Compulsory acquisitions during the Australian colonial period

Duane L. Ostler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acquisition law during the Australian colonial period was far more robust than many might think. All of the Australian colonies enacted acquisitions legislation during this time, usually adapting the Land Clauses Consolidation Act 1845 (UK). The Australian colonies modified their acquisitions Acts, tailoring them to their own needs. Unlike the Americans, however, none of the Australian States inserted acquisition language in their Constitutions. There were many acquisition cases in the Australian colonies during the 1900s. The earliest cases usually dealt with Crown grants and reservations. Later cases described acquisitions law in respect to mill dams and flooding of property, as well as harm to property from the raising of roads or railways. However, the largest number of acquisition cases dealt with the calculation of compensa- tion. In reviewing acquisition cases, courts usually were quite strict in following the applicable Acts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-184
Number of pages20
JournalAustralian Law Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Compulsory acquisitions during the Australian colonial period'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this