Australia: Property & Real Estate News – 4 July 2018

In the media – National

New project to ensure locals have their say on urban planning
A new project will help locals to have their say when it comes to urban development, allowing local councils to capture online opinions from residents to improve decision-making. Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said the project aimed to increase community involvement in the planning and evaluation of major projects in the cities (13 June 2018). More...

Australian capital cities median house price falls: REIA
The median house price across Australian capital cities has declined in the first quarter of 2018, according to the latest research from the Real Estate Institute of Australia (13 June 2018). More...

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 (07 June 2018). More...

Housing for Australia's 'silver tsunami' needs better planning
Australia is about to experience a 'silver tsunami' with the population aged over 65 growing at a rate never seen before. However, this booming demographic risks fewer and poorer housing options unless our state and territory governments do a better job of planning for housing for older Australians, including retirement villages (22 June 2018). More...

'The worst is over' for Australia's housing market: Moody's
Sydney and Melbourne may be driving the nation's house price falls, but a new Moody's Analytics report is more positive, forecasting that prices will pick-up after this year's decline (21 June 2018). More...

Real estate industry on pathway to professionalism
Real estate agents across Australia are taking steps to be recognised as a profession which will see benefits to the consumer, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) (18 June 2018). More...

Australian capital cities median house price falls: REIA
The median house price across Australian capital cities has declined in the first quarter of 2018, according to the latest research from the Real Estate Institute of Australia (13 June 2018). More...

In the media – Victoria

Aboriginal values are key to Victoria's water future
This new program, in partnership with Traditional Owners across Victoria, will support spiritual and cultural uses of water, and create employment opportunities for Aboriginal Victorians. It will also support the self-determination of Traditional Owners by prioritising projects that best meet their needs regarding water management on Country (22 June 2018). More...

Tougher laws to protect Victoria's environment
The Andrews Labor Government is giving Victoria's Environment Protection Authority (EPA) the powers and tools it needs to stop pollution in its tracks. In an Australian first, the Bill introduces an enforceable General Environmental Duty – to make polluters responsible for eliminating or reducing risks posed to human health or the environment (22 June 2018). More...

Melbourne Plan to Remove Cars from the City
Melbourne's transport officials are considering the impact of congestion and vehicles with the number of people using the CBD grid expected to climb from 900,000 to 1.4 million by 2036. Discussion papers released by the City of Melbourne have highlighted concerns relating to space, safety, congestion, pollution and cost when people choose to drive in the city (22 June 2018). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Fair go for retirees under sweeping retirement village reforms
Retirement village residents will be the big winners under a series of proposed NSW Government reforms to the sector, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said. The Government welcomed the "Greiner Report", and will take immediate action to implement the majority of the recommendations (24 June 2018). More...

Stronger laws for off-the-plan purchasers
NSW home buyers purchasing residential properties off-the-plan will benefit from stronger protections under new laws set to be introduced to Parliament in the second half of the year. The proposed changes to the Conveyancing Act that affect disclosures, cooling off periods, holding of deposits and sunset clauses (23 June 2018). More...

Proposed laws to protect off-the-plan homebuyers
Homebuyers who purchase a property off-the-plan will receive greater protection under new laws to be introduced the New South Wales Parliament later this year (22 June 2018). More...

In practice and courts

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2018

Updates to standard REIQ property sale contracts
QLS and the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) prepared to release new editions of the standard contract as a result of the GST withholding at settlement measures to take effect from 1 July 2018, to facilitate the signing of the contracts by electronic means, and to update references to legislation and notice clauses. More...

REIQ sale of land contracts and GST on property transactions
From 1 July 2018, there are 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.

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 took effect on 1 July 2018. A summary has been released listing the revised fees that apply during the 2018-2019 financial year.

Published – articles, papers, reports

City of Melbourne. Transport strategy refresh: Car parking. Background and discussion
Elizabeth Taylor; City of Melbourne: 22 June 2018
This discussion paper is to inform a new City of Melbourne Transport Strategy to 2050. A draft strategy will be released for consultation in 2018. We are seeking your views on these issues and ideas.

Cases

Victoria

Owners Corporation OC1-POS539033E v Black [2018] VSC 337
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND DISCRIMINATION – Disability discrimination – Appeal from Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal – Member of owners corporations seeking alterations to common property to accommodate her disability – Tribunal found that owners corporations provide 'services' as defined in the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 – Definition of 'services' – Construction of ss 44, 45 and 56 – Whether s 56 exclusively regulates alterations to common property of an owners corporation– Appeal dismissed – Equal Opportunity Act 2010 ss 44, 45 and 56 – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 s 148.

Sekhon & Anor v Chandyoke & Anor [2018] VSC 327
COSTS – Property law – Application for removal of caveat – Caveat removed – Application for indemnity costs – Whether circumstances are special or unusual such as to justify departure from usual 'standards costs' order – Application for costs against non-party – Indemnity costs ordered against first defendant – No costs ordered against non-party – Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) s 29 – Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015 (Vic) r 63.23.

Port Douglas Car Rental Pty Ltd v Nillumbik SC [2018] VCAT 927
Section 77 Planning and Environment Act 1987 – Neighbourhood Residential Zone Schedule 1 – Significant Landscape Overlay Schedule 2 – Environmental Significance Overlay Schedule 1 – Heritage Overlay Schedule 36 – four dwellings and subdivision into four lots - neighbourhood character – amenity – tree retention and landscaping.

Kairouz v Stonnington CC [2018] VCAT 907
Section 79 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Stonnington Planning Scheme; General Residential Zone, Heritage Overlay; partial demolition and construction of a part three storey apartment building; design response to heritage significance and amenity impact on adjoining dwellings.

Queensland

Carew-Reid v Hart [2018] QCAT 167
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – TREES, VEGETATION AND HABITAT PROTECTION – DISPUTES BETWEEN NEIGHBOURS – where bamboo provided privacy to tree keeper – whether bamboo causing substantial, ongoing and unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of neighbour's land – whether severe obstruction of a view – whether serious damage to property on the neighbour's land – whether the Tribunal should exercise discretion to make any order.

Cases to 18 June 2018

Manser v Radalj [2018] QCA 100
Purchase of property – tenants in common

BWP Management Limited v Ipswich City Council; W & V Nominees Pty Ltd as Tte for the Elton Family Trust No.3 v Ipswich City Council [2018] QLC 14
REAL PROPERTY – RATES AND CHARGES – rating of land – categories of land – more than one applicable category.
RATES – RATING – differential general rates – appeal by land owners against decision of local authority on the land owners objection to a rating category for the land.
STATUTES – subordinate legislation – construction – relevant principles – ordinary and grammatical construction – purpose and subject matter – whether construction favouring taxpayer appropriate – liberal construction – where more than one definition applies – consideration of absurd results.
INTERPRETATION – general rules of construction of instruments – Acts Interpretation Act.

Legislation

Commonwealth

Bills

Water Amendment Bill 2018
Introduced HR 30/05/2018 Third reading - The Water Amendment Bill 2018 (the Bill) will amend the Water Act 2007 (the Water Act) to enable the Commonwealth Water Minister (the Minister) to direct the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (the Authority) to prepare an amendment to the Basin Plan 2012 (the Basin Plan) that is the same in effect as a Basin Plan amendment that has previously been disallowed, or taken to have been disallowed, by either House of Parliament.

Victoria

Bills

Environment Protection Amendment Bill 2018
Introduced into Parliament 2nd reading moved 20/6/18.

Flora and Fauna Guarantee Amendment Bill 2018
Passed 21/6/18 introduced and 2nd reading moved 21/6/18.

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
Gerard Timbs
 
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