Australia: Inside track: Property & Real Estate – in the media, published articles, papers and reports, in practice and in courts, cases and legislation

Last Updated: 21 May 2019
Article by Chris Lovell, Lou Farinotti and Chris Brodrick

Most Read Contributor in Australia, July 2019

In the media


ANZ Property Council industry confidence survey June 2019 quarter
A six-year low in property industry confidence levels underscores Treasury's budget warnings about the risks to the economic outlook from a further deterioration in the housing sector (11 April 2019). More...

The ultimate challenge for sustainable building
A push to net zero carbon buildings is among the raft of changes proposed in the next evolution of the Green Building Council of Australia's Green Star system (10 April 2019). More...

Housing finance numbers continue dive: REIA
The February 2019 Lending to Households and Business figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the number of loans for housing, excluding refinancing, continues to decline (09 April 2019). More...

Lendlease face potential class action
Lendlease, which is currently building the delayed NorthConnex project in Sydney, will now face a potential class action following a surprise $350 million write down on its engineering business on 9 November (08 April 2019). More...

Budget highlights importance of property to a healthy economy: REIA
The 2019/20 Budget provides a fiscal stimulus by increasing infrastructure spending and delivering higher disposable incomes to 10 million low to middle income earners, according to the Real Estate Institute (02 April 2019). More...

GBCA: Strong on infrastructure, short on emission reductions
The Morrison Government has delivered a pre-election federal budget strong on infrastructure spending but short on new initiatives to support emissions reductions, according to the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) (02 April 2019). More...


Queensland's big infrastructure spend in Brisbane and what it means
South Brisbane's population is expected to treble by 2031, while Greater Brisbane's will rise to 2.95 million. Anticipating this dramatic population surge, the Labor government has begun substantial infrastructure projects, committing to a $944 million urban Metro service and a $5.4 billion second Cross River Rail project to be tunnelled under the Brisbane River (11 April 2019). More...

Queensland confidence continues to decline
For the first time since the survey's inception, confidence across Queensland's property industry has declined for the third consecutive quarter according to the latest ANZ/Property Council Confidence Survey. Industry sentiment in Queensland has dropped from 118 index points to 113 index points (11 April 2019). More...

16,000 plants help Hercules Street Park flex its muscle
More than 16,000 new plants will soon be planted throughout Hercules Street Park as part of $10 million in upgrades set to transform Brisbane's Northshore (11 April 2019). More...

ICA welcomes Queensland floodplain management plan
Karl Sullivan, ICA general manager of risk and disaster planning said it should be used as the national benchmark for cooperation between state and local governments to deliver whole-of-catchment floodplain management. The Flood Resilient Building Guidance will empower home and small business owners to make informed decisions regarding their individual flood risk and how to reduce their exposure (11 April 2019). More...

PCA: New Brisbane River floodplain management plan and building guidance
Fifty-two actions have been outlined in the Strategic Floodplain Management Plan to guide how the State and Local governments will work together to better manage flooding risks within the Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Somerset and Brisbane local government areas. Seventeen of those actions will have state-wide application (10 April 2019). More...

Queensland floodplain management plan sets new national benchmark
The Palaszczuk Government has partnered with local governments in south east Queensland to set a national benchmark for floodplain management with the release of the Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan and a flood resilient building guide for homes (09 April 2019). More...

Grants to benefit Queensland's neighbourhood centres
Neighbourhood centres across Queensland are encouraged to apply for a share of $800,000 under the latest round of the Palaszczuk Government's Thriving Queensland Communities Grants program (09 April 2019). More...

New safety code to make Queensland solar farm jobs safer
A new code of practice and electrical safety regulations will be put in place next month to enhance safety in the growing commercial solar farm industry. The new regulations mean only licensed electricians can mount, locate, fix or remove solar panels on solar farms with a total rated capacity of at least 100kW (09 April 2019). More...

New regrowth code a boost for coastal small crop farmers
Coastal small crop farmers are set to benefit from proposed changes to the new regrowth vegetation code (09 April 2019). More...

