In the media - National
Australia: 'Green Star' in global sustainability benchmark
Australia is the only region worldwide to be labeled a "Green Star" based on its aggregate 2012 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) survey responses. The survey includes almost 450 property companies and funds worldwide (17 September 2012) More...
Tenants seek the right fit
Landlords are coming under increasing pressure to provide fully fitted offices as part of an incentive package to entice tenants. The introduction of activity-based work (ABW) practices has also made it easier for landlords, as they don't need to provide offices with walls and immovable workstations (15 September 2012) More...
Infrastructure Projects Added to National Database
More than $1 billion in infrastructure projects has been added to our investment pipeline in just three months according to the National Infrastructure Construction Schedule (NICS). Since May, 14 new major projects valued at $50 million or more have been added to the NICS (11 September 2012) $1 Billion in Infrastructure Projects Added to National Database
In the media – Victoria
$7 million shot in the arm for Melbourne's growth areas
Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced $6.9 million in the first tranche of funding for the delivery of key infrastructure projects in Melbourne's growth areas. Money from the GAIC is being directed to priority projects from the local government areas where funds have been collected. (19 September 2012) $7 million shot in the arm for Melbourne's growth areas
Final step for Victoria's zone reform
Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced the final step in ensuring the Victorian Coalition Government's zone reform package delivers productivity growth and drives investment and liveability outcomes for Victorians. An expert advisory committee will review all submissions and provide advice back to the Coalition Government (12 September 2012) Final step for Victoria's zone reform
In the media – Queensland
Water amendment bill 2012 introduced to parliament
The Minister for Water has introduced into Federal Parliament a bill to assist in delivering economic, social and environmental outcomes for the Murray Darling Basin. The Water Amendment (Long-term Average Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment) Bill 2012 will formalise the framework in the Water Act for a mechanism to further the Government's commitment to a triple bottom line outcome (20 September 2012) More...
New guide provides options for climate-change adaptation in coastal areas
Engineers Australia's National Committee on Coastal and Ocean Engineering (NCCOE) have launched a landmark publication 'Climate Change Adaptation Guidelines in Coastal Management and Planning' The guidelines are directed at local government engineers and managers with responsibility for a section of the Australian coastline (18 September 2012) More...
Murray-Darling to benefit from environmental watering
Minister for Water Tony Burke has released the Government's watering plans for the basin that outline the strategic approach taken to ensure the water provides benefits to the areas that need it most. The Murray-Darling Basin rivers and wetlands and its thousands of animals and plants will benefit from as much as 1,449 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water in the coming year (17 September 2012) More...
Government Acts to Stop Super Trawler
The Environment Ministerhas announced plans to legislate to extend his legal powers over the super trawler FV Abel Tasman, (formerly FV Margiris), to prevent the vessel fishing in Australian waters. The amendment will prohibit the super trawler engaging in a declared fishing activity in Commonwealth waters while a further assessment is undertaken by an expert panel (11 September 2012) More...
Rural leasehold land threatens viability of agriculture
An inquiry into government-owned lands has heard calls for a mass conversion of land from lease hold to free hold. The Delbessie agreement was created to modernise the rural leasehold land arrangement between government and land holders. But increasing rent payments on properties and more questions surrounding the relevance of government land ownership have prompted a new inquiry (10 September 2012) More...
New Hope chief sees project delays
New coal projects will be shelved across Queensland as a result of the state's increased royalties and the new federal mining and carbon taxes, according to New Hope Corporation, which reported record production and a strong 16 per cent increase in underlying profit yesterday (19 September 2012) More...
Major tourism proposal consultation and feedback for Keppel Island
The Newman Government says a proposal for the $600 million Great Keppel Island tourism resort has received a significant response from the public . The proposal for an environmentally friendly development would ensure about 40 per cent of the island, would be an environmental protection area to be rehabilitated and protected, with the EIS process administered under a parallel agreement between the State and Commonwealth Governments (19 September 2012) More...
Gold Coast Council to waive developer levies
The Gold Coast mayor is cutting local government charges for developers in an effort to kick-start at least $4 billion in residential and commercial development and "get the cranes back up". The mayor says his council will remove all local government infrastructure charges for six months (15 September 2012) More...
