Property 101: When the Queensland Government reclaims land

Property 101: When the Queensland Government reclaims land
Property 101: When the Queensland Government reclaims land

As Queensland's population grows, the need to provide services and community facilities such as schools and hospitals also grows.

Due to this growth, it is sometimes necessary for the state government to acquire land for public purposes.

The Acquisition of Land Act 1967 authorises constructing authorities to acquire land for public purposes related to their business. The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) has the power to acquire land for public purposes. It is the constructing authority for various Queensland Government agencies.


Legislation that provides for the resumption of land are the: 

  • Acquisition of Land Act 1967 for the acquisition of freehold land 
  • Land Act 1994 (and various other Acts) for the acquisition of state leasehold land.

The Acquisition of Land Act outlines the purposes for which land can be acquired.

Land resumption for transport and roads

You can find out if the government requires your property by doing a property search.

If your property is required for a road or transport project, you will receive a ‘Notice of intention to resume’.

If you agree, you can negotiate for compensation or may choose to object.

Making an objection

As the landowner, you have the right to object, have the objection heard, and have your proposal considered by the government.

Your objection must: 

  • be in writing 
  • be made within a specified time 
  • provide supporting details for your objections.

After considering your objections, we may: 

  • go ahead with the resumption 
  • change the portion of your property required for the project 
  • change the project so we do not require your property.

If your land is resumed, we publish a ‘Taking of land notice’ in the Government Gazette (the gazette). This process normally takes approximately 3 to 6 months.

Claiming compensation

You can claim compensation if you are the legal owner, lessee or licensee of the property.

You must make the claim within 3 years from the day we publish the ‘Taking of land notice’ in the gazette.

You will receive a copy of the gazette notice, and a compensation claim form to complete and return to us. You may engage a registered valuer and/or solicitor to assist you.

We will reimburse reasonable costs as part of the overall settlement of compensation.

Advance payments

You can apply for an advanced payment against compensation at any time after lodging your claim.

This does not affect your right to negotiate additional compensation or have the matter independently determined by the Land Court if we fail to reach an agreement.

Property value assessment

Assessment is based on the market value of the property (or your interest in the property) at the date of the gazette notice.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads will have the property independently valued and a property officer will then contact you to discuss compensation.

Offer of compensation

If an offer of compensation is made to you, and you are satisfied with the offer, we will arrange settlement.

Compensation payments made as a result of the resumption of property do not attract GST.

Correction of property title

The Department of Transport and Main Roads will correct the title for the remainder of your land to reflect the new boundary at no cost to you. 

Rejecting the compensation offer

If you choose not to accept the compensation offer, a property officer will arrange a conference with you to resolve differences in an open and conciliatory manner.

If you do not reach an agreement on compensation, you can refer the matter to the Land Court for an independent determination.

Vacating the property

The government can take possession of the property at any time following publication of the gazette notice.

If you refuse to vacate the property from that date, we can arrange to take physical possession of the property, with the costs to be met by you.

Alternately, where practicable, you may remain at the property for a set period of time under certain conditions.

Our property officers will be pleased to assist if you have any queries on resumption matters. Please phone 1800 806 414 (toll free) for further information or for a hard copy of the brochure.

Reclaiming coastal wetlands and marshes

Reclaiming land under tidal water involves filling land to a level above the high water mark to make it suitable for your purpose.

The impact of this on coastal wildlife, habitat and scenic values must be considered carefully.


You should read the guidelines (Owners consent for development assessed under the coastal Act – document currently under review) and related government policies on this issue before lodging an application for a licence or permit.

Pre-design/pre-lodgement meeting service

This service is for projects that need a high level of assessment. It includes a meeting with a departmental project manager to discuss the information that you need to include in your application.

For more information please refer to the Pre-design conference fact sheet.

Contact Permit and Licence Management, or email, or complete a Pre-design conference application form.

Find out more about coastal development.

Permits and approvals

The approval you require will depend on the type of project.

For more information, click here.

Queensland Development

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