The evolution of the "Public purpose rule" in compulsory acquisition

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Property Management, 2010, 28 (2), pp. 93 - 103
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Purpose: This paper aims to articulate the emerging and non-descript purposes "referred to as public purposes" for which land and property may be acquired within Australia and internationally using compulsory acquisition laws. Design/methodology/approach: In demonstration the emergence of non-descript purposes for which land is being acquired, a reflective case study in the USA, has been used to both highlight the broad nature of public purposes as well as the emerging trend of land acquired for site assembly and on-sale to private developers. Findings: The main findings of this paper are threefold. The first finding is the extent of public resistance and backlash to what is seen as a threat to the tenure of land and property rights. The second finding is the perceived abuse of land acquisition powers by government for site assembly and on-sale of land for purposes beyond the provision of traditional public infrastructure. The final finding is the lack of adequate compensation or framework for the provision of compensation in the form of reinstatement for parties dispossessed of their property. Originality/value: A "just term parity value" framework and model has been developed to evoke and provide a way forward in the provision of compensation which includes the provision of re-instatement for property owners dispossessed of their property. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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