Australia: Property & Projects - What's News - 5 February 2013

Last Updated: 9 February 2013
Article by Steve Aitchison

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media – National

Farm sale betrays poor judgment of lie of land
Australia has gone out of its way to stop Australians developing their own agricultural land and specific lease conditions prohibit development away from set criteria, including the environmental concerns for Cubbie (25 January 2013) More...

In the media – Victoria

Plan to turn estates into property gold
Melbourne's largest public housing estates are set for their biggest shake-up in decades, with the state government considering the conversion of high-rise estates into an equal mix of public and private housing developments. The radical proposal could also lead to the demolition of the 1960s high-rise blocks that loom above each estate (14 January 2013) More...

In the media – New South Wales

Green Building Council of Australia - ESD report card
According to the executive director advocacy and business services with the Green Building Council of Australia, while construction has been constrained across all property areas, green projects have continued to go ahead because people want to future-proof their buildings (17 January 2013) More...

Here comes the first of Sydney's new green icons
Lend Lease's Barangaroo South project, part of the $6 billion Barangaroo urban regeneration development on Sydney Harbour, has been accepted as a pilot project for the newly-released Green Star – Communities PILOT rating tool(24 January 2013) More...

In the media – Queensland

Submissions show real estate must be moved to second wave of national licensing
Submissions received in response to COAG's Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) on property occupations have been published on the National Occupational Licensing Authority (NOLA) website. The President of the Real Estate Institute of Australia claims the RIS is flawed, the process not inclusive and the resulting model for national licensing would leave the consumer at considerable risk (24 January 2013). More...

Ranger Mining Agreement finalised
ERA extends congratulations and appreciation to the Mirarr Traditional Owners and all of the parties involved in bringing this process to a mutually satisfactory conclusion. ERA also acknowledges the pivotal role played by the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) in representing the interests of the Mirarr Traditional Owners during the negotiations (24 January 2013). More...

Can Huge Shale Oil Discovery Solve Australia's Energy Needs
A property in South Australia may possess enough shale oil to make the country a self-sufficient energy producer and exporter, surveys commissioned by Brisbane-based Linc Energy indicate (24 January 2013). More...

Planning for uncertainty
Legal experts are warning that evolving planning policies, which are designed to remove some of the impediments to development in the coastal zone, will continue to be tested in planning tribunals and courts on a case-by-case basis (23 January 2013). More...

New name for AGIC announced
The Australian Green Infrastructure Council will be renamed the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia at an official launch in March. The AGIC's "coming of age" with the release and launch of the IS rating scheme and the underpinning IS Foundation Training, with the first ratings predicted to be awarded from March 2013 (22 January 2013). More...

Green Building Council of Australia - ESD report card
According to the executive director advocacy and business services with the Green Building Council of Australia, while construction has been constrained across all property areas, green projects have continued to go ahead because people want to future-proof their buildings (17 January 2013). More...

Queensland 'under-prepared' for storm surges
In a submission to the Senate Inquiry looking at Australia's preparedness for extreme weather events, the Griffith University Centre for Coastal Management reported Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Hervey Bay as being at "high risk" of storm surges (23 January 2013). More...

Queensland to scrap compulsory water tanks in new homes
The Queensland Government has announced plans to abolish laws that make it compulsory to install rainwater tanks and gas, solar or heat pump hot water systems in all new homes. Legislative amendments are required to implement both decisions and the changes are proposed to take effect early 2013 in Queensland (22 January 2013). More...

$20 trillion shale oil find surrounding Coober Pedy 'can fuel Australia'
Brisbane company Linc Energy yesterday released two reports, based on drilling and seismic exploration, estimating the amount of oil in the as yet untapped Arckaringa Basin surrounding Coober Pedy ranging from 3.5 billion to 233 billion barrels of oil (24 January 2013). More...

Taskforce names regions most at risk of coastal inundation
The National Seachange Taskforce says coastal communities between Mackay and the Gold Coast are the most at risk in Queensland from predicted sea level rises (17 January 2013). More...

Council plans landmark deal to offload assets and bring forward upgrades
The long-term lease package would see Queensland Investment Corporation and Queensland Motorways Limited take control of the $1.5 billion Legacy Way tunnel upon its completion, as well as the Go-Between Bridge, built by the council for $308 million in 2010 (16 January 2013). More...

