Australia: Property & Projects - What's News - 10 July 2012

Last Updated: 13 July 2012

In the media – National

National Water Commission Amendment Bill passes Parliament
The National Water Commission (NWC) will continue its important role overseeing the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) national water reform agenda, following the passage of the National Water Commission Amendment Bill 2012 through Parliament. The continuation of the NWC means it will have an ongoing role in overseeing all governments' progress on achieving water reforms under the NWI. (21 June 2012) More...

In the media – Victoria

New data helps local decision makers plan for possible sea level rise
Local decision makers and communities will have access to better guidance and information with today's release of detailed mapping of Victoria's coastline. Coastal inundation data, maps and guides would give local councils and planning authorities a better picture of how sea level rise will affect their coastline and allow them to plan for the future accordingly (27 June 2012) New data helps local decision makers plan for possible sea level rise

Construction starts on Glen Waverley station precinct project
The Glen Waverley station precinct will become an attractive destination for commuters, residents, shoppers and diners with the completion of works, following the launch of construction today at the landmark $70 million IKON project site (27 June 2012) Construction starts on Glen Waverley station precinct project

Build-to-suit offices at Dockland
New commercial precinct, the Quarter, allows pre-committed tenants to launch a new building, designed for their needs, and they are given naming rights. MAB Corporation will develop a $250 million, 35,000 sqm commercial facility at Melbourne's Docklands (25 June 2012)

Major urban renewal brought another step closer by Coalition Government
The Victorian Coalition Government has amended state planning policy to provide for future urban renewal, the Minister for Planning Matthew Guy announced today. The planning scheme changes amend the State Planning Policy Framework to specifically reference Fishermans Bend, E-Gate and Richmond Railway Station as areas for mixed use urban renewal (21 June 2012) Major urban renewal brought another step closer by Coalition Government

Improving the Local Government Act
Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell has introduced the Local Government Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2012 into State Parliament. The Bill deals with, amongst other things, differential rates, election campaign donations, processes regarding complaints about council Chief Executive Officers and council costs in VCAT hearings into councillor misconduct (20 June 2012) Improving the Local Government Act

In the media – New South Wales

First Green Star - Communities PILOT project registered
The 'loop' precinct in Canberra has been registered for a Green Star - Communities PILOT rating under the Green Building Council of Australia's (GBCA's) new PILOT rating tool for sustainable communities. The GBCA will now work with Rock Development Group to benchmark loop against 38 credits in the Green Star – Communities categories of Liveability; Economic Prosperity; Environment; Design; Governance; and Innovation. (27 June 2012) More...

In the media – Queensland

Epic energy penalised for data failures by Energy Regulator
The Australian Energy Regulator has penalised Epic Energy (Epic) $20,000 for submitting incorrect pipeline data to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). In September 2010, two new wholesale gas hubs known as Short Term Trading Markets (STTM) commenced in Adelaide and Sydney with an additional hub in Brisbane being added in December 2011 (21 June 2012) More...

Report: Solar energy and energy efficiency major contributors to falling power consumption
Escalating use of solar energy and energy efficiency are making a material contribution to reducing power consumption and reducing wholesale power prices across the National Electricity Market (NEM) according to a new report released by the REC Agents Association (RAA) (20 June 2012) More...

New funding for the Gladstone LNG project
The GLNG project, which will process coal seam gas (CSG) into liquefied natural gas, is owned by Santos, PETRONAS, Total and KOGAS. The owners of the Gladstone liquefied natural gas (GLNG) project will bring forward $US2.5 billion ($A2.49 billion) in spending to speed up its delivery of gas. (28 June 2012) More...

Changes to transfer duty and landholder duty
The Queensland Government has confirmed the announcement made in the 2011–12 Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review, released on 13 January 2012, that duty will apply to the transfer of a prospecting permit, exploration permit or authority to prospect issued under resources legislation (27 June 2012) Changes announced to the duty treatment of prospecting and exploration permits and authorities (PDF 285 K).

Gladstone Economic and Industry Development Board abolished
The Gladstone Economic and Industry Development Board (GEIDB) will be abolished on 30 June 2012 as part of government-wide reforms to cut red tape and improve the overall efficiency of the public sector. The Board's functions are established by regulation under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (26 June 2012) Gladstone Economic and Industry Development Board abolished

Changes to Queensland Solar Bonus Scheme announced
Changes to Queensland's Solar Bonus Scheme announced this week, will cap the $54 per year every household must pay for some homes to have cheaper solar power. Effective from midnight on 9 July 2012, Queensland's Solar Bonus Scheme will be amended for new applications. A review of the scheme will also take place (26 June 2012) More...

