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

Last Updated: 10 March 2013

In the media – National

ASBEC Steps to NetZero Homes
In two key papers on Monday, the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) laid down what it says represents a roadmap toward 'net-zero' residential housing, a concept in which the housing stock in Australia effectively becomes neutral from the viewpoint of carbon emissions (21 February 2013) More...

In the media – New South Wales

Clean Energy Regulator says number of Carbon Farming Initiative projects grows
The Clean Energy Regulator has recently approved 19 new projects under the Carbon Farming Initiative, bringing the total number of eligible offsets projects to 46 since its introduction in late 2011 (18 February 2013) More...

NSW to simplify disputes over company title units
Disputes relating to home units on Company Title will be heard in the Local Court of NSW to enable faster, simpler and more cost effective resolutions, according to the Attorney General. The NSW Government will enable the Small Claims Division of the Local Court to deal with Company Title disputes so that the issues can be resolved quickly and with as little formality as possible (19 February 2013) More...

NSW housing figures are positive
The latest figures on housing approvals and housing completions are positive news for NSW, says the Urban Taskforce. The figures from the NSW December monitor of Sydney's housing supply show significant improvements over recent performance (19 February 2013) More...

In the media – Queensland

ACCC releases new Compliance and Enforcement Policy
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today released its new Compliance and Enforcement Policy. The policy outlines the ACCC's priority areas for the year and sets out the factors to be taken into account when deciding whether to pursue matters (21 February 2013) More...

ACCC collective bargaining central Queensland coal producers and SunWater approval
The ACCC has released its final determination allowing Cockatoo Coal, Cuesta Coal, MetroCoal, Peabody Energy Australia PCI, QC Resource Investments and Whitehaven Coal to collectively negotiate with SunWater for water supply, in relation to the development of the Nathan Dam project in central Queensland (20 February 2013) More...

Practising agent forged licence, fined $1,000
A state-based regulator said a fine levied on a sales representative for forging his registration papers shows why commercial property agents should be licensed (21 February 2013) More...

Australian consumers 'paying twice' as carbon emitters compensated
Australia's biggest carbon emitters are being accused of passing on the entire cost of the carbon tax while pocketing government compensation. Analysis by consultants Carbon and Energy Markets suggests that brown coal power plants in Victoria's Latrobe Valley could get billions of dollars in compensation over the next few years (21 February 2013) More...

Abbott backs plans to build more dams
Tony Abbott says Australians need to get over their "dam phobia", amid reports the Coalition is considering a multi-billion-dollar plan to build up to 100 dams across the country (14 February 2013) More...

ASA - Brisbane's Airport Link $3 billion debt 'a fiasco'
The Australian Shareholders Association (ASA) has described Brisbane's Airport Link as the "biggest construction project disaster" in recent history. Toll road operator BrisConnections went into receivership yesterday with debts totalling more than $3 billion (20 February 2013) More...

Property Council fights bid to protect councils
Planning law changes that would protect councils who altered land zonings to better reflect risk have rocked the Property Council of Australia (Qld) which wants each land parcel considered in its own right (19 February 2013) More...

Terms of Reference for Independent Review of the Port of Gladstone
Federal Environment Minister has announced the Terms of Reference for the Independent Review of the Port of Gladstone, as part of the response to the 2012 decision of the World Heritage Committee regarding the ongoing protection and management of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage property (19 February 2013) More...

Flood response requires councils to work with landholders
The Property Council is particularly concerned that local governments will be permitted to back zone without assessing the economic impact of their decision. Changes to the compensation provisions within the Sustainable Planning Act have the potential to cause widespread economic hardship, without achieving greater flood protection (18 February 2013) More...

Property industry cautiously optimistic for 2013
After a year of fluctuating confidence, cautious optimism for the next 12 months is emerging in Queensland's property industry, according to the Property Council of Australia-ANZ Property Industry Confidence Survey for the March 2013 quarter (17 February 2013) More...

Property Agents call for sale contract to be changed
According to a number of agents, a clause in the Queensland residential property sale contract which gives buyers legal responsibility for a property well before final settlement is unreasonable and should be removed (15 February 2013) More...

Queensland Parliament passes changes to flood laws
The Newman Government has pushed through changes to the law that will help flood-affected communities recover as quickly as possible, introducing the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Amendment Bill 2013 to Parliament this week (15 February 2013) More...

New laws to slash red tape, reduce risk
New laws in Queensland will help relieve agents and consumers of pages of paperwork, according to the state's attorney-general. Drafted bills include amendments to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses licensed under PAMDA and consolidate licence categories (12 February 2013) More...

