In the media

Commonwealth

Property Council Retirement Living Census 2018: Vertical living, more services

The annual PwC/Property Council Retirement Census for 2018 shows nearly 30 per cent of new villages under development are either vertical or a combination of vertical and horizontal, compared to 15 per cent of existing developments (18 January 2019). More...

Investa nabs first green loan, Climate Bonds Initiative approved

Investa is laying claim to Australia’s first green loan for a $170 million facility that is globally recognised by the Climate Bonds Initiative. To secure the green loan, the Investa fund matched its whole portfolio against the CBI’s emissions thresholds for low carbon buildings (17 January 2019). More...

Price free fall rumour is "overly pessimistic", says KPMG

Widespread speculation that house prices in Australia’s premier markets are set to go into a free fall is overly pessimistic, according to a new report by KPMG Economics. The report has found that Sydney and Melbourne house prices will continue to fall further this financial year, before plateauing and then recovering over the following two years (10 January 2019). More...

House rents up but units not doing as well, Domain report finds

While house rents in most capital cities edged higher over the December quarter, unit rents faired differently, falling in some and remaining stable in others, according to the Domain Rental Report for the December quarter of 2018 (10 January 2019). More...

Opal Tower failure reveals “broken system”

Building defects aren’t unusual in Australian construction, but what the crumbling Opal Tower highlights is the vulnerability of builders and subcontractors of defective buildings and the lack of protections for consumers who buy them (9 January 2018). More...

Apartment building bust picks up speed, with 'further falls' predicted

Australian construction trends are looking bleak as the number of building approvals fall by almost a third since last year — with the number of new apartment development plans halving (9 January 2019). More...

New data reveals property prices fell 2.3 per cent in December quarter

New data has revealed Australia’s ailing housing market has experienced its worst fall since the GFC more than a decade ago, with values falling in half of our capital cities. According to the CoreLogic December home value index results, national dwelling values were down 2.3 per cent over the December quarter (2 January 2019). More...

Victoria

Council now powered by 100 per cent renewable energy

Fourteen members of Melbourne’s leading universities, cultural institutions, corporations and councils combined their purchasing power to support the construction of the 80 MW wind farm at Crowlands, near Ararat (17 January 2019). More...

Victorian construction industry face issues over cladding risk

The combustible cladding crisis has left Australian building surveyors struggling to find compliant professional indemnity insurance. The VBA already was asking surveyors to send in their entire insurance policy document, not just the certificate, to ensure they were covered for a cladding-related claim (16 January 2019). More...

Golden Plains Wind Farm granted planning permit

Acting Minister for Planning Lily D’Ambrosio has today announcing planning permit approval for the Golden Plains Wind Farm. The planning permit approval follows the conclusion of the Environment Effects Statement (EES) by the minister at the end of 2018 (12 January 2019). More...

Planning Minister overturns ban on horse training on 'unspoilt' Victorian beach

The office of Planning Minister Richard Wynne says the move to allow horses onto Levy’s Point, near Warrnambool, follows lengthy and public consultation. University of Melbourne expert in planning and environmental law Brad Jessup said such site-specific planning controls were more often used for special projects in the public interest, such as the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village (10 January 2019). More...

Queensland

Watchdog guns for Queensland mortgage broker

The corporate watchdog is seeking a court order against a Queensland mortgage broker over his scheme to channel super clients into investment properties. Mr Gardner and Advanced Wealth Financial Services are not licensed nor authorised to provide financial services, only credit services, ASIC says (17 January 2019). More...

In practice and courts

Commonwealth

Retirement Living Code of Conduct

To ensure signatories meet the code’s standards and that appropriate resources are in place to support the code’s administration, the code will operate in a transitional stage until 31 December 2019. From 1 January 2020, residents will be able to make a complaint against a code signatory if they believe their community is not meeting the code standards. A copy of the Retirement Living Code of Conduct can be downloaded here. Retirement village operators can register their intent to sign the code here.

API: Exposure Draft – Valuations for Mortgage and Loan Security Purposes

The API has issued an exposure draft Technical Information Paper (TIP) on Valuations for Mortgage and Loan Security Purposes. The purpose of this TIP is to impart advice to Members who provide valuation services for mortgage and loan security purposes. Submissions close on 8 February 2019 and should be sent via email to standards@api.org.au. Please click here to access the Exposure Draft. More...

New South Wales

New dates for Environmental Planning & Assessment Act Updates

Councils, certifiers and other industry practitioners have more time to implement some of the recent EP&A Act updates. Changes affect new provisions for building and subdivision certification, Local Strategic Planning Statements for councils in the Greater Sydney Region and Community Participation Plans. While most of the changes will commence on 1 March 2018, there will be a number of other changes that will involve further design and consultation from mid to late 2018 outlined here.

