education.vic.gov.au

School operations

Land Acquisition

Policy

This policy provides an overview of the circumstances and methods by which the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) acquires new land for schools.

Summary

  • The VSBA regularly purchases land in response to changing educational needs and demand for government schools across Victoria.
  • The VSBA carries out all its land purchases on behalf of the Minister for Education, in compliance with the Victorian Government Land Transactions Policy and Guidelines.
  • The Department may acquire land through acquisition by agreement, at auction or by compulsory acquisition.
  • Further information on the key factors considered when assessing proposed new government school sites can be found in the Victorian Government School Site Selection Criteria Guidance available on the Guidance tab.
  • This policy falls within the 'Plan' stage of the School Asset Lifecycle.

Details

The educational needs and demand for government schools across Victoria changes over time.

The VSBA may address an increase in forecasted demand by acquiring land to construct a new school or to extend the capacity of an existing school. The VSBA analyses demographic demand forecasts to determine the need for new land.

Each proposed government school site brings with it a range of risks, opportunities and constraints and its suitability needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis

The VSBA carries out all its land purchases on behalf of the Minister for Education, in compliance with the Victorian Government land transactions policy and guidelines. Funding for land purchases may be provided through the State Budget or other sources such as the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution. The Government Land Monitor (VGLM) must approve land purchases valued at $750,000 or above.

All land acquired for education purposes is subject to stringent site suitability assessments to ensure that it is appropriate for sensitive use.

Victorian Government School Site Selection Criteria Guidance

The Victorian Government School Site Selection Criteria Guidance (the Guidance) contains information on the key factors considered by the Department when assessing proposed government school site options once the need for a proposed government school site has been identified within a specific area.

The Guidance is intended for use by internal Departmental teams, and as a reference for urban planners and designers, developers, other government agencies and local Councils. It also aims to provide school communities and broader communities with the reassurance that the selection of a proposed government school site is based on a comprehensive assessment of the site’s suitability.

The Guidance is available on the Guidance tab.

Methods of acquisition

The Department may acquire land through the following methods:

  • Acquisition by agreement: the VSBA agrees to purchase land (on behalf of the Minister for Education) from a land owner with an agreed contract of sale
  • Acquisition at auction: the VSBA (on behalf of the Minister for Education) may purchase land at a public auction. This is not very common and usually only occurs for site extensions
  • Compulsory acquisition: the Minister for Education may compulsorily acquire land pursuant to the statutory process contained in the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic)

Regardless of the method of acquisition, the Minister may only purchase land for an amount approved by the Valuer-General Victoria. The VGLM must also approve the purchase if the land value is $750,000 or more.

Relevant legislation

Department advice on acquiring new land for schools

Reviewed 24 March 2022

Policy last updated

27 September 2021

Scope

  • Schools
  • All Department staff

Contact

Victorian School Building Authority Property Unit

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