Australia: Property & real estate news - 20 September 2017

In the media – National

Home loan approvals jump 2.9% in July
Home loan approvals have shown a surprise lift in July, but the continuing decline in investor loans has underlined the effectiveness of recently introduced lending controls (08 September 2017). More...

Flow's corporate PPA could unleash a tide of renewable investment
Flow Power's recently inked renewable corporate power purchase agreement with Ararat Wind Farm will give its large customers access to energy for around half the price of grid drawn power, in a move that could unleash a tide of similar agreements across the country (07 September 2017). More...

Build to rent can be a viable asset class: let's get it right
Governments should not be hoodwinked by lobbying from individual developer interests or their associations who have for a long-time harboured a distaste for the rental class. Establishing a viable BtR asset class needs an industry strategy that should be directed to commitment to commencing upwards of 50,000 dwellings within five years and a resolve to grow this to 200,000 dwellings within 15 years (07 September 2017). More...

Macquarie leasing drives electric vehicle and energy efficiency push with $100M in CEFC finance
Macquarie Leasing and the CEFC are behind a push to accelerate the use of electric vehicles in Australia through a new $100 million asset finance program (06 September 2017). More...

Coal a major risk to our power supply: Energy Market Operator
Australia's ageing coal fleet has been named one of the nation's biggest risks to the electricity grid, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). The latest AEMO report shows Australia's reliance on ageing coal and gas generators, along with any delay in rolling out renewables, poses a significant risk to electricity supply during extended heatwaves (05 September 2017). More...

PCA: Property industry support for Housing Affordability Package
The housing affordability measures before the Parliament are sensible and prudent measures that will help ease Australians entering the housing market. "The First Home Saver Super Scheme is a non-inflationary measure that helps people bridge the deposit gap. Importantly, it does not touch the baseline superannuation contributed by members (07 September 2017). More...

In the media – Victoria

The next wave: August's planning approval bonanza
Continuing from yesterday's piece covering the boom in recent approvals across greater Melbourne during July, August's approvals and NOD's (04 September 2017). More...

Sky's the limit for Queen Victoria Market greenhouse
The City of Melbourne is inviting the best and brightest in sustainability, technology, education and hospitality to submit ideas for a greenhouse which will sit atop the new market pavilion at Queen Victoria Market (04 September 2017). More...

Real estate services supplied by Craig Alan McIntosh - Public warning
The Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria has issued a public warning under section 223 of the Australian Consumer Law (Victoria) (ACL(Vic)) and section 228 of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012, regarding the conduct of Craig Alan McIntosh in the supply of real estate services. While Mr McIntosh is eligible to be employed an agent's representative, Business Licencing Authority (BLA) records currently show he is not employed by any real estate agency (31 August 2017). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Apartment design guidelines for Victoria
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Vic): 30 August 2017
This guide has been released to assist applicants, architects, building designers and planners when designing and assessing apartment developments in Victoria. More...

In practice and courts

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2017

Public Consultation on the Draft Master Plan for the Priority Port of Gladstone
The draft master plan for the priority Port of Gladstone has been prepared [gazette notice 28/08/2017]. The draft master plan for the priority Port of Gladstone and further information about the draft master plan for the priority Port of Gladstone can be obtained via can be viewed here. Submissions are open from 28 August 2017 to 9 October 2017.

SRO: New webinars on the vacant residential land tax
Could the introduction of the vacant residential land tax impact you or your clients? From 1 January 2018, homes in inner and middle Melbourne left unoccupied for more than six months of the calendar year may be subject to a tax of 1 per cent of their capital improved value. Book a place in one of our interactive webinars and use the online tool to determine your liability (01 September 2017).


Amendment VC139:
Introduces new planning requirements for racing dog keeping and training facilities;
Introduces new guidelines for apartment developments;
Removes redundant references to the Guidelines for Higher Density Residential Development (Department of Sustainability and Environment, 2005), Design Guidelines for Higher Density Residential Development (Department of Sustainability and Environment, 2004), Safer Design Guidelines for Victoria (Crime Prevention Victoria and Department of Sustainability and Environment, 2005) and Activity Centre Design Guidelines (Department of Sustainability and Environment, 2005) in the State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF) and zones and inserts references to the Urban Design Guidelines for Victoria (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, 2017) in the SPPF; and
Introduces a new State planning policy for healthy neighbourhoods.

