Australia: Property & Real Estate News - 8 August 2017

In the media – National

Unlisted Property Returns Improve in June Quarter '17
Dexus Research has released their Australian Real Estate Quarterly Review Q3 2017, with a focus on the healthy returns being experienced by unlisted commercial property. Over the 2017 financial year, the office sector outperformed with 13.8%, followed by diversified funds (12.6%) and Retail (11.3%) (27 July 2017). More...

Federal court ruling determines last piece of WA's Ngadju native title claim
A Federal Court ruling has seen the last piece of a native title claim stretching from the Nullarbor to the Great Western Woodlands handed back to traditional Aboriginal owners (18 July 2017). More...

Manufactured Housing Estates emerge as major property growth market
Manufactured Housing Estates (MHEs) are poised to emerge as one of the biggest property growth markets of the next decade, according to Australia's longest-established accommodation market experts (17 July 2017). More...

Low CPI is good news for homebuyers and renters
The June 2017 quarter CPI figures suggest the continuation of historically low interest rates for some time yet which is good news for homebuyers and renters, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia (26 July 2017). More...

In the media – Victoria

Smoking will soon be off the menu
New laws banning smoking in outdoor dining areas come into force from 1 August 2017. The ban covers all restaurants, cafés, take-away shops and licenced premises, including beer gardens, courtyards and footpath dining where food, other than snacks, is served. Smoking will also be banned at food fairs and organised outdoor events (29 July 2017). More...

Health Precinct in Melbourne's $1.2bn "New Epping"
Development bids have flooded in from a number of health providers interested in delivering a new health precinct in North Melbourne. The seven-hectare "health, wellness and knowledge" precinct is proposed within the developer Riverlee's $1.2 billion New Epping mixed-use project (26 July 2017). More...

Frasers Property to develop $190 million worth of industrial land in Melbourne
Frasers Property will develop over $190 million worth of new assets in The Key Industrial Park in the South East, and West Park Industrial Estate in Melbourne's West (26 July 2017). More...

Developer Growland expands portfolio into Melbourne's Western Corridor
Melbourne-based developer Growland has expanded its portfolio into Melbourne's western growth corridor with a land acquisition in Tarneit. The 65-hectare site will be home to a 900-lot master planned community with an estimated end-value of $420 million (21 July 2017). More...

Areas in regional Victoria – rising or declining?
Domain Group has released its State of the Market Report – Regional, looking at activities in regional areas to see how median house prices and rent prices are doing over the June quarter and the year to date. The report, the report and look at how properties in regional Victoria are faring which focuses on Victoria, NSW and looks at the major regional areas and analyses regional properties' median house prices and rent prices (20 July 2017). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

National cities performance framework: interim report
Government of Australia: 20 July 2017
Australia's success in the 21st Century economy depends on our cities, suburbs and regional centres. The Australian Government's Smart Cities Plan is committed to creating the foundations for success across all cities and regional centres. More...

In Practice and Courts

Commonwealth

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2017

OSRconnect changes From 1 July 2017, additional information will be required when transferring real property in Queensland (either freehold or leasehold). The OSR is collaborating with industry partners on the second stage of information requirements, planned for 1 October 2017. More...

OSR Victoria: Land tax SmartForms now live
The following paper-based land tax forms have been replaced with online SmartForms:
Notice of acquisition of an interest in land (LTX-Form-01)
Notice of trust acquisition of an interest in land (LTX-Trust-08)
Discretionary trust - nomination of subsequent beneficiary (LTX-Trust-15)

In addition:
Land tax amendment form (LTX-Form-11) has been updated
Deceased estate commencement of administration (LTX-Trust-13) and Deceased estate completion of administration(LTX-Trust-14) have been combined into a single SmartForm, LTX-Trust-18
Notification or change of beneficial interests/unit holdings in land (LTX-Trust-16) and Nomination of PPR/subsequent PPR beneficiary (LTX-Trust-17) have been combined into a single SmartForm, LTX-Trust-19 See published tips on navigating and submitting SmartForms to help transition (28 July 2017)

