Australia: Property & Projects - What's News - 03 November 2011

Last Updated: 5 November 2011

Latest news - National

Local councils to lead in the delivery of NBN-enabled services

19 October 2011
The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, and the Hon Simon Crean have released the final program guidelines for the Digital Local Government program. The program will provide funding of up to $375 000, initially to the first eight councils to benefit from the NBN. Funding will progressively be made available to other councils according to the NBN rollout schedule More...

Cities report sets platform for change

20 October 2011
The Property Council of Australia and the Residential Development Council welcome the Federal Government's release of State of Australian Cities 2011 saying it provides a foundation from which to build and grow sustainable and productive cities of the future More...

Planning body warns of power shortages amid threats to renewable energy sector

18 October 2011
Infrastructure Australia has warned of threats to power supplies in the resource states and major capital cities unless investment certainty is assured to the renewable energy sector   More...

Legislation for Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

12 October 2011
Legislation to create the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has been introduced into the Commonwealth Parliament.  ARENA will be established on 1 July 2012 and will oversee around $3.2 billion in Australian Government funding for renewable energy such as solar (including large scale solar), biomass, biofuels, ocean and geothermal. $1.5 billion is committed to existing projects and $1.7 billion is uncommitted   More...

Australia's Clean Energy Future legislative package

12 October 2011
The Gillard Government has welcomed the passage of the Clean Energy legislative package through the House of Representatives. The Bills, comprising the Clean Energy legislation and the Steel Transformation Plan Bill, represent one of the most important environmental and economic reforms in this nation's history, according to the government  More...

Latest news – Victoria

Sunland plans 200-lot residential development in Victoria

21 October 2011
Sunland has entered into an unconditional contract to acquire a 7.2-hectare land parcel in Springvale, Victoria for $19 million. The Springvale site complements Sunland's acquisition in Chirnside, Victoria, 33 kilometres north-east of Melbourne, which will deliver a further 190 houses More...

Submissions sought on retirement village contract disclosure

19 October 2011
Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O'Brien releases a discussion paper about the information disclosed around retirement village contracts. The paper seeks feedback on issues including what information should be provided to prospective residents, contract content and condition reports. 

Minister releases Labor's noise report

19 October 2011
Minister for Planning Matthew Guy releases the Noise Impact Assessment Report commissioned under the Labor Government for the Regional Rail Link. The report has been completed to the satisfaction of an independent Peer Review Panel, and the Minister.  

Latest news – New South Wales

Australia's urban water sector final report released by Productivity Commission

12 October 2011
The report on Australia's urban water sector has been released, and follows a year-long inquiry established to consider the case for further reform in the sector. The Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water said the urban water sector plays an important role in providing the vast majority of drinking water, recycled water and wastewater services in Australia   More...

Latest news – Queensland

Government releases 20-year transport vision unveiled for SEQ

23 October 2011
The Queensland Government's Connecting SEQ 2031 transport plan unveils a sustainable transport vision for the next 20 years. Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk and Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace said this is a 20-year blueprint to further develop South East Queensland's busy transport system to ensure we meet the needs of this rapidly growing community   More...

Environmental fears for Xstrata coal terminal

18 October 2011
Xstrata Coal is currently preparing an environmental impact statement for its plans to build a terminal on Balaclava Island south of Rockhampton. But a community group says plans to dredge central Queensland's Fitzroy River delta to make way for a new coal terminal places the local environment at risk More...

Waste reforms to cut Queensland's landfill in half

12 October 2011
Landmark new laws to slash major amounts of waste going into landfill have been passed by the State Parliament. The waste reform package introduces a landfill levy on non-recycled commercial waste that will fund a comprehensive set of support programs for business, local government and the community   More...

Amberley aerospace and defence hub tenders called

12 October 2011
An $150 million world-class aerospace and defence hub at Amberley is now one step closer with the State Government calling for business case and master plan tenders to develop the industry support centre. The centre is tipped to be a master-planned, commercially-orientated high technology hub for companies and organisations servicing and supporting Queensland aerospace and defence industries   More...

Articles – National  

State of Australian Cities 2011 report

Author: Department of Infrastructure and Transport, Major Cities Unit
The latest 'report card' builds on last year's inaugural publication, providing comprehensive analysis of the progress and performance of the nation's 18 biggest cities (October 2011).

Guide to Standards - Energy Efficiency

Author: SAI Global: Standards Australia
Provides a snapshot of information on Standards and Certification schemes and covers topics such as: Good management practice; Climate change; Alternative energy sources including wind turbines and solar energy; Energy efficiency for buildings ; Energy efficiency for electrical equipment; and much more. This guide is a valuable resource for organizations who are increasingly faced with the challenges concerning energy efficiency and climate change (10 October 2011).   

Australia's Urban Water Sector: Inquiry report

Author: Productivity Commission of Australia
The Productivity Commission found that efficiency gains are likely to come from a range of areas, such as improving the performance of institutions, transparent and consistent regulation, and competitive procurement of supply and pricing, with the benefits of reform expected to flow to consumers and communities (12 October 2011)  More...

Clean Energy Future: What the academics say

Author: Sophie Vorrath
Climate Spectator, 14 October 2011
The response from Australia's academic and scientific community to the government's CEF package More...

Articles – Victoria

The Regional Rail Link Section 1 – Noise Impact Assessment Report

October 2011
Provides an analysis of the likely noise levels in the vicinity of the rail corridor from Moonee Ponds Creek (North Melbourne) to Deer Park, including in residential areas, and an evaluation of the effectiveness of proposed and potential mitigation measures  
Department of Planning and Community Development's website  More...

Articles – Queensland

Clean Energy future plan: household modelling

19 October 2011
Author: Ben Phillips, Matthew Taylor; The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling
This report provides updated estimates of the household impact of the Government's Clean Energy future package and shows that the estimed impact of the carbon price will be lower than that estimed by Treasury  More...

