Australian property rights exist within a sophisticated body of compensation case law and practice. To facilitate infrastructure, jurisdictions such as New South Wales must compulsorily acquire significant tracts of private land. The key factor for investigation in this paper is the prior reservation (or zoning) of such land where designated for a public purpose, which ultimately prohibits private usage. Enabling legislation for all compulsory acquisitions requires the assessment of compensation for the private land holder. Key judgements in various Australian Courts make clear that the question of an underlying zoning is a “jurisdictional fact” that triggers the agency to assess reasonable compensation.