From time to time the community needs additional land, for example, to build a new road or widen an existing road, build a hospital or school, construct sewerage works or a reservoir, or provide pipelines and way-leaves. Specific legislation controls how this process is managed.
The decision to acquire your land is not taken lightly and in all cases, each alternative is considered before contacting you.
The legislation managing acquisitions by the Crown in Tasmania is the Land Acquisition Act 1993.
What is an Acquiring Authority?
This is the body that needs to purchase your land. Normally it is a Crown body such as a Government Department or statutory authority, although sometimes it is a non-Crown entity such as a local council, Tas Irrigation,TasWater, or Aurora.
What does the Land Acquisition Act 1993 do?
This Act specifies how land is to be purchased from you, what the acquiring authority must do to purchase the land, your responsibilities after being formally notified that the land is required, how the compensation for the land is determined, and the time frame in which all of this happens.
How is land acquired?
There are two methods for acquiring land:
- The land can be purchased on the ‘open market’ in much the same way as a private person might purchase a property. In this case, you and the acquiring authority reach an agreement about the sale price and then sign a Contract of Sale.
- The land can be acquired ‘compulsorily’ if the acquiring authority considers it essential that a particular property; or parcel of land is required for a public purpose. This eliminates any misunderstandings or doubts that the land is needed and puts in place a set of procedures to be followed within a set time frame. More information is available on the Compulsory Acquisitions page.
Who decides that the land is to be acquired?
Whilst the acquiring authority looks at property from an operational perspective, in most cases, two Ministers make the final decision and approve a compulsory acquisition – they are, the Minister responsible for the acquiring authority and the Minister responsible for the Act.
Why is the Office of the Valuer-General involved in the compulsory acquisition process?
The Valuer-General is responsible for administering the Act, including approval of the amount of compensation which is agreed between you and the acquiring authority. In nearly all cases where an acquisition of land is made, the Office of the Valuer-General will act for the acquiring authority by preparing the valuation, preparing most of the paperwork required by the Act, and in all negotiations with you and your solicitor/valuer.