It isn’t just government bodies that can compulsorily acquire your property. Private corporations can also apply to have homes compulsorily acquired, for instance ac­quisitions can happen for large suburban developments and mining operations.


The Warkworth corporation applied to compulsorily acquire property in the Hunter Valley region for a mine in 2012.  This was successfully appealed by a community action group at the first instance in the Land and Environment Court.  The applica­tion was amended and the community action group then appealed the second devel­opment consent but in the end withdrew their appeal, no doubt because they were advised this appeal would not be successful.


When a private corporation compulsorily acquires land the government body authorising this creates an appeal process.  The private corporation is still bound by the same definitions of ‘fair terms’ (such as fair price) as a government body.  The defence, but “we can’t afford it”, is not a defence in the Land and Environment Court.  In our experience with our clients the initial amount offered by the developer or mine does not represent market value, and does provide for other financial com­pensation that our clients are entitled to, like relocation and legal costs.


While being forced to move is certainly stressful, it shouldn’t put you at a financial disadvantage if you receive adequate legal assistance.  If you have received a letter from a government organisation or a private organisation about acquiring your prop­erty you should make an appointment to speak with Bruce Coode about this matter.