Law Reform Commission of Western Australia
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Project 44 - Alteration of ground levels

Project No. 44

Commenced: 1973
Completed: 1986

The reference arose out of the concerns of some local authorities that they did not have adequate power to control excavations that might affect the support to adjoining land and buildings, or to control the filling of land so as to prevent the fall of soil onto adjoining land. The terms of the reference, however, extended to include consideration of both the common law and statutory remedies available to the adjoining owners.

Terms of Reference

In 1973 the Commission was invited to examine and report on the rights and obligations of adjoining owners when one alters the ground level of their land, and to recommend such changes to the law as it considered desirable.


There has been no legislative action to implement the Commission’s recommendations.

In September 1992 a Working Party, comprised of representatives from private industry and state and local government, reported to the Minister for Local Government in respect of a proposed Integrated Building Act. The Working Party did not adopt the recommendations of the Commission that the common law right of support for land should be extended to buildings.

Last updated: 31-Jan-2017

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