The compulsory acquisition of land by the government for projects and developments is a reality that many residents have to face. It’s never a pleasant experience stressing over whether you’ll continue to have access to your home or business, even with the prospect of compensation. One of the most notable examples of compulsory acquisition in New South Wales involves the construction of the M12 Motorway, which will provide a link to the new Western Sydney Airport. It’s undoubtedly an uncomfortable situation for all residents affected, but what exactly does this acquisition entail?

What is The M12 Motorway?

The M12 Motorway is a development by the NSW Government, designed to provide access to Western Sydney’s planned international airport at Badgery’s Creek. The project is estimated to cost approximately two billion dollars and is expected to be completed by late 2025. It will be built between the M7 Motorway in the vicinity of Cecil Hills, and The Northern Road at Luddenham.

What Will The Compulsory Acquisition Involve?

According to the NSW Government, forty-one properties are set to be directly affected. Thirty-six properties are to be partially acquired, while five properties would be acquired completely. To accommodate the construction facilities to complete the M12 Motorway, temporary land leases will also be negotiated with the necessary landowners. Nine properties will need to be demolished before construction begins.

As various properties will only need to be partially acquired, new boundaries and dimensions regarding the acquisition will be given to the property owners. While partial acquisition may be an easier option, it can still cause issues such as the detachment of rural properties.

What Legal and Other Issues Does The Compulsory Acquisition Bring?

Residents and business owners will inevitably be affected when the government needs to formally acquire these properties. If a property has been acquired, there’s also the possibility that the price offered is not reasonably matched to its value. Cases like this will need to be taken to the Land and Environment Court, although all legal fees are paid by the acquiring authority.

While the NSW Government anticipates that local and surrounding businesses will benefit from the M12 Motorway following its completion, the compulsory acquisition will also affect many residents and businesses prior to and following its completion. These include recreational, production, and construction businesses as well as commercial offices, although the NSW Government believes the project should have a low impact on local employment.

If there’s the possibility of your house or business  being acquired, having the right lawyers by your side can make a world of difference. The process for compulsory acquisition is never easy, but we can assist you in ensuring that a reasonable amount of money is received for your property after the land is acquired. For everything to do with compulsory acquisition or any other legal enquiries, get in touch with us at (02) 8318 0788 or contact us here!

Our experienced compulsory acquisition lawyers will help you by:


Working with land, property and business owners and negotiating with valuers towards achieving maximum compensation


Taking part in negotiations on your behalf


Representing you at tribunals or hearings, if required

Our specialist compulsory acquisition lawyers have successfully settled a number of forced acquisition matters in NSW prior to litigation, and we pride ourselves on a high success rate in achieving the best and fairest results for our clients.

If your home is subject to land acquisition as part of this project, contact us today to book a consultation and get advice and guidance through the process.

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    Why Land Acquisition Lawyers

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    Compulsory Land Acquisition FAQs

    Can the government acquire my land in NSW?

    In NSW, the commonwealth and state governments (including state-owned enterprises) have the authority to acquire privately held property for public use. They have the ability to acquire all or part of your property.

    What is the name of the law for compulsory acquisition in NSW?

    The Commonwealth Lands Acquisition Act 1989 and the NSW Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 (Just Terms Act) both function in a similar manner.

    Each Act sets a procedure for informing and negotiating with landowners who are impacted by the compulsory land acquisition.

    Can you fight compulsory acquisition?

    It is possible to challenge compulsory acquisition in court if you have adequate evidence. Land Acquisition Lawyers can assist you in making sure you get fair compensation and that your rights are safeguarded throughout the process.

    Am I entitled to any help with legal fees during a compulsory acqusistion?

    The government will pay your legal fees associated with the compulsory acquisition process, including any costs of proceedings in the Land and Environment Court. For more information on this, contact our experienced lawyers.

    Have you had success in compulsory acquisition matters historically?

    Our lawyers have been successful in negotiating many compulsory acquisition matters before they went to litigation, achieving the best outcomes for our clients at the Land & Environment Court. We pride ourselves on a 95% success rate.

    How is compensation calculated?

    The factors to be taken into account when assessing a property’s value include the market value of the land, town planning issues, the time period in which the property has been occupied and relocation costs.