SEQ's bulk water model and utilities merger
The Minister for Energy and Water Supply said merging three SEQ bulk water entities (Seqwater, LinkWater and the SEQ Water Grid Manager) and abolishing the Queensland Water Commission (QWC) on 1 July 2012 , would reduce the cost of supplying drinking water across South East Queensland. Most of its functions and services of the QWC will be taken up by the Department of Energy and Water Supply by 1 January 2013 (26 June 2012) More...

Draft Gas Market Review released for consultation
The 2012 draft annual Queensland Gas Market Review, prepared by the Queensland Gas Market Advisor, has been released for consultation. The draft 2012 review helped identify limits on reserves that could impact on gas supply availability, market development, security of supply and wholesale gas prices, according to the State Mininster (21 June 2012) More...

Cost of living changes released by the Government
Queenslanders will receive a much needed boost to household budgets after the passage of the Newman Government's Cost of Living Bill through Parliament, which includes reinstating the transfer duty home concession, increasing the payroll tax exemption threshold for businesses, freezing the standard electricity tariff and abolishing sustainability declarations when selling houses (19 June 2012) More...

Legislation introduced for Council owned water businesses
The Newman Government today introduced the South East Queensland Water (Distribution Retail and Restructuring) Amendment Bill, which will enable Council-owned water businesses to manage their workforces in the same way as any other organisation (19 June 2012) More...

LNP moves early to strike balance between mining and farming
The Newman Government has today taken another step towards achieving a transparent and respectful relationship between resource companies and landholders, tabling the report of an Independent Review into Land Access arrangements (19 June 2012) more...

Published – articles, papers, reports – Victoria

Helping Our Cities Meet the Future
Source: Anthony Albanese; Speech to the Built Environment Meets Parliament, Parliament House, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese discussed nation building, the state of Australian cities, the Urban Policy Forum, livable cities, Hobart, urban design protocol, industry initiatives and the Green Star - Communities Rating Tool (27 June 2012) More...

Cases – Victoria

Obeid v Victorian Urban Development Authority [2012] VSC 251
LAND ACQUISITION AND COMPENSATION – Leased land – Notice of compulsory acquisition published in Government Gazette – Construction of notice – Principles – What interest(s) acquired – What interest(s) divested – Whether tenant's leasehold interest acquired or divested - Surrounding circumstances - Whether extrinsic material can be considered – Whether private correspondence from acquiring authority can be considered - Held: Leasehold interest divested and tenant entitled to compensation accordingly – Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 Parts I and II and ss 30 and 81; Land Acquisition and Compensation Regulations 1998 – Transfer of Land Act 1958 ss 53, 54; Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984 s 35, 38, 53; Victorian Urban Development Authority Act 2003, s 42. ESTOPPEL – Whether tenant estopped from enforcing statutory right to compensation – No relevant reliance by acquiring authority – No detriment – Estoppel not established. More...

APN Funds Management Limited (in its capacity as the responsible entity for the APN Property for Income Fund No 2) v Australian Property Investment Strategic Pty Ltd & Anor [2012] VSC 262
CONTRACT – Construction and interpretation of Deed – Exercise of put option by delivery of Exercise Notice –Valid exercise of put option by service of Exercise Notice - General clause deeming time for receipt of notices under Deed – Deeming provision not applicable when specific clauses relate to the Exercise Notice. CONTRACT – Requirement to produce unit certificates at completion – No unit certificates issued – Previous settlements without unit certificates – Estoppel – Waltons Stores (Interstate) Ltd v Maher [1988] HCA 7; (1988) 164 CLR 387 – Whether holding statements are unit certificates. TRUST – Alleged invalidity of original issue where units issued at below $1.00 – remedial action taken by responsible entity – Adjustment of units – No consideration provided. TRUST - Alleged breach of trust – Whether issue of units to third party at below $1.00 per unit was in breach of trust – liability of responsible entity – no liability on part of innocent third party – Adjustment set aside More...

Ren v Shi [2012] VSC 271
REAL PROPERTY – Caveat – Whether caveat fatally defective – Power to amend – Application to remove – s 90(3) Transfer of Land Act 1958 – Serious question to be tried – Balance of convenience – Indemnity costs More...

Retirement Services Australia (RSA) Pty Ltd v 3143 Victoria St Doncaster Pty Ltd [2012] VSCA 134

CONTRACTS – Management agreement in respect of a retirement village – Entitlement to serve a notice to terminate – Principles of construction – Whether trial judge erred in having regard to evidence of surrounding circumstances – Whether findings contrary to the contractual context contained in the management agreement and other related contracts and in the legislative framework governing retirement villages – Codelfa Construction Pty Ltd v State Rail Authority (NSW) [1982] HCA 24; (1982) 149 CLR 337; Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust v South Sydney City Council [2002] HCA 5; (2002) 240 CLR 45; Toll (FGCT) Pty Ltd v Alphapharm Pty Ltd (2004) 219 CLR 164 and Western Export Services Inc & Ors v Jireh International Pty Ltd [2011] HCA 45 applied – Phoenix Commercial Enterprises Pty Ltd v City of Canada Bay Council [2010] NSWCA 64 referred to – Entire contract clause – Gordon v Macgregor [1909] HCA 26; (1909) 8 CLR 316 and Hope v RCA Photophone of Australia Pty Ltd (1937) CLR 348 applied – Estoppel by convention – Johnson Matthey v AC Rochester Overseas Corp (1990) 23 NSWLR 190 applied – Appeal allowed. More...

