chapter  17
Compulsory acquisition compensation issues in Australia
ByDavid Parker
Pages 20

Australia is in the midst of an infrastructure boom with the development and provision of infrastructure being a key government policy for not only the Commonwealth Government but also for most of the State governments. The effect of the compulsory acquisition is to convert an interest in land into a claim for compensation, assessable in accordance with the statute as at the date of acquisition. Compensation for compulsory acquisition is not a right vested by common law, but is solely a matter of statutory entitlement in Australia, and its assessment is limited by that legislation. The challenge in Australia, however, lies in the wording of the respective compulsory acquisition statutes. With the common law around compensation for market value being generally well settled, dispossessed owners are now seeking to try and fit broader claims for worth within the specific requirements of the statute, leading to an intense focus on the precise wording of the statutory provisions.