Australia: Property & Projects - What's News - 4 November 2014

Last Updated: 9 November 2014
Article by Steve Aitchison, Lisa Cody and Lou Farinotti

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media –National

Agriculture Green Paper: dams, supermarkets, investment and infrastructure
The Federal Government's Green Paper on competitiveness in agriculture, launched at the National Farmers' Federation Congress, details plans for more dams and water infrastructure as well as changes to the way supermarkets and farmers interact (20 October 2014). More...

Renewed funding continues work on bores
Remote communities will benefit from the Australian Government's announcement of $15.9 million to extend the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative (GABSI) for a further three years.The program provides funding support to repair uncontrolled bores that threaten the long-term viability of the Great Artesian Basin (16 October 2014). More...

In the media – Victoria

Zone reforms pave the way for ALDI expansion
Planning Minister Matthew Guy opened ALDI's newest supermarket, in Melbourne's south eastern suburbs, highlighting the importance of planning zone reform in encouraging business investment and job growth for Victoria (22 October 2014). More...

Estate agent licensing reforms for large commercial property
The Victorian Coalition Government has confirmed that it is proceeding with its policy to remove the requirement for those involved in large commercial property transactions to hold a licence under the Estate Agents Act 1980 (Act), while maintaining appropriate consumer protections for buyers and sellers of property in Victoria. The reforms will apply to properties that have sale contract prices of over $15 million, or are larger than 10,000 square metres in gross floor area, or where each party to the sale owns real estate with a market value of more than $15 million dollars or GFA of over 10,000 sq m. (20 October 2014). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Sydney CBD office demand in growth phase
The DEXUS Office Demand Barometer rose from 1.5 per cent to 1.9 per cent during the September quarter, indicating that Sydney CBD office demand has entered its growth phase (20 October 2014). More...

New court powers to hit environmental offender's bottom lines
The NSW Government will introduce laws to give the Land and Environment Court the power to impose tough new sanctions on those who breach development conditions and damage the environment. The proposed amendments will give the Court remedial actions on top of fines when miners, developers and other commercial operators are found guilty of breaching development consent conditions (18 October 2014). More...

High housing starts supporting a strong NSW economy
Treasurer Andrew Constance and Minister for Planning Pru Goward, said the NSW Government was successfully recharging the State's housing market with official Australian Bureau of Statistics figures revealing the highest number of housing starts since 2002-03 (15 October 2014). More...

New penalties for planning breaches to be toughest in Australia
The NSW Government will introduce new laws to crack down on companies and individuals which breach planning rules. The new penalties for breaches of planning laws will now be the toughest in Australia, with a maximum penalty of $5 million for companies and $1 million for individuals (13 October 2014). More...

In the media – Queensland

29 rateable local government areas to receive annual land valuations in 2015
More than one million landowners in 29 of Queensland's 62 rateable local government areas (LGAs) will receive new land valuations in 2015. The decision to value the 29 rateable LGAs follows consultation with local governments, local groups and industry stakeholders and an evaluation of property market survey reports (23 October 2014). More...

Tender process to address Toowoomba second range crossing design concerns: Seeney
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney says the tendering process will iron out any flaws in the design of the Toowoomba second range crossing. A new planning scheme would determine if the Lockyer Valley was protected from coal seam gas (CSG) activity (23 October 2014). More...

Have your say on Queensland's biosecurity regulations
Farmers, landowners and community members are invited to comment on new biosecurity regulations to protect the agricultural sector and our environment. The regulations would underpin the new Biosecurity Act 2014 passed by Parliament earlier this year (16 October 2014). More...

Published –articles, papers, reports – New South Wales

Builders' liability to Owners Corporations: the recent High Court decision
NSW Parliamentary Research Service
This e-brief provides a summary of the High Court decision and the stakeholder reaction to it. It also explores the possible relationship between the decision and the amendments to the Home Building Act 1989 which are about to come into force (October 2014). More...

Legislation –New South Wales

Amendment by the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Bill 2014 (NSW)
The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Bill 2014 (NSW) proposes to amend the legislation listed below. The Bill was introduced into the Legislative Assembly and received its second reading speech on 22 October 2014. According to the explanatory memorandum, the objectives of the Bill include to:

  1. substantially increase the maximum penalties for offences against the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 No. 203 (NSW) ("the Act") and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 No. 557 (NSW) ("the Regulation"), including to prescribe a maximum penalty of $5 million in the case of a corporation or $1 million in the case of an individual and additional daily penalties for an intentional offence that caused or as likely to cause significant harm to the environment or cause the death of or serious injury or illness to a person
  2. create additional offences, including for providing false or misleading information in connection with planning matters
  3. consolidate and expand the investigative powers of council and Departmental officers for the enforcement of the Act
  4. amend the Subordinate Legislation Act 1989 No.146 (NSW) to further postpone the staged repeal of the Regulation
  5. require the Secretary of the Department to establish and facilitate the online delivery of planning services and information, including to enable planning applications to be lodged and dealt with online, and to facilitate public access to planning information
  6. make other related amendments, including to update references to the "Director-General of the Department", to the "Secretary of the Department", and to clarify the obligation of directors of corporations to declare political donations in connection with planning matters.

This affects the following legislation: Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 No. 203.

Cases –Victoria

Epping Hotels Pty Ltd v Serene Hotels Pty Ltd [2014] VSC 526
LANDLORD AND TENANT - Retail premises lease - Hotel and licensed gaming premises - Rent review based on current market rent - Rent determination by specialist retail valuer - Statutory requirement that valuer disregard "the value of tenant's fixtures and fittings" - Valuation methodology based on sitting tenant's turnover and trading ? Whether such approach involved the value of tenant's fixtures and fittings - Leave to appeal order of VCAT granted- -Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic), s37(2). LANDLORD AND TENANT - Rent review based on current market rent ? Rent determination by specialist retail valuer -Publication of "speaking" valuation report - Legal challenge to valuation by tenant - Publication of supplementary report at request of landlord - Tribunal unwilling to consider supplementary report - Leave to appeal granted. More...

Frontlink Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue (Review and Regulation) [2014] VCAT 1213
Review and Regulation List – Land Tax – Primary Production Exemption –meaning of "primary production" – land not used for maintaining cattle for sale or their natural increase – land not used primarily for primary production – Land Tax Act 2005 s.64(1) and s.66 and Taxation Administration Act 1997s.110. The 2009 Land Tax Assessment in respect of the land, is varied from $118,273.50 to $94,725.00. More...

Cases –Queensland

Bakers Creek Developments P/L atf for Bakers Creek Trust v Pacific Homes (Mackay) P/L& Anor [2014] QDC 237
PRACTICE & PROCEDURE – CONTRACTS – BREACH – SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE - whether first defendant in breach of three contracts as buyer of residential land – failure to complete in time – whether willing or able – alleged oral terms prior to execution of written contracts that are contrary to written terms – both parties legally represented at material times – no allegation by first defendant of any misleading or deceptive conduct by plaintiff – no equitable defence – no hardship made out – where second defendant on behalf of first defendant has not fully disclosed financial circumstances – where plaintiff has shown prima facie that first defendant and arguably second defendant had financial resources not disclosed – where onus of proof of hardship not discharged – whether specific performance should be granted. PRACTICE & PROCEDURE – SUMMARY JUDGMENT APPLICATION – whether any real prospect of first defendant successfully defending all or part of plaintiff's claim – whether there is a need for a trial of the claim or part of the claim – where first defendant in clear breach of the contracts – we know defence made out – whether summary judgment appropriate to bring dispute to finality. More...

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

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