The Commonwealth Constitution provides at section 51(xxxi) that the Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to the acquisition of property on just terms from any State or person for any purpose in respect of which the Parliament has power to make laws.
What does that mean in every day terms?
In short, on just terms refers to money. It also refers to other things like fair notice being given to the owner, and the government complying with their own legislation, but when push comes to shove it is a fight about money.
So what can I do?
You probably cannot do what Daryl Kernigan did in the movie 'The Castle' and stop the government from taking your property all together.
There are many things that can be achieved however with the proper legal advice, as well as getting more money you might be able to get an extension on how long you have before you leave. You might even be able to challenge the basis for the acquisition, which will probably just result in the acquisition being made later on just terms but would again result in more time for you to make arrangements to move.
What you definitely should not do though is give in, accept the first offer, and assume that you can't do anything. There are many factors that go into determining how much money the government should pay you for your house, and more basic things like whether the government will acquire part or all of your property, and you need to get legal advice about these issues. It is not uncommon for our office to secure substantial increases for our clients, sometimes double the original offer from the government or private entity.
Here at Coode & Corry we won’t charge any fees unless we can get you a higher offer than any existing offer. You have nothing to lose by getting some legal advice.
Come and speak to Bruce Coode
Bruce Coode has extensive experience in all property matters, having acted during his career for many individuals purchasing or selling a house, applying to Council for various approvals, as well as assisting clients who are the subject of a compulsory acquisition.
In addition to working for individual clients in private practice as a solicitor for all that time, he was a legal advisor to three local councils for many years, and has lectured in real estate law at university. He understands more than just your basic conveyance, and is well equipped to assist you with all aspects of your property transactions.
If you would like some more information about compulsory acquisition, then read our other articles on this topic by clicking on the blue button to the right.