Posted on 17. Nov, 2011 in News

The Liberal Government has given itself more power to move families out of their homes and force them to accept land close to rail lines, Shadow Transport Minister Fiona Richardson said today.

Ms Richardson said a clause in new legislation gave the Liberal Government and the new Public Transport Development Authority the power to give families land instead of money when compulsory acquiring land for rail developments.

“Despite Labor attempts to amend this clause the Liberal Government rammed through the new legislation with no concern shown for home owners,” Ms Richardson said.

“Losing the family home is stressful enough without worrying about being forced by the Liberal Government to move to government-owned land.

“This provision will strengthen the hand of Mr Mulder and the authority at atime when people are perhaps at their most vulnerable.

“Increasing the power of government against individuals faced with losing their family home is the opposite of what should be occurring.

Ms Richardson said instead of increasing the power of government Mr Mulder should seek to protect families living near rail reservations.

“Given Labor has highlighted the need to amend the provision, why is Mr Mulder the only one defending the government’s extraordinary compulsory acquisition powers?” Ms Richardson said.

“Mr Mulder has given the new authority absolutely no independence in any other area. Yet in the one area where Victorians would welcome protection, Mr Mulder is nowhere to be seen.

“The government rejected our amendment and today confirmed that they are prepared to use a provision which no other government has employed.

“Given the government’s plans to build rail extensions to Rowville and Doncaster no doubt affecting thousands of residents, families should be very concerned.”

Ms Richardson said the Law Institute of Victoria and law firm Slater and Gordon had also raised concerns about the legislation not providing a right of appeal.



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