Last night, the Victorian Government signed a multi-billion dollar contract to build the first stage of the East West Link tunnel, which connects the Eastern Freeway to Citylink.
We understand that the formal compulsory acquisition process will proceed as planned. Notices of Acquisition, which is when the land is formally transferred from landowners to the Linking Melbourne Authority, are expected to be served on landowners and interested parties in mid-October 2014. This means that homes along the East West Link alignment will be acquired well before the November state election.
In light of this, if the Labor Party is elected to Government and, as the speculation suggests, the Labor Party cancels the East West Link Project, the compulsory acquisition of people’s land will already have taken place before the project is cancelled.
Under the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986, if the Project is cancelled within 18 months of the publication of a Notice of Acquisition, landowners whose homes were compulsorily acquired, will be given the opportunity to purchase their homes back from the Linking Melbourne Authority at the market value they received for the land.
Aitken Partners has a great deal of experience in compulsory acquisitions and has many clients affected by the East West Link Project. If you have not sought advice from a lawyer experienced in dealing with compulsory acquisitions, we strongly recommend you do so as soon as possible. Any member of our compulsory acquisitions team would be happy to speak with you.