For many in our region, the Inland Rail project and related land acquisitions is causing considerable concern. In this article we discuss the property acquisition process and how it impacts a property located in Queensland. A future article will deal with the process for New South Wales based property.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) have indicated that the preferred method of acquiring land is through private negotiations with landowners, rather than the compulsory land acquisition process also known as land resumption.
For this reason, it is important that affected landowners receive legal advice early on. This will ensure that they are in the best position to negotiate with the ARTC regarding the sale of their land. It is important for landowners to understand their options and legal rights if negotiations with the ARTC are not successful and their land may instead be compulsorily acquired.
What happens if my property is in the Inland Rail corridor in Queensland?
Once the Inland Rail corridor design and location has been finalised, the Queensland government will begin notifying affected landowners.
Landowners will be entitled to compensation for the resumption of their land and payment of reasonable legal fees incurred in negotiating and documenting any agreement reached with ARTC.
What is the process for land resumption in Queensland?
If part of your property is going to be resumed by the Queensland government for the Inland Rail, the Queensland government must follow this process:
- Landowners will be issued with a ‘Notice of Intention to Resume’. It is important that you do not sign the Notice of Intention to Resume before you seek legal advice.
- Landowners have 30 days from the date on the ‘Notice of Intention to Resume’ to submit an objection to the resumption of your land. It is important for you to seek legal advice on the process and any grounds on which you might object to the proposed resumption of your land as soon as you receive the ‘Notice of Intention to Resume’. We can assist you with the drafting of your objection.
- If you do not object to the ‘Notice of Intention to Resume’, then once the 30-day objection period has lapsed, a ‘Taking of Land Notice’ will be published in the Queensland Government Gazette, which means that on that date:
- Ownership of the property is transferred to the Queensland government; and
- You are entitled to claim compensation for the value of the land and must do so within 3 years.
- The compensation process:
- requires your land to be valued, and the compensation claim to be in writing;
- entitles you to compensation for your reasonable and necessary legal, valuation, accounting and other costs incurred in preparing the compensation claim, in addition to the value of the land; and
- can be very complex when rural and commercial properties are being resumed, as determining the value of the land and the effect of the resumption of the business run on the land can be quite involved.
- If you negotiate a satisfactory price for the resumption of your land, then the ‘deal’ between you and the Queensland government will be documented and you will then receive payment.
- If you do not reach an agreement with the Queensland government, you can refer the matter to the Land Court, where a decision will be made by a Land Court Judge.
Please contact a member of our Property team at Fox and Thomas if you believe your property may be within the proposed rail corridor for advice on how you may be impacted.
Look out for parts three and four of our series we were discuss the NSW Corridor of the Inland Rail and the process of compulsory land acquisition in NSW.