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Compulsory land acquisition

The Coordinator-General facilitates many of the large-scale infrastructure projects that underpin Queensland's economic development.

Sometimes, the Coordinator-General needs to compulsorily acquire, or resume, the land on which these projects are to be built.

The Coordinator-General can compulsorily acquire land for:

What land can be resumed?

The Coordinator-General can resume land with any type of tenure, including freehold. The Coordinator-General can resume:

  • all of a property
  • part of a property
  • an easement over a property
  • native title rights and interests
  • resource interests.

Who is affected?

Parties with an interest in land can include:

  • landowner
  • easement holder
  • leaseholder
  • mortgagee
  • native title holder
  • resource interest holder.

How is land resumed?

Land is resumed by the Coordinator-General under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971, which gives the Coordinator-General the power to compulsorily acquire land for various purposes. The Acquisition of Land Act 1967 sets out the acquisition process, including compensation.

The Coordinator-General can compulsorily acquire land:

With agreement

The Coordinator-General's preference is to negotiate with the landowner to compulsorily acquire his or her land by agreement.

If the landholder agrees to the resumption of their land, an agreement can be struck before or after a Notice of Intention to Resume has been issued to the landowner.

If the landowner agrees to the acquisition, the amount of compensation can be finalised at a later date. However, if compensation is also agreed to, this will be included in the agreement.

Without agreement

If the landowner does not agree to the compulsory acquisition of their land, the statutory land acquisition process will run its course.

Please note: Not agreeing to the resumption of your land is different to you formally objecting to its resumption.

The compulsory land acquisition process

The main steps of the compulsory land acquisition process are as follows:

1. Notice of Intention to Resume
2. Objections to land acquisition
3. Application to acquire land
4. Resumption notice
5. Compensation

View the compulsory land acquisition process in more detail.

Throughout the process, representatives of the Coordinator-General are available to assist affected landowners.

Dealing with resumed land

The Coordinator-General may deal with resumed land in a number of ways.

Once land is resumed, it can be vested either in the name of the Coordinator-General or in:

  • a local body
  • another state government department or
  • a private entity (e.g. a proponent of a 'private infrastructure facility').

The Coordinator-General may do any or all of the following:

  • lease, or agree to lease, to any person the resumed land
  • sign an agreement with any person to carry out, own, operate and maintain any works or development on the land resumed or proposed to be resumed
  • sign an agreement with any person in relation to works or development for the land resumed or proposed to be resumed
  • sell resumed land or agree to sell land to be resumed if it is consistent with the purpose of the resumption.

If it is no longer required for the purpose it was resumed, the Governor in Council decides how the land should be dealt with.

If the land is within an SDA, it can be disposed of to any party - provided the disposal has been approved by the Governor in Council and is for the implementation of the SDA's development scheme.

Open market

In addition to resuming land, the Coordinator-General can purchase properties that come up for sale on the open market.

The Coordinator-General would normally only do this if there was an identified project, need or purpose.

Relevant legislation

Sections 82 and 125 of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 give the Coordinator-General the power to compulsorily acquire and deal with land, when necessary.

The process for compulsory land acquisitions is set out in the Acquisition of Land Act 1967.


View fact sheets and guidelines relating to land acquisition including frequently asked questions.

Further information

For more information, please contact

Last updated: 20 Dec 2023