Australia: Property & Projects - What's News - 15 June 2015

In the media – National

REIA: Housing affordability improves on the back of falling interest rates
The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) says that in the first quarter of 2015, housing affordability in Australia improved, however affordability is still worse compared to the same time last year (03 June 2015). More...

Property now Australia's biggest industry
The property industry has almost doubled its contribution to Australian GDP in the last decade and now has the economy's largest footprint, finds new research from AEC Group (02 June 2015). More...

Real estate agents and lawyers vulnerable to money laundering risk
AUSTRAC has released two new reports to help Australian businesses identify money laundering methodologies used through real estate agents and lawyers (02 June 2015). More...

Unfair NBN Charges to Hit New Home Buyers
The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) has strongly criticised the Government's new NBN Greenfields policy, which will burden new home buyers with the cost of building the NBN, whilst existing households continue to get it for free (28 May 2015). More...

Telecommunications in new developments – a new approach to competition
The Minister for Communications, has released the Government's new policy for the provision of telecommunications infrastructure in new real estate developments. People buying property in new developments can also foster better outcomes by checking developers have arranged for quality telecommunications before buying (27 May 2015). More...

Investment in our cities is mission critical, says GBCA
The latest audit underscores the importance of making our cities work – with cities expected to contribute $1.6 trillion to the economy by 2031 (25 May 2015). More...

In the media – Victoria

Community Has A Say In Better Apartment Design
Victorians are invited to contribute to the state's first-ever discussion into future apartment design, as part of the Andrews Labor Government's consultation into apartment living (30 May 2015). More...

Metropolitan Planning Levy commences 1 July 2015
From 1 July 2015, all planning permit applications for projects in metropolitan Melbourne with an estimated development (construction) cost of more than $1 million will be levied $1.30 for each $1000 of the estimated development cost (29 May 2015). More...

Victorian Government reverses real estate licensing decision
Earlier this week, the Minister for Small Business, Jane Garrett, reversed the Regulation made by the previous Government to exempt 'large property owners' from regulation under the Estate Agents Act (28 May 2015). More...

Win for Victorian home buyers
The Victorian Government has agreed to exempt Australian developers with foreign ownership from the new stamp duty surcharge on foreign investment, saving future homebuyers thousands of dollars (26 May 2015). More...

In the media – New South Wales

NSW achieves highest housing approvals in 20 years
Planning Minister Rob Stokes welcomed new Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing housing approvals in the 12 months to April 2015 are at their highest in two decades. This month's approvals are up 32 per cent when compared to the monthly average over the last five years (01 June 2015). More...

Sydney light rail on the way
Construction on Sydney's light rail begins in less than four months with a plan established for minimal disruption to commuters, motorists and businesses (28 June 2015). More...

Sky's now the limit for Parramatta Building
The landmark Aspire Tower development in Parramatta is another step closer after the NSW Government approved building height limits being removed for the site. The decision follows a request from Parramatta City Council, and will support the creation of the new tower which is expected to reach 306m in height and contain up to 90 storeys (25 May 2015). More...

In the media – Queensland

Gladstone port master plan sets the standard
Public consultation begins this week on an initiative that will drive economic development in and around Gladstone's port and protect the Great Barrier Reef (09 June 2015). More...

Queensland Government reportedly strikes deal to facilitate $2 billion IFED irrigated agriculture project
The investors behind the $2 billion Integrated Food and Energy Development (IFED) project said they had agreed on a memorandum of understanding with the State Government on water entitlements (04 June 2015). More...

Environmental offset program a possible new income stream for landholders
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) is encouraging farmers to register interest in conserving parcels of land as environmental offsets for major developments, such as new mines (04 June 2015). More...

Preferred developer of Brisbane riverfront site at Northshore Hamilton announced
A new $400 million waterfront community is a step closer after the Queensland Government announced it will work exclusively with Leighton Properties to finalise a detailed proposal to design and build apartment, retail and commercial buildings in Northshore Hamilton (26 May 2015). More...

New State Govt $200 million infrastructure bonanza generates regional jobs
A new Government infrastructure bonanza will pump $200 million over the next two years into regional projects, supporting about 600 jobs across the state (25 May 2015). More...