Investor activity returning to Queensland property sector
Investor activity is returning to Queensland's property market as the Newman Government's policies flow through, according to Teasurer Tim Nicholls. ABS data released shows the value of finance commitments, in original terms, for the purchase of existing dwellings for rent or resale by individuals totalled $1.12 billion in November (16 January 2013). More...

Government changes to strategic cropping land framework
New Government changes to Queensland's strategic cropping land map will provide ongoing protection for high quality agricultural land, and clarify where development can occur. Amendments to the trigger map have removed the Gemfields and other areas of land that were inadvertently identified in the original map, such as airports, dams, power stations and mine pits (16 January 2013). More...

PCA welcomes six month action plan
The Queensland Government's January-June 2013 Six Month Action Plan released today will help restore confidence and stimulate Queensland's property industry, according to the Property Council of Australia (17 January 2013). More...

Demand for the high life in Brisbane's inner-city apartment market rises
More than 1000 new units are expected to be completed within the inner-Brisbane apartment market this year. The push towards higher density living is expected to continue in a 5km radius of the CBD with an additional 976 apartments under construction now to be finished in 2014 (12 January 2013) More...

Published – articles, papers, reports – Queensland

Dwelling approvals rise in November
Author: Australian Bureau of Statistics
(ABS) Building Approvals show that the number of dwellings approved rose 2.9 per cent in November 2012, in seasonally adjusted terms, following a fall of 5.1 per cent in the previous month. Dwelling approvals increased in November in Victoria (8.7 per cent) but decreased in South Australia (-13.9 per cent), Tasmania (-7.7 per cent), New South Wales (-4.0 per cent), Queensland (-1.5 per cent) and Western Australia (-1.1 per cent) in seasonally adjusted terms (10 January 2013). More...

In practice and courts – Queensland

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2013

DERM Prosecution Bulletin no. 1/2013
A Toowoomba man was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment, fined $40,000 and ordered to pay the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection's investigation and legal costs for 12 charges related to a 3 year period of unlawfully disposing of regulated waste on land outside Millmerran, south-west of Toowoomba. More...

Property Valuations in Queensland: Notification
Following the Valuer-General's review in December 2012, the PCA advises notification concessions will be retained for: Single dwelling house/farming (where any more valuable use is ignored) and discount for subdivided land (40% of the valuation deducted by the local government prior to calculating rates (22 January 2013). More...

Trigger map amendments - Strategic cropping land
Amendments to the trigger map have removed the Gemfields and other areas of land that were inadvertently identified in the original map, such as airports, dams, power stations and mine pits, with revisions to the SCL Standard Conditions Code for resource activities and agribusiness (16 January 2013) More...

Approval of Standard Environmental Conditions - section 549 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994
New approved standard environmental conditions for carrying out the environmentally relevant activity (ERA) outlined in the following codes of environmental compliance (the Codes). These include:
Code of environmental compliance for certain aspects of extractive and screening activities (ERA 16) v7
Code of environmental compliance for certain aspects of sewage treatment activities (ERA 63) v1
Code of environmental compliance for certain aspects of regulated waste transport (ERA 57) v4
The code is available from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection's (EHP) website More... (Gazette notification on 18 January 2013)

Discussion paper: Water sector reform – 30 year water sector strategy
The Department of Energy and Water Supply has released a discussion paper to help shape their water strategy. The discussion paper focuses on water and sewerage service providers and sets out a vision for efficient services, light regulation, use of smart technology and proactive planning - submissions close 29 March 2013. More...

Cases – Victoria

Taylor v Boroondara CC & Anor [2013] VCAT 32

Re Jensen [2012] VSC 638
REAL PROPERTY – Restrictive covenant – Prohibition of more than one dwelling – Same covenant covering larger area of land subdivision – Absence of any dual occupancy or multi unit development in subdivision – No change in character of neighbourhood since inception of covenant – Enlargement of applicants' land since covenant given – Desire to construct additional dwelling – Whether restriction obsolete or an impediment to reasonable user – Whether discharge or modification will not substantially injure covenantees – Application refused – Property Law Act 1958, s 84 More...

