.
  • Introduced a compensation framework to reflect this notion of just compensation
  • Established a uniformed system of compulsory acquisition of private property across state government authorities and local council.


The Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Amendment Bill 2016 (NSW) will amend this Act in response to Russel Review which was issued in 2014. The amendments will

  • require a fixed six-month negotiation period before compulsory acquisition unless a mutual agreement is reached earlier or in exceptional circumstances (Sch 1[2])
  • the landowner will be able to provide the claim for compensation directly to the Valuer General (Sch 1[7])
  • acquiring authorities will be required to provide the Valuer General with issues relevant to a compensation determination within seven days (Sch 1[19)
  • The Valuer General will be required to provide the compensation determination, including a land valuation report, directly to the former landowner at the same time as the acquiring authority (Sch 1[10])
  • The Government will amend the Act to increase the maximum solatium payment from $27,235 to $75,000. Solatium will be paid in addition to the compensation for market value of the property (Sch 1[16])
  • those whose homes have been compulsorily acquired will be exempt from the requirement to pay rent to the acquiring authority. Currently, rent must be paid after a property is compulsory acquired if the former owners remain in the property (Sch 1[6])

The bill is currently before the Legislative Council.


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