Australia: Property & Real Estate News – 18 June 2018

In the media - National

NABERS for Apartments is a "watershed moment" for strata sustainability
NABERS for Apartment Buildings has gone live and is expected to be a major shakeup for owners corporations, investors, developers and builders. The new NABERS Co-assess and Waste tools – will measure and score energy and water used in apartment common property areas, such as carparks, gyms and lobbies, which can be responsible for more than 50 per cent of total energy use (07 June 2018). More...

Protection of Australia's Commemorative Places and Monuments
The Australian Heritage Council's report to the Minister for the Environment and Energy on the protection of Australia's commemorative places and monuments has been released (01 June 2018). More...

House Price Decline 'Larger than Expected'
The sale of new homes in five of Australia's largest states tumbled last month, with one of the big four bank's predicting that weakness in the market will be graver than expected (07 June 2018). More...

As costs rise, Aussies are demanding energy-efficient buildings
Australian consumers are demanding energy efficiency in new buildings – and ignoring this trend could be dangerous for the building industry (24 May 2018). More...

Housing Affordability Improves Across Australia: Report
Housing affordability has improved across the country despite falls in Victoria, South Australia and ACT during the first quarter of 2018, according to research from the Real Estate Institute of Australia (06 June 2018). More...

Funded projects announced for national historic sites 2017-18
Dozens of projects will share in more than $4.42 million under the Protecting National Historic Sites program to protect, manage and conserve historic places on our National Heritage List (31 May 2018). More...

In the media - Victoria

Melbourne Road to be Built with Recycled Plastic Waste
A new project in Melbourne's north is taking soft plastics and glass diverted from landfills to construct a Victorian road in an Australian-first trial (01 June 2018). More...

Developers to Be Hit with Occupancy Charge for Blocking Traffic
The Victorian government will charge developers thousands of dollars if they clog up busy roads under a trial to be introduced to bust congestion around building sites (29 May 2018). More...

Getting It Done: Mordialloc Freeway Planning Continues
Planning for the congestion-busting Mordialloc Freeway has taken another step forward, with final scoping requirements for the Environment Effect Statement (EES) signed off. The ESS will be prepared by VicRoads in close consultation with DELWP and a technical reference group (TRG) consisting of statutory agencies, department and local councils (31 May 2018). More...

In the media - Queensland

Brisbane council's ban on townhouses, apartments in low density areas is 'backwards'
A Brisbane City Council plan to stop townhouses and apartments being built in areas for single homes is "going backwards" in terms of urban planning, experts say (08 June 2018). More...

Council to stop developers building on privately owned sporting land
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said it was not his desire to see the issue of the shortage of aged care and retirement places to be caught up in community controversy, and will proceed without any proposed changes to sport and recreation land sites (29 May 2018). More...


Australian national strata data 2018
Hazel Easthope, Caitlin Buckle, Vandana Mann; City Futures Research Centre: 31 May 2018
This comprehensive national report of the strata and community title sector reveals there are about 2.6 million strata title lots in Australia with an insured value of close to $1 trillion. The report highlights the economic value of the sector to the national economy and will be an invaluable tool for policy makers deciding the framework in which the strata industry operates. More...

National water reform: inquiry report
Productivity Commission: 31 May 2018
It is crucial that Australia persists in managing its water resources well, given our dry and highly variable climate and the importance of water to our economy. Some jurisdictions have become complacent. This report is an assessment of the progress in achieving the objectives and outcomes of the National Water Initiative (NWI) and the need for any future reform. More...

Queensland major projects pipeline 2018
Queensland Major Contractors Association, Construction Skills Queensland, Infrastructure Association of Queensland; Construction Skills Queensland: 04 June 2018
The key finding of this report is that major project work has risen by 58% in 2017/2018 to $6.9 billion, after two successive years of low activity. More...

In Practice and Courts


New online portal launched by NERA (National Energy Resources Australia)
The portal is an electronic repository for environmental 'reference cases' – detailed reports that capture common content relating to the environmental impacts and risks of offshore petroleum activities. The portal has the potential to significantly reduce the assessment burden on companies in terms of cost, timeframes and uncertainty by simplifying the preparation and submission of new environment plans for future exploration (23 May 2018). More...

REIQ sale of land contracts and GST on property transactions
From 1 July 2018, there will be changes to how GST is paid on the settlement of the purchase of new residential premises or potential residential land subdivisions. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has published information about these changes on its website.


Guidance on negotiating voluntary affordable housing agreements under the Planning and Environment Act
On 1 June 2018 several amendments to the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act) came into operation. The amendments to the Act facilitates voluntary agreements for the provision of affordable housing as part of development applications. DELWP has released web-based guidance on negotiating voluntary affordable housing agreements under the Act. More...

Red Dot Decisions
Greater Geelong CC v C & D Recycling Pty Ltd (Red Dot) [2018] VCAT 831 (31 May 2018)
Applications for cancellation and/or enforcement of a permit for materials recycling.

New South Wales

New short-term holiday letting regulations
The regulatory framework is designed to ensure that local communities continue to gain from the economic benefits of short-term holiday letting, while protecting neighbours from anti-social behaviour. The new framework will include new planning laws, an industry Code of Conduct and new provisions for strata scheme by-laws. There will also be additional conditions for bushfire prone land to ensure visitor safety. For more information visit the NSW Planning & Environment website (06 June 2018). More...

Greenfield Housing Code
The changes start on 6 July 2018, the new Code will be included in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. In essence, it is a simplifying of the development process and aligning the requirements for development across greenfield areas. The planning rules and the code are also presented in plain English to clearly explain planning rules. More...


PCA: Foreign investment decline
In the lead up to the 2018/19 Queensland State Budget, the Property Council released new research highlighting the economic importance of foreign property investment to the Queensland economy. The full report can be accessed here (08 June 2018).

Titles Registry updates
Trust details form 20 was introduced for use from 28 May and is available on the Titles Registry website.
Revised Queensland Titles Registry fees will take effect from 1 July 2018. A summary has been released listing the revised fees that will apply during the 2018-2019 financial year. The Titles Registry online fee calculator will continue to use 2017-2018 fees up to and including 30 June 2018. From 1 July the updated fees will be reflected.


Courtyard of Earl Pty Ltd v Boroondara CC [2018] VCAT 871
Section 77 of the Planning & Environment Act 1987; Boroondara Planning Scheme; General Residential Zone 3; Construction of nine triple storey dwellings; Planning Policy; Neighbourhood Character; External Amenity Impacts, Internal Amenity; Impact on existing vegetation; Traffic Impacts.

Lotus Projects Pty Ltd v Moira SC [2018] VCAT 863
Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Moira Planning Scheme; Characterisation of advertising sign; Promotion sign. No permit.

Greater Geelong CC v C & D Recycling Pty Ltd (Red Dot) [2018] VCAT 831
NATURE OF CASE Applications for cancellation and/or enforcement of a permit for materials recycling.
APPLICATION – significant, interesting or unusual use or development; application, principle; or circumstances.
Consideration of cancellation vs enforcement; planning scheme considerations relevant to cancellation and enforcement; consideration of environmental and economic matters; role of owner in enforcement proceedings where non-compliance by occupier; adoption of a 'least worst' outcome in attempt to avoid a legacy site.

Gaindome Pty Ltd v Tomac [2018] QCAT 152

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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