In the media


Covid-19 creates unique opportunities for buyers
The top suburbs tipped for future performance in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne have been revealed—with the coronavirus shifting the landscape for both rental and sales markets, new research shows (02 July 2020). More...

GST needs to be part of stamp duty removal solution
The Thodey Report provides a welcome perspective on options to overhaul federal-state financial relations and tax reform, but limits the prospect of meaningful reform by ruling out an enhanced GST as the mechanism to remove stamp duty and therefore boost the economy (01 July 2020). More...

No timeline for when $25k HomeBuilder scheme will be up and running
Three weeks since it launched, the Federal Government's HomeBuilder scheme is missing in action and it won't be online until all states and territories sign on (29 June 2020). More...


City of Melbourne powers up renewable energy deal
A group of prominent Melbourne universities and businesses has secured a multi- million-dollar deal to power their operations using wind energy produced in regional Victoria. The purchasing group of seven large energy users includes RMIT University, Deakin University, Cbus Property, ISPT, Fulton Hogan, Citywide Asphalt, and Mondelez International (30 June 2020). More...

New plans for North Melbourne jobs hub
The Victorian Government has unveiled detailed plans for the new Arden precinct, confirming North Melbourne as a major inner-city hub for thousands of jobs, affordable housing and transport links.The Draft Arden Precinct Structure Plan, was released in partnership with the City of Melbourne (29 June 2020). More...

Victoria fast-tracks $1.1bn in project approvals
Two towers at Collins Wharf and the $220 million Geelong Precinct are the latest projects to be fast-tracked by the Victorian government in a bid to kick start the state's economy (26 June 2020). More...

Expanded controls on development along the Yarra River
Expanded controls on development along the Yarra River have been announced as recommended in the State of the Yarra and its Parklands Report (2018) (24 June 2020). More...


LGNSW critical of new housing code being imposed on communities
LGNSW has voiced concerns over the NSW Government's low-rise medium density housing rules, which come into effect for all councils, fearing it will make it harder for councils to uphold community confidence in an orderly development system that supports the local character of their areas (01 July 2020). More...

Planning Delivery Unit to unblock billions of dollars in investment
The development industry and councils will now have access to a new Planning Delivery Unit that will work with NSW Government agencies to unblock planning projects stuck in the system (01 July 2020). More...

500 new defects discovered at Opal Tower as unit owners launch legal action
Owners of units in the beleaguered Opal Tower are suing the NSW Government after discovering more than 500 new defects in the high-rise building (29 June 2020). More...

REINSW: New 'duty of care' Law makes all participants in building work responsible for fixing defects
New 'duty of care' laws now make all participants in building work responsible for fixing building defects (30 June 2020). More...

NSW planning system powers past jobs targets
The NSW Government's Planning System Acceleration Program is on track to reach its target of creating opportunities for 30,000 jobs in half the time originally anticipated (21 June 2020). More...


Lifestyle Investments 1 Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue [2020] VSC 397
TAXES AND DUTIES – Land tax – exemption for land used as a registered caravan park – if only part of the land is used as a registered caravan park – Applewood Residential Developments Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue (2006) 64 ATR 291 – Land Tax Act 2005 (Vic), ss 77(1), (3)
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – "land used as" – Macquarie University v Ryde Municipal Council [1977] 1 NSWLR 304 – Council of the City of Newcastle v Royal Newcastle Hospital [1957] HCA 15; (1957) 96 CLR 493 – Council of the City of Newcastle v Royal Newcastle Hospital [1959] UKPCHCA 1; (1959) 100 CLR 1 – Sandhurst Holdings Australia Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue [2009] VSCA 167; (2009) 25 VR 59 – Metricon Qld Pty Ltd v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue (No 2) [2016] NSWSC 332; (2016) 102 ATR 781 – Educang Limited v Brisbane City Council [2002] QSC 374 – Council of the Town of Gladstone v the Gladstone Harbour Board [1964] Qd R 505 – City of Nunawading v Harrington [1985] VicRp 64; [1985] VR 641 – Rosenblum v Brisbane City Council [1957] HCA 98; (1957) 98 CLR 35 – Caravan park – Part 4A park – Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic), s 3(1) (definitions) – Land Tax Act 2005 (Vic), ss 77(1), (4)
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – appeal to the trial division of the Supreme Court of Victoria from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal – Cosmopolitan Hotel (Vic) Pty Ltd v Crown Melbourne Ltd [2014] VSCA 353; (2014) 45 VR 771 – Secretary to the Department of Justice v YEE [2012] VSC 447 – Osland v Secretary of the Department of Justice (No 2) [2010] HCA 24; (2010) 241 CLR 320 – XYZ v State Trustees Ltd (2006) 25 VAR 402 – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998, s 148.

Kweifio-Okai v SPG Corporation Pty Ltd [2020] VSC 386
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – VCAT – application for leave to appeal on questions of law – application seeking return of deposit for purchase of apartment and damages in tort for property damage – necessary parties not joined – no VCAT jurisdiction in tort claim – whether it was open to VCAT to summarily strike out the application – order that applicant pay respondents' costs – whether costs order justified – whether applicant was denied procedural fairness – duty to assist self-represented litigant – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 ss 75 and 109.

Abdou v Onur & Yurduseven Pty Ltd (Building and Property) [2020] VCAT 707
RETAIL LEASES – orders dismissing application by tenant for an order restraining landlord from forfeiting lease – subsequent order for possession on application of the landlord and ancillary orders in aid of recovering possession – reasons for latter orders provided pursuant to written request of tenant.

Kinglake Friends of the Forest Inc. v VicForests [2020] VSC 394
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW – application for interim injunction – timber harvesting in State forest coupes – whether serious question to be tried that defendant failing to screen timber harvesting operations from view, in breach of statutory forestry management standards – whether serious question to be tried that harvesting not in accordance with statutory timber release plan – balance of convenience – Interim injunctions granted – Sustainable Forests (Timber) Act 2004 (Vic), ss 37, 38, 44, 45, 46 – Code of Practice for Timber Production 2014 – Management Standards and Procedures for timber harvesting operations in Victoria's State forests 2014, cl

Vorontsov & Anor v Fong & Ors [2020] VSC 381
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – judgment in default of defence – application to set aside – Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015, rr 21.02 and 21.07 – Lubura v Nezirevic [2013] VSCA 215; (2013) 42 VR 43 and Kostokanellis v Allen [1974] VicRp 71; [1974] VR 596 – default judgment set aside proceeding concerns a contract for the sale of land.

Nightvision Enterprises Pty Ltd v BKW Corp Pty Ltd (Building and Property) [2020] VCAT 697
Retail Lease Act 2003 – application by tenant for an injunction pending final hearing preventing the landlord from re-entering and taking possession of leased premises and alternative claim for relief against forfeiture; issue as to whether an issue to be tried had been established by tenant concerning alleged breaches of the lease – in respect of the tenant's alternative claim for relief against forfeiture the landlord contended that certain breaches were once and for all and could not be remedied and that relief against forfeiture should not be granted in respect of: (a) a wilful breach of the lease; and (b) in respect of breach of an essential term of the lease. Injunction granted.

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.