Australia: Property & Projects - What's News? - 20 March 2012

Last Updated: 24 March 2012
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

Latest news

National Draft National Wildlife Corridors Plan
The Government's commitment to build a network of national wildlife corridors is moving ahead with the release today of the Draft National Wildlife Corridors Plan, to restore and manage ecological connections in the Australian landscape (08 March 2012) Draft National Wildlife Corridors Plan

Coasts and Climate Change Council extended
Local government will continue to have its say on coastal adaptation with the reappointment of the Coasts and Climate Change Council. The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency said the principal focus of the council would be on advising government on progressing coastal adaptation. The term of the Council has been extended until December 2011 (08 March 2011) More...

Urban Taskforce Australia: Federal Government threatens planning chaos around airports
The Urban Taskforce Australia claims the Draft National Airports Safeguarding Framework currently open to public scrutiny is a recipe for planning chaos and could affect hundreds of thousands of landowners (08 March 2012) More...

UDIA: Land report highlights ongoing under supply
The Urban Development Institute of Australia (annual State of the Land Report released this week, provides the most comprehensive assessment of land supply in Australia's capital cities (07 March 2012) More...

Clean Energy Finance Corporation
The Government's $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation, to be located in Sydney, will play an important role in economic transformation with the building of partnerships with lenders and investors (07 March 2012)

Regional communities urged to bid for development funds
The Federal Government says $1.4 billion for regional development will be available from July. Minister for Regional Development says local communities can put forward projects they would like funding for. The criteria for funding include social and economic benefits and innovation. (03 March 2011) More...

GBCA welcomes new rating system for sustainable infrastructure
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has welcomed the introduction of the nation's first rating scheme for sustainable infrastructure projects, with the launch of the Australian Green Infrastructure Council (AGIC) Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Scheme (29 February 2012) More...

Latest news

Clean Energy Finance Corporation written off as a $10bn 'total waste'
The $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation is likely to be a complete waste of money and have no impact on Australia's carbon emissions, according to a new research paper from the Centre for Independent Studies. The author claims that the CEFC will have zero effect on emissions once Labor's carbon tax becomes an emissions trading scheme in 2015 (01 March 2012) More...

Government provides $3.5 million for better, safer landfills
Minister for Environment and Climate Change has rolled out a $3.5 million package that will help rural landfill operators to transition to best practice standards. The package consists of a $3m funding program, Transition Support to Improve Rural Landfill Infrastructure, and $500,000 for the Environment Protection Authority Victoria to undertake a financial and environmental risk assessment of rural landfill (08 March 2012) More...

Melbourne agrees to school land redevelopment
A residential and commercial development on a former school playground will proceed following an agreement between the City of Melbourne and The Mackie Group. The City of Melbourne has agreed on an $8.5 million purchase price, where land ownership will transfer to Mackie once construction commences (06 March 2012) More...

Coalition Government acts to reduce regulatory burden
The Coalition Government will streamline regulatory processes, improve the scrutiny of new regulations and introduce new measures to ensure that regulators are efficient, responsive and make timely decisions (05 March 2012) Coalition Government acts to reduce regulatory burden

Councils get control of wind farm developments
Planning Minister Matthew Guy has amended wind farm planning guidelines. The amendment requires new wind farm planning applications to identify homes within two kilometres of turbines, which include new noise guidelines (03 March 2011) More...

Planning clarity for South Gippsland
Landowners in South Gippsland Shire now have more certainty following action by Planning Minister Matthew Guy to bring forward the long awaited South Gippsland Rural Land Use Strategy 2011 (02 March 2012) Planning clarity for South Gippsland

Victoria's first intermodal project is good to go
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Victorian Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder has welcomed the completion of the $40 million Altona Intermodal Enhancement project as another important step towards growing freight on rail (02 March 2012)
Victoria's first intermodal project is good to go

$50m for buyback of bushfire properties
People who lost their homes in the 2009 bushfires may be eligible to have their properties purchased by the Government, and applications can be submitted until the end of May. They will have the option of having a valuation prior to the fires and then after the event (01 March 2012) More...

Paving the way for urban renewal in Footscray
Planning Minister Matthew Guy has rezoned the former Binks Ford site in Footscray to ensure the site's redevelopment will integrate with the Footscray Station Precinct (01 March 2012)
Paving the way for urban renewal in Footscray

Latest news

Carbon monoxide detectors to become mandatory
A private member's bill to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning was passed in Federal Parliament. The new regulations will come into force when legislation in all states and territories complies with the new laws. All residential properties with gas appliances will have to be fitted with the detectors, with regular inspections by qualified contractors (03 March 2011) More...

