Australia: Inside track: Property & Real Estate - 24 October 2018

In the media


Industry, councils leading on climate action despite policy uncertainty
While Canberra dismisses the flashing sirens delivered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the rest of the nation – including businesses, local government and retail investors – are stepping up to the challenge with a range of programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on their own accord (11 October 2018). More...

COAG Economic Reform Council should target housing affordability
The Property Council of Australia has welcomed Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen's proposal for the creation of a new independent COAG Economic Reform Council to drive long-term reform priorities, and called for its first focus to be on housing affordability (11 October 2018). More...

Property market confidence 'collapsing': survey
Tightened lending restrictions and rising interest rates has pushed property industry confidence levels to a seven-year low as weakening house prices in NSW and Victoria weigh heavily on the market (11 October 2018). More...

Off-the-plan apartment pain as property prices fall
Off-the-plan apartment buyers are being hit with the double-whammy of tougher home loan rules and falling property prices, leaving many struggling to complete their purchases (03 October 2018). More...

CEFC and Visy to substantially lift resource recovery from waste in bid to cut emissions and reduce landfill
Australia's Visy Industries and the CEFC have announced new plans to significantly increase waste recycling and processing capabilities, in part to offset the impact of changes in the international recycling market (03 October 2018). More...

Affordable home-ownership scheme offers a pathway out of social housing
Social housing is in crisis in Australia, with almost 200,000 people on waiting lists. Social housing made up 8% of all housing stock in Australia in 1966. This had fallen to just 4.3% at July 2016.As a result, governments have tightened eligibility (03 October 2018). More...


Microgrid trial will help transition Monash University to run entirely off renewables
On behalf of the Australian Government, ARENA will provide $2.97 million in funding to Monash University and Indra Australia for the Monash Smart Energy City project (12 October 2018). More...

New land use framework to protect anglesea
The Minister for Environment Lily D'Ambrosio released a Land Use Framework that lays out a future for the site free from urban development, without any change to township boundaries (11 October 2018). More...

Fishermans Bend planning rules to manage density, boost social housing
The Victorian government has released final planning framework for Fishermans Bend in Melbourne, a 480-hectare urban renewal area adjacent to the CBD with a contentious planning and development history (11 October 2018). More..

Are precincts the key to liveable cities?
Can Moseley, CEO at the VPA believes sustainable precincts can unlock the door to a better future for Australians. Reporting to the Minister for Planning, the VPA is responsible for planning new communities in growth areas across Victoria and is key to delivering the Government's strategic planning policy to locate 70 per cent of Melbourne's new housing stock into established areas (08 October 2018). More...

Solar Energy Facilities - Design and Development Draft Guidelines
The Victorian Government has approved a major new solar farm north of Shepparton and released draft planning guidelines for the development of large solar farm projects across the state (08 October 2018). More...

Victorian Government approves Congupna solar farm
The Victorian Government approves a new solar farm for northern Victoria that could power more than 20,000 homes, while three other projects in the same area are undergoing further assessment (08 October 2018). More...

EPA lifts irrigation restrictions on Maribyrnong River
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has eased some restrictions on use of Maribyrnong River water following testing for PFAS (05 October 2018). More...

Decade-long tyre feud ends with a jail sentence, but stockpile remains
An epic legal battle over a tyre dump putting a Victorian community at "extreme risk" is over, but the question now is how to get rid of 5,000 tonnes of hazardous material (03 October 2018). More...


Door closes on unlicensed real estate agent
A Hope Island resident was fined $15,000 and ordered to pay compensation of $16,750 in the Southport Magistrates Court (8 October 2018) after being charged by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for acting as a real estate agent after his licence was cancelled due to bankruptcy (08 October 2018). More...

Multiplex breaks its silence on yuhu saga
Tensions between Jewel developer Yuhu and Multiplex continue to simmer, with reports from the site that Yuhu refused to meet with its contractor as hundreds of workers walked off the $1 billion project (05 October 2018). More...

Hundreds of workers walk off the job at $1 billion Gold Coast resort development
Up to 800 workers walk off the job at the Jewel Resort development on the Gold Coast, with subcontractors worried they will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars as the developer instructs them to drastically reduce their work at the towers (03 October 2018). More...

Ridong unveils plans for 'world class' Gold Coast tourism and wellness retreat
Chinese developer Ridong, the original developer of the Gold Coast's $1 billion Jewel project, has lodged plans for a "wellness and tourism retreat" in Tallebudgera Valley on the Gold Coast (03 October 2018). More...

New South Wales

Funding to support local infrastructure for 25000 new homes in NSW
The NSW Government is investing more than $10 million to help local councils deliver more than $165 million worth of essential infrastructure to support growing communities across metropolitan and regional NSW (05 October 2018). More...

New seniors housing planning rules to benefit all
The NSW Government has responded to community concerns about the incremental creep of seniors' housing developments in rural and semi-rural areas, including Terrey Hills and Dural, by amending the policy governing such developments (03 October 2018). More...

Published - article, papers, reports

Management of Commonwealth leased office property
Australian National Audit Office: 09 October 2018
The objective of the audit was to assess whether effective arrangements have been established by Finance to achieve value for money outcomes for Commonwealth leased office property. More...

