Australia: Property & Real Estate News – 13 August 2018

In the media

Composting food and organic waste and reducing landfill
Eight Melbourne councils are set to reduce the amount of food and organic waste they send to landfill, thanks to a new composting facility supported by the Turnbull Government. The composting facility will recycle approximately 120,000 tonnes of food and organic waste per year and produce 50,000 tonnes of high-grade compost for the municipalities' gardens and parks (02 August 2018). More...

The toxic face of PVC manufacturing exposed
The building design sector should be careful when selecting building and furnishing materials containing PVC, with a new report finding mercury, asbestos, PFAS chemicals and other hazardous substances in the footprint of some chlorine-based materials (02 August 2018). More...

House price decline largest in six years
Australia's housing downturn gathered momentum in July, with national dwelling values reporting the largest annual fall since August 2012 (01 August 2018). More...

Meriton to pay $3 million for misleading consumers on TripAdvisor
The Federal Court found that Meriton engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and conduct liable to mislead the public by implementing a practice of 'masking' email addresses. Masking prevented guests Meriton suspected would give negative reviews from receiving TripAdvisor's 'Review Express' prompt email. This gave the impression Meriton accommodation was of a higher standard than otherwise may have been the case (31 July 2018). More...

End of NRAS means even less affordable housing
The first tranche of properties subsidised under the National Rental Affordability Scheme will lose the subsidy paid to investor owners this December. For the community housing sector that means hundreds of affordable properties may soon become not-so-affordable for low and medium-income tenants (31 July 2018). More...

ASIC winds up five companies involved in Victorian land banking projects
The Federal Court of Australia has made orders winding up five companies for their role in the operation of two land banking schemes. Four companies (the Project Companies) entered into contracts for the purchase of land for rezoning and were involved in the promotion of the schemes and received money from investors (27 July 2018). More...

Why narrow streets are the way of the future
Narrow streets are commonplace in city centres throughout Australia; now urban planners are paving the way for skinny roads in the suburbs (26 July 2018). More...

Stapled Structures and Build-to-Rent legislative package bring certainty
New rules that clarify the framework for institutional investment in real estate, including allowing investment in Build-to-Rent housing, have been warmly welcomed by the Property Council of Australia, although tax levels for international investors in Build-to-Rent remain a concern (26 July 2018). More...


PFAS - EPA updates East Gippsland consumption warnings
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has added to its advice about fish consumption from the Heart Morass area to include the Latrobe River in East Gippsland following additional testing undertaken by the Department of Defence in the Sale area (02 August 2018). More...

'Unprecedented' bid to give 16yo Federation Square heritage protection
Melbourne's Federation Square, which opened in 2002, will be assessed for heritage protection in a move that could have implications for the $11-billion Metro Tunnel train project and plans for a controversial new Apple store (31 July 2018). More...

Consideration for children in city planning
According to a new study from Deakin University, apartment buildings must be introduced to family-friendly design guidelines, with the number of families living in high-rise apartment buildings increasing, along with potential health risks to children (30 July 2018). More...

New South Wales

Applications open: Council Regional Capacity Building Program
The contaminated land management Council Regional Capacity Building (CRCB) grant program provides grants of up to $140,000 per year for three years (24 July 2018). More...


Gold Coast office vacancy increases
The Property Council of Australia's latest Office Market Report reveals an increase in Gold Coast office vacancy to 12 per cent over the last six months. This result can be attributed to an additional 3,000sqm of B Grade stock coming online, as well as a significant tenant move in Robina (02 August 2018). More...

Positive signs for Brisbane CBD office market
The Property Council's July 2018 Office Market Report reveals positive signs for Brisbane office space, with a welcome decrease in vacancy recorded across the CBD. The report shows Brisbane CBD vacancy has fallen from 16.1 per cent in January 2018 to 14.6 per cent in July (02 August 2018). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

REIA News – 23 July 2018
Property operators and real estate services; Schools Auctioneering Championships – paving the way to a career in real estate; How millennials can win the rentals race when competing with baby boomers. More...

Infrastructure decision-making principles
Infrastructure Australia: 24 July 2018
The Infrastructure Decision-making Principles provide guidelines to drive greater transparency and accountability in infrastructure decision-making. More...

In practice and courts

Department of Environment and Energy: Current Consultations
Call for submissions of case studies on action underway on the environment and energy Sustainable Development Goals
Closes December 31, 2018

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2018

SRO: Helping first home buyers, day and night
A new webinar explains: the First Home Owner Grant – how much it is, eligibility requirements, and how to apply and Land transfer duty (also known as stamp duty) on your purchase and what exemptions and concessions are available, such as the principal place of residence concession, the first home buyer duty reduction, and family exemptions and concessions (01 August 2018). More...

From 1 October 2018...
All instruments or combinations of instruments available in PEXA are to be lodged electronically. This applies to conveyancers and lawyers acting for a party or for themselves, as well as PEXA subscribers. Examples include a case comprising withdrawal of a caveat, discharge of mortgage, and transfer and mortgage. In all cases, practitioners need to be registered for Duties Online and PEXA. The Land Use Victoria lodgement changes do not change any existing State Revenue Office submission requirements. More...

NSW Revenue: Revenue Ruling: 2 August 2018
NSW Revenue has issued the following revenue ruling: DUT 047: Consideration and GST Withholding. More...



Ascott v Port Phillip CC [2018] VCAT 1200
Section 80 Planning and Environment Act 1987 – Port Phillip Planning Scheme – Neighbourhood Residential Zone – Visual Bulk and Daylighting.

Turner v Greater Bendigo CC [2018] VCAT 1198
Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme – Commercial 1 Zone; Special Use Zone – Heritage Overlay – Design and Development Overlay – Parking Overlay – Abuts a Road Zone Category One – Demolition and alterations to a heritage building – Use of land for place of assembly – New buildings and works – Sale and consumption of liquor – Signage – Waiver of parking – Bus parking – Loading – Waste collection – Existing use rights – Traffic – Amenity of nearby dwellings.

Icon Co (Jessamine Avenue) Land Pty Ltd v Stonnington CC (Red Dot) [2018] VCAT 1134
NATURE OF CASE Demolition of C graded contributory building in a Heritage Overlay.
REASONS WHY DECISION IS OF INTEREST OR SIGNIFICANCE - APPLICATION – significant, interesting or unusual use or development – application of policy, provision or principle – or circumstances Consideration of principles of integrated decision-making in Boroondara City Council v 1045 Burke Road Pty Ltd – whether need for additional residential development outweighs objectives to conserve heritage in deciding whether to grant permit for demolition of a heritage building in the Heritage Overlay.


Body Corporate for Mount Saint John Industrial Park v Superior Stairs & Joinery Pty Ltd [2018] QCA 173
REAL PROPERTY STRATA AND RELATED TITLES MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL INSURANCE, FIRE SAFETY AND FINANCIAL MATTERS where the appellant is the body corporate of a community titles scheme and the respondent is the owner of one of the lots within the scheme where the appellant claims that the respondent is obliged to pay outstanding contributions under the scheme and commenced proceedings to recover them, together with interest and costs, in the District Court where the respondent successfully applied for the summary dismissal of part of the appellants claim upon the ground that it was made outside a limitation period which, the primary judge held, was prescribed by s 145(2) of the Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation 2008 (Qld) where s 145(2) of the Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation 2008 (Qld) provides that where the amount of a contribution or contribution instalment has been outstanding for two years, the body corporate must, within two months from the end of the two-year period, start proceedings to recover the amount whether s 145 of the Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation 2008 (Qld), upon its proper construction, prescribes a limitation period.

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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