Clean Energy (Household Assistance Amendments) Bill 2011|

18 October 2011
Author: Luke Buckmaster, Peter Yeend; Australian Parliamentary Library This digest explains the key features of the Clean Energy Bill  

Practice notes/directions – National

Applications for Liveable Cities Program Launched

20 October 2011
On 20 October 2011 the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport announced the guidelines for the Program, and has called for applications from State and Territory governments, and local governments located in the 18 major cities.  Applications will close on 15 December 2011
Applications will be assessed under the criteria set out in the  Program Guidelines.
Enquiries regarding the Program may be directed to More...

Commercial Building Disclosure program -November 1 lighting tool deadline

18 October 2011
The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency has released more information on the expanded Commercial Building Disclosure program. New rules start on 1 November, requiring a lighting assessment of affected office space before it can be sold or leased.
Click here to download the quick guide to CBD.
Click here to access video and presentations from the Department's recent seminar series.

STC Renewable Energy Target Costs Increase

14 October 2011
As foreshadowed in May 2011 as part of the 2011/12 Budget and within the  consultation paper released on the Department's website on 1 September 2011, regulations for the increase in registration fee for small-scale technology certificates (STCs) for small generation units (SGUs) have been made. The regulations apply the increased fee to all STCs created for SGUs from 17 October 2011. Details are on the website at  Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator

Public Comment on Reform of the EPBC Act - National environment law reform

On 24 August 2011 the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities released the government response to the independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) as part of a broad package of reforms for Australia's national environment law.
The reform package includes the following documents that are open for public comment.

New ATO property webpage

12 October 2011
Tax Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo has launched the ATO's new one-stop webpage Property. The ATO's Property page outlines information on property topics including:  Income Tax; Capital Gains Tax (CGT); Goods and Services Tax (GST); Residential rental properties; Property used in running a business; Property development and Building and renovating  More...

Current Draft Policies and Plans, Announcements

The Planning Institute of Australia's annual Thriving Neighbourhoods Conference is on next week, focusing on the role of local governments in creating liveable, sustainable and healthy communities.

Currently Inviting Public Submissions

The Potentially Contaminated Land Advisory Committee reviewing existing planning controls and processes has prepared an Issues and Options Paper. Submissions are invited by 1 November 2011.

Practice notes/directions – Queensland

Current Draft Policies and Plans, Announcements

Reminder: Time running out for pool registration

Homeowners have just over two weeks to ensuring all pools are registered and meet safety standards  to avoid a fine of up to $2000. Pool owners need to at by 4 November 2011 More...

Public Consultation: Temporary State Planning Policy for floodplains

As a contribution to Operation Queenslander the department has been working with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) to develop the Temporary State Planning Policy 2/11: Planning for stronger, more resilient floodplains (TSPP 2/11). This temporary state planning policy together with the associated guidelines and floodplain mapping is open for public consultation until Friday 11 November 2011. To make a submission on TSPP 2/11, email the QRA at

Legislation Commonwealth

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment Regulations 2011 (No. 1) SLI 2011 No. 191

These Regulations amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Regulations 2000 to determine that grazing of domestic stock within the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves has a significant impact on the National Heritage values of that place (21 October 2011)  More...

Cases – Victoria

Giurina v Moreland CC [2011] VCAT 1916

Application under Section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act) to review a decision to grant a permit. Residential 1 Zone. Road Zone (Category 1). Clause 52.29 Land Adjacent To A Road Zone, Category 1, Or A Public Acquisition Overlay For A Category 1 Road. Clause 55 Two or more dwellings on a lot and residential buildings. State and Local Planning Policy Framework. Zone Purposes. Neighbourhood character. Streetscape. Back yard amenity. Landscape. Car parking, Traffic. Cultural Heritage Management Plan exempt due to significant ground disturbance  More...

Rujanoski v Whittlesea CC [2011] VCAT 1914

Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Whittlesea Planning Scheme; Residential 1 zone; Four dwellings on a lot; Proximity to neighbourhood activity centre; Saturation of multi unit dwellings; Secluded private open space; Car parking; Front setbacks; Neighbourhood character  More...

Friends of Mallacoota Inc. v Department of Planning and Community Development (General) [2011] VCAT 1889

Freedom of Information Act 1982 – request for Departmental and Ministerial correspondence – partial access to documents – further documents later discovered –exemptions claimed - internal working documents, legal professional privilege, public interest – application dismissed - inadequacy of document searches – respondent to pay applicant's costs in respect of further searches  More...

Noonan v Owners Corporation No 2 PS 409115E and Anor (Owners Corporation) [2011] VCAT 1934

Summary dismissal application – proceeding by lot owner against owners corporation and another lot owner which are parties to a lease of common property and to a building management agreement – majority of committee members are proxies for the other lot owner – principles applicable to summary dismissal application – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act s 75(1).  Standing – the new right of a lot owner to take proceedings on behalf of an owners corporation – Owners Corporations Act 2006 ss 163(1A), 165(1)(ba).  Jurisdiction – whether the proceeding challenging the validity of a renewal of the lease and the entry into the other agreement is "an owners corporation dispute" – Owners Corporations Act 2006 s 162.  Option to renew lease of common property – option exercised – whether owners corporation is required to resolve to "accept" the exercise of option.  Agreement for provision of services – whether a special resolution is required to authorise entry into the agreement – Owners Corporations Act 2006 ss 12, 46, 47.  Committee members – duty to act in good faith – whether a corporate lot owner can be a committee member – whether proxies' breach of duty is a breach by the lot owner – immunity of committee members – Owners Corporations Act 2006 ss 103, 117, 118  More...

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