On 12 May 2010 the New South Wales Government announced the
introduction of an ad valorem transfer fee in respect of the
transfer of real property in New South Wales. This transfer fee is
in addition to existing stamp duty payable on transfers of real
property and is also payable by the purchaser.
The rates of the new fee are:
Less than $500,000
The standard flat fee (currently $190.00, but increasing to
$194.00 on 1 July 2010)
Between $500,000 and $1 million
0.2% of the value over $500,000
Over $1 million
$1000 plus 0.25% of the value over $1 million
At this stage, there is no clear indication from the Government
as to when the new fee will apply, however, it has been reported in
the press that the new fee will apply to all transfers lodged for
registration after 1 July 2010. Therefore, it appears that
transfers pursuant to contracts or options in existence before the
new fee was announced will not be exempt from the
Development consent period
In NSW the maximum period of a development consent is five years
pursuant to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act
1979. Consent authorities have the discretion to apply a consent
period of less than five years (to a minimum of two years).
Due to the impact of current economic conditions, the NSW
Government announced as a stimulus measure the extension of
existing development consents. The Government tabled the
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Development
Consents) Bill 2010 (Development Consents Bill) on 22
April 2010 to prevent otherwise valid development consents from
However, rather than extending all development consents for a
few years (as was hoped), the amending Development Consents Bill
merely seeks to mandate the maximum five year consent period for
all development consents:
issued before 22 April 2010 if a consent period of less than
five years has been applied by the consent authority; and
issued between 22 April 2010 and 1 July 2011.
The Development Consents Bill also proposes future regulatory
amendment to clarify the definition of 'physical
commencement'. This is perhaps unnecessary given that the
current term has been addressed and defined through various court
cases. We will advise you of any significant impacts arising from
the new regulation.
Building Energy and Efficiency and Disclosure Bill
As noted in our
March 2010 e-alert the Building Energy and Efficiency
Disclosure Bill 2010 (BEEC Bill) has been
introduced into parliament. The BEEC Bill provides for the
introduction of a scheme that will require vendors, landlords and
even sub-landlords of large commercial office buildings to disclose
information regarding the energy efficiency of the building to
purchasers, tenants and sub-tenants. The information to be
disclosed will be contained in building energy efficiency
The Senate Environment, Communications and the Arts Legislation
Committee has recently handed down a report recommending that the
BEEC Bill be passed, subject to the adoption of its
recommendations. Two of the Committee's recommendations are
that the Government:
delay the lighting measurement component of the BEEC
until the Department of Climate Change and Energy has had
sufficient time to develop, test and consult on the appropriate
tool for measuring the efficiency of lighting. The energy
efficiency of a building's lighting is a key measure required
for the BEEC under the BEEC Bill. However, according to the
Property Council of Australia, the tool for measuring the
efficiency of lighting under the scheme has not been finalised or
tested and will, in its current state, "impede the
industry's...capacity to comply with the bill..." due to
logistical difficulties of using the measurement tool; and
consider whether the penalties proposed by the Bill are
appropriate. As currently drafted the BEEC Bill provides
for a fine of up to $110,000.00 for non compliance per event per
day. According to the Property Council of Australia this penalty is
"utterly inconsistent with the nature of the offences"
and is of the "same penalty level as passport
The Government is currently considering the Committee's
Maddocks will continue to monitor the progress of the BEEC Bill
and will provide further updates in due course.
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