Landowners are being encouraged to seek legal advice. Images – Canva
  • A 1,700km Inland Rail project will connect Brisbane and Melbourne upon completion
  • The project relies on the acquisition of various rural parcels of land
  • Madden Lawyers are encouraging relevant landowners to seek legal advice

When complete, Australia’s ‘Inland Rail’ project will connect Brisbane and Melbourne via 1,700km of railway. The project may face some resistance en route as Maddens Lawyers encourage landowners who may face acquisition of property to seek independent legal advice.

The project relies on land in regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. This land is, of course, owned by a large number of people – not all of whom will be thrilled to handball property to the project.

While the process may vary across the states, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is responsible for the acquisition process in Queensland. The ‘Acquisition of Land Act 1967’ empowers TMR to acquire land.

Queensland property owners with land affected are to be formally advised in advance by TMR and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).

Maddens Principal, Kathryn Emeny, explains that for many of these property owners, the land is more valuable than just the dollar amount. Obtaining legal advice can allow the compensation for the loss of land to be maximised.

“There’s a bigger picture at play here. Other considerations need to be factored in such as any special value the land may have to the owner, consequential financial losses associated with the loss of use of the land as well as any non-financial disadvantages the impact of the acquisition may have.”

Kathryn Emeny, Maddens Principal

“The costs associated with landholders obtaining legal advice are required to be paid for by the acquiring party, in this case the ARTC,” Ms Emeny said.

“Financially, there is absolutely nothing to lose by obtaining expert and independent legal advice and potentially a considerable amount to gain.”

Landowners have already begun to meet with lawyers in anticipation of having their land acquired as a part of the construction.

Maddens is offering to use their experience in representing large groups in rural settings to support affected property owners. Lawyers can help them advance claims for compensation associated with the compulsory acquisition of their property.

“We anticipate there will be a large number of affected properties. Each claim will be unique to the property in question. It is essential that each claim is constructed and advanced according to its particular circumstances.,” Ms Emeny said.

The project is forecasted for completion in 2026.

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