Australia: Property & Real Estate – Whats News - 5 April 2017

In the media – National

Housing price update 'shouldn't surprise anybody'
ABS data confirming the accelerated growth of the residential property market in late 2016 shouldn't come as a surprise, according to the Housing Industry Association (23 March 2017). More...

Real estate agents warn of property money laundering
Real estate agents with offshore sales offices and websites targeting foreigners are at higher risk of attracting money launderers and should face tougher laws, according to the industry itself (22 March 2017). More...

NAB raises home loan interest rates
National Australia Bank lifts home loan rates by as much as a quarter of a percentage point, blaming rising funding costs and increased regulation (16 March 2017). More...

Plan revealed to stabilise the nation's increasingly fragile power grid The body which sets rules in the National Electricity Market has proposed a range of measures to stabilise the nation's increasingly fragile power grid (24 March 2017). More...

Chinese buyers to prop up Australian housing market: Credit Suisse
Foreign buyers are purchasing new housing in New South Wales and Victoria at a rate of $8 billion a year - a figure the equivalent of one in five new homes completed across the two states (24 March 2017). More...

Farmers sceptical of Nationals plan to give gas royalties to landowners
Farmers say they support the idea to compensate landowners for hosting gas wells on their property, but they still have concerns about the potential damage gas extraction could have on their land and water (18 March 2017). More...

CEFC announces next wave of large-scale solar finance, for projects in Queensland and Victoria
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has announced the latest wave of successful transactions under its large-scale solar financing program, investing $77 million in three new projects in Queensland and Victoria (13 March 2017). More...

In the media – Victoria

Ombudsman Report into Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Management Board
The Victorian Ombudsman has released a report into allegations of improper conduct by officers at the Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Resort Management Board. The report implicated officers of the resort in the misuse of public funds and public resources (20 March 2017). More...

Melbourne council announces plans to replace carpark with open space
A $60-million multi-functional park in Prahran, which the City of Stonnington has compared to Federation Square in the CBD, will provide desperately needed open space in Melbourne's inner south-east, the council says (19 March 2017). More...

Retail Job Bonanza as The Glen Launches Massive Redevelopment
A massive $490 million re-development of The Glen Shopping Centre in Glen Waverley is set to create more than 2,350 new jobs and further cement Melbourne's reputation as the nation's retail capital (14 March 2017). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Australian Bureau of Statistics
21/03/2017 Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, Dec 2016 (cat no. 6416.0)
17/03/2017 Employment in Renewable Energy Activities, Australia, 2015-16 (cat no. 4631.0)

What price value capture?
Grattan Institute, Marion Terrill: 19 March 2017
State governments should be wary of following the Turnbull Government's advice to introduce "value capture" schemes to fund major new transport projects.

Plan Melbourne 2017 - 2050 five-year implementation plan
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Vic): 11 March 2017
Plan Melbourne builds on the legacy of values that have made Melbourne one of the most liveable cities in the world. It contains an agenda to protect the character of the city.

In practice and courts – Commonwealth

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2017

Auction notices for the sale of land for unpaid rates: Notice 01/17
The purpose of this bulletin is to provide information to local governments regarding the inclusion of a landowner's name on auction notices for the sale of land for unpaid rates (March 2017).

OSR releases Public Ruling DA000.13.1
On 13 March, the Commissioner of State Revenue released Public Ruling DA000.13.1 – Transfer duty – concessions for farm-in agreements – what constitutes an 'exploration amount'. This ruling clarifies when a stated amount is considered to have been specified under an agreement for the purposes of identifying an exploration amount for the farm-in concession, and what constitutes relevant exploration or development for the concession. More information is available in an Office of State Revenue. More...

Cases – Victoria

Lotus Projects Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue [2017] VSC 63
LAND TAX – Exemption – Land leased for outdoor sporting, outdoor recreational or similar outdoor activities available for use by members of the public where the proceeds of leasing are applied exclusively for charitable purposes – Land leased for public golf course – Meaning of "Land" for the purposes of exempting provisions – Land Tax Act 2005, s 71 – Commissioner of State Revenue v Famajohn Nominees Pty Ltd (1999) 43 ATR 29 – Applewood Residential Development Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue [2006] VSCA 207; (2006) 64 ATR 291 – Capital Club Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue (2007) 17 VR 357 – Wines v Commissioner of State Revenue [2011] VCAT 310.

Project Gas Services Pty Ltd v Leaseplus Operations Pty Ltd [2017] VSCA 55
CONTRACTS – Applicant made offer of compromise shortly before trial – Respondent abandoned liquidated damages claim after making additional discovery and expert accountant giving evidence – Applicant sought (but was refused) leave to withdraw offer – No sufficient change of circumstances – Applicant took risk offer might be accepted during trial – Not unjust to hold applicant to offer – Each case depends on its own facts – County Court Civil Procedure Rules 2015 Order 26 – Scanruby Pty Ltd v Caltex Petroleum Pty Ltd [2001] NSWSC 411 applied; H W Wilson Pty Ltd v Pitman (Unreported, Full Court (Murphy, O'Bryan and McDonald JJ, 6 December 1990) considered; Gaskins v British Aluminium Co [1976] 1 QB 524; Proetta v Times Newspapers Ltd [1991] 1 WLR 337 distinguished – Appeal dismissed.

Rajendran v Heritage Council [2017] VSCA 48
TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING – Heritage buildings, places and objects – Application for an order in the nature of mandamus – Property registered on Victorian Heritage Register – Scope of the Court's power to compel removal of the property where no relevant application made under the Heritage Act 1995 for its removal - Heritage Act 1995 ss 15, 19, 42, 54, 64 – Application for leave to appeal refused.

Collett v A&E Konstantopoulos Nominees Pty Ltd (Owners Corporations) (Corrected) [2017] VCAT 345
Owners corporation; balcony works; application of section 12 Owners Corporations Act 2006 where sub-section 47(1) Owners Corporations Act 2006 applies; section 24 Owners Corporations Act 2006; whether works substantially for the benefit of some, but not all lots; application of sub-section 24(2A) Owners Corporations Act 2006; Benron Nominees Pty Ltd v Owners Corporation SP37179U [2014] VCAT 1651 distinguished.

Cases – Queensland

Spry v Brisbane City Council & Anor [2017] QPEC 016
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – submitter appeal – where Council approved an application to facilitate a material change of use for three multiple dwellings – where approval was subject to conditions concerning the stormwater run-off – where conditions required the drainage system to convey the collected run-off to a lawful point of discharge – where the appellant alleged that the decision failed to impose a condition that no connection be made to the foul water/private pipeline – whether the Court ought impose a condition preventing connection to a foul water/private pipeline.

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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Katie Miller
Gerard Timbs
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