top of page

Compulsory Acquisition 

  • The process that the Government can use to obtain an interest in land anywhere in Australia. 

  • Compulsory acquisition can be used whether or not an owner is willing to sell their interest in the land, when the land has no title, when an owner has difficulty establishing proof of title, or even if the owner cannot be found. 

  • Even if you are willing to sell your land to the Government, you can still ask to have your land acquired by the compulsory process.

  • The compulsory process provides additional protection to your rights, but may take more time for the final compensation amount to be determined. However, it also means that the amount of compensation may be reviewed. 

The Compulsory Acquisition Process

The Minister issues a document to affected landowners, which states that the Minister is considering the acquisition by the Government land for a public purpose. This document is a pre-acquisition declaration.

  • It tells you which government authority wants to acquire the land

  • It describes the land fully

  • It states that the Minister thinks the land appears to be suitable for a public purpose

  • It states the public purpose the land has been chosen for; and 

  • It explains why the Minister considers the land suitable for the intended use.


Your Compensation Rights 

You can claim compensation from the Government as soon as your land has been acquired by the compulsory process. The basic principle used to decide how much compensation you are paid is that the amount should compensate fairly and on 'just terms' for the acquisition. 


Several factors are considered when compensation is being calculated. These include:

  • The market value of the land

      That is, the amount that would have been paid for it if it had been sold at the time under ordinary              circumstances, without any pressure on either buyer or seller. The market value is based on the 

      highest value use that the land could be put to and not necessarily its current use.       


  • Additional financial value  

      This is the value of the land to the person that is above and beyond market value. This additional              value relates to a financial advantage that the owner has (as the time the land is acquired)

      connected to his or her owning the interest in the land. Sentimental or personal value is not 

      considered 'additional financial value'. 

  • ​Severance

      If the Government acquires only part of your property, what is left may have a reduced market value.

  • Disturbance

       Any loss, injury, damage or reasonable expenses that you incur as a direct result of the acquisition;           for example;  removalist fees,  resettlement costs and loss of goodwill.


  • Reasonable legal and professional costs 

      Such as hiring a Valuer and/or Lawyer to assist you to comply with the process that goes with the


​If you are a tenant or lessee 

  • If you rent or lease, rather than own the land, you can claim compensation for the value of any affected property, which you hold under a lease or tenancy agreement.

  • You can also claim for valuation, reasonable legal or professional costs and out of pocket expenses caused directly by the Government acquisition. 

  • A valuer will be available to advise you about the worth of any interest you have in the property. 

Our Valuers have many years of experience in dealing with compulsory acquisition valuations and have in the past valued many properties involved in acquisition. These include The South Road Upgrade Project at both Darlington and the Torrens to Torrens section, The Northern Expressway and The Gawler East Road Link. 

bottom of page