Queensland grazier fined $450k for illegal land clearing
A Queensland grazier, whose bid to bulldoze native woodlands has the support of Federal Government MPs, has been hit with one of the state's heaviest penalties for illegal land clearing (06 April 2019). More...


Falling property sector confidence demands cooperation between Government and industry
The results of the latest ANZ/Property Council Survey have revealed that confidence levels across Victoria's property industry have fallen for the fourth consecutive quarter and show an immediate need for the Government to work with the sector to support innovative approaches to bolstering confidence (11 April 2019). More...

Peregrine launches $100m Richmond office project
Early concepts for the $100 million development, situated in Melbourne's tightly held inner east office market, outline 9,340sq m of new, architecturally designed office space over eight levels. Designers have allowed the project to be fully customisable giving future tenants the flexibility to subdivide, offering an opportunity to tailor layouts to meet business and cultural needs (09 April 2019). More...

Geelong recycler told to stop accepting combustible timber waste
An alleged failure by Geelong recycler NATJON Pty Ltd to meet the requirements of the Victoria Waste Management Policy (Combustible Recyclable and Waste Materials) has seen Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) issue the company a notice that requires it to immediately stop accepting combustible recycling materials (09 April 2019). More...

Planned Federation Square Apple store doomed after permit refused
The controversial plan to build an Apple store at Melbourne's Federation Square is doomed after heritage authorities blocked it because it would "adversely" affect the cultural heritage of the square (05 April 2019). More...

EPA steps in on construction materials stockpile
EPA has ordered a construction and demolition materials recycler at Coolaroo to stop accepting combustible recyclable and waste material until it implements measures to reduce the risk of fire at the site (01 April 2019). More...

Work underway on Melbourne Park redevelopment
Major demolition work is underway as part of Stage 3 of the Victorian Government's redevelopment of Melbourne Park. The Melbourne Park and the surrounding Sports Precinct are a key component of the Richmond to Docklands corridor, combining some of Melbourne's most attractive river and parklands with the best in sports, entertainment, arts and cultural venues (03 April 2019). More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

REIA news - 09 April 2019
In this issue: 2019 REIA National Awards for Excellence; Negative Gearing and the 2019 Election; Federal Budget 2019 Overview; What Industry Stakeholders are Saying; Bendigo Bank – Instant Home Loan Tic of Approval; Market Snapshot. More...

Budget 2019–20
Government of Australia: 02 April 2019
The Australian Government budget sets out the economic and fiscal outlook for Australia and includes expenditure and revenue estimates for the current financial year, the budget year and three forward financial years. More...

In practice and courts


AHURI: What's in the 2019–20 Budget for cities?
The recently announced 2019–20 Federal Budget included a number of measures relating to Australian cities and urban environments. City Deals, the Population Package and Infrastructure Investment Program — Urban Congestion Fund are outlined here (08 April 2019). More...

GBCA important deadlines - Green Star certification for your project
Many project teams have timelines set around major events. To support this, these guidelines below (based on typical time frames), which specify the deadlines you'll need to meet in order to have your project certified in time for key milestones in 2019. Deadlines are from 08 April – 04 November 2019. More...

RICS building confidence conference, 2 May 2019
This full-day conference will look at how property professionals can enhance public trust across the spectrum of the built and natural environment profession. More...

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2019


Titles Registry: Paper certificates of title
On 26 March 2019, a Bill was passed in Parliament to amend the Land Title Act 1994. The amendments mean that from 1 October 2019, paper certificates of title will no longer have any legal effect (03 April 2019). More...

Sunshine Coast planning scheme amendment
Sunshine Coast Council has adopted the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 Amendment No. 18 – Site Specific (Including SEQRP Bring Forward Sites) and Operational Matters, which amends zoning, local plan provisions and associated mapping in the Sunshine Coast region. The amendments improve efficiency relating to dual occupancies, secondary dwellings, telecommunication facilities, landscape buffers, reconfiguring lots, car parks and parking rates. For more information visit the Sunshine Coast Council's website here. (10 April 2019). More...