Cases

Victoria

Mankolli v Bayside CC [2019] VCAT 83

Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 – clause 56 of schedule 1 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 – statement of grounds filed by a person not intending to participate in a hearing – consent order request by parties to the proceeding to determine the application by the grant of a permit subject to conditions and to vacate the hearing – whether a person who pays a fee after the closing date for filing the statement of grounds and upon becoming aware of the consent order request must be given an opportunity to make a submission at a hearing.

SHADAC Inc v Greater Shepparton CC [2019] VCAT 81

Section 77 Planning and Environment Act 1987 – clause 32.08 - General Residential Zone – particular provisions – clause 52.22 – community care accommodation – characterisation of use – appropriateness of location – safety – amenity impacts. Section 114 Planning and Environment Act 1987 – use of land in contravention of clause 32.08.

South Wharf Towers Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue (Review and Regulation) [2019] VCAT 64

TAXATION – Duties Act 2000 (Vic), sections 3, 3E, 28A – foreign purchaser additional duty – whether definition of residential property includes a property to be developed – whether discretion to exempt person who has controlling interest in foreign purchaser should be exercised. The decision of the respondent is set aside, and notice of re-assessment no 11652056 dated 16 September 2016 is varied, to reduce the duty to $3,300,000.

Re DVC Management & Consulting Pty Ltd [2018] VSC 814

REAL PROPERTY – Restrictive covenant – prohibition against erecting ‘any buildings save and except one dwelling house’ – application to modify – proposal to construct four double storey units – numerous instances of multi-unit developments in outer suburban neighbourhood – no objection by persons entitled to the benefit of the covenant – Court’s past allowance of similar application by owner of nearby land – Court’s more recent refusal of similar application by owners of nearby land – reconciling decisions – analysis of contemporary conditions and location of benefitting land – Re RJ and RG Bakey Pty Ltd [2017] VSC 669 distinguished – application granted.

Queensland

Gold Coast City Council v Adrian’s Metal Management Pty Ltd & Ors (No. 2) [2019] QPEC 2

COSTS – Where applicant successful in prosecuting enforcement proceedings against the first, second and third respondents – where applicant substantially successful in pleading for relief – where pursuant to the Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 ordinarily in proceedings in the Planning and Environment Court each party is to bear its own cost for the proceeding – whether exception to the general rule applied because the conduct of the first and second respondent was frivolous and/or vexatious. INDEMNITY COSTS – Whether conduct of the first and/or second respondent was such as to warrant partial indemnity cost orders – whether in circumstances where frivolous and/or vexatious conduct needs to be established before cost orders can be made such conduct would also warrant costs on an indemnity basis – whether conduct of the first and/or second respondent was such as to warrant cost orders in part on an indemnity basis.

Browne, Re [2018] QSC 297

REAL PROPERTY – TORRENS TITLE – TRANSMISSION AND VESTING ORDERS ON PROPRIETOR’S DEATH – TRANSMISSION – TO BENEFICIARIES AND OTHER INTERESTED PERSONS – Where the registered proprietor (the deceased) of freehold land disappeared between 1898 and 1900 – where the deceased’s brother who is the applicant’s grandfather took over farming the deceased’s property in conjunction with his adjoining property – where on the applicant’s grandfather’s death the applicant’s father continued to possess and farm the deceased’s property – where the applicant succeeded to possessing and farming the deceased’s property on his father’s death – where since 1994 the applicant has paid the rates, insurance and outgoings for the maintenance of the property – where the applicant applies under s 114 of the Land Title Act 1994 (Qld) as a person interested in a lot of a deceased registered proprietor for an order that he be registered as proprietor of a lot.

Chin Hong Investments Corporation Pty Ltd as Tte v Valuer-General [2018] QLC 46

REAL PROPERTY – VALUATION OF LAND – OBJECTIONS AND APPEALS – QUEENSLAND – COSTS – DISCONTINUANCE OF PROCEEDINGS – Application by respondent for costs when appeal withdrawn – statutory basis for costs order – discretion – exercise of discretion.

Gibbons-Munch & Anor v RAM Property Nominees Pty Ltd as Trustee [2018] QCAT 450

LANDLORD AND TENANT – TERMINATION OF THE TENANCY – PROVISIONS GIVING RIGHT TO TERMINATE IN NAMED CIRCUMSTANCES – OTHER CASES – Where lessor terminated lease for late payment of rent – whether arguable case that termination not valid.

Sovereign Homes Qld Pty Ltd v Edwards (No 2) [2018] QCAT 410

COSTS – Building dispute – open offer to settle – result no more favourable – contractual right to costs on indemnity basis – both parties partially successful – apportionment of costs. INTEREST – AGREEMENTS TO PAY INTEREST – Agreed interest at 18% - penalty or liquidated damages – not a penalty – builder retained and had benefit of insurance funds subsequently awarded to owner.