State Government moves to reform planning
The Queensland's planning and development system reform involves streamlining the government processes by allowing developers to deal with one single office when seeking State Government assessment of development applications, the removal of master and structure planning arrangements that the industry deemed ineffective and the separation of state resource allocation and entitlement requirements from the development application process (13 September 2012) State Government moves to reform planning
Government purchases regional land for future industry growth
The Newman Government is planning ahead for Queensland's strong economic growth by strategically purchasing land to meet future industrial and resource industry demands. The land and easements will facilitate the gas transmission pipeline corridor for LNG proponents from the Callide Range through the Gladstone State Development Area (GSDA) to Curtis Island (11 September 2012) Newman Government purchases regional land for future industry growth
State Government to streamline vegetation management laws
A strategy that will streamline vegetation management across Queensland, maintain strong environmental standards and boost agricultural productivity, with reforms to the Vegetation Management Act, has been announced by the Government. Exemptions for vegetation management activities undertaken to allow for environmental works, and as part of clean-up operations following natural disasters will also be introduced (11 September 2012) More...
Streamlined development approval system will help community
LGAQ general manager of advocacy states the changes outlined in the Sustainable Planning and Other Legislation Amendment Bill introduced into State Parliament, would be welcomed by councils across Queensland. These include streamlining how development approval disputes were resolved and the additional powers that the Planning and Environment Court will have to use its discretion for paying court costs (13 September 2012) More...
Newman to scrap $7000 first home owner grant
The Newman government will scrap the current First Home Owner Grant and replace it with a $15,000 handout to first-time buyers purchasing off-the-plan or newly-constructed properties. First-time buyers, who purchase an established property, will still qualify for the $7000 grant if they sign contracts by October 11. But the re-shaped First Home Owner Construction Grant will kick-in on September 12 for properties valued up to $750,000 (10 September 2012) More...
Published – articles, papers, reports – National
Secure tenure for home ownership and economic development on land subject to native title
Author: Jonathan Taylor, Ed Wensing; Australian Institute of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islander Studies
In Australia the focus of the public policy debate on land rights has shifted from the struggle of Indigenous peoples to have their pre-colonial possession of land recognised to how reinstated rights and interests in land might be exercised to fulfil Indigenous peoples' own aspirations, including for economic development and home ownership (20 September 2012) Secure tenure for home ownership and economic development on land subject to native title
Published – articles, papers, reports – Queensland
Coal Seam Gas Emissions: Facts, Challenges and Questions
Author: Olivia Kember, Climate Institute
CSG production, processing and consumption, Australia's CSG industry Greenhouse gas emissions from CSG, Impact of CSG on Australia's greenhouse gas Emissions, Climate policy for CSG production and consumption (12 September 2012) Coal Seam Gas: Facts, questions and challenges
Dwelling Unit Commencements, Australia, Preliminary, June 2012
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics
The trend estimate for the total number of dwelling units commenced fell 2.1% in the June quarter 2012 following a fall of 3.3% in the March quarter 2012. The seasonally adjusted estimate for the total number of dwelling units commenced rose 4.6% in the June quarter following a fall of 7.8% in the March quarter. The seasonally adjusted estimate for new private sector house commencements fell 1.7% in the June quarter following a fall of 5.7% in the March quarter (12 September 2012 ) More...
In practice and courts – New South Wales
Strata title law discussion paper: Making NSW No 1 Again: Shaping future communities,
In a new discussed paper released, the NSW Government is proposing to amend strata laws to trigger a greater turnover of strata schemes in NSW. Submissions close 15 November 2012. The government intends to release an Exposure Draft Bill by mid-2013 (15 September 2012) More...
In practice and courts – Queensland
ASIC New Business Names Registration System
ASIC will commence issuing renewals for the transitional business names, launching a fully online service to update business name details. For information and tips on navigating the new online service go to 'Latest Updates' More...
Energy rating systems
NSW Department of the Environment: NABERS website
A new suite of websites for the NABERS program, including a refreshed public site, a secure members' site and a new ratings platform, NABERS Rate are now available (11 September 2012) More...
National Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Atlas 2012
This innovative web-based tool will provide vital information for water planners and managers to use when weighing up how to allocate our precious water resources. The atlas helps address groundwater knowledge gaps and progress reforms agreed to under the National Water Initiative. (11 September 2012). Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Atlas.
DERM: Titles Registry Update
On 14 September 2012 the Attorney-General introduced the Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 into Parliament.
Changes have been made to body corporate lot entitlements and resale contracts
(19 September 2012) Issue 106 - Titles Registry Update (19 September 2012)
Changes to transfer duty and landholder duty
The Fiscal Repair Amendment Bill 2012, introduced on 11 September 2012. This confirms that duty will apply to the direct and indirect transfer of exploration permits and authorities to prospect from 13 January 2012 and clarifies the application of duty to mining and petroleum tenures and items fixed to land that are capable of separate ownership from the land (12 September 2012) Changes announced to the duty treatment of prospecting and exploration permits and authorities (PDF 410 K).
First home owner construction grant
A first home owner construction grant (FHOCG) of $15,000 will be available to first home buyers who are buying a new home on or after 12 September 2012 (10 September 2012) Budget boon for first home owners and the construction industry.
Cases – Victoria
Allen & Ors v Harofarm Pty Ltd; Scherman v Harofarm Pty Ltd  VSC 402
REAL PROPERTY — Sale of land — Contract — Whether vendor had validly extended time for period of registration of plan of sub-division — Whether contract validly rescinded by purchasers — Clifford & Anor v Solid Investments Australia Pty Ltd  VSC 223; Solid Investments Australia Pty Ltd v Clifford & Anor  27 VR 41 considered — Sale of Land Act 1962 (Vic), s 9AE(2). More...
Burnett v Barings Holdings Pty Ltd (Real Property)  VCAT 1363
Claim under sub-s 16(2) Water Act 1989 (Vic); whether respondent's concrete slab in laneway outside applicant's property interfered with flow of water and caused her underground tank to lift; requirement in subsection that flow be 'over' land; whether applicant broke any chain of causation by inadequately installing the tank when the slab was already there More...
BASP Properties Pty Ltd v Dimmeys Stores Pty Ltd (Retail Tenancies)  VCAT 1364
Retail tenancy – lease of dilapidated building – covenant to return premises upon vacation in good condition consistent with their state at the commencement of the lease – no evidence as to condition at commencement – claim not proven - covenant to remove fixtures erected by tenant and make good following removal – no evidence that fixtures erected by tenant – claim not proven More...
Chen & Anor v Kevin McNamara & Son Pty Ltd & Anor  VSCA 229
COSTS – Application for costs – Building contracts – Indemnity costs – Whether first respondent entitled to recover indemnity costs pursuant to contractual indemnity provision – When contractual provisions may inform curial discretion – Whether the appellant's obligation to pay 'any costs and fees' arising from legal proceedings relating to the contract entitled the respondent to indemnity costs – Kheirs Financial Services Pty Ltd v Aussie Home Loans Pty Ltd  VSCA 355 discussed – Abigroup Ltd v Sandtara Pty Ltd  NSWCA 45 discussed – Section 24(1) of the Supreme Court Act 1986 – Application refused – Costs awarded on a party/party basis More...
Kambouris v Tahmazis & Anor  VSC 432
REAL PROPERTY – caveat – application for summary removal – claim interest as constructive trustee – breach of fiduciary obligation alleged – right to trace into the property alleged - whether any evidence that caveator might be found at trial to have the interest alleged – balance of convenience considerations – s 90(3) Transfer of Land Act 1958 (Vic) More...
Bailey v Woondella Pty Ltd  VSC 396
REAL PROPERTY – Mortgagor sold land to the plaintiff two days prior to mortgagee's auction – Mortgagee unwilling to withdraw property from sale unless mortgage paid out in advance – Plaintiff attended mortgagee's auction and was unsuccessful bidder – Property sold at auction and title eventually transferred to third party – Plaintiff sued under contract with mortgagor.