Venn v Saward (Real Property) [2012] VCAT 1970
Co-owned land – tenants in common in equal shares – cost of purchase provided entirely by Applicant – Applicant excluded from land – rental received solely by Respondent – money alleged to have been spent on renovations not authorized by the Applicant – no improvement to land by alleged renovations – mortgage instalments paid from rental - no money provided by Respondent – just and fair that the Respondent's registered interest be transferred to the Applicant More...

Cases – New South Wales

Signorelli v M G South Pty Ltd [2012] NSWSC 1606
CONVEYANCING - exchange of contracts - deposit - where real estate agent accepted a copy of a deposit bond pending provision of the original the next business day - agent did not breach his duty to the vendor. CONVEYANCING - breach of contract for sale and remedies - vendor's remedies - rescission or termination - entitlement to - where contract term required provision of a deposit bond - where purchaser provided a copy of a deposit bond which could not be called on for cash - where vendor agreed to extend time for provision of original deposit bond to next business day - vendor entitled to terminate immediately on failure to supply original deposit bond by close of the next business day. TORTS - negligence - damage - causation - where copy of a deposit bond accepted by real estate agent on exchange of contracts - where vendor was always entitled to terminate contract for purchaser's failure to produce deposit bond - agent's acceptance of the copy of deposit bond, failure to verify or obtain advice on its validity and failure to verify the purchaser's details in the contract not causative of loss - vendor's solicitor's failure to verify the validity of the deposit bond similarly not causative of loss. TORTS - negligence - damage - causation - where copy of a deposit bond accepted by real estate agent on exchange of contracts - where purchaser would not have produced the original deposit bond and would not have provided the balance of a 10% "deposit" - where authority exists to suggest that vendor may not have been entitled to balance of 10% of the purchase price - vendor's solicitor's failure to require payment of deposit by alternate means as required under contract not causative of loss. Civil Liability Act 2002; Legal Profession Act 2004; Property Stock and Agents Act 2002 More...

Cases – Queensland

Edmonds v Yeates and Anor [2013] QCAT 007
TREE DISPUTE – where six leopard trees in boundary – where trees existed prior to construction of house – where land benched so that trees appear bigger – where leaf litter – whether substantial, ongoing and unreasonable interference – whether risk of serious injury
Graham & Ors v Welch [2012] QCA 282 Thomsen v White [2012] QCAT 381 Wallace v Keg [2012] QCAT 466. More...

Ipswich City Council v Bremer Waters Pty Ltd & Anor [2012] QPEC 086
in part of Council application seeking declarations of its entitlements under development conditions regarding infrastructure charges - respondent now seeks contrary declaration and indemnity costs on short notice - matters adjourned. More...

Johnson v Noosa Beach Real Estate Pty Ltd and Anor [2013] QCAT 005
PROPERTY AGENT – where appointment to act signed by only one of two clients – where special condition in contract of sale allowing early commission when contract unconditional – whether contract unconditional – whether agent entitled to commission – whether claimant suffered loss because of an event
Phillips & Anor v Scotdale P/L [2008] QCA 127 Oakhill Property Group Pty Ltd and GB Communications Pty Ltd v Beverley [2006] QCCTPAMD 23 Elfbest Pty Ltd v Dynan and Anor [2012] QCATA 7. More...

Cases to 15 January 2013

Lockyer Valley Regional Council v Westlink Pty Ltd as Trustee for Westlink Industrial Trust & Ors; Keep Lockyer Rural Inc v Westlink Pty Ltd as Trustee for Westlink Industrial Trust & Ors [2012] QCA 370 (12/5165) ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT AND APPROVAL GENERALLY – OTHER STATES AND TERRITORIES – where the applicant seeks leave to appeal against a decision of the Planning and Environment Court allowing the first respondent's appeal and approving its application to develop a natural gas fired electricity peaking station – where the proposed appeal turns on the application of s 3.5.14(2)(b) of the Integrated Planning Act – where the primary judge was required to determine whether sufficient grounds existed to justify a decision to grant the development permit where the use was not consistent with the purpose of the relevant planning scheme zone – where the applicant contends that the primary judge misconstrued the relevant planning scheme and wrongly considered the conflict to be of a minor rather than major nature – where the applicant contends that the primary judge mistook the notion of 'sufficient grounds' in s 3.5.14(2)(b), took into account irrelevant considerations and failed to recognise relevant considerations – where the applicant contends that the primary judge failed to give adequate reasons as to why public benefits relating to the proposal could not be met through compliance with the regional plan or why it had to be met on the subject land – whether the primary judge erred in construing the planning scheme – whether the conflict with the planning scheme was correctly characterised – whether the primary judge erred in his application of the test in Weightman v Gold Coast City Council for determining sufficiency of grounds where conflict existed – whether the absence of negative impacts could amount to a ground – whether it was a relevant consideration that the same project would have been permissible undertaken by a public entity – whether the trial judge dealt with the applicant's argument that the development could be accommodated on a site designated for industry in the regional plan – whether there were material errors of law in the making of the decision. More...

