In the media


Seven signs the housing market Is nearing its peak
The pace of capital gains across Australian housing markets has been close to record breaking, with the national growth rate in March the fastest since 1988, according to the update of CoreLogic's benchmark measure of housing values (23 April 2021). More...

People with disabilities are living in homes that don't fit them — but advocates say a change is coming
Proposed changes to the National Construction Code being considered next week could make it easier for people with disabilities to live in their own homes, as advocates say most live without adequate housing (22 April 2021). More...

Housing boom may be halted by regulators or economic trends, analysts warn
Some analysts are warning that Australia's multi-decade property boom may be about to end, but most agree that will not happen this year with double-digit house price growth widely expected in 2021 (22 April 2021). More...

HIA: Demand for residential land elevated
Land prices in the December quarter started to reflect the increase in demand that was seen in the September quarter(20 April 2021). More...

CEFC finance unlocks clean power, lower emissions for industrial tenants
A CEFC investment of up to $75 million in Frasers Property's A$300 million sustainability linked loan (SLL) will help deploy clean energy technologies in two Australian industrial projects that will reduce embodied carbon, cut operating emissions and deliver zero carbon energy electricity for tenants at no additional cost (19 April 2021). More...

What Australian home buyers can learn from Sydney's urban sprawl
Huge population and housing growth on Sydney's western fringes has left communities without enough schools, parks and public transport. It's a problem that could be replicated across the country as outer metropolitan areas in other states experience the same rapid expansion (18 April 2021). More...

Investors testing the market with $100m-plus in listings
Cashed-up buyers seeking solid returns from bricks and mortar properties are testing the Sydney and Melbourne markets with office towers, industrial assets and development sites (17 April 2021). More...

'Supply is restricted': NAB chief calls for faster housing approvals
The boss of one of Australia's biggest banks is urging state and territory governments to revamp planning rules to encourage more housing development amid forecasts of double-digit price growth for 2021 (16 April 2021). More...

Property industry confidence continues to climb
Property industry confidence levels are approaching record highs as the sector leads Australia's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic (15 April 2021). More...

'There will be bankruptcies': Mascot Towers owners urged to sell as developers circle
Owners of the beleaguered building are told to expect to cop a loss of up to 80 per cent on their units after several developers expressed interest in buying the block with a view to demolishing it and rebuilding from scratch (15 April 2021). More...

New wave of projects redefine aged care development
Developers and investors are now shifting gears in order to elevate offerings in an increasingly competitive market. Sprawling housing developments are increasingly becoming less desirable and, as people live longer, there has been a push for more customisable amenities in order to reflect an occupant's choices (15 April 2021). More...

Infrastructure Australia publishes Sustainability Principles
Recently released Sustainability Principles from Infrastructure Australia are set to guide and promote sustainability across the infrastructure sector, securing major investments to provide the best outcomes for the community (13 April 2021). More...

Balance of power shifts as tenants prepare to negotiate cheaper rents
Many property investors holding apartments in inner-city Melbourne and Sydney are being forced to slash rents, with some are asking up to 25 per cent less than a decade ago (13 April 2021). More...

Would-be buyers increasingly comfy with expensive property: REA
Buyers are more likely to spend more to secure a property as their preferences shift towards bigger spaces with higher price tags, recent data has shown in REA's latest report (13 April 2021). More...

Commercial developers on the ropes
The big story for banking is the fall over of developers of units, town-houses, medium density and high density towers and fortresses. In modern finance, the breakdown in bank credit quality almost always centres on commercial property developers (12 April 2021). More...

2021 UDIA State of the Land launched
UDIA National has launched the 2021 State of the Land report - the industry's most crucial and comprehensive overview of new home and apartment markets across our capital cities (12 April 2021). More...


Plan supports growth of Victorian tourism and jobs
The Victorian Government has released a roadmap that will help revitalise and grow Victorian tourism after the impacts of bushfires and the global pandemic. Investments include $149 million in flagship projects and $46 million for 30 shovel-ready infrastructure projects confirmed in March (22 April 2021). More...

Record land sales boost consumer confidence in Victoria
Demand for land in Victoria has remained strong despite the end of HomeBuilder, according to figures released by Red23 this week (21 April 2021). More...

