At its Council meeting on 18 August 2020, Council resolved to commence the statutory process to compulsorily acquire flood prone land along the Ninety Mile Beach.
This compulsory acquisition will only take place where persons with an interest in specified land cannot be contacted after the conduct of diligent enquiries or are willing but unable to transfer land to Council.
There are 2,700 vacant flood prone lots in the Ninety Mile Beach subdivisions. Planning controls do not allow development on all lots in this area because of flooding,high ground water levels and to protect the lakes environment.
There are approximately 1,000 rated owners of 1,200 flood prone lots with a postal‘address unknown’. Extensive searches for these owners or their representatives by external contractors have been in progress since May 2020.
Although the searches are not yet completed, it is expected that approximately 750 individual lots will be subject to the compulsory acquisition process.
It is anticipated that the statutory process will be ready to commence later this calendar year. This will include the service of notices in a newspaper circulating in Victoria, and notices placed on the affected land (as the notices cannot be ‘served’ on the persons with an interest in the land as they had not been found after the conduct of diligent enquiry).
The voluntary transfer scheme and compulsory acquisition (where owners cannot be found) will result in undevelopable privately-owned flood prone land being transferred into public ownership. These processes help to implement the report recommendations of the Victorian Ombudsman into the Ninety Mile Beach subdivisions.
More information is available on the Ninety Mile Beach Plan page.