Australia: Property & Projects – What's News - 11 December 2013

Last Updated: 17 December 2013

In the media – National

Mutual recognition for real estate
In its submission to the National Commission of Audit, the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has again called for a re-working of the current national licensing model which has been proposed for the real estate profession (27 November 2013). More...

Infrastructure levies should not be a brake on housing supply The recent IPART report on benchmark costs for local infrastructure is a welcome move to set agreed rates for a number of infrastructure types. However, the IPART report does not deal with the most important matter of the extent of infrastructure costs that an individual development is expected to contribute, says the Urban Taskforce (25 November 2013). More...

Rural R&D legislation improves services and removes red tape
Changes outlined in the Rural Research and Development Legislation Amendment Bills were needed to enhance the existing RDC model to provide better services and ensure that the model works for primary producers into the future, according to the Government (20 November 2013). More...

Axing carbon tax costs budget $7.4bn
The Government has revealed a $7.37bn hit to the budget over the forward estimates from its repeal of the carbon tax. The financial impact was revealed in a table reprinted from the More...

Energy Efficiency Certificate Creators Association (EECCA) established
Australia's energy efficiency markets will be strengthened with the announcement today of the establishment of a new, independent body to represent businesses that create and trade in energy efficiency certificates (12 November 2013). More...

National Licensing Lessons Must Be Heeded
The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) says it's not surprised that the COAG Reform Council's (CRC) report, Lessons for Federal Reform illustrates that 15 out of 32 key performance indicators show little, no or negative progress (12 November 2013). More...

In the media – Victoria

Builders' headaches relieved under new building standards
Minister for Planning has announced that under the new reformed building standards, boundary walls of new homes or extensions will have further setbacks and greater heights allowed without the need for a permit. The new rules will be included into Victoria Planning Provisions as Amendment VC99, and align the law with current building practices (29 November 2013). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Heavily amended planning legislation passes Upper House of NSW parliament
After debate, the NSW Government's planning legislation has passed the Upper House in a heavily amended form. The government's plan to fast track the approval process for code-complying developments in high growth areas has been struck out along with an intention to have the economic significance of mining projects a principal consideration (27 November 2013). More...

In the media – Queensland

Joining forces to drive down strata insurance costs
The Federal and Queensland Governments have committed to working together to directly address the issue of insurance affordability in North Queensland. These include an expanded Australian Government Actuary study into pricing of strata insurance in Northern Australia compared to southern states and a second study into insurance pricing for residential building and contents insurance (29 November 2013). More...

Government announces a new State Planning Policy
The Newman Government has unveiled landmark reforms to revolutionise the way local councils, the development and construction industry and the State work together to make the best planning decisions for all Queenslanders (28 November 2013). More...

Queensland Ports delivering record coal haul
Queensland's northern ports are continuing to experience strong growth as coal export volumes exceed pre-GFC levels. In October alone Gladstone recorded 5.98 million tonnes, up 17.4 per cent on the previous year while Dalrymple Bay recorded 5.79 million tonnes, up 19 per cent on October 2013 (27 November 2013). More...

Real estate law overhaul in Queensland The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has welcomed the Queensland government's two new pieces of draft legislation, which it says will cut red tape and make it simpler to buy and sell properties in the state (26 November 2013). More...

Government reminds industry of high penalties for failing to meet environmental standards
The resources industry in Queensland has been urged by the State Government to ensure any water releases comply with environmental standards ahead of the traditional wet season. The unauthorised release of mine-affected or contaminated water into creeks and streams is a serious offence (22 November 2013). More...

Cape York Plan released for public comment
The Government has released for public comment its blueprint for the future of Cape York Peninsula, the draft Cape York Regional Plan. This proposes 32 per cent of the Cape will be preserved in a number of 'Strategic Environmental Areas', and an additional 53 per cent of the region will be designated as a 'General Use Area' (20 November 2013). More...

Property and Motor vehicle legislation overhaul announced
Attorney-General said the overhaul of the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act (PAMDA) through splitting the current Act into industry specific Acts, respective industries can perform more effectively because they will have legislation which is tailored to their business (21 November 2013). More...

Liquor red tape reduction boost for tourism operators
The Attorney-General announces changes to the Liquor (Red Tape Reduction) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2013. Queensland's restaurants, cafes and small community clubs will no longer require an approved manager to be on site for operations closing at midnight (21 November 2013). More...

Brisbane underground legacy connection plan
Under a Newman Government plan to integrate public transport across south east Queensland, Brisbane's newest tunnel will link up with Brisbane's future tunnel. The project will also include three state-of-the-art train stations located 35 to 40 metres below Brisbane's CBD and Woolloongabba (19 November 2013). More...

In practice and courts – Queensland

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2013

Public Ruling DA505.2.1—Dutiable value of transfers of land to local governments sets out the Commissioner's practice in relation to the evidence he may rely upon to establish the dutiable value of land transferred to local governments in particular situations. Similar matters were previously covered in superseded Practice Direction DA27.1.

Cases – Victoria

McDonald's Australia Limited v Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited [2013] VSC 639
CONTRACT – Agreement for Lease – Lessee's construction costs to be reimbursed by lessor – Contractual right to set off unpaid costs against rent – Right of set off not included in lease – Obligation under lease to pay whole of rent without deductions – Proper construction of Agreement for Lease and the lease. RECTIFICATION – Lessee sought rectification of lease to incorporate right of set off – Whether binding on mortgagee – Rectification refused. MORTGAGE – Written consent to lease required – No consent ever sought or obtained – Estoppel – Waiver. EQUITY – Equitable set off – Whether binding on mortgagee in possession. EQUITABLE LIEN – Relationship of lessor and lessee – Lessee paid for construction works – Lessee to reimburse lessor who delayed calling in debt – Whether lien to be implied over proceeds of sale of lessor's property to third party – Notice to mortgagee – Subsequent advance – Rule in Hopkinson v Rolt – Mortgagee's duty to enquire – Whether mortgagee's security impaired. More...

Longo v Roads Corporation [2013] VSC 636
LAND ACQUISITION – Appeal from Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) - Compensation for compulsory acquisition of land – Whether the Authority bound by its initial offer made under s 31 of the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic) – Whether the amount offered by the Authority for the market value of the land is 'not disputed' for the purposes of s 31(8) of the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic) where the claimant claims a higher amount – Authority revoked initial offer on the ground of mistake – Whether Authority's offer was based upon reliance on mistaken information – Whether the power to vary an offer under s 36(2) of the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic) allowed the Authority to reduce its offer – Appeal dismissed – Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic) ss 31, 33, 36, 57. More...

Fenridge Pty Ltd v Retirement Care Australia (Preston) Pty Ltd & Ors (No 2) [2013] VSC 629 BREACH OF CONTRACT – Tenant breached two separate obligations in lease agreement – First breach gave rise to entitlement to damages for loss of commercial opportunity – Second breach gave rise to entitlement to damages for breach of make good obligation – Loss of opportunity damages calculated on assumption that the make good obligation had been complied with by the tenant at no cost to the landlord – Whether tenant nevertheless entitled to separate damages award for breach of the make good obligation – Held: separate damages award for breach of make good obligation would amount to double compensation – Haines v Bendall [1991] HCA 15; (1991) 172 CLR 60, 63 applied. More...

West Coast Developments Pty Ltd v Lehmann [2013] VSC 617
PROPERTY – Caveat – Torrens system - Application to remove caveat – Relevant tests - Balance of convenience – Prima facie entitled to caveat – Common venture in land development – Charge to support non pecuniary obligation – Validity of charge – Order for removal of caveat – Transfer of Land Act 1958, s 93. More...

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