The Vegemite factory, which still pumps out the spread, may be protected for its heritage values
The Vegemite factory, the West Gate Bridge and portable buildings that date back to the Gold Rush era are among a suite of structures that are being considered for better heritage protection (16 April 2021). More...

Caulfield Racecourse unveils $570m sports, entertainment precinct plan
The historic venue plans to create a concert space to rival the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, an indoor sports complex and up to seven sporting fields within the perimeter of its racetrack (14 April 2021). More...

Office developers turn attention outside CBD
Development applications are coming in thick and fast for office projects in the City of Yarra region. While Melbourne's CBD office vacancy is currently 8.2 per cent, the long-term future for office space will be recovery, according to Knight Frank Melbourne research (12 April 2021). More...

Fears plan for Sunshine rail 'super hub' will be watered down
Upgrades to the station as part of the $8-$13 billion airport rail project are mooted to be treated predominantly as a "transport infrastructure-led project" rather than an opportunity for urban renewal (11 April 2021). More...


NSW Treasury's Chief Economist calls for changes in CBD planning
Urban Taskforce welcomes intervention from the Chief Economist of the NSW Treasury, Stephen Walters, who says that post COVID-19, Sydney's CBD will not return to pre-COVID employment levels. That means the planning system must be flexible and allow changes of use to apartments as has happened successfully throughout the world (20 April 2021). More...

Warnings NSW stamp duty reforms could distort the property market
Lawyers and accountants are questioning the Berejiklian government's strategy of replacing stamp duty (19 April 2021). More...


Brisbane city centre future under scrutiny
An interim report outlining how to lure people back to Brisbane's heart is being prepared ahead of a master plan for the city centre (22 April 2021). More...

Secret document detailing massive Moreton Bay development's community benefits to stay hidden
Details of the planned Toondah Harbour development at Cleveland will remain between the state government and the developer, after a tribunal ruled crucial documents about the public benefits of the proposal should remain secret (22 April 2021). More...

Migration slump could gift SEQ a building 'catch-up' decade
The slow return of overseas migration could give south-east Queensland space to get ahead on major infrastructure projects, even as population growth continues to outpace all other Australian states and capital cities. (22 April 2021). More...

Brisbane rental vacancies lowest since 2012
Brisbane's private rental market vacancies are at their lowest rates for more than eight years, with most of the state's rates less than 1 per cent (21 April 2021). More...

'Brushed aside': Bushland concerns re-emerge on contentious site
Brisbane City Council says it will meet with residents over plans for the 'gross over-development' of an Eight Mile Plains site which has sparked more than 800 submissions (19 April 2021). More...

Heritage panel to bolster Queensland protection
The Palaszczuk Government has announced a new advisory panel will be established to strengthen Queensland's heritage register and provide expert advice on heritage places and spaces (18 April 2021). More...

Bid to open up student accommodation to workers
Scape Australia plans to open up its student accommodation to essential workers and interstate travellers as it waits for international students to return to the country (15 April 2021). More...

Public Register Portal opens up environmental records to all
A new online portal will give the public improved access to environmental licences and permits in Queensland. The Public Register Portal can be accessed here (14 April 2021).

Land rent relief for cyclone victims
The Department of Environment, Land and Water has revealed that more than 1,500 primary producers impacted by Tropical Cyclone Niran are to receive a land rent reprieve (13 April 2021). More...

Loss of historic Brisbane home prompts calls for heritage overhaul
Combined community groups say both the Queensland government and Brisbane City Council are out of step with communities eager to protect character homes (11 April 2021). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Understanding pet policies for Australian households
AHURI Brief: 14 April 2021
Reforms are happening across Australia, but how pet friendly is our housing market? Around 5.9 million Australian households (61 per cent of all households) had a pet in 2019, a rate greater than for both the US (57 per cent) and the UK (40 per cent). More...

Global Sustainable Building and Construction Industry Report 2021: Sustainability trends include sustainable building materials, net-zero energy buildings and biomimicry & biophilic design
April 15, 2021: Research and Markets
This research service titled 'Technology Advances Enabling Sustainability in Building & Construction Industry' focuses on identifying and analysing technologies that can improve sustainability of the building and construction industry. The research also evaluates the impact of these technologies on the SDGs. More...