Australian Bureau of Statistics
12 October 2018 Housing Finance, Australia, August 2018 (cat no. 5609.0)

In practice and courts


GC81 The Amendment implements the Fishermans Bend Framework, September 2018 by introducing new planning controls for the Montague, Sandridge, Wirraway and Lorimer precincts of Fishermans Bend.

VC149 changes the Victoria Planning Provisions by inserting a new Commercial 3 Zone and also amends the VPP and all planning schemes to introduce new requirements for the assessment of residential solar energy facility overshadowing and implement the wind energy facility recommendations.

VC153 extends the expiry date of Clause 52.13 (2009 Bushfire – Recovery Exemptions) to 30 September 2019.


Panel reports
Greater Shepparton Permit Applications (2017-162, 2017-274, 2017-301, 2017-344) Call-in: Development of Solar Farms at Congupna, Lemnos, Tallygaroopna and Tatura.



O'Kane v Macedon Ranges SC (Red Dot) [2018] VCAT 1562
NATURE OF CASE Application to construct eight dwellings on a lot in a Neighbourhood Residential Zone and the meaning and effect of the transitional provision at clause 32.09-6
PLANNING SCHEME – interpretation or consideration of VPP provision
Clause 32.09-6 in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone; Transitional provision; Whether it preserves a different clause 55 standard specified in a schedule that existed on 13 April 2017

Greater Shepparton City Council v Trio Parks Vic Pty Ltd [2018] VCAT 1470
Application for declaration under section 149A of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Characterisation of use; Whether the introduction of new, high quality permanent accommodation on the land transforms the use from a camping and caravan park to a residential village or retirement village.


MFB Properties (NQ) Pty Ltd & Ors v MSD Securities Pty Ltd & Ors [2018] QCA 259
CONVEYANCING – BREACH OF CONTRACT FOR SALE AND REMEDIES – INSTALMENT CONTRACTS – STATUTORY RESTRICTIONS ON RESCISSION OR TERMINATION OF INSTALMENT CONTRACT OR FORFEITURE OF INSTALMENTS OF PURCHASE PRICE – where the appellants and respondents were parties to a number of agreements, the purpose of which was to sell four parcels of land (Lots 1, 2, 3 and 4) and a resort business conducted on those parcels from the first, second and third appellants to the first and second respondents – where the four appellants and four respondents all entered into a deed – where the four appellants and four respondents were variously parties to six contracts of sale and purchase – where the parcels of land and business were to be purchased for a total consideration of $4 million – where the parties varied their agreement, the effect of which was that the transfer of a house, unit and vessel from the third and fourth respondents to the fourth appellant was deemed to amount to payment of $2 million, meaning that $2 million remained to be paid for the purchase of the lots and business under the deed – where the third and fourth respondents were not party to the REIQ contracts concerning the land on which the resort business was conducted – where the a mortgage was taken out by the first appellant over Lot 1 prior to conveyance of title to the first respondent – where the respondents submitted that the contract of sale for Lots 1, 2 and 4 was an instalment contract by virtue of the variation and that the contract was therefore voidable by the purchaser any time before completion, per s 73 Property Law Act 1974 (Qld), because of Lot 1's encumbrance by a mortgage – where the third and fourth respondents, who had transferred property in purported consideration for the transfer of Lot 1, inter alia, were not the purchasers of Lot 1, 2 and 4 under the REIQ contract – where the third and fourth respondents did not stand to gain any interest in the land comprising Lot 1 – whether the contract for the sale of Lots 1, 2 and 4 was an instalment contract within the meaning of s 73 Property Law Act 1974 (Qld).

Valuer-General v Body Corporate for 'Tennyson Reach' [2018] QLAC 7
REAL PROPERTY – VALUATION OF LAND – OBJECTIONS AND APPEALS – QUEENSLAND – EVIDENCE – where appeal is against valuation expert evidence – where both expert valuers apply a different highest and best use – where one expert assesses the site as impact assessable and the other expert assesses it as code assessable – where one valuer adopts a conservative approach – where valuation methods are not discernible from the evidence – where valuer adopts a range of figures to apply value – where the sales are alleged not to be sufficiently similar for comparison purposes – where valuers incorrectly have regard to material subsequent to the sale – where the learned Member found the evidence of an expert to be unexplained – where valuation expert is argumentative when giving evidence – where the evidence before the learned Member was poor.
APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – PROCEDURE – QUEENSLAND – HEARING OF APPEAL – PROOF AND EVIDENCE – where the onus of proof is on the balance of probabilities – where it is alleged the appellant did not meet the onus of proof.
APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – PROCEDURE – QUEENSLAND – POWERS OF COURT – duty of the Land Appeal Court to rehear valuation matters on the evidence before the Land Court – whether it is appropriate to speculate on the learned Members findings as to witness credibility – whether the Land Appeal Court can remit valuation matters back to the Land Court.
REAL PROPERTY – VALUATION OF LAND – OBJECTIONS AND APPEALS – QUEENSLAND – whether the learned Member followed the two-step valuation processes required for determining an appeal against an objection decision on a valuation.
EVIDENCE – PROOF – BURDEN OF PROOF – section 169 Land Valuation Act 2010 – onus of proof – balance of probabilities – where alleged that the learned Member failed to properly apply the onus – where it was alleged that the learned Member erred in understanding s 170(b) of the Land Valuation Act 2010 – presumption of correctness – where the appellants cases relate to the Valuation of Land Act 1944.

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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