Australia: Property & Real Estate News - 24 November 2017

In the media – National

Powering homes with integrated pumped hydro and solar
The Turnbull Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is providing up to $5 million in funding to Genex Power Limited for the development of an integrated pumped hydro and solar project which will deliver power to over 140,000 homes (17 November 2017). More...

Sustainable property industry calls for urgent action on mid-tier buildings
Reduce commercial building disclosure below 1,000 square metres and expand it to other sectors; provide a 50 per cent tax deduction on building upgrade costs; make governments commit to net zero operation in buildings by 2030 (17 November 2017). More...

Energy crisis becomes biggest issue for Australians and small business
The energy crisis is now considered the single biggest issue facing Australia, according to new Roy Morgan research (16 November 2017). More...

Residential vacancy rates drop as population growth fuels demand
The national residential vacancy rate for October has recorded a drop from September and overall a decline of 6,587 properties from a year ago as strong population growth in Australia's biggest cities drives demand for residential rental accommodation (15 November 2017). More...

Local Commonwealth Environmental Water engagement officers appointed
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder has announced the appointment of six permanent local engagement officers to work with communities to protect rivers and wetlands across the Murray Darling Basin (08 November 2017). More...

Investor Lending Falls to Lowest Level in 2 Years
First home buyers continue to increase their presence in the housing market as investors depart, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Investors are being pushed out of Australia's housing market with lending to investors taking its biggest monthly fall in more than two years. The value of home loans to investors fell by 6.2 per cent in September (09 November 2017). More...

Improving the integrity of GST on property transactions
The Government has released a exposure draft bill which amends the GST law so that from 1 July 2018, purchasers will withhold the GST on the purchase price of new residential premises and new residential subdivisions, and remit the GST directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as part of settlement (07 November 2017). More...

Global Commercial Real Estate on healthy road to 2018
It will be difficult for the global investment market to meet the robust levels of the last few years, with investment volumes across the globe likely to be 5-10 per cent lower than in 2017. Investors will find new ways of accessing real estate, focusing less on single asset acquisitions and more on multi-channels entity level deals, recapitalisation or debt refinancing (12 November 2017). More...

Australasia Strongest Performing World Region for Luxury Real Estate
Australasia was the strongest performing region across the globe according to Knight Frank's Prime Global Cities Index — climbing 4.2 per cent in the year to September 2017. The index tracks the movement of luxury residential prices across 41 cities world-wide. Melbourne was in ninth place, with annual growth of 10.4 per cent, and quarterly growth of 2.8 per cent (09 November 2017). More...

Large-format retail reforms adopted by NSW government
The NSW government has agreed to adopt planning reforms for large-format retail recommended by the Retail Expert Advisory Committee (REAC), in a big win for the sector. In contrast, Victoria adopted reforms to simplify and deregulate planning zones to drive competition and investment in the retail sector four years ago (08 November 2017). More...

In the media – Victoria

Gurner's Spanish Club Gets the Green Light
After two years of council rejection and litigation, Melbourne rich-lister Tim Gurner has been given the green light to redevelop the Spanish Club in Fitzroy. The Spanish Club and Gurner originally agreed to a $35 million development deal in 2015 to transform the club's headquarters into apartments with the club remaining on the ground floor, but the plans were rejected by Yarra council (16 November 2017). More...

New Commissioner to recognise Aboriginal Water Values
The Andrews Labor Government has appointed the first Aboriginal Water Commissioner to the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH). Mr Berg will provide VEWH with an understanding of Aboriginal traditional ecological knowledge and values associated with environmental water (16 November 2017). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Major overhaul for NSW planning system
The Bill to change the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) that will see the biggest overhaul of the NSW planning system since the legislation's inception almost 40 years ago, has passed through Parliament (15 November 2017). More...

In Practice and Courts


Settlement Notices to be replaced with Priority Notices from 1 January 2018
The Registrar of Titles has advised that from 1 January 2018, Settlement Notices can no longer be deposited in the Titles Registry. The current Queensland Settlement Notice mechanism will be replaced by a Priority Notice mechanism as part of a move toward national consistency in a range of titling processes to support national electronic conveyancing in Australia. There will be no transitional period. More...

Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities - Current Inquiries
Inquiry into the Australian Government's role in the development of cities

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2017


Waste and Resource Recovery
Have you say on how we manage and recover waste in Victoria, including plastic bags and e-waste. Consultation is from 18 October 2017 to 25 January 2018. More...

Fishermans Bend Draft Framework Plan Consultation
Draft Planning Scheme Amendment GC81 to the Melbourne and Port Phillip Planning Schemes has been prepared to implement the vision for Fishermans Bend through a suite of permanent controls and a new Fishermans Bend Framework Plan. Submissions can be made until December 2017. A Directions Hearing will be held on 20 December 2017. A Public Hearing will be held the week commencing 12 February 2018. More...



Staythenight Pty Ltd as Trustee for the Jensen Family Trust v Camillo Rao and Fina Rao as Trustee for the Maryland Investment Trust [2017] QCAT 374
LANDLORD AND TENANT – RETAIL AND COMMERCIAL TENANCIES LEGISLATION – OTHER MATTERS – whether lessor wrongly failed to consent to the assignment of the lease – whether the lessor unreasonably refused to consent to assignment – whether lessee entitled to damages for loss – whether lessee entitled to terminate – whether the lessors' conduct was unconscionable.

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
Gerard Timbs
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