NABERS Sustainable Portfolios Index 2021
19 April 2021 - The NABERS SPI showcases 43 leading property portfolios across Australia according to their NABERS ratings and percentage of portfolio rated. This year the Index covers office buildings, shopping centres and carbon neutral portfolios. More...

In practice and courts

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2021


NSW Revenue: Land Tax Build to Rent
The NSW Government is introducing a land tax discount for new build-to-rent housing projects until 2040 and a new Housing Diversity SEPP to provide more housing options, greater surety for renters, boost construction and support jobs during the COVID-19 recovery. Guidelines for the land tax reduction for build-to-rent properties can be read here.


REIQ training requirements for the Queensland real estate industry
The Office of Fair Trading has released new training requirements for the Queensland real estate industry. As of 30 September 2021, the current qualification will be superseded and replaced by a new property services training package. At the REIQ, the new training package not only recognises the significance of the work undertaken by real estate professionals, but also better reflects modern day real estate agency practice. The REIQ will cease to offer the existing training package from next Wednesday, 28 April, 2021.

PCA: Submission update
The Property Council has provided the following correspondence to Government on the Gold Coast Planning Scheme. To view the submission, please click here (15 April 2021).

Have your say: Birkdale Community Precinct
Redlands City Council is looking for feedback on future uses of the Birkdale precinct. To assist with community feedback, urban design teams have proposed five potential themes for the precinct. To view more detail about the design ideas and to provide feedback, please click here. Consultation closes on Tuesday 4 May 2021.

Inland Rail – Helidon to Calvert project – draft environmental impact statement Closes 23 June 201

DAMS and SPP IMS updates

21 April 2021 Powerlink easement
This data set includes newly acquired easements and/or land interests as well as new network infrastructure. It is noted that this new data set will replace the existing data set for the specific layers in full. Powerlink DAMS

14 April 2021 Priority Ports
Correct extent of port overlay and update mapping symbology. DTMR DAMS SPP IMS. More...


Mackenzie v Head, Transport for Victoria [2021] VSCA 100
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – judicial review – review of decisions by Minister in respect of Stage 2 of Western Highway duplication project – whether works could not lawfully proceed until Minister's assessment of the environmental effects considered by councils – no planning permit required – exemptions from notice – no reliance on earlier Ministerial assessment – precautionary principle – Environment Effects Act 1978 ss 8, 8B, 8C, 8F; Planning and Environment Act 1987 ss 12(2)(b), 29, 35; Transport Integration Act 2010 s 19 – leave to appeal refused.
EVIDENCE – admissibility of reports not before Minister when making decision – whether reports contained admissions against interest – whether reports demonstrate failure to exercise jurisdiction – whether reports demonstrate absence of intelligibility – whether contents admissible under Prasad principle – Prasad v Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (1985) 6 FCR 155, Australian Retailers Association v Reserve Bank of Australia [2005] FCA 1707; (2005) 148 FCR 446, considered.

Crowe v Head, Transport for Victoria [2021] VSC 180
LAND VALUATION AND COMPENSATION – claim for compensation for farm land compulsorily acquired for Drysdale Bypass – land acquired in 2018 – bypass first proposed in 1975 – requirement to disregard any decrease in the market value of the land acquired arising from the proposal – dispute as to whether subject land would have been zoned for residential use but for the Bypass proposal – separate questions as to hypothetical zoning of subject land – approach to determining separate questions – significance of planning history and expert planning evidence – opinions of respondent's planning experts preferred – Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic), s 43(1).

BCA Asset Management Group Pty Ltd v Sand Solutions (Vic) Pty Ltd & Ors [2021] VSC 177
CAVEAT — removal – caveator lodging caveat claiming an interest in land as chargee – caveat lodged without proper basis – no serious question to be tried – no interest of supporting caveat lodged – balance of convenience favours removal of caveat in any event – Goldstraw v Goldstraw [2002] VSC 491; Piroshenko v Gosjman [2010] VSC 240; (2010) 27 VR 489; Percy & Michele Pty Ltd v Gangemi [2010] VSC 530; Sylina v Solanki [2014] VSC 2; Carbon Black Pty Ltd v Launder [2015] VSCA 126 referred to.
COSTS — indemnity costs – whether first defendant should pay the plaintiff's costs on an indemnity basis – caveat not having a proper basis, costs awarded against the first defendant on an indemnity basis – Goldstraw v Goldstraw [2002 VSC 491; Love v Kempton [2010] VSC 254; Sovereign MF Ltd (In liq) v EOS Janus Holdings Pty Ltd referred to.
INJUNCTION — plaintiff seeks an order restraining the first and second defendants from lodging for registration on the title to certain land any further caveat claiming an interest in the land—Injunction granted — Australian Broadcasting Corporation v. O'Neill, [2006] HCA 46; (2006) 227 CLR 57; Bradto Pty Ltd v State of Victoria; Tymbook Pty Ltd v State of Victoria [2006] VSCA 89; (2006) 15 VR 65, referred to.

