Russell Kennedy Lawyers appoints new special counsel Michael Dowling

Russell Kennedy Lawyers has recently appointed Michael Dowling as a Special Counsel in their extensive Property team. 

Dowling practices in the areas of property, property development, subdivisions and local government, he joins Russell Kennedy from Maddocks.

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Strengthening Australia's foreign investment framework

The Government is seeking views on proposed reforms to strengthen Australia's foreign investment framework, particularly around residential real estate and agriculture. This discussion paper forms the basis of the Government’s consultation on reforms to the foreign investment framework (25 February 2015)

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Government to define agribusiness following new FIRB rules

The Federal Government wants to create a clearer definition of agribusiness after it confirmed new laws surrounding foreign acquisitions. But the working definition of an agribusiness is limited to primary production — large corporate farms are covered but processors and manufacturers are not (05 March 2015)

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At Russell Kennedy we have a team of lawyers that regularly advise on foreign investment review applications. For more information please contact: John Corcoran or Ji-Shen Loong

Planning Minister Richard Wynne makes first major approvals for Melbourne projects and suburbs

In his most significant major approvals since taking office, Planning Minister Richard Wynne has signed off on five new "activity centres" in middle and outer Melbourne, in a bid to generate more jobs and higher-density residential development (04 March 2015)

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For more information please contact: Rosemary Southgate, Kathryn Elleman, Michael Dowling or Kate Bartlett

ACN 005 057 349 Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue [2015] VSC 76

TAX – Land tax – Taxpayer alleged that assessment of duplicate property led to overpayment of land tax – Overpayment discovered outside prescribed statutory period for recovery – Taxpayer alleged moneys were paid under a mistake of law – Whether taxpayer entitled to bring a common law restitutionary claim in circumstances where statutory objection and other recovery procedures not utilised – Whether mandamus available to compel Commissioner to exercise discretion to amend land tax assessments and refund alleged overpayment – Land Tax Act 1958 (Vic) ss 19, 24A(1), 90AA, 92A. LIMITATION OF ACTIONS – Whether common law action for recovery barred – Whether action for mandamus barred – Whether ‘reasonable diligence’ in discovering mistake – Limitation of Actions Act 1958 (Vic) ss 5(1)(a), 20A(1)(a), 27 – Land Tax Act 1958 (Vic) ss 90AA(3), (4) and (8). INTEREST – Whether compound interest available on overpaid moneys as part of restitutionary relief – Whether simple interest available in the court’s equitable or statutory jurisdiction – Supreme Court Act 1986 (Vic) ss 58, 60.

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For more information please contact: Rosemary Southgate, John Corcoran, Adam Goldner or Ji-Shen Loong

National approach to retail leasing arrangements

On 28 October 2014, the committee was granted an extension to report by the 8th sitting day in 2015. On 3 March 2015, the committee was granted a further extension to report by the 18 March 2015

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For more information please contact: Rosemary Southgate, Emma Dunlevie, Caroline Snaidr or Lauren Smyth

APRA releases quarterly ADI property exposures for December 2014

The APRA has released Quarterly Authorised Deposit-taking Institution Property Exposures for the December 2014 quarter. Quarterly ADI Property Exposures contains information on ADIs' commercial property exposures, residential property exposures and new housing loan approvals (24 February 2015)

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For more information please contact: Rosemary Southgate or Sebastian Saccuzzo

ABA: Low interest rates yes, property bubble no: New report

House prices in Australia are in a period of strong growth spurred on by low interest rates, but there is no evidence of a property bubble, according to a report on the housing market released today by the Australian Bankers’ Association (11 March 2015)

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For more information please contact: John Corcoran, Sebastian Saccuzzo or Ji-Shen Loong

REIA: Moderating lending activity

The latest housing finance figures released today by the ABS reflect flat lending activity for housing. The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) says the figures for January 2015 show, in trend terms, that the number of owner-occupied finance commitments fell by 0.1 per cent. This fall follows three consecutive months of no change (11 March 2015) Moderating lending activity

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For more information please contact: Rosemary Southgate, Wai-Hwoon Low or Caroline Snaidr