CONTRACT – Implied term – Performance conditional upon mortgagee withdrawing property from sale and co-operating in settlement of mortgagor's contract with plaintiff.
CONTRACT – Mutual discharge and abandonment – Conduct of parties after failure of commercial purpose of contract – Neither party regarded contract as on foot
CONTRACT – Frustration – Failure of a commercial purpose of the contract – Contract became incapable of performance More...
Johnson v Moyne Shire Council & Ors  VSC 393
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Judicial Review - Unused road – Agricultural licence to use unused road – Revocation by Minister under s 407(1) of the Land Act 1958, (Vic) – Role of municipal council in informing Minister of its considered opinion about the desirability of cancellation of the licence in the public interest – Meaning of public interest – Whether notification by the council to the Minister has legal effect – Whether conduct of council amenable to judicial review – Whether jurisdictional error - Land Act 1958 (Vic), Part I Division 8, Part XIII, ss 130, 130AB(c), 130AC(e), 401, 402, 404, 406, 407, 409 and 411 More...
Singleton v Marina Apartments  VCC 1341
Summons for Summary Judgment – principles to be applied - Plaintiff's claim for return of deposit and interest in circumstances where vendor failed to construct a residential unit sold off plan in substantial compliance to plans annexed to the contract – breach of an essential term of contract giving rise to a right to rescind - judgment for the plaintiff – interest calculated from time plaintiff entitled to repayment of deposit More...
Director of Consumer Affairs v Rakocevic (Occupational and Business Regulation)  VCAT 1361
Occupational & Business Regulation List – whether applicant a fit and proper person to be an agent's representative – whether applicant guilty of conduct rendering him unfit to be an agent's representative - Estate Agents Act 1980 – ss 28, 28A – relevant considerations – order made of cancellation of licence for five years – Estate Agents (Professional Conduct) Regulations 2008 ss 19 and 21 More...
Nicholls v The Endless Swimming Spa Company (Vic) Pty Ltd (Civil Claims)  VCAT
Contract in writing for the purchase of spa – contract varied in writing – purchaser seeks to avoid contract on grounds of misleading conduct of vendor – purchaser fails to prove misleading conduct More...
Cases – Queensland
Iwasaki Sangyo Co (Aus) Pty Ltd v Chief Executive, Department of Environment and Resource Management  QCA 241
PROCEDURE – INFERIOR COURTS – QUEENSLAND – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where respondent issued a property map of assessable vegetation (PMAV) to the applicant, containing category A areas – where inclusion of category A areas is permitted if the respondent reasonably believed that a vegetation clearing offence was being or had been committed in relation to the areas under s 20BA(a) of the Vegetation Management Act 1999 (Qld) (VM Act) – where the respondent made a review decision pursuant to s 63A(1)(b) of the VM Act and issued a review notice to the applicant, including an amended PMAV which reduced the number and/or size of the category A areas – where the applicant filed an application to QCAT for review of the internal review decision – where a Tribunal member directed that the Tribunal would hear the proceeding with reference to the proposed new PMAV with the parties at liberty to adduce evidence and address the Tribunal on the applicability of the proposed new PMAV – where the applicant applied for leave to the QCAT Appeals Tribunal – where leave was refused – where the applicant argued the direction impermissibly changed a review decision into an original decision, thus exceeding QCAT's jurisdiction – where the respondent contended that the direction was of a procedural nature only – whether QCAT had power to make the direction More...
Arora Construction Pty Ltd & Anor v Gold Coast City Council & Anor  QPEC 052
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – Applicant appeal – Proposed residential unit complex in the Guragunbah flood plain – Where the development is appropriate in terms of land use, density and building heights – Flooding – Where the development site will be immune to flooding up to the probable maximum flood – Where the subject site will not have trafficable road access beyond a Q20 flood event – Whether reliance on early voluntary evacuation followed by 'shelter in place' is a viable alternative to evacuation – Whether subject site occupants are exposed to an unreasonable level of risk – Qualitative and quantitative assessment of risk – Whether alternate solutions meet relevant performance criteria – Grounds for approval not withstanding conflict More...
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