Facts speak louder than statistics

Friday, 12 March 2010

Private land to be seized for housing

From the Sydney Morning Herald

March 12, 2010

THE state government is rushing to prepare laws to create a development authority with sweeping powers to compulsorily acquire and rezone privately owned land for resale to developers.

Sydney's population set to grow 40 per cent to 6 million in the next 25 years, the government has decided it needs a metropolitan development authority to buy privately owned land near rail and bus routes for medium- and high-density housing.

Legislation for the new authority, believed to be the first of its kind in Australia, will be introduced before June in an attempt to increase housing construction rates, which are the lowest on record even though the city's population is growing at the fastest rate since the 1960s.

Stephen Albin, the chief executive of the Urban Development Institute, a developer group, said while landowners should receive some compensation for increased value from rezoning, they should not receive it all.

''Developers are taking the risk … these landowners are not taking risk. Government has decided for the good of the city, for the good of the community, development must occur.”

Someone can own something but he thinks they have to get less than is fair for it so someone else can make a profit from it.

Developers are taking the risk? Of course they are, that's how capitalism works, if they want the profit they take the risk. It's not down to private land owners to subsidise someone else’s enterprise.

These landowners are not taking risk? Well why would they? They didn't ask to be part of the venture.

The rationale behind the authority and the compulsory acquisition provision is community benefit?

Something that is for the benefit of the community is usually paid for by the community, not just a few of its members, in this case private land owners.

It's the same as acquiring land for a road or a railway?

No it's not, it appears it's mainly for the benefit of a developers profit.

People don’t buy homes so developers can benefit.

Taking someone’s land should only be for a genuine benefit to the common good such as when they built the Harbour Bridge or if the army urgently needs land during war time and the owners involved should be compensated fairly for the inconvenience such a venture places upon them. Such decisions shouldn’t be taken lightly and it should not be done just so someone else can profit.

Whether or not the housing developments can be considered for the greater good is debatable, one thing is certain and that is a developers profit is not for the common good and that profit is no one else’s responsibility but their own.


Anonymous said...

In Queensland we already have what effectively amounts to legalised theft, and that would be the theft of potential profit from your developable land as this article reports.

The ULDA,(Urban Land Development Authority) in Queensland was created for exactly the reasons explained in your blog where not only can private land be taken for it's valuation amount (I think, although it has never happened) but the ULDA can bypass normal council and government departments and fast track the DA (development Approval) process so that land can be available for development in months rather than years of applications and meeting strict conditions such as EIS, and impact assesments on infrastructure atc.

Looks like the septic tank in NSW is attempting to copy the QLD model of which seems to take from the owner and give to the very rich and then wait for the large political donation cheques to come rolling in.

Michael B said...

Land acquisition has happened before - Check out Albury/Wodonga Development Corporation (AWDC) a brain-child of the then Whitlam Government, alot of people displaced; especially farmers.

Some of the land never used, lifestyles never reclaimed and yes monetary compensation was good.

As for developers - they're the ones that increase our foreign debt, extend extended credit, not pay regulatory authorities or tradies who inturn are blamed for the economic woes of others.

SUSTAINABLE Development is required, whereby cleared funds are in trust; until the completion of like projects: until ALL parties are satisfied.

I've said it before and I'll say it again AFFORDABLE HOUSING will be the downfall of the Rudd and Bligh governments. Hello, $400k - $500k is NOT affordable housing.

Free up land, bring the price down and genuinely stimulate the economy - Supply & Demand will find new levels; employing developers, surveyors, conveyors, plasterers, brickies, sparkies, etc etc etc this appetite then flows to infrastructure, milkbars, hairdressers, entertainment, sport: the lists go on!

Tim said...

