Monday, 2 December 2013

Progress in the Galilee Basin

The State Government has recently announced the development of "the Galilee Basin Development Strategy".  The strategy is aimed at the early development of the southern and central Galilee Basin which includes a proposal to streamline land acquisition.

The Government has proposed that it will create the Galilee Basin State Development Area ("GBSDA"), which will be over a large area which has not yet been defined. It is proposed that the rail corridors will then be constructed within the GBSDA. The Government has stated that "before considering compulsory land acquisitions the Government will strike the right balance between interests of stakeholders, including land holders and the community. It will encourage incremental expansion where feasible and ask proponents to minimise impact on land holders and the environment whenever possible."  It would seem, from these comments, that the Government will not initially resume the land and will encourage each proponent to enter into negotiations with the land holders. However, it is clear that if agreements cannot be reached between the relevant proponent and respective land holders, then the Government will use its power to compulsorily acquire land for the construction of the railway pursuant to the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act.

The Strategy indicates that the State Government will give consideration to whether it will declare the GBSDA in early 2014. This will then indicate the extent of the area of the GBSDA and the likely properties which will be affected.

For any advice or assistance in relation to the impact of the GBSDA, please contact Andrew Palmer or Justin Houlihan from local law firm Rees R & Sydney Jones on 07 4927 6333.