More than 370 property owners have signed a petition to overturn changes to the Land Acquisitions Act, which are said to rob residents of their property rights.
On 17 June 2009, changes were made to the Act that allow local councils to compulsorily acquire the homes, businesses and land of property owners in New South Wales regardless of the purpose – jeopardising the property security of every owner in the state.
Ray Fazzolari and Michael Winston Smith have launched a website that hosts forums where disgruntled residents can air their grievances about the changes to legislation.
www.savepropertyrights.com.au was initiated in response to Mr Fazzolari’s and Mr Winston Smith’s battle to protect their private property from Parramatta City Council.
The council had been pursuing the compulsory acquisition of properties to sell to the developer Grocon, as part of the Civic Place redevelopment in Parramatta.
The fight went to the High Court of Australia, where five judges ruled that the council could not compulsorily acquire the properties when it was not for public purpose, but was instead for re-sale to a developer for profit.
Since this time, changes have been made to the Land Property Act that allows any property that lies adjacent to or in the vicinity of council owned land, to be compulsorily acquired