Interesting comment re: the
Urban Land Development Auth-
ority, if you compare the
New South Wales equivalent,
whats stands to mind is that
the only diffrence between
the ULDA and the NSW version
is that the ULDA was actually
established to fasttrack dev-
opment of government owned
land, not privately owned
land. In other words, we`re
talking crown land. It is
against the constitution to
alter the configuration of
crown land, a fact it seems
the State Labor government
in Queensland conveniently
swept under the carpet by
giving the ULDA statutory
powers over crown land. It
breaches the constitution.
Crown land would need to be
re-classified (which is a
constitutional impossiblity)
before any private entity aka
development company utilised
it. In other words, only the
ULDA itself can develop crown
land. As soon as a private
company sets foot on crown
land and develops it, then
the constitution has been
breached. Its that simple.
The Marxists in the NSW gov.
are just being more cocky and
gung-ho about it, and they`re
going one better by giving
their statutory empowered
`land grab` body the author-
ity to sieze private land for
the developers, and not just
crown land. But wait and see,
Queensland will be next, in
ten years from now there will
need to be a civil war within
Australia to get rid of all
the socialists who are entren-
ching themselves further and further into the Australian political landscape.

Anonymous again said...

Thanks Tim, you're right the ULDA was created with unprecedented powers to do waht wwould be considered unconstitutional if a private developer attempted it, funny though the ULDA only concerns itself with the conversion, it does not oversee or even force a covenent on the private development corporation it then hands the land to other that to insist that some of the housing be affordable (around 10% I think) and as Michael B points out what is affordable to middle class investors and second home buyers is not necessarrily what we think of when we hear the word affordable ( which we take to mean able to be purchased on low incomes)

Queensland is already next step in my opinion with it's ULDA already granted the power to forcibly aquire private holdings in almost every instance unchallengable by a court of law under the act, and pay for it based on the government valuation system plus improvements, an example would be where a developer has purchased all the waterfront properties in a block at Kings Beach bt one elderly couple have resisted and even though the council is now charging them $20,000 a year in rates to stay, on their new diet of dog food they remain and the developer is getting twichy at getting an approval to start making his next fortune. That developer simply has to go to the ULDA, present his case for "affordable housing which "now "will" be included in his development and the ULDA can force the owners out, and I mean throw them on the street ( there is no provision in the act to ensure that suitable alternative accomidation is resourced and offered, at all, in fact the opposite is true, they can simply move the people off the land and then charge them with trespass and jail them if they go back even for a photo, the ULDA decides what they get to keep if anything, and not saying this will happen but it can)

The developer can then pay a small amount for the property, relatively, and get on with profiting immensly from what I believe is just legitimised theft and at the least utter communism of the worst kind.

You have to remember that the Queensland Government is, it seems, almost bankrupt and the lust for money, travel, and perks of every kind for ministers and staff for almost 15 years has drained the coffers of Qld, almost dry, further their unbridled borrowings have them making repayments they cannot afford and with growth slowing they have no signs of doing better in the future, selling is their only option (because they will not reduce their grandiose lifestyle)

Keeping public assets like crown land or anything else for that matter mean nothing to this government which seems to have a lifestyle akin to that of an addict as a personality comparison, where getting the next dollar is the only thing that matters.

Jeremy Michaels said...

I did not realise the extent of the problem as in the legislation that is already in place when I posted this article. I was just incensed with the general legalised theft approach that governments seem to be leaning towards, the misuse of the ‘common good’ argument to justify it and Stephen Albin’s comments that somehow land owners shouldn’t be entitled to the full value of what is their asset because he expects them to subsidise someone else’s venture with no say in the matter.

You have something valuable and out of the blue some unrelated third party can come along and get the benefit from it.

I was aware of the reasons though, the champagne lifestyle on a beer budget that governments lead and the simple desire for profit by developers leads to this sort of rubbish happening. Unfortunately I end up preaching to the unwilling, that is people simply say ‘what can I do about it?’ and just don’t want to know or look for other reasons for why the way things are as opposed to the reasons that are staring them in the face. I’ve already posted two articles that address the attitude of governments http://ozcentral.blogspot.com/2008/05/they-dont-they-care-get-over-it.html and problems with Australian elections http://ozcentral.blogspot.com/2007/10/vote.html but the ‘what can I do about it’ and ‘look for other reasons, attitudes are near impossible to overcome. Politicians know this which is why they get away with pretty much everything.

Which of course is something you are already well aware of.

Jeremy Michaels said...

In a US state a judge ruled that developers had the right to compulsorily purchase property for commercial development as it was in the community’s interest as in creating jobs, helping the local economy etc. so a group of private citizens set up a fund with the intent of purchasing the judges home for development. I will have to look into that and see how it worked out.

Anonymous said...

I hope they can do it, that'd be truely , . . . Kharma.