Australia: Property & Real Estate News - 12 March 2018

In the media – National

Australian researchers to investigate Airbnb's effect on housing affordability
Airbnb has raised the hackles of strata owners who say the platform has filled their buildings with unfamiliar faces and parties. It has also been named a key component of anti-tourist sentiment sweeping across Europe. But whether it has had an effect on housing affordability is still an ongoing debate (01 March 2018). More...

Home values, listings recover across most capital cities
Home values recovered and held steady across all but one capital city last week, and in that one made some small gains, according to the latest CoreLogic data. Houses remained more popular than units, and the average time on market for both houses and units began to thaw last week, with all of Melbourne, Hobart and Canberra leading the way (27 February 2018). More...

How many governments does it take to plan a city? Fewer is better, a new report says
Australia's patchwork of small local councils is threatening urban liveability, according to the independent infrastructure adviser, which is urging the Federal Government to financially reward states which simplify planning processes (22 February 2018). More...

Turnbull Government to clamp down on delays for electricity meter installations
The Turnbull Government is submitting a rule change request to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) to introduce maximum timeframes for meter installations. The rule change will see electricity customers avoid delays in getting new or replacement smart meters (21 February 2018). More...

Sea levels could rise an extra 60cm if emission reductions are delayed until 2035: study
A new study estimates sea levels could rise between 0.7 and 1.2 metres by the year 2300, but scientists warn delays in meeting Paris emissions targets could push them even higher (21 February 2018). More...

Greenwashing the property market: Why 'green star' ratings don't guarantee more sustainable buildings
The sustainability of our buildings is coming under scrutiny, and "green" rating tools are the key method for measuring this. Deakin University's School of Architecture and Built Environment recently reviewed these certification scheme (22 February 2018). More...

Auditor lobbies for lobbyist update
An audit of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet's (PM&C) management of the national Register of Lobbyists has called for the system to be updated. In his report, Auditor-General Grant Hehir said that while the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet's arrangements to manage the Australian Government's Register of Lobbyists are consistent with the framework agreed by Government, improvements could be made to communications, compliance management and evaluation for the code and the register (20 February 2018). More...

Emissions increases approved by regulator may wipe out $260m of Direct Action cuts
Nearly 60 Australian industrial sites have been given the green light to increase greenhouse gas pollution, potentially cancelling out hundreds of millions of dollars of public spending on emissions cuts under the Coalition's Direct Action climate policy. The increases have been approved under the "safeguard mechanism" (19 February 2018). More...

In the media – Victoria

Historic Snowy Hydro Agreement - A win for Victorians
The Victorian Government has reached terms for the Commonwealth to purchase Victoria's share of Snowy Hydro Limited. The agreement – subject to final approval by the Victorian Parliament – paves the way for the Prime Minister's proposed Snowy Hydro 2.0 initiative (02 March 2018). More...

New vertical farm for CERES Preston
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio today announced that CERES is the latest social enterprise to receive funding through the $1 million Social Impact Investment for Sustainability Program (01 March 2018). More...

Community-based energy programs taking hold
The potential of regional areas to generate all the power they need is growing with the cost of renewables coming down as fast as the price of coal-generated electricity rises (28 February 2018). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Highest annual number of homes built in Sydney's history
Sydney's housing construction boomed in 2017, with more homes built than ever before in a 12-month period (27 February 2018). More...

NSW Construction Fuels Economy
Completed construction activity in New South Wales rose strongly over the year as both building and engineering spending notched up strong growth according to latest ABS construction data, with construction work completed climbing 8.1 per cent in 2017 (22 February 2018). More...

In Practice and Courts

ERF: New measurement of soil carbon sequestration in agricultural systems method
The measurement of soil carbon sequestration in agricultural systems method came into effect on 8 February 2018, providing new opportunities for grazing and cropping (including perennial woody horticulture) projects to participate in the Emissions Reduction Fund. See more information about your eligibility requirements under the Measurement of soil carbon sequestration in agricultural systems (19 February 2018). More...

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2018

Land Use Terms
Submissions are invited on the Land Use Terms Advisory Committee's Discussion Paper
The Advisory Committee appointed to review and recommend improvements to land use terms and their definitions in Clause 74 of the VPP has released a Discussion Paper for public comment by 3 April 2018 (02 March 2018).

Approvals
VC144 changes the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes by: amending Clause 52.05 (Advertising signs) to specify 'electronic sign' in Section 2 of Category 3 - High amenity areas (Clause 52.05-9), with a condition that the advertisement area must not exceed three square metres increasing the size of the permitted maximum advertisement area of a 'promotion sign' in Section 2 of Category 3 from two to three square metres amending Clauses 52.05 and 73 to replace the term 'home occupation' with 'home based business' correcting minor errors in Clauses 52.05 and 62.

Cases

Victoria

Jiangzhe Holdings Pty Ltd v Phileo 303 Collins Street Pty Ltd (Owners Corporations) [2018] VCAT 214
Water – gutter between adjoining buildings but on second respondent's land – water damage to basement of one of the buildings – tenant vacates the basement and landlord (applicant) suffers economic loss – whether there was sub surface water, or water from the gutter, or both, that caused the damage – whether there was a flow of water from second respondent's land – whether second respondent caused the flow – whether the water caused economic loss - quantum of compensation – reduction because of settlement reached with first respondent – Water Act 1958 ss16, 19, 20.

Queensland

Body Corporate for 'Tennyson Reach' v Valuer-General [2018] QLC 3
REAL PROPERTY – VALUATION OF LAND – OBJECTIONS AND APPEALS – QUEENSLAND – where site value is the basis of valuation – where the highest and best use of the land is in dispute – where the correct valuation methodology is in dispute – where the comparability of sales is in dispute – where rate per square metre of site area is the preferred method of comparison.

Aria Securities Pty Ltd as Tte v Valuer-General [2018] QLC 2
REAL PROPERTY – VALUATION OF LAND – OBJECTIONS AND APPEALS – QUEENSLAND – where site value is the basis of valuation – where the highest and best use of the land is not in dispute – direct comparison of analysed and improved sales.

Legislation

Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Fees Imposition Amendment (Near-new Dwelling Interests) Bill 2018

HR: Third reading agreed to 01 March 2018
Introduced with the Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures No. 2) Bill 2018, the Bill amends the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Fees Imposition Act 2015 to impose reconciliation fees on developers who sell a near-new dwelling to a foreign person under a near-new dwelling exemption certificate.

New South Wales

Proclamations commencing Acts

Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Act 2014 No 79
(2018-63) — published LW 28 February 2018.
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Act 2017 No 60
(2018-64) — published LW 28 February 2018
Environmental Planning and Assessment and Electoral Legislation Amendment (Planning Panels and Enforcement) Act 2017 No 39 (2018-65) — published LW 28 February 2018.

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Regulation 2018
(2018-66) — published LW 28 February 2018.

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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