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How effectively does it work? Our report on a survey of the Public Works Act 1981

November 04, 2015


Partners Michael Wood, Nick Wilson
Special Counsel Duncan Laing
Consultants Phillip Merfield
Senior Associates Donna Hurley

Local government

Our new report, based on the findings of a recent survey commissioned by Simpson Grierson and LAPA (Local Authority Property Association), identifies what those directly involved in the local government sector think about the Public Works Act.

The Public Works Act 1981 (PWA) is an important piece of legislation governing the power of the Crown and local authorities to acquire land.  The report reveals seven key findings. These include:

  • the Public Works Act does effectively enable infrastructure development
  • however, key aspects including compensation, offer back and compulsory acquisition need to be reformed
  • inconsistent approaches to valuation need to be addressed
  • incentives for settling promptly would improve acquisition and compensation.

Simpson Grierson partner Michael Wood says:

"Local government faces a variety of challenges in using the Public Works Act. Some clear messages emerge from the research. Although the Act broadly enables infrastructure development, it could be much more effective. Land acquisition processes, compensation and offer back need reform."

Click here to read a copy of the report.