UQ mine rehabilitation project yields encouraging results
The University of Queensland's Indooroopilly Experimental Mine focuses on the maintenance of our vegetation community by eradicating threats from exotic flora and fauna. In 2008 the site became part of Brisbane City Council's Land for Wildlife program, with some outstanding results (06 March 2012) More...

DERM: investigations reveal no detectable levels of cyanide from Orica Gladstone facility
First results of water quality samples taken from Gladstone Harbour have found no detectable levels of cyanide. "DERM officers are onsite at Orica to monitor and ensure compliance prior to approving any discharge from the Orica cyanide plant (06 March 2012) More...

Changes to the Land Sales Act 1984 (Qld)
Through the Sustainable Planning and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2011, changes have been made to the Land Sales Act (LSA). These changes aim to limit a buyer's right to avoid a contract where the seller has not given a registrable transfer in the statutory period, because of the buyer's default (02 March 2012) More...

Property valuers face negligence lawsuits
The nation's banks, financiers and mortgage insurers are pursuing property valuers for negligence claiming their inflated values triggered more than $100 million in losses in both residential and commercial property in NSW and QLD since the start of the global financial crisis (28 February 2011) More...

Australian retailers focusing on profitable locations
The Retail Occupancy Costs whitepaper finds quality shopping centres that are well located, maintained, managed, in lead trade areas and have a strong tenancy mix, will become crucial to healthy operations (27 February 2012) More...


The spatial and distributional impacts of the Henry Review recommendations on stamp duty and land tax
Source: Rachel Ong and others, AHURI
Modelling two recommendations made in the Henry Review of Taxation (2010), this study considers the impact of the recommendations on rents, rental supply and housing affordability (01 March 2012)
The spatial and distributional impacts of the Henry Review recommendations on stamp duty and land tax

Developing sustainable affordable housing: a project level analysis
Source: Vivienne Milligan, and others, AHURI
Considering eight case studies, this project examines the sustainability outcomes of new affordable housing projects and showed how limited public funding was used to leverage desirable financial, environmental and social outcomes (01 March 2012)
Developing sustainable affordable housing: a project level analysis

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting 2010-11
Source: Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
The report provides estimates of Australia's national greenhouse gas inventory based on the latest available data and the accounting rules that apply for the Kyoto Protocol (28 February 2012) More...

2012 UDIA State of the Land Report
Source: The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA)
Provides the most comprehensive assessment of land supply in Australia's capital cities The report finds the trend of declining land supply continuing (March 2012) More...

Managed retreat of coastal communities: understanding responses to projected sea level rise
Source: Thomas Measham et al, CSIRO
Managed retreat, the relocation of homes and infrastructure under threat from coastal flooding, is one of the few policy options available for coastal communities at risk from sea level rise (March 2012) Managed retreat of coastal communities: understanding responses to projected sea level rise

Conveyancing and Property Update
Source: Peter Butt, Australian Law Journal, 2011, Vol 85, No 2, pp71-75
When is possession "adverse"; Liability of developer and builder to owners corporation;
Application of proceeds of mortgagee's sale; Forged mortgages and indefeasibility: A minefield for mortgagees


Geothermal energy and water use
Source: National Water Commission
This report explores the policy implications of the large-scale development of geothermal energy resources and their impact on water quality and availability (01 March 2012) Geothermal energy and water use

Quarterly snapshot: South East Queensland
Source: Urban Land Development Authority
Quarterly snapshot: South East Queensland UDAs - February 2012

Quarterly snapshot: Regional UDAs
Source: Urban Land Development Authority
Quarterly snapshot: Regional UDAs - February 2012

Conveyancing and Property Update
Source: Peter Butt, Australian Law Journal, 2011, Vol 85, No 2, pp71-75
When is possession "adverse"; Liability of developer and builder to owners corporation;
Application of proceeds of mortgagee's sale; Forged mortgages and indefeasibility: A minefield for mortgagees

Practice notes/directions

National Draft National Wildlife Corridors Plan
The Draft National Wildlife Corridors Plan is a proposed strategy for the Government to restore and manage ecological connections in the Australian landscape. The Government and the Advisory Group will undertake targeted consultations with stakeholders. Anyone interested is invited to submit comments to the Environment Department. The public comment period closes on 20 April 2012 (08 March 2012) Draft National Wildlife Corridors Plan

Green Star Restrictions on 'Design' ratings
The GBCA's Executive Director of Green Star, announces that from 1 January 2013, a Green Star – Design rating will only be valid for 24 months after a building's practical completion (06 March 2012) More...

Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Scheme: Australian Green Infrastructure Council
The scheme is comprised of a rating tool, assessment process, education and training programs. AGIC's scheme can be applied to a broad range of infrastructure types, including roads, bridges, ports, harbours, airports, energy infrastructure, water storage and supply, communication transmission and distribution. The rating tool uses a 100 point scale to measure performance (05 March 2012)

National water planning report card web tool
This online web application, based on the inaugural report National Water Planning Report Card 2011, provides a summary of the status of water plans across Australia, including the quality of existing water plans, their implementation, and areas for future improvement (01 March 2012)
National water planning report card web tool

Practice notes/directions

Current Draft Policies and Plans, Announcements

New VCAT practice notes
On 15 March, 2012, five new Tribunal-wide practice notes dealing with common procedures and issues will come into effect. A number of forms have also been developed to enhance information available to VCAT users. Copies of the new practice notes, and further information about them, will be available from tomorrow, 9 March 2012 at

Wind energy facility - Amendment VC78
The Minister for Planning announced in Parliament today his intention to make local government the responsible authority for all wind energy facility applications in Victoria. Amendment VC78 will be gazetted on 15 March 2011. More Information.

Planning Permit Report 2012-2011
The report on 2010-11 Planning Permit Activity in Victoria is now available.

Applications open for bushfire buy-back scheme
Landowners who believe they meet the criteria of the Victorian Coalition Government's $50 million voluntary bushfire buy-back scheme can officially submit applications from today. Submissions close on 31 May 2012. Application forms and further information are available on the Department of Justice website (01 March 2012)

Practice notes/directions

Land Sales Act 1984 (Qld) changes
Through the Sustainable Planning and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2011, changes have been made to the Land Sales Act (LSA). Vendors will be able to specify up to five and a half years for giving the registrable transfer in the written contract, otherwise a default period of three and a half years will apply. For more information on the amendments, click here. (March 2012)




Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Bioregional Plans) Bill 2011
A Bill for an Act to amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 in relation to bioregional plans, and for related purposes - a bioregional plan prepared under subsection (1) or (2) is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (03 Mmarch 2012) More...

Legislative Instruments

Native Title (Notices) Determination 2011 (No. 1)
Commences on 11 April 2011- This Determination revokes the Native Title (Notices) Determination 1998 (02 March 2012) More...

Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Transitional Provisions) Amendment Regulations 2011 (No. 1) SLI 2011 No. 12
Commences: 03/03/2011 - Amend: Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2010 - To extend the dates for annual transfer number applications and the publication of an aggregate of all annual transfer numbers (02 March 2012) More...


Emergency Services Legislation Amendment Act No 5 2012
Assent 6/03/2012 Gazette s 65, 6 March 2012, p 1
Commencement 1/12/2012 (1) Subject to subsection (2), this Act comes into operation on a day or days to be proclaimed.
This Act amends (a)(i) the Country Fire Authority Act 1958; and (ii) the Metropolitan Fire Brigades Act 1958 - to reflect current organisational arrangements and clarify the command structures applying at fires, to increase penalties and create new offences to mitigate risks

Parks and Crown Land Legislation Amendment Act No 7 2012
Assent 6/03/2012 Gazette s 65, 6 March 2012, p 1
Commencement 1/01/2013 (1) Subject to subsection (2), this Act comes into operation on a day or days to be proclaimed. Amends: National parks act 1975; Crown land (reserves) act 1978; Forests act 1958; Water industry act 1994

City of Greater Geelong Amendment Act No 1 2012
Assent 14/02/2012 Gazette s 34, 14 February 2012, p 1
Commencement 7/03/2012 Remainder

Port Management Amendment (Port of Melbourne Corporation Licence Fee) Act No 8 2012
Assent: 6/03/2012 SG (No. 65) 6/3/2012 p. 1 Commencement: NYP
Not yet in operation: Ss 1-6
This Act amends the Port Management Act 1995 to provide for the imposition of a licence fee on the Port of Melbourne Corporation.

Statutory Rules

Subdivision (Registrar's Requirements) Amendment Regulations 2012 (SR 15/2012)
Notification 28/02/2012 Gazette s 53, 28 February 2012, p 1; Commencement 28/02/2012
The objective of these Regulations is to amend the Subdivision (Registrar's Requirements) Regulations 2011 by substituting a diagram to correct a technical error.

