Australia: Inside track: Property & Real Estate - In the media, in practice and courts, cases and legislation

Last Updated: 2 August 2019
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2019

In the media

Commonwealth

National agreement to lead to better building standards and regulation
The Property Council of Australia has welcomed an agreement by Commonwealth, State and Territory building ministers on a national approach to implementation of reforms which will lead to better enforcement and compliance with building standards and regulation (18 July 2019). More...

E-commerce boom rolls on around the country
The logistics and e-commerce surge has made warehousing the property market's best-performing sector, but can it last? (17 July 2019). More...

Boutique hotel sales dominate the booming sector
Boutique and lifestyle hotels that offer experiences, not just a bed and bathroom, are in high demand from investors (17 July 2019). More...

Developers are hoarding 13 year's worth of supply to boost prices
Developers are hoarding large tracts of land and delaying construction in a bid to shore up prices, a new study based on the annual reports of Australia's publicly-listed residential developers, has claimed (15 July 2019). More...

Australia's Residential Market 'Approaching Bottom': BIS
Report author Angie Zigomanis says supply is running at record levels, with most state markets in oversupply, with some "at best" close to balance. "The fall-off in purchaser demand is now translating to a decline in new dwelling commencements, which are expected to fall from their 2018/19 peak to a low of 163,000 dwellings by 2020/21 (15 July 2019). More...

UniLodge Expands into Build to Rent
One of the country's biggest providers of student accommodation, UniLodge, is expanding into the emerging build-to-rent sector (12 July 2019). More...

REIA: Housing Finance numbers show cautious optimism
The May 2019 Lending to Households and Business figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the number of loans for housing, excluding refinancing, continues to decline (11 July 2019). More...

AHURI launches Cities Research Agenda
AHURI is pleased to announce the launch of its Cities Research Agenda featuring five inaugural research projects (10 July 2019). More...

Build to rent could shake up real estate but won't take off without major tax changes
Build-to-rent won't be a silver bullet solution for Australia's housing affordability stress, but it does have potential to tick the box on several important public policy objectives. These include widened housing diversity, enhanced build standards, and a better-managed, more secure form of private rental housing (08 July 2019). More...

Number of Aussie properties resold at a loss climbs to six-year high
During the first quarter of this year, 12 per cent of Australian properties were resold at a loss. It is the highest level in six years and another sign of weaker property market conditions (08 July 2019). More...

Nation-Wide Agreement to boost building standards
The landmark agreement was reached between the nation's ministers responsible for the building industry at the Building Ministers Forum in Sydney. The agreement means the Australian Building Codes Board will be expanded, better resourced and force greater engagement from the building industry (18 July 2019). More...

HIA: National approach to building reforms an important agreement
It is is important that the end result after implementation will essentially be to deliver a consistent approach to the way buildings are approved, to the way building professionals are held responsible and to providing greater certainty for building owners (18 July 2019). More...

Victoria

Capital Alliance kicks off construction in Fishermans Bend
Melbourne developer Capital Alliance has appointed Crema Group as the builder on its $200 million mixed-use project in Fishermans Bend. The project marks the first AC Hotels by Marriott in Australia, as well as the first hotel in the Fishermans Bend precinct (18 July 2019). More...

Kokoda approved for $250m residential project
Private developer Kokoda Property has been given the green light by the City of Stonnington for its $250 million Malvern Collective development. Slated to be a notable Transport Oriented Development, the project will have a fully activated ground plain from all directions, creating easy access for local commuters (17 July 2019). More...

State dumps consortium behind $30bn 'Smart City' proposal
The consortium behind plans for a $30 billion hi-tech smart city has been given the flick, as the Victorian Government confirmed it will not progress with plans for its development in Melbourne's west (08 July 2019). More...

Caydon wins approval for $300m mixed use project
Melbourne-based developer Caydon has received the go ahead for its $300 million mixed-use residential project located on the former Amcor Paper Mill site in Melbourne's inner north-east (08 July 2019). More...

Queensland

Gold Coast Airport lands $100m 'Green' loan
The operator of the Gold Coast Airport, Queensland Airports Limited, is set to reduce carbon emission through $100 million in "sustainability-linked" loans from Commonwealth Bank and Westpac (18 July 2019). More...

XXXX brewery gets 15-year extension to protect beers from jeers
The Queensland government has granted the XXXX brewery a 15-year exemption under section 267 of the Planning Act, to protect it from neighbour's complaints about the noise, smell and light (18 July 2019). More...

