A senior lawyer with Aitken Partners, Andrew Blogg, has criticised the State Government today for its handling of the proposed compulsory acquisitions in Footscray for the regional rail link.
Comments from the State’s Premier, John Brumby, yesterday indicated the consultation period that has only recently been completed was simply going through the motions.
“It appears now the government and its departments were simply going through the processes by consulting land owners,” Mr Blogg said.
“Many of these land owners went to meetings to discuss their property, its use and to try and gain a clearer understanding of the what the plans were for the rail link. Based on the Premier’s comments as reported in The Age this morning (http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/nothing-will-stop-rail-line-brumby-20100831-14fk3.html), we are left questioning what was the intent of all these meetings and whether it was, as some residents felt, simply a way for the acquiring authority to gain a better handle on how to minimise its costs in the acquisitions.”
Aitken Partners has extensive experience advising land owners in compulsory acquisition, including recently for properties affected by several road projects as well as the Wonthaggi Desalination plant.