Australia: Property & Projects – What's News - 19 May 2014

Last Updated: 24 May 2014

In the media – National

Emissions Reduction Fund draft legislation released
The Australian Government releases the draft legislation to implement the Emissions Reduction Fund. The Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Amendment Bill 2014 will expand the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 and will allow crediting of emissions reductions across the Australian economy (09 May 2014). More...

Irrigators continue to benefit from lower barriers to trade in the Murray-Darling Basin
The ACCC has released its fourth annual Water Monitoring Report for the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) under the Water Act 2007. The report details the impact of water market and water charge reforms on irrigation infrastructure operators (IIOs) and their customers throughout the MDB (08 May 2014). More... More...

Commission audit says slash climate agencies
The Government's Commission of Audit has recommended that the government abolish a number of agencies aimed at addressing climate change and lowering carbon pollution. However it has not recommended any changes to the operation of the Clean Energy Regulator (02 May 2014). More...

CER: near perfect compliance with renewables target in 2013
Clean Energy Regulator released report on performance of renewable energy target, provides an overview of the operations of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 in 2013. The regulator recorded 99.97% compliance (02 May 2014). More...

UDIA supports Commission of Audit Report recommendations
The UDIA has welcomed the recommendation of the National Commission of Audit to set up a central register of all Commonwealth property, with surplus property to be sold off (02 May 2014). More...

In the media – Victoria

Legislation will improve building regulation and better protect consumers
The Victorian Coalition Government has introduced legislation into Parliament to implement reforms that will deliver far reaching improvement to the building system for Victorian consumers and builders (08 May 2014). More...

Development contributions reform delivers fairer system
Roads, parks, sports and community facilities will be delivered quickly and more efficiently in fast growing areas (01 May 2014). More...

Annual Compliance Plan mid-year report
EPA Victoria has today released its Annual Compliance Plan 2013-2014 mid-year report with some great results and a significant improvement on last year (24 April 2014). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Sydney needs bold thinking for Barangaroo
Concerns by the Council of the City of Sydney that Barangaroo should be reduced in scale should be rejected if Sydney is to continue as Australia's global city, says the Urban Taskforce. The recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers positioned the Sydney CBD as being low growth in economic output (07 May 2014). More...

New Sydney CBD Ferry hub to be built at Barangaroo
An all-new ferry wharf is set to be built at Barangaroo, and is scheduled to open to customers in 2016.The Barangaroo ferry hub will also form a key component of the Southern Barangaroo development (06 May 2014). More...

NSW has highest housing approvals in a decade
ABS figures released show housing approvals in the State grew by 58 per cent in March this year compared to March last year, and for the twelve months to March 2014 were at the highest level since 2003 (05 May 2014). More... More...

Urban Task force call for skyscrapers to double in height
Sydney is being held back by out-of-date planning rules that set the underside of Sydney Tower, designed in the 1970s, as the cap on height for new buildings, according to the Urban Taskforce (02 May 2014). More...

In the media – Queensland

Qld local councils appeal court rates ruling
Queensland's local councils are appealing over a court decision that banned a regional council from discriminating against investors. Mackay Regional Council faces a $1.6 million refund bill after 300 landlords successfully won a Court challenge where investors had paid an average of $250 a year more in rates than owner-occupiers (02 May 2014). More...

In practice and courts – National

Emissions Reduction Fund exposure draft legislation: public comment
The Emissions Reduction Fund exposure draft legislation is now open for public comment. The consultation period is open until 23 May 2014 (09 May 2014). More...

Next generation Green Star rating tool: scoping paper
The scoping paper outlines the GBCA's proposed approach to the new rating tool, including an improved certification pathway, online delivery platform and revised weighting system. Feedback period is open until 31 July 2014. More...

In practice and courts – Victoria

Development Contributions reform
The Minister for Planning has announced the introduction of Standard Levies for development contributions in priority growth locations from 1 July 2015. These reforms are based on 'Report 2: Setting the Levies' by the Standard Development Contribution Advisory Committee (01 May 2014). More...

In practice and courts – New South Wales

South West Rail Link corridor extension: public consultation
Consultation will begin this week and include two stages: Stage 1 – Consultation on the proposed corridor and station locations will start on 28 April and will run for six weeks to 6 June 2014. Stage 2 Consultation on specific alignment options will follow later in 2014 (28 April 2014). More...