Simply Irresistible Pty Ltd v Couper & Ors [2012] VSCA 128
LEGAL PRACTITIONERS – Solicitor – Breach of retainer – Negligence – Proceeding by former client against solicitor – Alleged failure to advise adequately about exercise of option to purchase land – Breach of retainer and negligence established – Nominal damages awarded – Whether trial judge erred in finding that breach did not cause loss – Whether trial judge erred in assessment of damages – Appeal dismissed. More...

Kocalidis (aka Kay) v Andrews [2012] VSCA 127
CONTRACT – Joint venture – Failure and termination of joint venture – Valuation of joint venture real estate – Whether judge erred in assessing the parties' financial contributions to be repaid – Whether judge erred in assessing the parties' proportionate entitlements to the balance after repayment of contributions – appeal allowed More...

Wong v Network Pacific Real Estate Pty Ltd (Owners Corporation) [2012] VCAT 791
Manager – claim for restitution against manager – payment withdrawn from funds of owners corporations – lot owner commences the proceeding making the claim – manager's application for summary dismissal – lot owner's application for order authorising her to prosecute the proceeding on behalf of owners corporations – authorising order made but subject to condition about costs – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 ss 75(1), 130 – Owners Corporations Act 2006 ss 163(1A), 165(1)(ba). More...

Legislation – National

Personal Property Securities Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 1) SLI 2012 No. 121
This regulation amends the Personal Property Securities Regulations 2010 - Meaning of investment instrument. For paragraph (i) of the definition of investment instrument in section 10 of the Act, the following financial products are prescribed:

  1. an Australian carbon credit unit, within the meaning of section 5 of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011;
  2. a carbon unit, within the meaning of section 5 of the Clean Energy Act 2011;
  3. each eligible international emissions unit mentioned in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d) of the definition of eligible international emissions unit in section 4 of the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units Act 2011 (28 June 2012) More...

National Water Commission Amendment Act No 70 of 2012
An Act to amend the National Water Commission Act 2004, and for related purposes - National Water Commission functions and duties - review must be conducted before the end of 2017; and every following 5 year period- effective date from 27 June 2012 Originating Bill: National Water Commission Amendment Bill 2012 (28 June 2012) More...

Clean Energy Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 4) SLI 2012 No. 126
This regulation amends the Clean Energy Regulations 2011 to make minor and technical amendments, prescribe the adjustment of a provisional emissions number in the Joint Petroleum Development Area and Greater Sunrise Unit Area and include an additional activity for the Jobs and Competitiveness Program (28 June 2012) More...

Carbon Farming (Quantifying Carbon Sequestration by Permanent Environmental Plantings of Native Species using the CFI Reforestation Modelling Tool) Methodology Determination 2012
This determination gives effect to the methodology for quantifying carbon sequestration by permanent environmental plantings of native tree species using the CFI (Carbon Farming Initiative) Reforestation Modelling Tool, in accordance with section 106 of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 (26 June 2012) More...

Legislation – Queensland

Competition and Consumer Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 2) SLI 2012 No. 150
This regulation amends the Competition and Consumer Regulations 2010 for purposes which are consequential to the application of the National Energy Retail Law (NERL) in participating states and territories and for other purposes. Amendments commencing on 1 July 2012 - Prescribed bodies - Energy and Water Ombudsman established by section 10 of the Energy and Water Ombudsman Act 2006 of Queensland and ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal established by section 88 of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008 of ACT Schedule 2 - Amendments commencing on commencement of section 4 of National Energy Retail Law (Victoria) Act 2012 of Victoria (28 June 2012) More...

In practice and courts – Queensland

Flood Definition released - Insurance Contracts Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 1)
This regulation amends the Insurance Contracts Regulations 1985 to introduce a standard definition of "flood" for home building and home contents, small business and strata title insurance contracts. "Flood" means the covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of: any lake, or any river, creek or other natural watercourse, whether or not altered or modified; or any reservoir, canal, or dam (18 June 2012) Insurance Contracts Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 1)

Consultation - Land Access Framework: 12-month review report
The Queensland Government is seeking the views of interested members of the public and stakeholders on the recommendations made in this report to ensure the right balance of landholders' and resource companies' interest is achieved. Stakeholders are encouraged to provide direct comment to the Department within 30 days (June 2012) More...

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