Re Ferraro [2021] VSC 166
REAL PROPERTY – restrictive covenant – application for a declaration that land not affected by any purported restriction in the covenant – whether appropriate to proceed ex parte – whether benefit of the covenant is annexed to land – held: The covenant does not identify any benefited land and so its benefit was personal to the transferors – appropriate to proceed ex parte – declaration made that land not affected by the covenant – Property Law Act 1958 (Vic), s84(2) – Beman Pty Ltd v Boroondara City Council [2017] VSC 207 – Re Hunt [2017] VSC 779.

St Kilda Estates (No 2) Pty Ltd v Melbourne Property Investments Real Estate Pty Ltd [2021] VSCA 92
SALE OF LAND – estate agents – regulated estate agent authority – Estate Agents Act 1980 s 49A disclosure requirements – where agent barred from commission and liable to penalty if authority noncompliant – whether rebate statement was in a form approved by the Director – whether heading part of approved form – Estate Agents Act 1980 s 49A(6) – appeal dismissed.

Prestige & Rich Pty Ltd & Anor v Chief Executive, Department of Justice and Attorney General, Office of Fair Trading & Anor [2021] QCA 58
APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – APPEAL – GENERAL PRINCIPLES – RIGHT OF APPEAL – WHEN APPEAL LIES – ERROR OF LAW – where the applicants are real estate agents – where a buyer paid a deposit to the applicants for a contract of sale of land – where the contract of sale was terminated and the applicants failed to repay the buyer the deposit, taking it for themselves on commission – where the buyer lodged a claim with the Chief Executive, Department of Justice and Attorney General, Office of Fair Trading – where the Chief Executive made a decision that the applicant was liable to pay the buyer's deposit under sections 21, 78 and 82 of the Agents Financial Administration Act 2014 – where the applicant sought leave to review the Chief Executive's decision to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Appeal Tribunal – where the Appeal Tribunal dismissed the applicant's review – whether the applicant can appeal the Appeal Tribunal's decision – whether the Appeal Tribunal made errors of law necessitating leave to appeal

Coolum Chase Pty Ltd v Sunshine Coast Regional Council [2021] QPEC 24
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL - appeal against the decision of the respondent to refuse to extend the relevant period for a development approval
Planning Act 2016 Qld s 311(2)(a); Sustainable Planning Act 2009 Qld ss 383, 388
Integrated Planning Act 1997 Qld ss 3.5.3, 3.5.4, 3.5.6(2)

Cases to 19 April 2021

Sunshine Coast Regional Council v D Agostini Property Pty Ltd & Ors (No. 2) [2021] QPEC 23
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPLICATION – where the applicant seeks to substitute respondents in the proceedings – where the applicant seeks final orders restraining only some respondents in the proceedings – where the respondent submits a procedural defect in the application – where the respondent further submits the Court lacks the power to make the orders sought – where the respondent further submits against the making of final orders prior to the further hearing of the proceeding.
Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld s 10, s 11(4), s 164, s 165, s 180(6); Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 Qld s 12, s 40, s 44; Planning and Environment Court Rules 2018 Qld r 4
Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 Qld r 69, r 74, r 117, r 377



Bills Updated

Environmental and Other Legislation (Reversal of Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) Amendment Bill 2021
Introduced by: Mr N Dametto MP on 21/04/2021
Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 21/04/2021

COVID-19 Emergency Response and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021
Introduced by: Hon S Fentiman MP on 11/03/2021; Stage reached: Passed on 20/04/2021
Part 2 Amendment of Body Corporate and Community Management Act 19972Act amended . . . . .
Part 7 Amendment to Environmental Protection Act 1994

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.