Cases

Pulitano Pastoral Pty Ltd v Mansfield Shire Council [2017] VSC 421
JUDICIAL REVIEW – Application for orders in the nature of certiorari and mandamus – Remedies – Futility – Discretion – Certiorari granted.
ROADS – Deregistration of a public road from Council's register of public roads – Need for decision that the road is no longer reasonably required for general public use – Procedural fairness – Private rights of access – Policy decisions – Privative clause – Construction of privative clause – Road Management Act 2004 (Vic) ss 3, 4, 5(2), 7–10, 17, 19, 36, 39, 40, 101.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT – Discontinuance of a public highway – Statutory procedures – Compliance with procedure for submissions – Predisposition – Unreasonableness – Adequacy of reasons – Absence of an intelligible path of reasoning – Local Government Act 1989 (Vic) ss 98, 205, 206, 207A, 223, sch 10 cl 3. PROCEDURE – Certiorari – Extension of time under r 56.02(3) of the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015 (Vic) – Whether special circumstances exist.

Yarra City Council v Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board [2017] VSCA 194
ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION – Contamination of land – Clean up notices - Identity of polluter – Whether responsibility for pollution lies with successors to original occupier of the land – Whether industrial waste had been or appeared to be abandoned – Relevance of subjective knowledge - Whether evidence of actual intention of abandonment – Compensation – Liability to compensate subsequent occupier for costs of clean up - Environment Protection Act 1970 ss 1K, 4, 27A and s 62A – Leave to appeal granted – Appeal allowed in part – Remitted to trial judge.
LIABILITIES – Transitional provisions – Contingent liabilities – Inchoate liabilities – Crimmins v Stevedoring Industry Finance Committee [1999] HCA 59; (1999) 200 CLR 1, followed – R (National Grid Gas plc) v Environment Agency [2007] UKHL 30; [2007] 1 WLR 1780, considered – Walters v Babergh District Council (1983) 82 LGR 235, considered.
RETROSPECTIVITY – Events before enactment of legislation – Event giving rise to liability – Creation of new liability – Time of event creating liability – Public purpose – Premier Building and Consulting Pty Ltd (recs apptd) v Spotless Group Ltd [2007] VSC 377; (2007) 64 ACSR 114, considered.
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – Environment Protection Act 1970 s 62A– 'the person who has caused or permitted the pollution to occur' – 'any person who appears to have abandoned or dumped any industrial waste' – 'liabilities' – 'instrument' – 'waste' – 'environment' – 'abandon' – 'appears to have abandoned' - Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984 ss 9(2), 38 – Subordinate Legislation Act 1994 s 3(1) – Legislative instrument – Meaning of 'other document' in Order in Council – Whether Act of Parliament an 'instrument'.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT – Order in Council – Constitution of new council – Transfer of contingent liability – Successor at law – Public interest - Power to make orders – Purpose of order to effect implementation of the restructuring of local government – Local Government Act 1989 ss 220Q, 220R and 220S.
DECLARATION – Discretion – Determination of a preliminary question - Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005 r 47.04 – Relevance of consent or acquiescence by a party to orders – Whether declaration prematurely made.

Demi Nominees Pty Ltd v Maroondah CC [2017] VCAT 1104
Section 26 Valuation of Land Act 1960 – costs - Maroondah City Council is ordered to pay part of the costs of the applicant Demi Nominees Pty Ltd in these proceedings, fixed in the sum of $85,000.

Koay Eng Hooi & Anor v Jim Lim & Anor [2017] VCC 949
REAL PROPERTY – COSTS - Removal of caveat – prima facie case – balance of convenience – whether defendant was justified in maintaining caveat – plaintiff seeks order for indemnity costs for removal of caveat. Transfer of Land Act 1958 (Vic).

Legislation

Victoria

No. 67: Retirement Villages (Contractual Arrangements) Regulations 2017
Commencement: 30/07/2017: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: Regs 1 - 17: on 30/07/2017: reg. 3. Sunset Date: 04/07/2027 Authorising Act/s: Retirement Villages Act 1986, No. 126/1986.

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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