Compulsory acquisition

Kingston v Transport for Victoria [2023] VSC 618

In this case, Quigley J examines the interpretation principles applicable to compulsory acquisition. 

First, the right to compensation is ‘entirely statutory’6.  Second, although these statutes are subject to the usual rules of interpretation, ‘obscure matters should be resolved in favour of the dispossessed party’7. Third, this means that compensation doubts over quantum are to be ‘resolved in favour of a more liberal estimate’.  Fourth, while the test of value is the same, the court’s attitude to its application is affected.  French CJ had explained the rationale for all this as being protection of private interests from interference ‘as an aspect of the rule of law’8.

This principle is from Episode 103 of interpretation NOW!


6 Walker [2008] HCA 5 [29], Manor Lakes [2017] VSCA 114 [24-25]. 

7 Rigby [2012] VSC 427 [28], Executor Trustee (1947) 74 CLR 358 (373-374).

8Fazzolari [2009] HCA 12 [40-41], K Generation [2009] HCA 4 [47].