Why the rush towards compulsory acquisitions?

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Dear Premier, I am writing to ask you to urgently clarify the Government’s position in relation to compulsory acquisitions associated with the East West Link project.

Message from Harriet Mantell, Residents Against the Tunnel (RAT)

I thought you should know that I have just spoken with a resident who has received communication from Linking Melbourne Authority (LMA) to tell them that they will be issuing Notices of Intention to Acquire (NOITA) in early August.

The LMA then have to wait at least two months from the date of the NOITA before issuing a Notice of Acquisition (NOA). The property reverts to the LMA on the date of the NOA ie immediately. The LMA has tweeted (yes tweeted) that they would allow people to remain in their properties for a peppercorn rent of $1 until the property is required.

The question is will they issue NOAs before contracts are signed or enabling legislation is passed or indeed before the election?

You have to ask why are they doing this now? Construction will not start till 2015 – plenty of time to allow the process to commence AFTER the election.

We have emailed the Premier. I encourage you to get people to do the same.

Office of the Premier, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne, Victoria, 3002
Telephone: (03) 9651 5000, Fax: (03) 9651 5054 | Contact page | Email: premier@dpc.vic.gov.au

Text follows:

Dear Premier

I am writing to ask you to urgently clarify the Government’s position in relation to compulsory acquisitions associated with the East West Link project.

There is no prospect of actual work commencing on the project that would require the acquisition of properties before the election in November so it is utterly unbelievable that the Linking Melbourne Authority (LMA) is now advising home owners in Collingwood that they will be issuing Notices of Intention to Acquire in early August with the possibility that final Notices of Acquisition could be issued as early as early October 2014.

You will immediately appreciate how incredibly upsetting this is for the people affected, and I should note here that I am not one of them, not just because they are being told their homes could be taken away in a couple of months but because it is completely unnecessary to do so now.

As this project is a major point of difference between the two alternative governments and will be a major focus in the State election campaign, surely no compulsory acquisitions should take place before the people of Victoria have the opportunity to express their will in the election.

I am asking that you immediately commit and publicly state that there will be no Notices of Acquisition issued before the State election on 29 November 2014.

This would go someway to alleviating the distress that is being imposed on the people affected and would not impede the timing of the project should it go ahead after the election.

If you do not agree then it is surely incumbent on you to state publicly and very clearly why the project requires acquisitions now rather than after the election.

Thank you for taking the time to consider, and hopefully respond positively to, this very important matter.

Given the distress that is already being felt I ask that you respond to this request urgently.

Yours sincerely

[Your name]

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