Place names current proposals and decisions - Comment on a proposal
Job number 18-089: Banya, Bells Creek, Corbould Park, Gagalba, Meridan Plains, Nirimba
Closing date for comments: 26 April 2019

Land Title registry alerts: Land, Explosives and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019
The Land, Explosives and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (LEOLA Act 2019) which became law on 29 March 2019, amended a number of Acts, including the Land Title Act 1994 and the Land Act 1994. The LEOLA Act 2019 is available on the Legislation website (03 April 2019). More...

Safer buildings combustible cladding checklist ticks over to part 2
The Part 1 deadline elapsed on 29 March 2019, with some buildings required to continue to Part 2. Buildings that need further assessment following the conclusion of Part 1 will have until 29 May 2019 to file a building industry professional report to the QBCC. More...

Consultation: Yeronga proposed development scheme for a mixed-use precinct in the Yeronga Priority Development Area (PDA).
The scheme establishes a planning framework to transform the site and sets out intended land uses, development criteria and infrastructure envisaged for the PDA. Submissions can be made between 1 April and 17 May. More...

Queensland environment prosecution bulletins 2019
A selection of the department's enforcement actions are summarised in prosecution bulletins outlining the facts and outcomes of finalised prosecutions. More...

DMRME consultations
Managing regulated regrowth vegetation
Closes: 6 May 2019 We are seeking feedback on the revised draft code for managing regulated regrowth vegetation.

Review of stock route management regulation and strategy
Submissions close Friday 3 May 2019.

Department of State Development consultations
SDA application for a material change of use in the Gladstone State Development Area Closed 04 April 2019

Department of Environment and Science Consultations: Environmental offsets framework discussion paper
A discussion paper on Queensland's environmental offsets framework has been released by the State Government, aimed at seeking community and industry feedback on the policy's effectiveness. While the Environmental Offsets Act 2014 proposes to simplify and regulate the offsets framework. The review is seeking responses in relation to five key areas. Consultation on the discussion paper closes on 15 April 2019. More...


Melbourne City Council: Proposed public highway declaration of the whole block bounded by La Trobe, Lonsdale, Exhibition and Russell Streets, Melbourne.
Notice is given pursuant to sections 204(1), 207A and 223 of the Local Government Act 1989 (Act) that the Melbourne City Council (Council) proposes to declare the roads shown shaded and cross hatched on the plan below as public highways (Proposal). The Proposal is to put the public highway status beyond doubt. All submissions received by the Council on or before 25 April 2019 will be considered. More...

Melbourne City Council: Notice of proposed sale
Notice is given pursuant to sections 189 and 223 of the Local Government Act 1989 (Act) that the Council proposes to enter into a contract to sell part of the development located at 93 – 151 Therry Street, 452-464 Queen Street and Rear 128-130 Franklin Street Melbourne to Residential Independence Pty Ltd as trustee for the Residential Independence Trust for the sum of $3,500,000 plus GST for the provision of affordable housing (Proposal). All submissions received by Council on or before 19 April 2019 will be considered. More...


Plath & Anor v Plath [2019] QDC 42
CONTRACT OF SALE OF PROPERTY – ENFORCEMENT OF MORTGAGE – RECOVERY OF POSSESSION – whether it was a gift – estoppel defence – set off defence at common law or equity – COUNTERCLAIM – damages – limitations of actions act - Limitations of Action Act 1974 Qld ss 10(1)(a), 10(2). More...

Sunland Group Limited & Anor v Gold Coast City Council [2019] QPEC 14
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPLICATION – declarations sought as to the continuing effect of infrastructure charges conditions imposed pursuant to a preliminary approval under s 3.1.6 of the Integrated Planning Act 1997 – did conduct by the respondent give rise to an Infrastructure Agreement pursuant to the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 - Integrated Planning Act 1997 Qld; Planning Act 2016 Qld; Sustainable Planning Act 2009 Qld; Sustainable Planning (Housing Affordability and Infrastructure Charges Reform) Amendment Act 2011 Qld

JPJ Developments Pty Ltd v Brisbane City Council [2019] QPEC 13
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPLICATION – application for joinder on an application to extend the currency period for an existing development approval – where applicant has no statutory right to be a party of the originating application. Planning Act 2016 Qld; Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld; Sustainable Planning Act 2009 Qld.

