Australia: Property & real estate news – 25 July 2017

In the media – National

Bank Guarantees now digitised after successful Blockchain trial
The bank guarantee process used for commercial property leasing has been successfully digitised, ironing-out current inefficiencies in the current bank guarantee process (11 July 2017). More...

Don't sell the land
Infrastructure Australia has launched a new policy paper urging Australian governments to act to protect vital infrastructure corridors and avoid cost overruns, delays and community disruption when delivering new infrastructure (10 July 2017). More...

Housing construction falls, while job ads increase
While there was a fall construction activity, driven by a sharp downturn in apartment approvals, a lift in job advertisements may point to a strengthening employment market (03 July 2017). More...

Green Star update signals industry shift towards carbon zero
The Green Building Council of Australia has updated its Green Star tools to prioritise carbon reduction, in another signal that industry is gearing up for a push towards carbon zero commercial buildings. There are now minimum greenhouse gas requirements, with 5 Star Green Star buildings needing to obtain three Greenhouse Gas Emissions credit points (04 July 2017). More...

Emissions scheme would threaten energy stability, Frydenberg says
The Government places energy security at the centre of its opposition to an Emissions Intensity Scheme, claiming it would quickly force out coal generators and lead to more instability in the system (01 July 2017). More...

Consumers becoming smarter about energy use
The uptake in distributed solar generation and use of energy efficient appliances will keep grid-supplied electricity consumption stable for the next 20 years despite a projected 30 per cent increase in population and assumed average growth in the Australian economy, according to the recently released electricity forecast update from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) (30 June 2017). More...

Illegal recreational fishing fine increased to $2,100
Recreational fishers caught poaching from no-take areas in the Great Barrier Reef will face higher penalties from this weekend, with fines increasing from $1,800 to $2,100 (30 June 2017). More...

Coal or coral? The Queensland Government seems undecided
The Great Barrier Reef is worth $56bn, according to Deloitte Access Economics, but does the Adani's Carmichael coalmine fit into it. The Deloitte Access Economics report identifying the social, economic and iconic asset value of the Great Barrier Reef at $56 billion (28 June 2017). More...

In the media – Victoria

Victoria forms Cladding Taskforce to stamp out building fires

A new taskforce has been formed to investigate flammable cladding on Victoria's buildings after the State Government gave the order in response to audit results and recent building fire cases. The VBA has audited more than 200 city properties for the combustible material (04 July 2017). More...

Future uses of coal in Victoria
The Andrews Labor Government has unveiled a new policy that will drive investment, create jobs and balance environmental needs in future Victorian coal projects. The Statement on Future Uses of Brown Coal provides clarity to industry and local communities about uses of Victoria's brown coal reserves in a low-emissions setting. The final Victorian standard will be regulated under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (07 July 2017). More...

Ararat Wind Farm powering ahead
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio visited the 240MW wind farm, which is generating enough electricity to power over 120,000 Victorian homes. The Victorian Government has set Victoria's Renewable Energy Target of 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025 (27 June 2017). More...

In the media – Queensland

Have your say on body corporate issues
Queenslanders are invited to have their say on body corporate procedural issues, with the release an independent report that is now available for consultation. The report forms part of the comprehensive review into property law in Queensland (13 July 2017). More...

73 hectare breakwater community set to connect Gold Coast Regions
Australian property developer Walker Corporation has submitted a development application for a 73 hectare master-planned community that will connect Robina, Merrimac and Gold Coast City Council's planned Green Heart Parklands (06 July 2017). More...

Absentee land tax surcharge takes effect
The Queensland Government is now imposing a 1.5% land tax surcharge on absentee land owners. This new surcharge, announced in the 2017/18 State Budget, took effect from 1 July 2017. An 'absentee' is already an owner category defined under the Land Tax Act 2011. Any individual who does not ordinarily live in Australia is likely to be considered an absentee by the Office of State Revenue, even if they are an Australian citizen (05 July 2017). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2017

Review of Property Law in Queensland: Procedural issues - The Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (BCCM Act)
Queenslanders can read the recent report about body corporate procedural issues and make a submission by visiting here. Public consultation will close on Friday 6 October 2017 (13 July 2017).

In practice and courts

Commonwealth

Foreign Ownership of Water Entitlements
From 1 July 2017, the Australian Government is introducing a new water entitlements register to increase transparency around foreign investment in Australia. Foreign persons with registrable water entitlements or contractual water rights may need to notify the ATO. A new registration form is available here for foreign persons to register their water holdings. This website also contains information on a series of Water register webinars being promoted by the ATO (07 July 2017).

Victoria

Landmark legislation to protect the Yarra River
Landmark legislation to protect and enhance the Yarra River for future generations was introduced into State Parliament on Thursday 22 June. It is the first Bill in Victoria to include the language of Traditional Owners, in recognition of their custodianship of the river and connection to the land through which the river flows (29 June 2017). More...

Have your say on the West Gate Tunnel
An Environment Effects Statement, works approval application, and draft planning scheme amendment for the West Gate Tunnel Project are on public exhibition. More...

Cases

Victoria

Grub Food Van Pty Ltd v Yarra CC [2017] VCAT 850
Section 77 Planning and Environment Act 1987; Yarra Planning Scheme; Amendment to existing permit pursuant to Section 72 Planning and Environment Act 1987; Existing food and drink premises; Proposed Function centre; Hours of operation; Patron Numbers; Sale and consumption of liquor.

Court v Greater Shepparton CC [2017] VCAT 884
Section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Greater Shepparton Planning Scheme; Industrial 1 Zone; Depot and Garden Supplies; Relationship with Land in a General Residential Zone; Relationship with Land in a Public Park and Recreation Zone; Cussen Park; Existing Dwelling; Future Dwelling.

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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Authors
Chris Brodrick
Katie Miller
Gerard Timbs
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