Australia: Property & Real Estate News – 27 August 2018

In the media


ATO increases scrutiny on short-term holiday rentals
The ATO has announced that it will be launching a data-matching program to pick up those who leave out rental income and over-claimed deductions. The increased scrutiny of short-term holiday rentals, according to assistant commissioner Kath Anderson, comes following the availability of short-term holiday rentals exploding in the online space (15 August 2018). More...

Trade intentions – August to October 2018
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder is considering a sale of water in the Goulburn catchment. No decision has been made to trade but it could occur over the coming month (16 August 2018). More...

Making our energy system more secure
The Government has welcomed the Australian Energy Market Commission's (AEMC) draft rule requiring generators to provide at least three years notice of closure. The AEMC also recommended that the three year rule notice requirement be backed up by penalties for non-compliance (16 August 2018). More...

Smart buildings overcoming Australia's energy crisis through technology and design
Australia is facing its biggest energy crisis to date. With four of the country's coal-fired power plants closed due to ageing infrastructure and a wealth of natural gas locked into export contracts for years to come, it's no surprise that the World Economic Forum's Global Risk Report 2018 identified energy as Australia's biggest problem (10 August 2018). More...

The reality of build-to-rent in Australia
The build-to-rent property model is increasingly garnering interest from property developers across the country. Developers such as Grocon, Lendlease and Mirvac are all looking at implementing the model in Australia (14 August 2018). More...

REIA: Housing finance numbers continue fall
The June 2018 housing finance figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the number of loans for housing continue to decline, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia (8 August 2018). More...

Aussie households face rising mortgage stress
The housing market may be experiencing a cool down but the number of Australian households facing mortgage stress is still high, according to a ME Bank survey (7 August 2018). More...

More children are living in high-rise apartments, so designers should keep them in mind
Australian cities are changing. Instead of families living in low-density suburban areas, more parents are raising children in high-rise housing in inner-city areas. Despite this, much of the high-rise housing stock in Australia has been developed for residents without children (7 August 2018). More...


More train services, station upgrades promised for Victoria's second-biggest city
Trains between Melbourne and Geelong will run every 10 minutes during peak periods, and hundreds of extra services will operate in Victoria's second biggest city each week under a $736 million election pledge from Premier Daniel Andrews (17 August 2018). More...

Funding boost for local recycling facility
The Andrews Labor Government will provide more than $1.1 million to fast-track industry-upgrade projects in Victoria's recycling sector, under the Recycling Industry Transition Support fund (14 August 2018). More...

Supporting rural councils to deliver better services
The Andrews Labor Government is helping rural and regional councils improve services with the opening of expressions of interest for the Rural Council Support Program. Applications by groups of three or more councils that will be considered for funding under the program may include, but are not limited to: lease arrangements for buildings, fixtures and furniture (14 August 2018). More...

Charges laid in relation to Stawell tyre stockpile
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has charged Used Tyre Recycling Corporation Pty Ltd (UTRC) following two breaches of an EPA statutory notice. EPA has also charged a UTRC Director with the same two offences (13 August 2018). More...

Residential laws in Victoria up for change, but not enough
Victoria's long-awaited residential tenancy reforms hit the table in the state parliament's lower house. But while Premier Daniel Andrews said the reforms would be the biggest change to the state's residential tenancy in 20 years, missing in action was any requirement for minimum energy standards and thermal comfort (9 August 2018). More...

New South Wales

Sydney calls for high-rise apartments to get green
The City of Sydney is looking for 20 high-rise apartments to join its free 2018-19 Smart Green Apartments program, which collectively saved last year's cohort $1 million in energy and water bill savings. The council said this year's cohort could expect to save an average of $57,000 on annual power bills alone. And, for the first time, a NABERS Apartment rating will be provided free of charge (9 August 2018). More...


Full steam ahead for Southport Spit master plan
The Queensland Government's community led master plan is on track to deliver a sustainable future for the Southport Spit (18 August 2018). More...