Palaszczuk govt delivers for Yeppoon foreshore
The Government is to kick in another $1.5 million to redevelop Yeppoon's foreshore into a modern beachside tourism precinct. The redevelopment would be a catalyst for further economic growth on the Capricorn Coast (25 May 2015). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports – National

Australia's National Greenhouse Accounts 2013: Department of the Environment
The Department has released Australia's National Greenhouse Accounts presenting national, state and territory and industry emissions estimates for 1990-2013, 28 May 2015. More... More... More...

APRA quarterly ADI property exposures statistics for March 2015
ADIs' commercial property exposures were $234.2 billion, an increase of $15.1 billion (6.9 per cent) over the year. Commercial property exposures within Australia were $193.3 billion, equivalent to 82.5 per cent of all commercial property exposures. ADIs' total domestic housing loans were $1.3 trillion, an increase of $107.1 billion (9.0 per cent) over the year (26 May 2015). More...

In Practice and Courts - National

ACCC: issues paper for the East Coast Gas Inquiry
The issues paper seeks information and responses from industry participants and other interested parties to assist the ACCC in its inquiry into the east Coast gas market. Submissions are due by 2 July 2015 (04 June 2015). More...

ACCC: input into review of water charge rules in the Murray-Darling Basin
The ACCC has released its issues paper seeking submissions on possible amendments to the Commonwealth water charge rules. Submissions should be provided to the ACCC by Friday 26 June 2015. More...

In Practice and Courts – Victoria

SRO: State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2015
As part of the 2015-16 State Budget the Victorian Government introduced a new non-resident duty surcharge and an absentee owner land tax surcharge. This surcharge, which is in addition to any stamp duty or landholder duty payable, is proposed for contracts entered into (or a relevant acquisition made) on or after 1 July 2015 (27 May 2015). More...

The Planning and Environment Amendment (Recognising Objectors) Bill 2015
The Planning and Environment Amendment (Recognising Objectors) Bill 2015 has been introduced into Parliament. It requires VCAT and responsible authorities to have regard to the number of objectors to a permit application in considering whether a proposal may have a significant social effect (28 May 2015). More...

In Practice and Courts - Queensland

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2015

OSR: Payroll Tax Rebate, Revenue and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2015
On 2 June 2015, the Act was passed by Parliament. The Act makes a number of other amendments to revenue legislation administered by us:

Duties Act 2001- amendments to the duties framework to implement a transfer duty model to support electronic conveyancing in Queensland

provide concessional duty treatment for agreements for the transfer of exploration authorities under certain farm-in agreements in the resources sector

extend the exemption for land transferred to the state for a public or community purpose to include statutory vestings

First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 - an amendment gives effect to an existing administrative arrangement by ensuring the Commissioner of State Revenue can exercise certain taxpayer beneficial discretions to grant an exemption from eligibility required for the grant, without time limitations

Taxation Administration Act 2001 - a number of amendments support the transfer duty model for electronic conveyancing. These amendments will commence on Royal Assent.

New planning legislation into the Parliament, 04 June 2015
The legislation was introduced by the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Planning, Small Business, Employment and Trade, Tim Nicholls MP as a Private Member's Bill and largely mirrors the LNP's Planning and Development Bill which lapsed before Parliamentary Committee in January 2015. More...

Cases - Queensland

Chief Executive, Department of Transport and Main Roads v Cidneo Pty Ltd [2015] QCA 96
REAL PROPERTY – COMPULSORY ACQUISITION OF LAND – COMPENSATION – ASSESSMENT – MARKET VALUE – BEFORE AND AFTER METHOD – where the appellant's land was resumed – where the Land Court assessed compensation using the 'before and after' method – where the assessment required consideration of the likely contribution for external roadworks – where, subsequent to the resumption, the contribution for external roadworks was agreed upon – where the Land Court, in assessing compensation, did not take into account post-resumption events – whether post-resumption events ought to have been taken into account when assessing compensation. REAL PROPERTY – COMPULSORY ACQUISITION OF LAND – COMPENSATION – ASSESSMENT – SEVERANCE – where s 20 of the Acquisition of Land Act 1967 (Qld) requires that in assessing the compensation to be paid regard must be had to any severance damage or injurious affection damage – where the Land Court concluded that the transport infrastructure contribution was neither severance damage or injurious affection damage – whether the transport infrastructure contribution was severance damage or injurious affection damage. Acquisition of Land Act 1967 (Qld), s 20. Adelaide Fruit and Product Exchange Co Ltd v Adelaide Corporation (1961) 106 CLR 85; [1961] HCA 20, considered. More...

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