Government has to dig deep over highway land buy

THE NSW Government has been ordered to pay more than $150,000 above what it was willing to spend after forcing a landholder to give up his property to make way for Pacific Hwy upgrades.

Martin Willis owned 58ha of land spread over five allotments that were intersected by the Pacific Hwy at Raleigh in the Bellingen Shire.

Roads and Maritime Services compulsorily acquired about one-fifth of his property for the Warrell Creek to Urunga upgrade of the highway.

Mr Willis disputed the original $489,000 valuation and claimed the land was worth $650,000 - a figure that later grew to $830,000.

RMS rejected the offer and employed its own consultants who returned a valuation of $255,000.

Land and Environment Court Justice Rachel Pepper awarded Mr Willis $412,000.

"Notwithstanding that Mr Willis has obtain compensation in an amount less than the original Valuer-General's determination, the award is substantially more than that offered to him by RMS," she said.