Yuhu Group's Plagued $1bn Jewel Tops Out On the Gold Coast
The $1 billion beachfront Jewel development has reached topping out stage, leading the charge in a lineup of super towers underway on the Gold Coast (17 August 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 (2 August 2018). More..

In practice and courts


Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2018

Amendment VC148 Update
The VPP clauses with tracked changes are now available on Planning Schemes Online. To view these documents, click here. Individual clauses for the VPP and all planning schemes were made available on Friday 17 August. To view these documents, go to Planning Schemes Online. (16 August 2018).

SRO: Land Use Victoria lodgement changes – key dates
In early 2017, Victoria's land registry, Land Use Victoria, announced its phased timetable for transitioning to digital only lodgement by 1 August 2019, with very limited exceptions. The first phase, from 1 March this year, involved all stand-alone transactions being lodged electronically via PEXA, unless an exemption applies. The remaining phases are:
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. Find out how to register or update your details in Duties Online. The Land Use Victoria lodgement changes do not change any existing State Revenue Office submission requirements.


Rotary Club of Melbourne Inc v Commissioner of State Revenue (Review and Regulation) [2018] VCAT 1257
Duties Act 2000, s 45 – Whether applicant is a corporation or body of persons established for a charitable purpose – Whether social and networking activities, and the moral improvement of members, are independent objects or directed to higher and larger charitable purpose. Rotary Club of Melbourne Inc (RCM) became the registered proprietor of a suite in an office building in Collins Street, Melbourne (Relevant Property), which it acquired for $770,196.37.

Sim Development Pty Ltd v Greenvale Property Group Pty Ltd [2018] VSCA 201
CONTRACTS – Construction – Consultancy agreement in respect of property development project – Consultant entitled to 20 per cent net profit – Agreement terminated prior to completion of project – Whether net profit entitlement contingent on completion of project – Whether sale of undeveloped property constitutes completion of project – Consultant entitled to hourly rate for work performed – Hours claimed in invoice pursuant to agreement – Evidence as to certain hours claimed in invoice rejected – Evidence of additional hours not claimed in invoice – Whether evidence of additional hours made up shortfall in invoice – Consultant entitled to monthly payment 'in advance' – Whether monthly payments to be deducted from hourly rate claim.
COSTS – Calderbank offers – Whether reasonable not to accept offers – Whether offers so unclear as to be incapable of acceptance – Hazeldene's Chicken Farm Pty Ltd v Victorian WorkCover Authority [No 2] [2005] VSCA 298; (2005) 13 VR 435 applied; Little v Saunders [2004] NSWSC 655 distinguished.

Fisher v Wenzel (No 1) [2018] QCAT 261
REAL PROPERTY – BOUNDARIES OF LAND AND FENCING – FENCES AND FENCING – ADJOINING LAND – where Tribunal made final dividing fence orders including contribution order against applicants for fencing costs.
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – JUDGMENTS AND ORDERS – ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS AND ORDERS – where respondents brought enforcement proceedings in Magistrates Court of Queensland against applicants for payment of contribution for fencing costs – where enforcement proceedings adjourned because of application to renew Tribunal orders or reopen proceedings.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where applicants applied for renewal of Tribunal decision or reopening of proceedings – whether grounds for renewal or reopening established.
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – TIME, EXTENSION AND ABRIDGEMENT – where applicants applied for extension of time for filing application for renewal or reopening – whether grounds for extension established.
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – whether application for renewal of decision or reopening of proceedings frivolous and vexatious and an abuse of process – whether compensation recoverable – whether restorative justice available to respondents.

Radchenko v Body Corporate for Richmond Apartments [2018] QCAT 251
REAL PROPERTY – STRATA AND RELATED TITLES – MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL – BODY CORPORATE: POWERS, DUTIES AND LIABILITIES adjustment of community title scheme – principles for deciding schedule lot entitlements – principles for setting and adjusting contributions schedule lot entitlements – principles for deciding interest schedule lot entitlements – adjustment by tribunal of contribution schedule – no material change to a community title scheme – an adjustment of the interest schedule – criteria for deciding just and equitable circumstances – lodgement and recording of changes to interest schedule lot entitlements – costs – threshold for an award of costs.

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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