Subdivision (Registrar's Fees) Amendment Regulations 2012 (SR 16/2012)
Notification 28/02/2012 Gazette s 53, 28 February 2012, p 1; Commencement 26/03/2012
The objective of these Regulations is to amend the Subdivision (Registrar's Fees) Regulations 2004 to increase certain fees payable to the Registrar of Titles under the Subdivision Act 1988.


Water Amendment (Governance and other Reforms) Bill 2012
Legislative Assembly 28/2/2012 Introduced and read a first time.
This Bill is for an Act to repeal provisions relating to the licensing system in the Water Industry Act 1994 and to make consequential and other amendments to that Act, to provide for metropolitan water corporations under the Water Act 1989 and to make consequential and other amendments to that Act and other Acts and for other purposes.


Mintoo Property Developers Pty Ltd v Multiboard Australia Pty Ltd [2012] VSC 61
CORPORATIONS – Setting aside a statutory demand – Genuine dispute about the existence of debt - Offsetting claim – Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), s 459G More...

Challenger Property Asset Management Pty Ltd v Stonnington City Council & Anor (No 2) [2012] VSC 67
COSTS – Costs as to site value on a solicitor and client basis – Costs as to the capital improved value on a party and party basis – Degree of openness in sharing information – Unreasonable conduct – Role of the Valuer-General – Costs consequences of joinder of the Valuer-General – Whether the Valuer-General ran a "test case" – Minimising the overall level of legal and valuation costs – Offer of compromise – Valuation of Land Act 1960, s 26 – Supreme Court Act 1986, s 24 – Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005, Order 63 More...

Hardy & Or v Greater Geelong CC [2012] VCAT 188
Planning & Environment List; Local Government Act 1989 Sections 163, 163B, 185 and 185AA; challenge to special charge scheme promoted by Council to fund main drainage; applicant ratepayers' properties zoned Rural Living and not marked for immediate re-zoning and subdivision; whether applicant ratepayers deriving a benefit under proposed scheme; whether proposed basis of distribution is unreasonable; whether proposed works inconsistent with Planning Scheme or relevant policies; application for declaration of invalidity; applications dismissed; special rate scheme confirmed More...

Urban Design Architects v Manningham CC [2012] VCAT 187
Application under section 79 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Manningham Planning Scheme; Residential 3 Zone; Site constraints; Flooding; Neighbourhood character; Street interfaces; Secluded private open space; Tandem parking; Planning policy More...

Sheppard v Mitchell SC [2012] VCAT 228
Scheme, Section 77 Planning and Environment Act 1987, Farming Zone, Subdivision of two lots, policy compliance – no permit More...

Cosmopolitan Hotel (Vic) Pty Ltd & Anor v Crown Melbourne Ltd & Ors (Retail Tenancies) [2012] VCAT 225
Lease of restaurant – clause requiring landlord to give a notice stating whether it would renew the lease – clause requiring tenant to undertake a "major refurbishment" Collateral contract – allegation that, in consideration of tenant entering into the lease with the "major refurbishment" clause, landlord promised to give notice that it would renew the lease – whether the collateral contract was sufficiently certain – whether the collateral contract was inconsistent with the lease – whether tenant relied upon the promise – whether the contract was unenforceable because not in writing – contract was certain, consistent and enforceable – Instruments Act 1958 s 126 (1)
Damages – loss of profits – evidence of expert forensic accountants – method of assessment – cash flow methodology – findings as to assumptions upon which assessment should proceed – risk-adjusted discount rate More...

Asolo Developments Pty Ltd v Boroondara CC [2012] VCAT 203
Section 77 of the Planning & Environment Act 1987; Boroondara Planning Scheme; mixed use development; Neighbourhood Activity Centre; residential interface; built form; weight to be given to adopted policy More...

76 Pty Ltd & Anor v Boroondara CC [2012] VCAT 201
Section 81 (A) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Boroondara Planning Scheme; Business 1 Zone; Extension to permit for shops, offices, reduced car parking and access to a main road. Warehousing a permit; Change in planning policy; Sufficient time granted; Approval likely today More...

Fredman Malina Planning v Glen Eira CC [2012] VCAT 197
Section 77 Planning and Environment Act 1987; Glen Eira Planning Scheme; Apartment building; Neighbourhood character; Off site impacts; internal amenity More...

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