Australia: Property & Real Estate - What's News - 30 November 2015

In the media – National

Productivity Commission to examine regulation of Australian agriculture
The Government has released the terms of reference for the Productivity Commission's inquiry into regulation of the Australian agricultural sector, with the inquiry to commence immediately. The inquiry will focus on regulation with a material impact on domestic and international competitiveness of farm businesses and the productivity of Australian agriculture (20 November 2015). More...

Streamlining Local Government in Challenging Times
There are an increasing number of challenges facing councils in Australia and New Zealand (19 November 2015). More...

80,000 mid-tier buildings under the energy productivity spotlight
A new pathway for mid-tier commercial office buildings aims to tackle the energy productivity of up to 80,000 buildings around Australia (18 November 2015). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Parramatta heritage precinct rezoned for apartments
A precinct in western Sydney that houses Australia's oldest female convict site is rezoned to allow thousands of new apartments to be built (21 November 2015). More...

Off The Plan Protections Secured
NSW Parliament has approved amendments to the Conveyancing Act 1919, strengthening protections for buyers who purchase properties off the plan. The new laws are intended to prevent rogue developers from rescinding contracts using the sunset clause to make windfall profits (17 November 2015). More...

Sydney's new world-class rail one step closer
The formal planning process for Sydney Metro City & Southwest has begun, bringing new world-class metro rail one step closer for the city. The Massive new harbour crossing project starts 2018 (16 November 2015). More... More...

Greater Sydney Commission one step closer
The creation of the Greater Sydney Commission is another step closer after legislation passed parliament today (12 November 2015). More...

In the media – Queensland

Reef Trust supports farm efficiency and water quality in the Burdekin
Through this latest project, the Government will provide $2.5 million to help sugarcane farmers improve nitrogen and irrigation management practices in the Burdekin region (18 November 2015). More...

Queensland welcomes $1.7 billion LNG investment
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has welcomed an announcement of QGC's $1.7 billion investment in the LNG industry, with Queensland's LNG exports e projected to hit $15 billion by 2016-17 (16 November 2015). More...

Queen's Wharf Brisbane delivers – jobs, public spaces, dollars
The lucrative final deal on the $3 billion Queen's Wharf Brisbane development will deliver more than $1 billion to state coffers (16 November 2015). More...

Emergency response headquarters for SEQ water industry
Water emergency responses will be better coordinated with the establishment of two South East Queensland Water operations centres. These centres will support our water industry partners including water retailers Queensland Urban Utilities and Unitywater and council-owned water businesses including Redlands, Logan and the City of the Gold Coast (13 November 2015). More...

The Palaszczuk Government builds a better planning system for all Queenslanders
The Palaszczuk Government has introduced three planning bills to the Queensland Parliament to establish a better planning system. The Government will also undertake a review of the State Planning Policy and the State Development Assessment Provisions in 2016 to ensure matters of state interest are being adequately protected (12 November 2015). More...

New port laws protect Reef, drive port growth
The growth of Queensland's major regional bulk commodity ports will be responsibly managed, and the Great Barrier Reef protected, under legislation passed in State Parliament today (12 November 2015). More...

Water laws protect creeks, rivers and farmers' rights
Natural Resources and Mines Minister has introduced the Water Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 to replace the previous government's proposed water legislation. This Bill will underpin the sustainable management of our precious water resources for all users – landholders, communities, the resources sector (10 November 2015). More...

In practice and courts – National

AFSA has launched a new PPSR guide for business
On 13 November 2015 the AFSA launched a new PPSR Business Guide with a focus on the increasing awareness of the personal property security system among small businesses. The intention of the guide is to help Australian businesses not familiar with the practical implications of this law and explain how they may benefit from using the online Personal Property Securities Register. The PPSR business guide is available on the PPSR website (www.ppsr.gov.au).

Global domain for REITs launches from 17 November 2015
From this date real estate investment trusts around the world, will be able to register their domain name with .REIT in their internet addresses. This scheme will be operated and administered by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT). More...

In practice and courts – Victoria

State Revenue Office: Absentee owner surcharge
If you own property in Victoria, you may have to pay land tax. From 1 January 2016, a 0.5 per cent absentee owner surcharge on land tax will apply to Victorian land owned by an absentee owner. If you are an absentee owner as at 31 December 2015, you must notify the SRO before 15 January 2016.

In practice and courts – New South Wales

NSW Parliament this month in committees

New Underquoting Laws: What it means for agents, buyers and vendors
From 1 January 2016 agents will be required to provide their reasonable evidence-based estimated selling price to the vendor, update their estimate if it is no longer reasonable and to not advertise or make representations to buyers that is less than this estimate. Information sessions about these reforms are already underway (05 November 2015). More...

NSW Residential tenancy laws review
The NSW Government is reviewing the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. The Act establishes a comprehensive set of rights and obligations for: landlords, tenants, social housing providers and real estate agents who act for landlords. A Discussion Paper to help you consider improvements to the current laws is available, with consultation closing 29 January 2016 (29 October 2015). More...

In practice and courts – Queensland

Current Queensland Government Inquiries

Reports due
Retail Shop Leases Amendment Bill 2015 – 05 February 2016.

Cases – Victoria

Sim v Owners Corporation 611556 (Owners Corporations) [2015] VCAT 1759
Application for reinstatement – applicant lot owners seek orders requiring another lot owner to make a greater contribution to owners corporation expenses – whether alteration of lot entitlement and lot liability is sought – the role of expert evidence – Subdivision Act. More...

Tan v Australian Property Investment Corporation Pty Ltd (Civil Claims) [2015] VCAT 1756
Claim for damages for misleading and deceptive conduct together with other heads of damage; claim dismissed on the evidence; no evidence of misleading and deceptive conduct; applicants failed to read contract of sale; break in chain of causation. More...

Prowse v Johnstone [2015] VSC 621
REAL PROPERTY - Restrictive covenant – Transfer of land – Whether covenants in transfer of land was validly amended in 1912 to insert words of annexation – Proof of person making amendments – Legislative provision under which amendments made – Evidentiary inferences – Presumption of regularity – Whether valid restrictive covenant – Whether burden of covenant ran with the land – Transfer of Land Act 1890 (Vic) ss 55, 82, 83, 194, 195, 198, Transfer of Land Act 1958 (Vic) s 88, Property Law Act 1958 (Vic) s 79. More...

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