In practice and courts – National

Gillard Government supports irrigators
The Gillard Government will support irrigators and irrigation providers to better manage their networks into the future under the program. The first call for applications of the program will be on 18 February 2013 with a closing date of 2 April 2013. Further details including guidelines and application form for the program will be available at (11 February 2013)

In practice and courts – Victoria

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released

VCAT List Restructure
VCAT has restructured its Lists making it easier to navigate the jurisdictions of the tribunal and simplify registry procedures (February 2013)

Retirement Villages Amendment (Information Disclosure) Act 2013
The main purpose of this Act is to amend the Retirement Villages Act 1986 to require the owner or manager of a retirement village to provide a summary of information relating to the retirement village and to make certain documents available for inspection to prospective residents of retirement villages (13 February 2013) More...

Standardised development contributions levies
Planning Minister Matthew Guy has announced the first stage of development contributions reform by releasing a proposed framework for standardised development contributions levies. Submissions on the Standard Development Contributions Advisory Committee's first report 'Report 1 - Setting the Framework' close 12 March 2013.

In practice and courts – Queensland

Liquor and gaming laws consultation
Public's views on the future of the state's liquor and gaming laws are required with the release of a discussion paper. A number of topics, which had been included in the discussion paper. This paper is available at until 15 March 2013 (15 February 2013)

Draft Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act (PAMDA) Bills released
Drafted new bills to split PAMDA into industry specific acts include:
Property Occupations Bill 2013, Motor Dealers and Chattel Auctioneers Bill 2013, Commercial Agents Bill 2013 and Agents Financial Administration Bill 2013
These bills include amendments to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses licensed under PAMDA and consolidate licence categories. Consultation has now been called for these and copies
of the consultation paper and to provide feedback are on the website at:

Published – articles, papers, reports – Queensland

How windfall income increases gambling at poker machines
Hielke Buddelmeyer, Kyle Peyton
The paper examines the relationship between the lump sum Carbon Tax compensation cheques received in May-June 2012 and spending at electronic gaming machines in 62 local government areas in Victoria(14 February 2013) How windfall income increases gambling at poker machines

Green crime and the role of environmental courts
Reece Walters and Diane Westerhuis
The judicial processing of environmental or 'green' crimes is rapidly developing across many jurisdictions (2013) Green crime and the role of environmental courts.

Cases – Victoria

State Trustees Limited v Hassett [2013] VSC 55
TRUSTS AND TRUSTEES ? Trust ? Resulting trust ? Acquisition of land and dwelling by son for as a residence for parents ? Intention ? Title in son's name ? Mortgage loan in son's name ? Antecedent arrangement for limited contribution by son to purchase price ? Substantial unborrowed contribution made by parents to price ? Substantial payment by parents of mortgage loan instalments ? Payment of outgoings and improvements by parents ? No mortgage payments by son until parents' necessary departure ? No intention to confer beneficial ownership to son ? No equitable joint tenancy ? Property always held on resulting or implied trust ? Declaration appropriate ? Equitable adjustment or reimbursement for son's mortgage payments More...

Rayvan Pty Ltd & Ors v Coles Group Property Developments Ltd (Retail Tenancies) [2013] VCAT 124
Retail lease – whether representations misleading and deceptive – reliance – dismissed More...

Nguyen Chapel Investments Pty Ltd v P-Value Pty Ltd (Retail Tenancies) [2013] VCAT 119
RETAIL TENANCIES – Frustration - whether refusal to grant a transfer of liquor licence constitutes a fundamental intervening event; Damages – measure of damages where landlord entered into subsequent lease; Mitigation of damages – whether entering into subsequent lease to be counted as mitigation of the loss and damage suffered by the lessor; Termination – whether entering into heads of agreement with prospective tenant constitutes repudiation of earlier lease agreement More...

Duoedge Pty Ltd v Leong & Anor [2013] VSC 36
CONTRACT – Appeal under s 109 of the Magistrates Courts Act 1989 (Vic) – Construction of terms - Contract for sale of real estate – Obligation to remit any GST on the sale – Whether 1/11th of the contract price refundable because no taxable supply – Whether terms of contract ambiguous or susceptible to more than one meaning - Magistrate found implied term - Rectification of contract ordered – Whether finding of agreement or common intention not reflected in written terms made or open to be made - Whether magistrate erred in law More...

Legislation – Victoria

Acts Assented to

Retirement Villages Amendment (Information Disclosure) Act 2013
Assent: 12/02/2013 SG (No. 42) 12/02/2013 p. 1 Commencement: NYP
Not yet in operation: Ss 1-9Memo: S. 2(1) reads: "Subject to subsection (2), this Act comes into operation on a day or days to be proclaimed.".
S. 2(2) reads: "If a provision of this Act does not come into operation
before 1 March 2014, it comes into operation on that day."

Planning and Environment Amendment (General) Act 2013
Assent: 19/2/2013 Commencement 28/10/2013 To be proclaimed. If a provision of this Act does not come into operation before 28 October 2013, it comes into operation on that day.
The main purposes of this Act are to amend (a) amend the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (i) to abolish Development Assessment Committees; (ii) establish the Planning Application Committee; (iii) streamline processes under that Act; and (b) the Subdivision Act 1988 in relation to public open space.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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