Compensation for Compulsory Acquisition

On 27 November 2014 a media statement was issued by the Office of the Premier, the Hon Colin Barnett, and the Office of the Attorney General, the Hon Michael Mischin, about proposed reforms to overhaul private property rights in Western Australia.

In particular, the reforms are intended to:

  • change laws to ensure compensation is provided for land acquisition; and
  • have a fairer and more transparent approach for landowners,

when public works are carried out on their property by the State Government.

The Land Acquisition Legislation Amendment (Compensation) Bill 2014 was introduced into the WA Parliament on 27 November, with the stated intention being to ensure that the full impact of taking an interest in land, such as purchasing it, taking an easement over it or leasing it, was reflected in compensation awarded.

Amendments proposed by the Bill would be to the Land Administration Act 1997, Energy Operators (Powers) Act 1979, Water Agencies (Powers) Act 1984 and the Water Services Act 2012 with the aim to reduce inconsistencies between legislation relating to the compensation for taking of land and effect greater recognition of the true impact on landholder of land taken for public works.  The Bill gives effect to some recommendations of the Law Reform Commission’s 2008 report on Compensation for Injurious Affection.

A further update will be provided upon the Bill substantially progressing through Parliament.

For more information about compulsory acquisition issues or this Bill, please contact  Emma Leys of our office on (08) 9321 3755.

The information published in this paper is of a general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. Whilst we aim to provide timely, relevant and accurate information, the law may change and circumstances may differ. You should not therefore act in reliance on it without first obtaining specific legal advice.