Australia: Property and Real Estate News update 8 May 2018

In the media – National

Great Barrier Reef to get $500m to breed more resilient coral, reduce pollution
The Federal Government says it will deliver a $500 million funding package to protect the reef from climate change and pollution, claiming it to be single largest investment for reef conservation and management in Australia's history (29 April 2018). More...

Developers favour townhouses in slowing property market
Developers are moving away from high density sites in favour of lower density projects as sales of high-rise, investor-driven development makes way for the owner-occupiers and downsizer demographic, according to recent research from Knight Frank's Australian Residential Development Review 2018 (27 April 2018). More...

Taking action on waste & recycling
Commonwealth, state and territory environment ministers have agreed to cut Australia's supply of waste, increase our recycling capability and increase the demand for recyclable products in response to China's new restrictions on recyclable waste (27 April 2018). More...

CPI figures suggest interest rates to remain steady: REIA
The March 2018 quarter CPI figures released today by the ABS continue to be good news for home buyers and renters with historically low interest rates set to continue (24 April 2018). More...

Australia's going through a green jobs boom, and Victoria's ahead of the pack
Despite uncertainty around energy and climate policy, demand for green jobs (as a proportion of total job advertisements) was on an upwards trajectory, with Australia ahead of the US, UK and Canada. The data is supported by the latest Green Energy Markets index, which found that full-time renewables-related jobs had increased by about 18 per cent since late last year (24 April 2018). More...

Australian company will convert China's waste plastics to fuel
Australian company, Integrated Green Energy Solutions (IGES), has announced a joint venture agreement with the Chinese Crown World Holdings (CWH) to expand its plastic-to-fuel production operations in China (18 April 2018). More...

In the media – Victoria

Latrobe Valley virtual microgrid could allow dairy farms to trade energy via blockchain
Latrobe Valley dairy farmers could be buying and selling locally generated renewable energy using blockchain, thanks to a study funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). On behalf of the Australian Government, ARENA today announced $370,000 in funding for a feasibility study into a 'virtual microgrid' for the Latrobe Valley (27 April 2018). More...

Keeping Melbourne the ultimate sports and events capital
The Andrews Labor Government will ensure Melbourne remains the global home of sport and entertainment, by giving Melbourne Park the best facilities in the world. Treasurer Tim Pallas and Minister for Sport John Eren has announced $271.55 million to complete the third stage of the Melbourne Park redevelopment (24 April 2018). More...

Pick Your Project: New fund for locals, decided by locals
Local projects will be chosen by local residents under a new community building fund, which will see Victorians nominate and decide on their own funding priorities. Projects between $20,000 and $200,000 will be eligible under the program (18 April 2018). More...

Drop off-peak Melbourne fares to ease congestion, says Infrastructure Victoria
Melbourne could reduce congested streets and trains if it lowered off-peak public transport fares by 50 cents, encouraging people to abandon cars and travel at different times throughout the day, new analysis by Infrastructure Victoria says (18 April 2018). More...

In the media – Queensland

Positive signs for Queensland property

The latest results from the quarterly ANZ/Property Council Survey have revealed growing confidence in the Queensland property sector. Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council, Chris Mountford, said the shift in sentiment has increased by 13 index points since June 2017. The increase can be attributed to the commencement of exciting new infrastructure projects, such as Cross River Rail (19 April 2018). More...

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2018

Titles Registry – introduction of trust details form
From May 2018, transfers which record a transferee as trustee may be transacted through eConveyancing. For consistency in paper, the Titles Registry will introduce a new trust details form which can be used as an alternative to lodging the full trust deed. Access the Titles Registry update from our on-demand content series. More...

Queensland Audit Office


Developer donations bill reintroduced to parliament
The Queensland Government has re-introduced legislation to ban donations from property developers to state and local government candidates. After previous legislation lapsed with the dissolution of the last parliament, the Government has reintroduced its Bill as the Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 1 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018. Reforms contained within the Bill are expected to be applied retrospectively from 12 October 2017, when the first Bill was introduced.

Land Valuations Online
The new land valuation data for 2018 can be accessed online at
Queensland Globe also gives landowners access to detailed valuation information allowing users to search for a property or pan the map to areas of interest and zoom down to individual property level. Landowners can access the Queensland Globe year round via the Land Valuations website.

Hard copies of the valuation list can be viewed at Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy business centres and local government offices during normal business hours until close of business on 5 June 2018.

In Practice and Courts


SRO: Grouping of related corporations for land tax
Where two or more corporations are related, the Commissioner may group them under s50 of the Land Tax Act 2005. Related corporations that are grouped will be assessed as a single corporation. They are jointly and severally liable to pay the tax and one corporation within the group will receive an assessment on behalf of the group. LTA.008 is a new ruling explaining the relevant factors that the Commissioner takes into account in exercising his discretion to group related corporations for land tax purposes (18 April 2018).


Dai v Liu [2018] VSC 189
SALE OF LAND — Purpose of on-sale to developer — Three purchasers — Two purchasers undisclosed— Whether partnership or agency — Nomination of purchaser by named purchaser — Validity of nomination — Ostensible authority — One undisclosed purchaser not consenting to the sale — Equitable interest of undisclosed purchaser — Whether purchasers were a partnership - Whether extinguished by nomination — Equitable interest of nominee purchaser — Nominee purchaser unaware of prior interest — Competing equitable interests — Priority of interests — Better equity — Later equitable interest has priority.

Perpetual Trustee Company Limited v Minister for Planning [2018] VCAT 567
Application for Review pursuant to section 79 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic); Melbourne Planning Scheme; Carlton and United Brewery Precinct; Comprehensive Development Zone – Schedule 2 (Carlton Brewery); Carlton Brewery Comprehensive Development Plan, October 2007, Carlton Brewery Masterplan, October 2007; Generally in accordance with; Height and form; Swanston Street; Overshadowing; Visual Bulk; Civic and ceremonial spine; Podium and tower form; Articulation; Transition from CBD to Carlton; Equitable development; Student accommodation; Retail uses; Advertising signage.

Romano v Capitol Bikes Pty Ltd [2018] QCAT 108
RETAIL SHOP LEASES JURISDICTION – whether claim against guarantors is a retail tenancy dispute for the purposes of the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 (Qld) – Mitigation of damages – calculation of compensation.

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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