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The new Melton Hospital is due to be completed in 2029 (Victorian Health Building Authority)

Church lawyers have taken the Allen Government to Victoria’s highest planning tribunal over the state’s newest public hospital, claiming it was severely shortchanged when it gave up the land. Source: ABC News.

The state Government acquired the land for the new Melton Hospital, 45kms west of Melbourne, using special legal powers and paid the Church just shy of $9 million, with the hospital expected to be finished within the next five years.

But if the Church is successful, taxpayers may need to fork out an additional $8.5 million.

“We dispute the amount of compensation which the authority has offered and claim the sum of $17,530,127.37 for compensation plus reserved amounts for interest,” its lawyers said in tribunal documents seen by the ABC.

But the Allan Government is standing firm and says the legal action will not delay the construction of the hospital.

In 2021, the then-Andrews government acquired the site for the new hospital on Ferris Road at Cobblebank using compulsory acquisition powers, promising to build a $900 million health service with 274 beds, an intensive care unit and a 24-hour emergency department.

The 6.86 hectare site will also be Victoria’s first fully electric hospital.

In exchange, the Roman Catholic Trusts Corporation, which manages properties on behalf of the Melbourne Archdiocese, was paid $8.99 million based on a valuation from Victoria’s Valuer-General.

The money was paid in April 2022 but in November 2022, the Church rejected the offer and flagged it would be seeking compensation.

The disputed amount includes just over $17 million for the land, about $158,000 for legal, professional and valuation fees, about $12,000 for economic development expenses and $150,000 in compensation.


Catholic Church takes Victorian government to VCAT over the acquisition of land for the new Melton Hospital (By Danny Tran, ABC News)