Australia: Property & Real Estate - What's News - 23 August 2016

In the media – National

Treasurer blocks sale of Ausgrid to Chinese, Hong Kong bidders
Scott Morrison makes a preliminary decision to block the sale of New South Wales electricity provider Ausgrid to Chinese and Hong Kong bidders, citing "national security concerns", in a major setback to Premier Mike Baird. More... (NSW Government) More...

Australian banks have made a mockery of Paris Agreement, Market Forces says
Australia's big four banks have gone against their 2°C commitments made at the Paris COP21 by funnelling $5.6 billion into fossil fuel projects since December 2015, Market Forces has said (04 August 2016). More...

In the media – Victoria

Hoddle Street Designs released to Public
The Andrews Labor Government has today released preliminary designs for four intersections to be upgraded along the Hoddle Street-Punt Road corridor. The designs are now open for community input and Victorians can have their say on the designs by visiting here. More...

Protecting Victoria's Heritage
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has launched a new heritage grants program that will support the repair and conservation of 'at risk' heritage places and objects included in the Victorian Heritage Register (08 August 2016). More...

Dexus receives Approval for Controversial $300m Tower
Dexus Property Group has received planning approval for its $300 million apartment project in Melbourne's CBD, according to The Australian Financial Review. The planning minister Richard Wynne approved the project in late July this year according to the planning register (05 August 2016). More...

State Inspection Program 2016-17
Consumer Affairs Victoria will inspect more than 5,600 Victorian businesses this financial year, as part of a state-wide inspection program for compliance with laws; protection of consumers by removing unsafe products from sale and investigation of breaches of our laws including conveyancers, domestic builders (contractual requirements) and estate agents (trust accounts, property sales, property and office management) (03 August 2016). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

PCA: 2016 Mid-Year Office Market Report Queensland
With 115,000 sqm of new office space coming online over the past six months, it is not surprising that Brisbane's vacancy rate has increased from 14.9 per cent to 16.9 per cent. Brisbane's fringe has held relatively steady, with a slight increase in vacancy from 12.7 to 12.9 per cent (04 August 2016). A copy of the 2016 Mid-Year Office Market Report can be purchased here.

In practice and courts – Commonwealth

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2016

Title Registry Alerts No 128 - New Requirements for paper instruments and documents executed and witnessed outside Australia from 1 August 2016
Titles Registry Alert 125 and part 60, paragraph 60-0390 of Land Title Practice Manual set out Registry requirements and practice relating to witnessing paper instruments and documents outside Australia. Please be advised that these updated practices will be mandatory for documents executed on or after 1 August 2016.

Office of State Revenue: Changes to the Duties Act
The Duties Act 2001 is amended to: extend the transfer duty concession for intergenerational transfers of family primary production businesses by removing the requirement that the transaction be by way of gift, from 1 July 2016 and impose 3% additional foreign acquirer duty, from 1 October 2016.

Cases – Victoria

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources v MG Pastoral Company Pty Ltd [2016] VSC 456
LAND VALUATION AND COMPENSATION – Compulsory acquisition of land – Trial of separate questions relating to whether the respondent had an interest in the acquired land – Court held that respondent had no interest in acquired land – No final orders made – Additional basis to claim interest in acquired land identified after completion of trial of the separate questions – Lease and occupation of land for farming purposes – Application to reopen trial of separate questions – Inadvertence and misapprehension of facts – Interests of justice – Public interest in the finality of litigation – Land Acquisition and Compensation Act s 3(1).

Owners Corporation SP24474 v Watkins (Owners Corporations) [2016] VCAT 1312
Special rule prohibiting pets from common property and private lots; owners corporation seeking order removing pet; special rules invalid; application dismissed.

Ward v Commissioner of State Revenue (Review and Regulation) [2016] VCAT 1307
Review and Regulation List – Land Tax – Principal place of residence exemption – applicant a world-traveller whose wife lives in Canada – applicant occupied property for approximately two months each relevant year – applicant strongly connected to relevant property – finding property is applicant's principal place of residence – Land Tax Act 2005 s.53, 54(1)(a), 56(1)(a) and (b).

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