COMMONWEALTH PROPERTY WHETHER STATES HAVE POWER OF COMPULSORY ACQUISITION
CONSTITUTION, s. 52
The Defence Department has been served with a copy of a notice in the N.S.W. Government Gazette, notifying that it was proposed to resume, under the N.S.W. Public Roads Act 1902, certain lands therein described.
The description included the following:
|Area||Parish Name||Occupier||Character of holding||Width of land to be resumed||Area to be resumed|
|a. r.p. about 17.0.0||Botany||Military authorities||Dedicated land for Defence purposes.Gazette 25th April 1904||Variable||a.r.p. 12|
|5.1.4.||Do.||The Eastern Extension Australasia and China Telegraph Company (Limited)||Dedicated land for electric telegraph purposes Gazette 25th April 1904||Do.||1.28|
It appears clear from the maps and correspondence that the date of dedication of these parcels of land was 25 April 1894-not 1904 as stated in the Gazette Notice.
The Minister for Home Affairs asks for my opinion as to the power of the State to resume Commonwealth properties.
In my opinion State powers of compulsory acquisition of land have no application to properties vested in the Commonwealth-which by secton 52 of the Constitution are subject to the exclusive legislative power of the Commonwealth.
In this case, it appears that there is no objection to revesting in the State the land described; and this can be done by the usual voluntary deed of release executed on behalf of the Commonwealth, in consideration of a release by the State of any claim for compensation for the value of the land.
[Vol. 5, p. 56]