This dispute relates to compensation for the compulsory acquisition of land. The dispute was atypical in that no direct precedent determined the natural and ordinary meaning of section 20(5)(g) of the Acquisition of Land Act 1967 (“Act”)
The respondent submitted that the provision provides compensation for “the taking of the land” and not for the “declaration” – the notice given in the gazette per the applicant’s submissions. The applicant claimed that the “declaration” was a constructive resumption.
The Court found that Parliament had defined with precision “the taking of the land” is the relevant event where the Act requires for there to be compensation. A proper reading of the provision does not allow any scope for a constructive resumption.
Damian Clothier KC (with JS Brien) appeared for the respondent, instructed by Clayton Utz.
The judgment is published here.