HUNDREDS of Lyndhurst and Cranbourne South home owners could find themselves in limbo — unable to sell or move — until the state government finalises plans for the Port of Hastings.
The state government last month allocated $110 million over the next four years for design and planning for port and transport connections, including a rail freight link along the Western Port Highway.
Slater & Gordon solicitor Ben Hardwick told the Weekly residents could wait 10 or more years for their properties to be compulsorily acquired or for the government to dump the port plan. Adding to the uncertainty is the ALP’s opposition to the port development. Although the Hastings plan was developed under the former Labor government, the ALP now favours a Bay West option near Avalon.
Mr Hardwick said government announcements about long-term infrastructure created a lot of uncertainty. “Unfortunately, compulsory acquisition rights are only triggered when the government formally reserves land required for roads or rail.
“It’s difficult for governments because they need to reserve land for infrastructure projects but they don’t want to go too early.
“But it causes real problems for those in proximity to those corridors.”
Mr Hardwick, who acted for residents of the western suburbs affected by the Regional Rail Link, said Casey residents should press the government to decide “sooner rather than later”.
They should also be lobbying their MPs to close gaps in laws covering compulsory acquisition, he said.
Issue also arose for those living next to any compulsory acquisitions who had no rights to compensation for the loss in value of their properties.
“People who could be affected by this really should be lobbying now to get the law changed so it can be resolved as the project proceeds.”
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