Page 3070 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 22 August 2017

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offer of compensation. Once the offer is made, the interest holder will have the ability to assess the offer and the means by which the compensation amount was determined. As is presently the case, there is no specific time limit on the consideration of the position of the executive on the compensation amount. The interest holder therefore has ample time to assess the offer and to do so in light of any necessary professional land valuation and legal advice.

The bill maintains existing procedures and rights around negotiations and review as to the amount of the compensation to be paid. In effect, existing internal review and ACAT merit review processes are expanded to the new scenario where the executive makes an offer under new section 61A. This has the result that the interest holder can accept or reject the executive’s offer of compensation. If the offer is rejected, the executive must reconsider its first offer and make a final offer. If the interest holder does not accept the final offer, an application can be made by the interest holder for ACAT merit review.

As I noted earlier, the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety, in its legislative scrutiny role, in its report No 7, made two comments on the bill with substantive implications. One of the comments of the standing committee touched on the provision of notices in connection with proposed transitional provisions. My colleague has already addressed those other transitional matters. The standing committee commented that section 106 of the act may not apply to the scenario proposed by the bill where the executive has made an offer of compensation under new section 61A. Section 106 of the act permits the executive or a private person who has claimed, or may claim, compensation to apply to the Supreme Court for a determination of the nature of the relevant interest and who holds it, and also for the Supreme Court to make consequential declarations.

There is no intention to depart from this process in relation to the new process. The intent is to permit an application to be made under section 106 to the Supreme Court in circumstances where an offer of compensation under new section 61A(2) has been made. To remove any doubt about this, new clause 13A substitutes a new section 106(1)(a). This new section makes it clear that the Supreme Court may determine the nature of an interest in question and the person or persons who hold it when a claim for compensation has been, or may be, made or an offer of compensation has been made under new section 61A(2). This government amendment is consistent with the government’s intent to make no changes to the basic structure of the act through this minor amendment bill.

In summary, the bill retains significant mechanisms for the owner to have input into, negotiate and seek review of the compensation amount while allowing the executive to kickstart a compensation process after three years, if necessary. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

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