− Facing a compulsory acquisition, know your rights
Landowners should not feel they need to swallow the lot being offered to them by Governments during the compulsory acquisition process.
“We hear all the time from land owners who see themselves as powerless victims in these cases,” Mr Raunic said. “While we may not be able to stop an acquisition, we can certainly put together a strong argument for fair compensation, and we have done that for many clients in recent times in relation to various Government projects.
“With the enormous infrastructure spend planned by Governments and instrumentalities over the next few years, many people and businesses are going to have land and other interests acquired compulsorily. We already know that notices have been or are about to be sent for the Regional Rail Link – West of Werribee to Deer Park as well as the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road, but there are up to 50 major projects flagged by the Government for the next two to three years.
“There are some important legal rights for land owners and other parties and claimants are often unaware that these rights go beyond being compensated merely for land value alone. We have clients all around Victoria who have benefited from our assistance when their land was acquired for roads and other infrastructure projects.
“It is critical that landowners don’t just throw their arms in the air when they receive a Notice of Acquisition. In most cases you cannot stop the acquisition itself, but, with assistance, you can obtain early advances of compensation while still maintaining your claim for compensation against the acquiring governments and authorities and also obtain payment of your legal and valuation expenses.”
Aitken Partners’ Compulsory Acquisitions Team has recently been representing landholders on acquisitions for the North-South Pipeline, the Broadford Pipeline, the Craigieburn Bypass, the Wonthaggi Desalination Plant, the East-Link Project and various other major infrastructure projects