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The State and Federal Governments have jointly announced the long-awaited decision on the preferred option for the final 10.5km River Torrens to Darlington section of the North-South Corridor upgrade.

The decision has been contingent on a comprehensive analysis of the traffic, ground conditions, local environment, heritage assets and community and stakeholder feedback.

Whilst the North-South Corridor project is touted as South Australia’s biggest ever job-creating infrastructure project, the impact on the many residents and businesses effected by the planning and construction stages is immense.

On the table have been three design options: an at-surface motorway; twin underground tunnels; or a hybrid of the two. A two-tunnel ‘Hybrid+’ option has been given the green light. What this means is that the initial 900-odd homes and businesses earmarked for compulsory acquisition to make way for the open motorway option, will now be reduced to around 400 properties. The ‘Hybrid+’ option will also protect iconic community and heritage assets including the Thebarton Theatre, Hindmarsh Cemetery, Hoffman Brick Kiln and Queen of Angels Church.

The $8.9 billion project will be delivered in two stages over the next ten years. Stage One consists of a 6km stretch of motorway including more than 4kms of tunnels between Anzac Highway and Darlington. Stage Two consists of the remaining 6km stretch which includes an at-surface motorway and northern tunnel connecting the River Torrens to Anzac Highway.

Under the Land Acquisition Act 1969 (SA) an Authority such as the State Government can acquire or gain temporary access to your property for road construction or utilities work.

Initial negotiations for compensation will take place between the Authority and affected stakeholders which can include a property owner, a lessee (a tenant), an executor of a deceased estate, a mortgagee, a business operator and a native title claimant or holder. If an agreement is reached, the matter will proceed to settlement.

If an agreement is not reached, a property can be acquired by compulsory means under the Land Acquisition Act 1969 (SA).

Compensation is based on fair market value of the property to be acquired. Other factors considered when determining compensation may include any loss to the remaining land caused by partial acquisition; any loss due to disturbance; and special value, including any business based issues. Reasonable costs such as valuation fees, legal expenses and conveyancing related to the acquisition should also be reimbursed.

If affected parties object to the purchase, there are established procedures for appeal to the Courts, which may include an objection or alteration to the acquisition. This review may or may not be successful.

If an interested party believes the Authority’s offer is unfair then they should seek independent legal advice. An experienced Scammell & Co. property lawyer can explain your rights and get the compensation you are entitled to.

For further information on Scammell & Co.’s Compulsory Acquisition services please follow this link: https://scammell.com.au/areas-of-law/compulsory-acquisition/

For advice and/or representation in your particular matter please contact our experienced property lawyers.

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