Australia: Property & real estate news update 26 March 2018

In the media – National

Property Prices on the Rise: Report
Property prices ended 2017 on a high with the weighted average median price of the eight capital cities up 1.0 per cent to $769,501, according to the latest research, REIA Real Estate Market Facts, from the REIA (14 March 2018). More...

Building industry backs RBA on zoning
The Reserve Bank, in a research paper released last week, said zoning regulations were restricting housing supply, which in turn pushes up prices. But Planning Institute of Australia said the central bank's research is misleading and yet another attempt to shore up the popular misconception that getting rid of controls on land-use will solve the housing affordability crisis (11 March 2018). More...

Trialling grid stability services provided by wind farms
The Coalition Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is providing almost $500,000 to a north east Tasmanian wind farm to test the feasibility of wind farms providing services that help stabilise the electricity grid (08 March 2018). More...

A record year for small-scale solar
Figures released today by the Clean Energy Regulator show that there was more than 1,057 megawatts of capacity installed last year, beating the previous record of 1,035 megawatts set in 2012. This brings the total installed small-scale capacity in Australia to more than 6,000 megawatts (06 March 2018). More...

Recycling in Australia is in crisis. Can it be fixed?
It turns out recycling is not so simple, and there are major problems in the Australian industry. Industry leaders say there are some very simple ways it can be repaired (05 March 2018). More...

New policy would drive major energy efficiency gains
The Property Council of Australia welcomes the ALP's new policy to encourage business investment in energy efficiency opportunities announced today. Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the Australian Investment Guarantee would be a powerful tool for accelerating energy efficiency gains across different industries, but especially in the built environment (13 March 2018). More...

Clawing back market share: Big Four fixed-rate mortgage 'war'
Westpac Banking Corporation has made their next move as the interest war between the big four banks intensifies. The country's second largest bank has offered discounts of up to 105 basis points for property investment loans in their second round of rate cuts made this month (14 March 2018). More...

In the media – Victoria

Tri Duc Joseph Ngo - Court outcome
A former Glen Waverley estate agent has been sentenced to five years' jail, after pleading guilty to 48 charges of misusing more than $6 million of his clients' money, in breach of the Estate Agents Act 1980 (15 March 2018). More...

Lethal building cladding banned in Victoria
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London, which killed 71 people, the Victorian government will ban the most dangerous types of combustible cladding from being used on Victorian buildings. Wynne has directed the Victorian Building Authority to issue a product safety alert, and building practitioners who ignore this directive will face disciplinary action from the VBA (12 March 2018). More...

In the media – New South Wales

City Deal struck for Western Sydney
The federal government, NSW government and eight Western Sydney councils have struck a multi-billion City Deal that will see the development of a $7 billion Western Sydney Airport rail line (06 March 2018). More...

In the media – Queensland

Gold Coast Council approves $550m regeneration of old hospital site
The site of the former Gold Coast Hospital in Southport will be transformed into a $550 million master planned residential hub, with council giving their tick of approval for the first stage of "Queen Street Village" (17 March 2018). More...

Queensland land values increase
Queensland's Valuer-General Neil Bray said the 2018 Property Market Movement Report shows improved land values in a number of major urban and farming areas across the state. These new land valuations were made available on 7 March and will provide new valuations for 22 local government areas on the basis of each area's recent land sales history and the state of the surrounding economy (05 March 2018). More...

In Practice and Courts

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2018

2018 Community and Volunteer Action Grants
There is $2 million available for Biodiversity On-ground Action through the 2018 Community and Volunteer Action Grants. Grants between $5,000 and $50,000 are available for single and multi-year projects. The grants support a wide range of on-ground activities to help protect, improve and expand habitats for our native plants and animals. Submissions close 3 April 2018. More...

New Bushfire Advisory Note
On 12 December 2017 the Minister for Planning amended Clauses 10 and 13.05 in the State Planning Policy Framework. The updated policy provides more directive strategies to manage bushfire risk in planning and decision making. Advisory Note 68: Bushfire State Planning Policy - Amendment VC140 clarifies the operation of the updated framework and strategies (12 March 2018).

Cases

Victoria

AMES Australia v Whitehorse CC [2018] VCAT 387
Section 57 Planning and Environment Act 1987 – what constitutes an objection – whether notice of decision to grant a permit should have been given. (b) The permit issued by the responsible authority on 6 February 2018 is not valid because it was issued contrary to section 64(3) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

National Property Group Pty Ltd v Manningham CC (Red Dot) [2018] VCAT 313
NATURE OF CASE - Calculation of elapsed days for the purpose of a section 79 (failure) application for review. REASONS WHY DECISION IS OF INTEREST OR SIGNIFICANCE - LEGISLATION – interpretation or application of statutory provision. Regulation 32 of the Planning and Environment Regulations 2015 and section 79 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.
PRACTICE OR PROCEDURE – consideration of individual instance or systemic issues.
Analysis of how to calculate the number of elapsed days for the purposes of an application brought under section 79 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 when notice of a planning permit application is given by the responsible authority rather than by a planning permit applicant.

Hall v Thiess Pty Ltd & Anor (Ruling) [2018] VCC 160
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Summons – staying proceedings – Victorian Desalination Plant – exclusive jurisdiction – Powell River – tidal movements – overflow – incremental salinization – limitation of action – VCAT – not deeply involved in one piece of litigation – overarching purpose.
Legislation Cited: Water Act 1989 (Vic), s16, s17, s19; Building Act 1993 (Vic); Civil Procedure Act 2010, s8, s9; Limitation of Actions Act 1958 (Vic). Ruling: Application granted.

Lendlease Communities (Australia) Ltd v Juric & Anor [2018] VSC 107
PROPERTY LAW – Application to remove caveat – Claim of adverse possession – No substance to claim – No prima facie case – Caveat removed – First defendant restrained from lodging caveat in respect of relevant land for five years – Transfer of Land Act 1958 (Vic) s90(3).

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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