Hampshire Automotive Centre Pty Ltd v Centre Com (Sunshine) Pty Ltd [2019] VSCA 77
REAL PROPERTY – Appeal – Easements – Easement by prescription arising from doctrine of lost modern grant – Preliminary question – Whether consent or authority of the head landlord is required to establish a prescriptive easement – Whether easement can be claimed on behalf of a head landlord who is a statutory corporation – Consent of the head landlord not required to establish or enforce an easement by prescription – No relevant facts relating to the creation, use, or abandonment of the easement before the Court – No finding made as to whether easement exists – Leave to appeal granted – Appeal allowed – Retrial ordered.

Solar Lord Pty Ltd v Wilo Australia Pty Ltd (Civil Claims) [2019] VCAT 478
Commercial sale of solar hot water circulation pumps to Australian manufacturer of rooftop solar hot water systems – subsequent high failure rate experience with these pumps when used as part of a rooftop installation - whether goods purchased as a "consumer" – whether the supplier of the pumps misrepresented the suitability of its product for rooftop installation under Australian conditions and engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct – sections 3, 18 and 236 Australian Consumer Law.
The Tribunal orders that Wilo Australia Pty Ltd must pay Solar Lord Pty Ltd the sum of $49,006.55.
The Tribunal orders that Wilo Australia Pty Ltd must reimburse Solar Lord Pty Ltd the application fee of $679.20

Miller v Yarra CC [2019] VCAT 493
Application under Section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act) to review a decision to amend a permit. The medical centre is operating under a permit issued in 2015. An amended permit was issued in 2015 to allow internal and external works and internal layout changes. The current amendment application is to allow a 'restricted recreational' use to be used in conjunction with the medical centre, to increase the permitted hours of use for the medical centre with the Restricted Recreation use and to display signage.

Australian Investment & Development Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue [2019] VSCA 69
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Application for leave to appeal from a refusal of leave to appeal from order of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal – Judge below bound to refuse leave on basis of Court of Appeal authority – Proposed ground of appeal that the Court of Appeal authority 'plainly wrong' and should not be followed – Application for leave to appeal granted – Appeal dismissed.
PRECEDENT – Court of Appeal – Departure from previous Court of Appeal decision – Whether Court of Appeal convinced previous decision was plainly wrong – Commissioner of State Revenue v EHL Burgess Properties Pty Ltd (2015) 209 LGERA 314 considered.
TAXATION – Land Tax – Definition of 'greater Melbourne' in s 64 Land Tax Act 2005 – Definition of 'metropolitan area' in s 201 Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works Act 1958 as in force immediately before repeal – Cities and Shires described in Third Schedule of Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works Act 1958 having ceased to exist.
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – Principles – Context – Ascertaining legislative intention – Relevance of legislative history – Circumstances in which courts can read words into statute – Construction of taxation legislation – Interpretation of exemptions in tax legislation.

Grebe Investments Pty Ltd v Bass Coast SC (Red Dot) [2019] VCAT 445
NATURE OF CASE Whether the Tribunal may remit a matter for re-consideration by the decision-maker if the Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to determine the matter
REASONS WHY DECISION IS OF INTEREST OR SIGNIFICANCE LEGISLATION – interpretation or application of statutory provision; Section 51(2) of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998




Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018
Stage reached: Passed with amendment on 3/04/2019
Assent Date: 11/04/2019 Act No: 12 of 2019 Commences: by Proclamation
An Act to amend the Fair Trading Act 1989, the Motor Dealer s and Chattel Auctioneers Act 2014, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 and the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 for particular purposes

Subordinate legislation as made

No 45 Disaster Management (Extension of Far North Disaster District) Amendment Regulation 2019 05 April 2019
No 46 Electrical Safety (Solar Farms) Amendment Regulation 2019 05 April 2019
No 47 Electrical Safety (Codes of Practice) and Other Legislation (Solar Farms) Amendment Notice 2019 09 April 2019

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