30 October 2022

Information for landowners and tenants

The 90km Suburban Rail Loop will link every major rail line from the Frankston line to the Werribee line, via Melbourne Airport, better connecting Victorians to jobs, retail, education, health services and each other.

Suburban Rail Loop Authority (SRLA) is leading the planning and delivery of SRL for the Victorian Government.

SRL will be delivered in stages over several decades. SRL East will be a twin-tunnel with new underground stations built at Cheltenham, Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood and Box Hill, and a stabling facility at Heatherton.

Technical and design work, including geotechnical investigations, have helped identify specific land and property requirements for SRL East.

The scale and complexity of SRL means there will be some unavoidable impacts on land, including private property, for construction.

We know that for people whose properties are impacted by the project, it can be a very challenging and difficult time. SRLA will work with landowners and tenants with properties that may be required for SRL East to support and keep them informed throughout the process.

This brochure includes information about the land acquisition and compensation process and answers to some common questions.

Key legislation

Compulsory acquisition of land will be undertaken in accordance with the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986.

Compulsory acquisition can usually only occur once the land has been reserved for a public purpose in the relevant Planning Scheme, also known as a Public Acquisition Overlay (PAO), or the project area is designated under the Major Transport Project Facilitation Act 2009. The project area for SRL East was designated on 16 September 2022, enabling SRLA to use project delivery powers, including land acquisition.

The Land Acquisition and Compensation Act ensures that property owners are fully and fairly compensated for the market value of their land.

Full versions of these Acts are available at Victorian Legislation.

Key steps in the compulsory land acquisition process

If the land you own or occupy needs to be compulsorily acquired for the Suburban Rail Loop project, the process generally proceeds in the stages outlined below.

  1. Initial contact
  2. Notice of Intention to Acquire
  3. Notice of Acquisition
  4. Compensation

1. Initial contact

Well before any formal acquisition process begins, the Suburban Rail Loop project team has made initial contact with you to advise that your property is likely to be required for construction of the project and provide information about next steps. SRLA has written to potentially affected landowners and tenants and will continue to keep you updated as the project progresses.

2. You will receive a Notice of Intention to Acquire

Following the planning and environmental assessment process, statutory approvals and designation of a project area, likely to conclude in the second half of 2022, the Suburban Rail Loop project team will contact you again with confirmation whether or not your property is required for the project. If your property is required, SRLA will issue a Notice of Intention to Acquire to formally advise you that SRLA intends to compulsorily acquire part or all of your property.

Once the formal acquisition process begins, relevant landowners and tenants will be supported through the process by a Case Manager. It is at this stage that you may seek your own professional advice such as legal or valuation advice in order to commence negotiations with SRLA.

SRLA will reimburse the reasonable costs of professional advisors such as your own solicitor or valuer. To ensure SRLA agrees these fees are reasonable, you may wish to arrange for your advisors to submit fee proposals to SRLA prior to undertaking work for you.

You may decide to sell your property to SRLA at this time, rather than waiting for the next step in the formal acquisition process. Consideration for your property may include market value of the land, reimbursement of your reasonable professional costs, property replacement and relocation costs.

If agreement is reached at this point, there may be no need to proceed to the next stage.

3. You may receive a Notice of Acquisition

Alternatively, we will progress to the next stage which is issuing you a Notice of Acquisition following a certain timeframe. The Notice of Acquisition protects your rights to receive compensation while enabling SRLA to obtain possession of the land within a certain timeframe (sometimes before negotiations and compensation is finalised).

In these circumstances you will receive a Notice of Acquisition, which will also be published in the Victorian Government Gazette. The Notice of Acquisition formalises the acquisition, meaning that you are no longer the legal owner of the land.

SRLA can only take possession of the land after the expiry of specific timeframes as set out in the legislation. These timeframes may differ depending on whether a property is vacant or whether it is a principal place of residence or business.

SRLA will work with you to agree the date you will need to vacate your property. If the land is the principal place of residence or business, SRLA will not take possession of the land for at least three months after issuing a Notice of Acquisition in accordance with the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986.

SRLA will always give relevant landowners and tenants as much notice as possible of the date land will be required for the project.

4. Compensation

If SRLA needs to acquire all or part of your land, you will be fully compensated in accordance with the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986.

This means that:

  • Compensation will be assessed on the basis of the market value (based on the highest and best use of the land) of the land being acquired, plus any additional amounts and allowances which may apply in your particular circumstances, such as stamp duty and conveyancing costs of buying a replacement property of similar value;
  • Market value is assessed by an independent property valuer appointed by the Valuer- General Victoria. The valuation considers the unaffected value of the land (that is, the land value without Suburban Rail Loop being built). A compensation offer is required to be made by SRLA within 14 days of the Notice of Acquisition being published;
  • You may wish to obtain advice from a solicitor, valuer and/or other professional advisors regarding your rights in relation to SRLA’s intention to acquire the land and to assist you through the acquisition process. You are entitled to be compensated for professional expenses necessarily incurred as a result of the acquisition process after SRLA has issued a formal Notice of Intention to Acquire. SRLA will assess entitlement to compensation for professional expenses upon receipt of a claim. SRLA will not pay invoices from professional advisors directly. Any costs incurred prior to SRLA issuing a formal Notice of Intention to Acquire will generally not be considered for reimbursement;
  • Depending on your individual circumstances, additional compensation for non-financial disadvantage, known as solatium, may be paid. Solatium is assessed as a dollar amount and is capped at 10 per cent of the land's market value and is to compensate for non-financial disadvantage caused by the acquisition. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis. The Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 outlines what must be considered as relevant to your circumstances and this may include the length of time you have occupied the land and the inconvenience likely to be suffered;
  • If you operate a business on your land, compensation may be payable for financial loss suffered to the business as a result of the acquisition. You may wish to discuss this with SRLA at an early stage.

Opt-in early option

We want to provide maximum flexibility for affected landowners and tenants and will provide an opt-in early option for anyone who may wish to commence the compulsory acquisition process prior to SRLA issuing a Notice of Intention to Acquire.

Under this initiative, landowners and business owners have the option to start the acquisition process any time from now when it best suits their individual circumstances.

If this is something you would be interested in, please contact us on 1800 105 105 to discuss further.


Once you have received an offer of compensation, you can request in writing that SRLA pay an advance of the offer at any time.

If you are eligible, the advance payment will be made within 30 days of receiving the request and will not affect your entitlement to continue negotiating a final settlement.

Once agreement is reached on the amount of compensation payable, the balance of the compensation must be paid within 30 days of agreement.

Your questions answered

Read our translated fact sheets