Amendment to rights of review under the Land Acquisition Act 1969

Parliament has recently amended a person’s initial rights of review under section 12A of the Land Acquisition Act 1969 and Land Acquisition Regulations 2004 by vesting the power to hear a section 12A review in the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT).
Where a person receives notice that an Authority intends to acquire their land, they have the option to either:

  • request that the Authority not proceed with the acquisition; or
  • if the Authority decided to continue with the acquisition, seek a review of that decision by the Attorney-General.

Pursuant to the amendment to the Regulations that came into force on 5 July 2018, if a person makes a request of the Authority and that request is refused, that person may now seek that SACAT review the decision.
SACAT, whose members range from Judges to experienced legal practitioners, must then complete its proceedings within 14 days of an application being made.
The grounds available for review still include that the acquisition of the land is not necessary, that the acquisition would seriously impair an area of scenic beauty, destroy, impair a site of architectural, historic or scientific interest, destroy, damage or interfere with an Aboriginal site or prejudice some other public interest.
Where the grounds for review anticipate that evidence is to be led, we will watch with interest whether it is practicable for SACAT to complete a review within the specified 14 days after the review application is made.
The legislation purports to exclude any right of review or appeal from SACAT’s decision, but we note that these provisions tend to be frowned upon by the Courts.
For further information please contact Tom Crompton or James Roder on 8212 9777.