Townsville water wise thanks to $10million package
Townsville residents are set to "wise up" when it comes to water waste with the Queensland Government funded Water Smart Package launched. There are a great range of water-wise products that renters, homeowners and body corporates are able to buy including rainwater tanks, pool covers, low-flow shower heads and shower timers (16 July 2019). More...

Residents invited to have say on new and improved Deagon training hub
Racing Miister and Member for Sandgate Stirling Hinchliffe is encouraging local residents to have their say on modernsing the State Training Centre at Deagon and opening it up to the community (08 July 2019). More...

Have your say on the new Energy from Waste policy for Queensland
Queenslanders are being invited to have their say on an Energy-from-Waste policy discussion paper that has been released (08 July 2019). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

The construction of social housing pathways across Australia
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute: 11 July 2019
This report examines the role of policy in shaping social housing pathways through a review of current social housing operational policies. It considers application processes, eligibility criteria, rent, use of premises, tenant-initiated transfers, portfolio management and tenancy management by landlords. More...

Build-to-rent in Australia: product feasibility and potential affordable housing contribution
Landcom: 08 July 2019
Build-to-rent is a form of residential development involving apartment blocks or complexes purpose-built for rental occupation and held in single ownership as long-term revenue-generating assets. More...

Australian Bureau of Statistics
17 July 2019 - Housing Occupancy and Costs, 2017-18 (cat no. 4130.0).

In practice and courts

Commonwealth

CRCLCL: Low Carbon Home and Building Guides launched
The CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) has launched a suite of low carbon living guides offering consumers and professionals easy to use information on low carbon homes and buildings (15 July 2019). More...

GBCA important deadlines - Green Star certification for your project
Many project teams have timelines set around major events. To support this, these guidelines below (based on typical time frames), which specify the deadlines you'll need to meet in order to have your project certified in time for key milestones in 2019. Deadlines are from 08 April – 04 November 2019. More...

Victoria

Planning Policy Framework translation
Murrindindi Shire Council became the first municipality in Victoria to have the local policy content in their planning scheme fully integrated into the new Planning Policy Framework (PPF), following the gazettal of C65muri. The PPF translation project is a key focus of the Smart Planning program's Stage 3 reform agenda. A fully integrated PPF will result in better alignment of state policy with local policy, less duplication, stronger policy overall and, importantly, a simpler and more succinct planning scheme (18 July 2019). More...

Native vegetation removal in Victoria
The Department of Environment, Land, Water (DELWP) and Planning has committed to report annually on native vegetation removed and offset under the native vegetation planning provisions (Clause 52.16 and 52.17) of all planning schemes in Victoria. To do this DELWP needs Councils to provide permit numbers, native vegetation removal report ID numbers, and details of offset sites protected under s173 agreements. DELWP sent a request and data log template to all Councils.

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2019

Queensland

QLS: Changes to manufactured homes legislation
Changes to the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003 and its associated regulation introduce new pre-contractual disclosure obligations for park owners as well as cooling-off periods for prospective new home owners. Also included is the requirement for residential park operators to prepare, maintain and implement emergency plans. The changes commence on 1 September (17 July 2019). More...

Brisbane City Council adopts Infrastructure Charges Resolution
Brisbane City Council has adopted Brisbane Infrastructure Charges Resolution (No.8) 2019, which increases infrastructure charges for development approvals from 1 July 2019. Download a copy of Brisbane City Council's Brisbane Infrastructure Charges Resolution (No.8) 2019, to see how their developments will be affected. A summary of the changes can be viewed here (11 July 2019). More...

Cases

Anderson v Stonnington City Council [2019] VSC 453
PLANNING – decision of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal – heritage overlay control – whether works under building permits issued before heritage overlay control introduced created an accrued right – lawfulness of ongoing building works – Whether planning permit needed – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) s 148; Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) s 6(3); Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984 (Vic) s 28(2)(e); Stonnington Planning Scheme cl 72.06 (formerly cl 61.05).

Re Tang [2019] VSC 467
PROPERTY — restrictive covenant — covenant restricting, among other things, the erection of more than one building per acre on the land — application to modify restrictions in covenant pursuant to the Property Law Act 1958 s 84 — proposed subdivision into two lots and construction of one dwelling on the new lot — whether precedent already set by previous developments — whether modification will not substantially injure the persons entitled to the benefit.

Achieve Design Group Pty Ltd v Melton CC [2019] VCAT 1055
Melton Planning Scheme — section 77 the Planning and Environment Act 1987 — proposed construction of four double storey dwellings in a 'front and back' alignment — objections received and Council does not support proposal — appeal to the Tribunal and resulting hearing on 5 July 2019 — critical issues of degree of strategic planning support for the proposal, the locational advantage of the subject land, traffic issues and whether the proposal would involve any fatal external amenity impacts or overdevelopment, no permit.

