ADVERTORIAL

RENOWNED solicitor Peter Boyce OAM, known as the lawyer whose advocacy helped to convict Daniel Morcombe’s killer, will be guest speaker at Property Rights Australia‘s AGM in Chinchilla this Saturday, March 13.

Mr Boyce will be talking about what improvements may be needed to the Acquisition of Land Act 1967 to make it as fair as the original drafters of the Act intended it to be.

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No-one in the community can take it for granted that they are immune from having their property acquired for public benefit. For Joanne Rea, Chair of Property Rights Australia, the issue became personal.

At end of 2016 her family and her neighbours were looking forward to a couple of days of doing only essential jobs during a fairly dry period when their hopes of a calm Christmas, if not a wet one, took a nosedive.

All landowners along the Eastern side of the Bruce Highway for more than 100 km received a letter from the Defence Department saying that all of their properties were to be acquired on behalf of the Singapore Military.

Advice at the time seemed to be to concentrate energies on obtaining the highest possible price. Some, many of whom had spent their entire adult lives, if not their entire lives on that property and knew its vagaries intimately, did not think there was any future in moving on and determined to fight on.

Some knew that the uncertainty was something that was taking a toll on their mental health.

Businesses in the small village near where these landowners lived were shattered to find that, unlike the landholders, they were not automatically entitled to any compensation in spite of the fact that they would be devoid of their customer base.

Whether it is for road, rail, government infrastructure, pipelines, some for natural gas, GCG and mining activity or just a large business which the government regards as desirable, there is not one of us who are immune from the vagaries of the Acquisition of Land Act 1967. 

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Speaker Peter Boyce has had a diverse and interesting career.

His most celebrated case is probably his cracking of the Daniel Morcombe case. He has also represented the parents of children who suffered poor outcomes in the medical system.

However, it is as a landowner representative that he came to our attention.

He acted on behalf of a landowner who twice had the transport department come back to him to acquire chunks of his property for new road extensions and was left substantially out of pocket.

His career has been one of service to the community.

The Acquisition of Land Act has been flagged by our members for some time as outdated and unfair.

Rather than just asking for it to be scraped or amended, particularly with a not necessarily farmer friendly government in power, we need to know what we would like in its place.

Peter Boyce is speaking at our conference to clarify that endeavour for us.

Raquel Bond of P&E Law (pictured) will speak about the rights or otherwise of neighbours to those hosting CSG or CSG infrastructure and ongoing issues about landowner rights.

Raquel is a Director and heads up the Chinchilla office. Raquel is a born and bred local with a wealth of knowledge of the Surat Basin and surrounding areas. Raquel has extensive experience in the CSG and mining sectors.

This means that Raquel has a great deal of experience in advising land owners in relation to Conduct and Compensation Agreements and land access matters under the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Qld) and Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld), advising clients in relation to the impacts of exploration, mining and infrastructure associated with mining activities such as pipeline easements, powerline easements, gravel pits, etc, advising land owners on environmental law issues including under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) and the current “make good” arrangements under the Water Act 2000 (Qld) and advising clients in land resumption matters under the Acquisition of Land Act 1967 (Qld).

The Reef Regulations have the power, without a sympathetic rendering, to destroy all of agriculture in Great Barrier Reef catchments.

This is reality not hyperbole and not disputed by federal politicians with whom I have met.

There will be a discussion on the legislation at the conference plus a question and answer session.

Recently, a draft commercial cropping code which means you cannot just walk out into you paddock and plough it up after 1st June, 2021. For an area of 5 ha or greater you will have to have a very specific cropping history or obtain an environmental authority unless the crop is for fodder for your own use.

This is just a further reduction in property rights which seeks to limit management decisions as written and enforced by bureaucrats who know nothing about drought, crop and animal rotation, markets or any of the other plethora of things that go into a management decision.

The department has ticked the consultation boxes but wit green influence in the department greater than agricultural influences we are not hopeful that a positive result will be achieved.

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