The Queensland Government’s recent announcement regarding infrastructure projects for the next 20 year plan for Central and Western Queensland is self-purportedly intended to “drive regional economic transformation and liveable communities”.
There is no doubt that the compulsory acquisition of land will be part and parcel of such a plan, and will impact more and more Queenslanders as the years go by. This need to acquire more and more land from property owners is becoming painfully evident, but often is left largely unsaid by the powers that be when making these ‘exciting’ announcements.
The need for additional infrastructure equals the need for more land for the emerging renewable hydrogen sector and industries powered with clean, green renewables. These things won’t happen without resulting in hardworking everyday people giving up their properties for the greater good. When I say ‘giving up’ I mean, having their properties taken off them in a compulsory process. Huge shockwaves are still being felt through communities such as the Eungella district in the Mackay hinterland, following the Government’s announcement late last year of their most recent renewable energy project there, not to mention the slow moving infrastructure plan to run freight from Melbourne to Brisbane, known as the Inland Rail project, which is continuing to plague communities with uncertainty about who is taking what from them and when.
But it’s not just the multi-million dollar big ticket projects that cause untold trauma for landholders. The same legislation applies to the ‘smaller projects’ too, the road being built or widened, the Council wanting to extend public spaces, Ring Roads (refer to every major coastal town north of Brisbane) or the installation of pipelines underground to name but a few.
The process, often facilitated in an overly prescriptive and perfunctory (as far as the Government is concerned) manner is not at all considerate of individual circumstances, and leaves most people with an extremely bad taste in their mouths, and for good reasons.
If you own property anywhere in Queensland, you need to be aware that the current state of our legislation does not and will not support you to have your property acquired on just terms. Whether you own thousands of hectares in Western Queensland, or own a unit on the Gold Coast, the Queensland Act is extremely restrictive when it comes time to obtain compensation for your property. There are no allowances for the human factors to be considered that come into play when you are being forced off your land. Queensland property owners deserve far better.