Donkin v Donkin (Building and Property) [2019] VCAT 1057
Co-ownership of Land — application for sale under s 225 of the Property Law Act 1958 — whether proceedings brought by donee of power of attorney are contrary to the instructions of the donor — whether applicant holds his interest in the Land on trust for the respondent — whether an interest in a joint tenancy can be held on trust, orders for sale.

Phillips v Abel (Building and Property) [2019] VCAT 1031
LANDLORD AND TENANT – Section 4(1) of the Retail Leases Act 2003 — whether retail premises includes bare land – the meaning of 'premises' — whether selling sand from a quarry constitutes the provision of retail goods and services — s 46(4) of the Retail Leases Act 2003 — whether liability to pay outgoings incurred prior to the giving of a statement of outgoings is revived once the statement of outgoings is given to the tenant.

Chantelle Enterprises Aust Pty Ltd v Sangster-Greenwood (Building and Property) [2019] VCAT 961
Retail lease, determination of preliminary questions, whether premises abandoned, whether re-entry lawful, whether premises unsafe, s57 Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic). Question 2 – Has the applicant abandoned the goods and installations identified in paragraph 27 of the affidavit of Denise Julie Sangster-Greenwood dated 26 March 2019? Answer - Yes.

Shepherd v Lawson & Anor [2019] QSC 174
CONVEYANCING – BREACH OF CONTRACT FOR SALE AND REMEDIES – ENTITLEMENT TO DEPOSIT – OTHER CASES – where the plaintiff entered into a contract to purchase property from the defendants on a rent to buy basis – where the plaintiff paid a deposit and occupied the property by paying weekly licence fees – where the plaintiff made renovations to the property – where settlement did not proceed – where the plaintiff lodged a caveat over the property – where the plaintiff claims part of the purchase price of the property and the value of improvements made to the property – where the defendants seek removal of the caveat and counterclaims damages for breach of contract – whether the plaintiff is entitled to a return of the deposit – whether the plaintiff is entitled to equitable compensation for the increase in the value of the property as a consequence of the renovations and improvements – whether the defendants are entitled to damages for breach of contract
EQUITY – TRUSTS AND TRUSTEES – IMPLIED TRUSTS – CONSTRUCTIVE TRUSTS – where the plaintiff claims the defendants hold the property on constructive trust – where the plaintiff seeks a declaration of equitable interest as purchaser – whether the alleged defects of the property have the effect of denying the plaintiff an interest as the beneficiary of a constructive trust – whether the plaintiff is entitled to a declaration of equitable interest as purchaser of estate in fee simple
Civil Proceedings Act 2011 Qld s 58; Property Law Act 1974 Qld s 72
Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 Qld

Ipswich City Council v BWP Management Limited & Anor (No 2) [2019] QLAC 2
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – COSTS – where s 57A of the Land Court Act 2000 provides the Land Appeal Court may order costs for an appeal as it considers appropriate, including the costs of the proceedings below – where the decision appealed against concerned the interpretation of the Ipswich City Council's budget – where the appellant succeeded – where the respondent in the appeal argued, inter alia, that the case involved novel circumstances, was arguable, and served a public interest – where the Court ordered that the respondent pay the appellant's costs below and on appeal. Land Court Act 2000 Qld s 57A

Bundaberg Regional Council v Muller [2019] QPEC 31
COURTS AND JUDGES – CONTEMPT – PARTICULAR CONTEMPTS – DISOBEDIENCE OF ORDERS OF COURT – where an enforcement order was made by his Honour Judge Rackemann in the Planning & Environment Court on 16 March 2018 – where the order was made by consent – where the enforcement order was not complied with – whether the respondent is in contempt of the enforcement order
District Court of Queensland Act 1967 Qld s 129; Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 Qld s 9; Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld s 36; Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 Qld r 930, r 932

