There is no Public Acquisition Overlay (“PAO”) affecting your property in the planning scheme but you are aware of a Public Use Proposal

There is no PAO affecting your property in the planning scheme but you have become aware of a Public Use Proposal which may require all or part of your property.

The Public Use Proposal may have come to your attention in any one of a number of different ways, including the following:-

  • a personal visit by a representative of the Authority or its contractor;
  • the Minister for the Authority making a media announcement of an imminent project which affects your property; or
  • you receive notification of a proposed amendment to the planning scheme which has been placed on public exhibition which, if approved by the Minister for Planning, will place a PAO affecting your property into the planning scheme.

Regardless, the source of your information may be irrelevant.

Hypothetical fact situation

  1. Julie owns a property on the highway.
  2. Julie is formally notified that the road authority wants a strip of her property to widen the highway (“the Proposal“) and proposes to immediately amend the planning scheme to incorporate a PAO for this purpose.


    An employee of the road authority arrives unannounced at Julie’s door to discuss the proposed interchange on the highway that requires part of Julie’s property in its “Longer-term development” strategy (“the Proposal“);

    A surveyor retained by the water corporation telephones Julie to make an appointment to meet her on the property to discuss the proposed siting of a water retarding basin on her property (“the Proposal“) and make arrangements for access for the doing of survey work;

    The Minister for Planning announces the construction of a tunnel under Julie’s property for a major transport project (“the Proposal“) by media release which Julie sees on television that evening;

    Julie receives a letter in the mail from Council which advises her that Council has placed on public exhibition a proposed amendment to the planning scheme for the construction of a new community centre on part of her property (“the Proposal“) which, if approved, will introduce a PAO on Julie’s property.

  3. Julie is of the opinion that the Proposal is either unnecessary or could be done without requiring all or any part of her property.
  4. Julie has not been advised by the Authority on the likely timing for the compulsory land acquisition for the Proposal.

If your situation is similar to Julie’s, can you answer these questions? *

  • Do you know your rights and obligations which arise from these circumstances?
  • What happens if a PAO for the Proposal is adopted into the planning scheme?
  • Are you able to argue for or against the Proposal and, if so, how is this done?
  • Do you have any entitlements to compensation?  If so, how is a claim for compensation triggered?
  • How is a claim for compensation made?
  • Do you fully understand the effect of the Proposal and any future PAO on your use and development of your property?
  • Do you fully understand your disclosure obligations?
  • Can you fully explain the effect of the Proposal to your agent?

*  Ideally, you should not engage with the Authority until you are fully informed on these issues.

How can we help?

We can help by:-

  1. Identifying the precise area affected by the Proposal (if only part of your property is affected);
  2. Explaining the purpose of the Proposal, any future PAO and the potential timing of the compulsory land acquisition;
  3. Explaining the benefits in retaining professionals to assist in your consideration of the effect of the Proposal and any future PAO on your development and use of your property with the consequential implications on its market value;
  4. Explaining the manner in which the Proposal or any future PAO should be disclosed to a purchaser in satisfaction of your disclosure obligations if you wish to sell your property;
  5. Explaining the likely manner in which the purchaser and his successors will view the Proposal, any future PAO and their future compensation rights (if any); and
  6. Explaining the likelihood of you being able to trigger a claim for compensation and its prospects of success.

Once you are fully informed, we are able to manage any course you wish to pursue.

The making of an appointment

Please make an appointment with us by telephoning one of our solicitors – Selina Clark (03) 9861 7731, Lauren Sullivan (03) 9861 7715 or Desmond Khoo (03) 9861 7763.

At this appointment, please bring the completed Client Information Sheet and as much of the documentation listed therein as you are able to gather as this will aid in the giving of advice.