Australia: Property & Projects - What's News - 25 February 2014

Last Updated: 3 March 2014

In the media – National

Mandatory disclosure of energy ratings for shopping centres is off the table
The federal government confirmed it has shelved plans to expand mandatory disclosure of energy ratings to retail property and other building types, under the Commercial Building Disclosure program (14 February 2014). More...

Draft standard for commercial energy audits released
Standards Australia has released the new draft standard AS/NZS 3598.1 for energy audits for commercial buildings and operation for public comment. The standard recommends energy audits be carried out every three to five years as part of sound building management practice (12 February 2014). More...

Amendments to the Farm Management Deposits Scheme
The Assistant Treasurer has announced that the Government will amend the Farm Management Deposit (FMD) scheme to exclude FMDs from the operation of the unclaimed money provision in the Banking Act 1959. This change recognises that FMDs are inherently long-term and dormant in nature and will prevent farmers' FMDs from being inadvertently transferred to the Commonwealth (12 February 2014). More...

PCA: Australian office markets in transition
According to the Property Council's latest Australian Office Market Report the nation's office market vacancy rate rose in the past six months. Fragile demand dynamics in commercial markets underlines the need for aggressive micro economic reform plans by State and Federal Governments (06 February 2014). More...

ATO wins promoter penalty case against Barossa Vines
The Tax Office has won a battle against Barossa Vines as the Federal Court ordered the land-holding company and four of its non-executive directors to pay more than half a million dollars in civil penalties for not properly managing wine-related managed investment schemes (05 February 2014). More...

ASIC enforceable undertaking for unlicensed rental companies
ASIC have entered into an enforceable undertaking with Home Essentials Australia Pty Ltd, I Love My Water Pty Ltd, Triple Bay Group Pty Ltd and Triple Bay Pty Ltd, and the companies' principals, after an investigation found they engaged in unlicensed credit activities (04 February 2014). More...

Great Southern heads to High Court as Bridgecorp decision overturned
Company directors, their insurers and brokers face further uncertainty about whether directors' and officers' (D&O) policies provide guaranteed access to defence costs, with a crucial Australian case now heading for the High Court (03 February 2014). More...

In the media – Victoria

Sensible plans for disused Monash school sites Planning Minister Matthew Guy has identified an extensive and comprehensive community process to progress a number of vacant school sites within the municipality of Monash. The provision of Development Plan Overlays across the sites will set clear guidelines on what can be built (14 February 2014). More...

Fast tracking infrastructure in growth areas
The Victorian Coalition Government is fast tracking roads and other key state infrastructure in Melbourne's newest suburbs, under new GAIC W-I-K guidelines. These will allow the development industry to deliver state infrastructure earlier, by providing capital works, instead of paying the Growth Areas Contribution as cash (12 February 2014). More...

Coalition delivers further fire services levy reforms
The Victorian Coalition Government has introduced legislation which will reduce the Fire Services Levy on over 60,000 residential rental properties and over 860 outdoor sports grounds across Victoria from 1 July 2014 (05 February 2014). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Electronic land settlement transactions on the horizon
The NSW state government has revealed plans to allow the electronic transaction and settlement of land later this year, but there is still a way to go. Electronic transactions are planned for September this year with an amendment to The Electronic Conveyancing Act 2012 (06 February 2014). More...

In the media – Queensland

Government sets high bar for integrated resorts
Queensland is set for a tourism and construction boost, with strong competition to create up to three integrated resort developments in metropolitan and regional Queensland. Interested proponents have until 28 February to register their interest in securing licences to establish integrated resort developments with associated gaming licences (13 February 2014). More...

Duplication removal leads to better environmental outcomes
A new streamlined approach to environmental offsets will improve environmental outcomes, cut green tape and reduce costs. The Environmental Offsets Bill which was introduced in parliament today would replace five separate Queensland Government offsets policies (13 February 2014). More...

Report shows CSG progress
The Minister for Natural Resources and Mines has released the 2013Annual Report for the Surat Underground Water Impact Report, which has found industry was working well to manage any impacts on groundwater resources from development in the Surat Basin (13 February 2014). More...

Funding boost for Queensland water infrastructure
Queensland producers can now access up to 75 per cent of eligible costs for water infrastructure activities with the Australian Government's contribution of up to $7 million to the Queensland Government's Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (12 February 2014). More...

Queenslanders to have their say on property review
Attorney-General has released the first two issue papers for a review of property law in Queensland that will improve how Queenslanders buy, sell and manage property (12 February 2014). More...

Brisbane office vacancy aligns with expectations
Office market vacancy rates in Brisbane's CBD and Fringe have spiked sharply in the six months to January according to the Property Council of Australia's latest Office Market Report (06 February 2014). More...

New Draft City Plan to Council debate
Brisbane City Council's draft new City Plan (the Plan) will be debated by full Council following the conclusion of a 60 day public consultation period. While the revised draft has not been publicly released, Council has flagged a number of changes (06 February 2014). More...

QCA releases monitoring of SEW water retailers report for 2013–15
The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) has released its draft 2013–15 price monitoring report for Unitywater, Queensland Urban Utilities, Logan Water, Redland Water and Gold Coast Water (05 February 2014). More...

In practice and courts – Victoria

Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) Works-in-Kind agreements
These clarify what infrastructure can be provided or funded to offset a GAIC charge, including arterial roads and freeways, footpaths, walking and cycling trails, health and education facilities, libraries, community facilities such as major open space and recreational centres, stormwater management and IT infrastructure (12 February 2014). More...

In practice and courts – Queensland

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2013

Queensland Property Law Review: issues papers
The first two issue papers released for comment for property professionals, bodies corporate, property owners and the wider community to have their say. Feedback is now invited on the first two issues papers prepared as part of this review. There are different closing dates on the papers:
Issues Paper 2: Lot Entitlements under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (PDF, 862.1 KB) (14 March 2014).
Issues Paper 1: Seller Disclosure in Queensland (PDF, 918.0 KB) (21 March 2014). More...

Electronic delivery announced for valuation notices
From March 2014 landowners will be able to elect to receive their annual or maintenance valuation notices via email (06 February 2014). More...

Current Consultations

Maroochydore City Centre Priority Development Areas: Consultation
Public consultation has opened on the development scheme for the Maroochydore City Centre Priority Development Area (PDA). The proposed development scheme is open for consultation until March 17 2014 (February 2014). More...

[Draft] Logan Planning Scheme 2014: consultation
In accordance with the changes in local government boundaries, the draft scheme replaces three existing planning schemes; the Beaudesert Shire Planning Scheme 2007, Gold Coast Planning Scheme 2003 and Logan Planning Scheme 2006. The planning scheme is open for comment until 30 April 2014 (February 2014). More...

Cases – Victoria

Fortuna Fountain Pty Ltd v Dato Lim Jew Sing Investments (Retail Tenancies) [2014] VCAT 79
Interlocutory injunction application-lessee owner of motel business-lessee seeking rent abatement under the lease and pursuant to section 57(1)(b) Retail Leases Act 2003-a number of rooms allegedly wholly unfit for use by lessee under the lease-alleged reduced use of the premises under Retail Leases Act 2003-whether alleged damage causing alleged to be causing reduced use of a structural nature, whether damage is otherwise falling outside lessee's repair obligations-serious question to be tried-balance of convenience favouring the lessee-injunction granted. More...

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