Associated new Planning Practice Note 83: Assessing external noise impacts for apartment This practice note gives guidance about the operation of Clause 55.07-6 (Noise impacts) and Clause 58.04-3 (Noise impacts) for apartment developments.

Cases - Victoria

Anderson v City of Stonnington [2017] VSCA 229
ROADS – Principles for determining whether land dedicated as a public highway through long and continuous use by public – Laneway adjacent to applicants' land – Presumption of dedication arose – Presumption not rebutted by granting of easement over laneway to applicants and owners of land on other side of laneway. ROADS – Dedication of land as a public highway – Statutory body – Principles for determining whether statutory body has power to dedicate land as a public highway – Whether dedication incompatible with statutory objects of body or purposes for which land vested in it – Whether dedication interfered with performance of body's statutory responsibilities – E A Clark and Son Pty Ltd v The Melbourne Harbor Trust Commissioners [1904] VicLawRp 68; (1903) 29 VLR 467 considered.
ROADS – Para (ca) of definition of 'road' in Local Government Act 1989 s 3(1) – Definition of 'public road' in Road Management Act 2004 s 17 – Whether registration of laneway on local council's register of public roads sufficient to satisfy s 17(1)(e) of 2004 Act.
ROADS – Definition of 'road' in Local Government Act 1989 s 3(1) – Inclusive definition – Whether status of laneway as a public highway sufficient – Whether laneway 'a right of way' under para (b) of definition. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Whether applicants should be permitted to rely on a point not argued at trial.

The Secretary to the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources v Kin Lee [2017] VSC 504
PLANNING & ENVIRONMENT — Application for leave to appeal and appeal from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal under s 148 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) — Acquisition of residential units — Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic) s 36 — Two notices of acquisition gazetted – Whether the notices require the units and the common property to be valued separately — Construction of notices of acquisition — Applying the 'technical meaning' of words — Whether the Tribunal erroneously construed the notices — Owners Corporation Act (Vic) ss 11, 14 — Subdivision Act 1988 (Vic) ss 27A, 31, 31A, 32 — Transfer of Land Act 1958 (Vic) s 27 — Application for leave to appeal granted and appeal allowed.

Cases - Queensland

Landorf v Wyndham [2017] QSC 198
REAL PROPERTY – BOUNDARIES OF LAND AND FENCING – ENCROACHMENT OF BUILDINGS AND PARTY WALLS – POWER TO GRANT RELIEF – application for relief in respect of encroachment under s 184 Property Law Act 1974 (Qld) – where applicant seeks orders for the removal of the encroachment – where the encroachment is a block retaining wall and subterranean drainage system on a residential block – whether the encroachment is significant – where encroachment not intentional and does not arise from negligence – what terms of just order would require – whether relief should be granted under s 185 Property Law Act 1974 (Qld) – consideration of compensation under s 186 Law Act 1974 (Qld).

White v Moreton Bay Regional Council [2017] QLC 51 (LGR167-17)
REAL PROPERTY – RATES AND CHARGES – rating of land – categories of land – where no appropriate category exists – where the subject property contains a main house and a granny flat – whether the appropriate category is for two flats on the land parcel – where it was decided that the appropriate category is O1.

Harms v Ludwigs [2017] QCAT 300
LANDLORD AND TENANT – RIGHTS AND LIABILITIES APART FROM COVENANT – OTHER MATTERS – where parties entered into lease for two year period – where lease contained provision for only one pet, a spoodle dog, to reside at the premises – where agent became aware of birds at the property – where respondents did not comply with requests to remove the birds and sought approval for birds to remain – where approval was not given for birds to remain at the property and the respondents subsequently terminated the lease – where applicant claimed for rent owed, re-letting fees and cleaning costs – where respondents counter-claimed for internet connection fees – whether the parties proved the factual matters alleged in their claims – whether the parties are entitled to recover the monies claimed.

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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Chris Brodrick
Katie Miller
Gerard Timbs
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