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Thursday, 25 July 2019
Page: 1037


Mr RAMSEY (GreyGovernment Whip) (13:57): In 2004 the Commonwealth moved a compulsory acquisition order for five family properties outside of Whyalla for the extension of the Cultana training facility. In 2012, eight years later, the federal government finally moved and acquired those properties. Now, seven years after that, four families remain in dispute regarding compensation. Prices for pastoral land have risen by 80 per cent over that time. One of those families, the Nicolson family of Roopena and Middleback, had been on their land for 95 years before being evicted. They are having their first day in court next week. Fifteen years in limbo—a third of a working life for people not knowing how to invest, how to go forward and they certainly couldn't sell their properties. It is just not good enough.

Compulsory acquisition in this country is a broken model. It is an absolute stinker. I'm ashamed to be associated with it. We need a completely new arrangement that is generous and grants respect to the legal owners of the land. I have spoken to the minister on a number of occasions about this and I believe that he is open to having that type of review. I won't rest until (a) this is righted and (b) we make sure it cannot happen again. It happens to only a small percentage of people around Australia at any given time, but we need people in this place to stand up for them and get a better deal.