In practice and courts – Queensland

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2013

Property Agents and Motor Dealers Acts 2000 (PAMDA)
The Queensland Government has passed new laws to split the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Acts 2000 (PAMDA) into three industry-specific licensing Acts, and a fourth supporting Act. The new legislation will be:

Property Occupations Bill 2013 -: PASSED with amendment on 7/05/2014

Motor Dealers and Chattel Auctioneers Bill 2013 - PASSED with amendment on 6/05/2014

Debt Collectors (Field Agents and Collection Agents) Bill 2013 - PASSED with amendment 0n 06/05/2014

Agents Financial Administration Bill 2013 - PASSED with amendment 0n 06/05/2014.

The changes include:

  • the removal of licensing requirements for property developers and their employees bringing Queensland in line with other jurisdictions in Australia
  • penalties applied to sellers or seller's agents for technical breaches to the legislation
  • the removal of strict requirements, such as a warning statement and body corporate information sheet
  • the removal of the requirement for prospective purchasers to be given a written statement where vacant land is not lawfully useable for residential purposes
  • the removal of the requirement for agents to disclose to a buyer the commission the agent is receiving from the seller and the removal of maximum caps for real estate commission.

The new legislation has not yet received a commencement date.

Brisbane's Cultural Precinct Master Plan: public comment
This plan provides a blueprint to attract private sector investment and will ensure that it makes the precinct home to our major arts institutions, as a vital cultural hub (05 May 2014). More... More...

Sunshine Coast Regional Council: Planning Scheme and Planning Scheme Policies 2014
The planning scheme and the planning scheme policies were gazetted on 2 May 2014 and commence on 21 May 2014. More...

Proposed Development Scheme consultation: Southport Priority Development Scheme
Under the provisions of section 59 of the Economic Development Act 2012, the Council of the City of Gold Coast gives notice of the Proposed Development Scheme for the Southport Priority Development Area (PDA) for consultation. Submissions close on 22 May 2014. More... More...

Legislation – New South Wales

Bills introduced Government

Home Building Amendment Bill 2014
The new Home Building Amendment Bill 2014 and Explanatory Memorandum
The 2013 Position Paper from the Minister on the proposed changes /policy reasons.

Cases – Victoria

Update Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue[2014] VSC 187
TAXATION - Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution ("GAIC") imposed under Part 9B of the Planning & Environment Act 1987 – GAIC is imposed in respect of the first "GAIC event" to occur in relation to the land – "GAIC event" included a dutiable transaction relating to land in the GAIC area - Land was transferred to the purchaser under a dutiable transaction – Whether the transfer of the land gave rise to a GAIC event or was an "excluded event" – Whether the parties intended to create legal relations before the relevant day – Whether communication of the vendors' acceptance of the applicant's offer constituted "a contract relating to that dutiable transaction" entered into before the relevant day. More...

Love v Commissioner of State Revenue (Review and Regulation) [2014] VCAT 476
Review and Regulation List – Taxation – Land Tax – liability for land tax of mortgagor when mortgagee in possession – land previously exempt from land tax because of primary production exemption – whether primary production exemption can apply even though land not being used for primary production when in possession of mortgagee – meaning of primary production exemption – Land Tax Act 2005 s.7,8,17,43,64 and 67 – Taxation Administration Act 1997 s.109 and 110. More...

Nanjor Pty Ltd v Golden Pearl Holdings Pty Ltd (Retail Tenancies) [2014] VCAT 453
Retail Leases Act 2003, sub-para 61(1)(b); Whether Landlord has unreasonably withheld consent to a proposed Transfer of Lease; Whether the proposed assignee has sufficient financial resources and business experience to meet obligations under the lease; Applicant seeking declaration that the Respondent has acted unreasonably and a mandatory injunction requiring the Respondent to consent to the assignment of the Lease; Application dismissed. More...

Cases – New South Wales

Bettar v Council of the City of Sydney [2014] NSWLEC 1070
The appeal is upheld. DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: construction of a residential flat building; height; internal amenity; whether the development represents a high standard of architectural design. More...

MV Developments Pty Ltd v Manly Council [2013] NSWLEC 1268
The appeal is upheld. DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: demolition of existing buildings and construction of a residential flat building; resident objectors; impact on views; bulk and scale; impact on visual and acoustic privacy and sunlight access of neighbours; impact on the foreshore scenic protection area; impact on the streetscapes of Bower Street and Marine Parade; car parking and excavation; whether the proposal is consistent with the design principles of SEPP 65 and the aims of SEPP 71. More...

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