SOUTHERN RAIL FREIGHT CORRIDOR

The Southern Rail Freight Corridor – even if not scheduled, will need to be built in the next 15-20 years. The Resuming Authority is already taking hardship applications.

With freight movement expected to double by the year 2020 in Queensland, the State Government has identified the construction of a Southern Freight Rail Corridor as critical.

Phase One of the corridor planning, involving community and stakeholders consultation, began in late 2007, and since then a vast amount of work has gone into establishing the alignment of the proposed rail link.

Further consultations have since taken place, and in late 2009 a realignment of 12km of track to protect Koala habitat was announced.

By the end of this year, the State Government is expected to make a decision about the final route the corridor will take.

Although construction is not anticipated to begin before 2031, the Government has been actively working to ensure they are able to retain land for the rail line, and this means issuing Notices of Intention to Resume.

Under two acts of parliament – the Acquisition of Land Act 1967, and the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 – the Queensland Government has the right to resume land belonging to home and business owners to make way for infrastructure.

With the rail corridor expected to run all the way from Rosewood through to Kagaru, a corridor approximately 55km long, there are a large number of properties at risk of being resumed.

Notices of Intention to Resume are unlikely to be issued to owners for sometime. However, if you need to sell your property, but you are unable to find a buyer because of the effect of the corridor, then you are entitled to seek an early buyout on "hardship" grounds. It is always important to seek professional advice.

While the Government can offer compensation for your property, you need to know the compensation is equitable, and what to do if you feel your property has been undervalued, or the action to take if you wish to object.

Getting the right legal advice is imperative to protect your valuable assets, and to be aware of your rights and obligations. Home and business owners may be able to gain reimbursement for legal and other consultancy costs.

If your property, home or business is being resumed,
- you have the legal right to use a qualified lawyer,
- with reasonable costs being paid by the resuming authority.

You´ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

To find out more about your legal rights when involved in a property resumption, please contact me (Pas Cece) directly, at the Deacon & Milani office on 07 3221 7750 or via email at pas@deaconmilani.com.au.

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