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Compensation process

When land is compulsorily acquired, the rights and interests in the land are converted to a right to claim compensation.

Compensation is the amount of money paid to the landowner and other interested parties as a result of the land being resumed (or, in some cases, the works carried out).

Lodging a claim

After the resumption notice has been published in the Queensland Government Gazette, any person with a legal interest in the land can lodge a written claim for compensation.

Compensation claims must be lodged within three years of the publication of the notice, although the Coordinator-General may extend this deadline under certain circumstances.

Professional services

To assist with their claim, landowners may wish to engage a registered land valuer to assess the value of their property. They may also choose to appoint a solicitor to prepare and lodge the compensation claim on their behalf.

Legal, valuation and other professional fees reasonably incurred by the claimant in the preparation of their claim will be reimbursed by the Coordinator-General as part of the claimant's overall compensation payout.

Claim form

Download the Compensation claim form for claims made to the Office of the Coordinator-General.

Independent valuation

The Coordinator-General will also arrange for a landowner's property to be independently valued by a registered land valuer.

After a property has been resumed, the Coordinator-General-appointed valuer will contact the landowner to arrange an inspection of their property to assess the amount of compensation payable to them.

What does compensation cover?

Compensation covers:

  • value of the land resumed
  • damage caused by the severance of a part/s of a property
  • damage to other land caused by use of statutory powers
  • 'disturbance costs' - defined in section 20 of the Acquisition of Land Act 1967.

Contracts, agreements, licences or other arrangements entered into after the Notice of Intention to Resume is served will not be taken into account when evaluating the compensation amount.

Generally, the resumption of land is not considered a 'supply' for goods and services tax (GST) purposes.

For more information about the tax implications of compulsory land acquisitions, seek independent financial advice or contact the Australian Taxation Office.

Compensation offer

After resuming a person's land, the Coordinator-General will make them an offer of compensation.

If the landowner is satisfied with the Coordinator-General's offer, settlement will be arranged as quickly as possible.

What if I don't agree?

If a landowner chooses not to accept the Coordinator-General's offer of compensation, a representative of the Coordinator-General will meet with the landowner (and their advisors, if applicable) to negotiate a settlement.

If, following negotiations, agreement on compensation still cannot be reached, either party can refer the matter to the Land Court of Queensland for a decision.

The court's decision is binding on both parties; the court will also determine who pays the associated costs.

Referrals to the court are rare, with 99 per cent of claims for compensation settled by the parties through negotiation.

The Coordinator-General views the court as a last resort due to its very high financial costs to claimants and the State.

Advance payment

Following the lodgement of a claim, an advance payment against the compensation can be requested in writing.

The Coordinator-General will then pay the claimant the compensation previously offered in writing by the Coordinator-General or an amount determined by the Coordinator-General-appointed valuer.

The advance payment is due within 90 days of a properly completed claim form being received and an advance being requested.

If the compensation amount is not agreed, the advance can nonetheless be accepted ahead of further negotiations to settle the amount.

This advance payment in no way affects either party's right to have the matter determined by the Land Court of Queensland.

Existing mortgages

If there is a mortgage over an acquired property, the mortgagee (e.g. the relevant bank) is entitled to be paid the compensation (up to the full mortgage amount owing), unless the mortgagee agrees otherwise.

A clearance from the mortgagee/bank will be required prior to any compensation payment being made.

Sample letter

Download the Sample mortgagee consent letter (PDF icon 15 KB)

Taxes, rates and charges

Any taxes, rates and charges overdue at the time the land is resumed may be deducted from the compensation payable.

Property sales

If part of a property or an easement on a property is compulsorily acquired and then the property is subsequently sold, the new owner is not entitled to compensation unless this is part of the terms of the contract of sale.

Last updated: 16 Mar 2023