On 24 May 2022, the City of Newcastle Councillors rejected the $1.16M offered by the Transport for NSW (TfNSW) for 8 parcels of community land owned by the City of Newcastle which is required for the Newcastle Inner City Bypass. Any owner of land has a right to reject an offer and can seek a determination by the Valuer General of NSW, known as the “VG”. The VG valued the land at $2.14M, almost double that of TfNSW's final offer. TfNSW has long been under scrutiny both from private owners and government agencies for this practice of “lowballing” property owners.
The Rankin Park to Jesmond section of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass, a 3.4 kilometre bypass to the west of John Hunter Hospital, would be built between Rankin Park and Jesmond. In July 2022, a design and construct contract was awarded to Fulton Hogan Construction Pty Ltd. For any owners under doubt about fighting against the Government and thinking there is no point, this case goes to show that even Government entities fight acquisition amounts and that there is a strong process in favour of those whose land is acquired to use to have fair determinations. There is also an appeal right from the VGs decisions and we are seeing a significant increase in appeals as well to the Land and Environment Court. Acquisitions of land usually allows for all legal and valuation costs to be paid by the other side making it fairer in what is perceived as being an unfair system allowing land to be taken without consent in the first place.
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