Kelsall & Anor v State of Queensland & Anor [2012] QCA 369
REAL PROPERTY – COMPULSORY ACQUISITION OF LAND – POWERS OF ACQUISITION – PURPOSE OF ACQUISITION – where appellants owned Lots 70 and 71 as described – where both lots acquired by second respondent "as constructing authority" for "a purpose incidental to the purpose of an approved Tollway Project" – where appellants made a claim for compensation under s 19 of the Acquisition of Land Act 1967 (Qld) ("the ALA") – where appellants sought to have the land revested in them under s 17 of the ALA – where the lots were then declared to be required for an additional transport purpose of the first respondent – where the appellants contend that this interfered with their entitlements under ss 17 and 41 of the ALA – where the trial judge concluded that the Minister was empowered by s 26A of the Transport Planning and Coordination Act 1994 (Qld) ("the TPC Act") to change the purpose for which the land had been acquired – where the appellants contend that the trial judge erred in particular to the construction of "transport purpose" and "transport land" in s 3 of the TPC Act and the construction of the power to make a declaration under s 26A of the TPC Act that "land is required for another stated transport purpose" – whether "transport purpose" and "transport land" are limited to purposes of and land acquired by the first respondent, and the power in s 26A thereby limited to the first respondent – whether s 26A extends to permit a declaration where the "other stated transport purpose" is not one for which the acquiring entity was authorised to acquire the land – whether s 26A permits a declaration to be made in relation to additional purpose, as opposed to a declaration in relation to a different or an alternative purpose – whether the land the subject of the declaration (Lots 70 and 71) was not "transport land". More...

Multus v Rockhampton Regional Council & Ors [2012] QPEC 085
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING - DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – Where the applicant seeks a material change of use to facilitate development application – Where there has been a failure to comply with time frames and notification requirements in accordance with the IDAS process pursuant to Integrated Planning Act 1997 – Where there has been no identifiable prejudice to any party and where most of the non-compliance issues were identified and addressed prior to the completion of the IDAS process - Where the applicant applies to the Court to exercise its discretion pursuant to s 820(1) of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, to excuse acts of non-compliance with the IDAS requirements. More...

Stockland Development Pty Ltd v Townsville City Council & Ors [2012] QPEC 084
Submitter appeal by commercial competitor against approval for shopping centre expansion – planning scheme divided Thuringowa City Centre ("intended for a mix of commercial development") into 5 sub-areas, including C1, named "City Centre Core" and C3, named "City Centre Support" – expansion of the shopping centre on C1 proposed by way of a large supermarket and specialty shops to be located entirely on C3 land together with a recently approved discount department store already constructed on C3 – no residential component proposed (although there was a limited potential for minor residential use on the site) – statement of character and performance criterion for "development" in C3 envisaged "an integrated commercial and residential focus" – whether conflict with planning scheme – held that there was no conflict – no requirement that every development proposal incorporate both commercial and residential uses. More...

Ostroco Pty Ltd and Chief Executive, Department of Transport and Main Roads [2012] QLC 71
Acquisition of Land Act 1967, ss 18(3), 20(1)(b), (2), (5); Acquisition of Land and other Legislation Amendment Bill 2008; Acts Interpretation Act 1954, ss 14A, 14B; Act No. 5 of 2009. More...

Malmate Pty Ltd v ISPT Pty Ltd (No 2) [2012] QCAT 615
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – JURISDICTION – where the Applicant sought to put before the Tribunal an action relating to damages alleged to have been suffered under a previous lease with the Respondent – where the Tribunal found that the Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to deal with the previous lease – whether proceedings should be transferred to the District Court of Queensland – whether there are grounds that warrant an order for costs. More...

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