Q M Properties Pty Ltd v Belscorp Pty Ltd [2019] QCA 138
CONVEYANCING – THE CONTRACT AND CONDITIONS OF SALE – DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY AND SUBJECT MATTER OF SALE – FALSE REPRESENTATIONS OF PROPERTY – where both the appellant and respondent were property developers in the Brisbane area – where the respondent owned property in Albany Creek which it sold to the appellant for $3.835 million under a contract – where the respondent made a number of representations about the property prior to the execution of the contract between the appellant and respondent – where the learned trial judge found that the representations made by the respondent were false and were for the purpose of inducing the appellant to sign the contract – where the appellant sought to terminate the contract and brought proceedings against the respondent alleging breaches of s 52 and s 53A of the Trade Practices Act – whether the contract should have been terminated for the alleged breaches
APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – APPEAL - GENERAL PRINCIPLES – RIGHT OF APPEAL – WHEN APPEAL LIES – OTHER CASES – where the learned Trial Judge found that the representations made by the respondent were false and were for the purpose of inducing the appellant to sign the contract – where it was also found by the learned Trial Judge that none of the appellant's relevant representatives relied upon what was said by the respondent – where the learned Trial Judge was not satisfied that the director of the appellant relied on what the respondent had said as directions were given to carry out their own enquiries and satisfy themselves as to whether or not what the respondent said was true – where the learned Trial Judge found that there was no causal link between the false representations made by the respondent and the execution of the contract – where the appellant contends that the learned Trial Judge erred in her decision – whether the learned Trial Judge erred in her determination of the matter below

Bond v Chief Executive, Department of Environment and Science [2019] QCA 137
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – COURTS AND TRIBUNALS WITH ENVIRONMENT JURISDICTION – QUEENSLAND – PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT COURT AND ITS PREDECESSORS – PROCEDURE – where the applicant was issued with an environmental protection order as a related person of Linc Energy Limited – where the operation of the decision to issue the environmental protection order was stayed pending the final determination, by appeal or otherwise, of specified preliminary matters concerning the order – where the applicant was subsequently charged with five counts of wilfully and unlawfully causing serious environmental harm in connection with the activities of Linc Energy Limited– where the preliminary matters were determined adversely to the applicant, and the applicant in turn applied to stay the operation of the decision to issue the environmental protection order pending the final resolution of the criminal prosecution – whether the decision to refuse the stay was infected with legal error – whether substantial injustice would arise unless leave to appeal was granted – whether the environmental protection order should be stayed pending the final resolution of the criminal prosecution
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – COURTS AND TRIBUNALS WITH ENVIRONMENT JURISDICTION – QUEENSLAND – PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT COURT AND ITS PREDECESSORS – PROCEDURE – where the applicant was issued with an environmental protection order as a related person of Linc Energy Limited – where the operation of the decision to issue the environmental protection order was stayed pending the final determination, by appeal or otherwise, of specified preliminary matters concerning the order – where the preliminary matters were determined adversely to the applicant, and the applicant in turn applied to stay the operation of the decision to issue the environmental protection order pending the final resolution of his substantive appeal against the order – whether the decision to refuse the stay was infected with legal error – whether substantial injustice would arise unless leave to appeal was granted – whether the environmental protection order should be stayed pending the final resolution of the applicant's substantive appeal against that order
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – COURTS AND TRIBUNALS WITH ENVIRONMENT JURISDICTION – QUEENSLAND – PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT COURT AND ITS PREDECESSORS – PROCEDURE – where the applicant was issued with an environmental protection order as a related person of Linc Energy Limited – where the operation of the decision to issue the environmental protection order was stayed pending the final determination, by appeal or otherwise, of specified preliminary matters concerning the order – where the preliminary matters were determined adversely to the applicant, and the applicant applied to have a further matter heard and determined separately from his substantive appeal against the environmental protection order – whether the decision refusing to allow a further matter to be heard and determined separately from the substantive appeal was infected with legal error – whether substantial injustice would arise unless leave to appeal was granted – whether the specified further matter should be heard and determined separately from the substantive appeal against the environmental protection order
Environmental Protection Act 1994 Qld; Evidence Act 1977 Qld s 79; Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld s 63; Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 Qld r 761

Cases to 15 July 2019

Maroochydore Sands Pty Ltd v Sunshine Coast Regional Council & Ors [2019] QPEC 30
It is declared that: 1.The proposed changes to the development application the subject of this appeal ("The Changed Development Application") constitute a minor change for the purposes of sections 350 and 495(2)(b) of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009

Legislation

Queensland

Subordinate legislation as made – 19 July 2019
No 140 Mining Legislation (Classification of Chemicals) Amendment Regulation 2019
No 141 Environmental Protection (Pig Keeping) Amendment Regulation 2019

Subordinate legislation as made – 12 July 2019
No 134 Proclamation No. 1—Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (commencing certain provisions)
No 135 Uniform Civil Procedure (Referees) Amendment Rule 2019
No 136 Water (Border Rivers and Moonie and Condamine and Balonne) Amendment Regulation 2019
No 137 Nature Conservation (Protected Areas Management) (Woondum National Park) Amendment Regulation 2019

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