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Inside track: Property & Real Estate

15 June 2021

#Property, Planning & Development

Inside track: Property & Real Estate

In the media

Commonwealth

Major REITs pivot to funds management and development for more returns
Australia’s listed property groups are in a race to pivot their real estate businesses toward an asset-light model driven by property management and development income, according to investment bank UBS (02 June 2021).  More...

REIA: Overall housing and rental affordability declines
Housing affordability improved in New South Wales and South Australia, remained steady in Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory but declined in Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory (02 June 2021).  More...

Pandemic a ‘Steroid Shot’ for Non-Bank Lenders
Property lenders are lining up to provide capital on new projects as the industry suddenly gains momentum, in stark contrast to the situation six months ago. According to Stamford Capital’s annual Real Estate Debt Capital Markets survey, non-bank lenders are taking advantage of this renewed confidence across a number of asset classes (02 June 2021).  More...

Detached dwelling approvals break another record in April
Detached building approvals reached a record level for the third consecutive month in April 2021,” stated HIA Economist (01 June 2021).  More...

Australia’s housing boom rolls on with national home values lifting another 2.2 per cent in May
Housing markets around Australia continued to surge in May with CoreLogic’s national Home Value Index up 2.2 per cent over the month. CoreLogic’s research director, Tim Lawless, observes that growth conditions remained broad based both geographically and across the housing types and valuation segments (01 June 2021).  More...

What’s in 2021–22 Budget for cities and urban development
The 2021-2022 Budget contains funding for a number of economic and infrastructure themes relevant to Australian cities and surrounding urban areas (27 May 2021).  More...

Essential workers pushed out of Sydney and Melbourne by high housing costs
New research has found that many essential workers are struggling to access housing in Australia’s most expensive cities (27 May 2021).  More...

Victoria

Victoria’s Windfall Tax Should Punish Speculators
Land-banking investors have swooped on large swathes of Victorian land, driving up prices and causing a shortage in land stock, according to developers (03 June 2021).  More...

Piedimonte’s supermarket plans given green light
The Piedimonte family will go ahead and develop apartments above its iconic Fitzroy North supermarket after gaining a green light for its plans despite hundreds of objections from residents. The family-run supermarket off St Georges Road was given a thumbs up by Victoria’s planning tribunal (03 June 2021).  More...

Pelligra Plans $30m Inner-Melbourne Holiday Inn
Plans have been lodged for a $39-million, eight-storey Holiday Inn, car showroom and office space in inner-Melbourne's Richmond (27 May 2021).  More...

6 stars for Collins Square
Collins Square, one of the largest commercial developments in Australia, has received 6 stars NABERS Indoor Environment ratings for all four of its towers. NABERS Director Carlos Flores says Collins Square is a flagship for future developments that aim to be sustainable enterprises (21 May 2021).  More...

Planning to start on Central Pier
Development Victoria will commence planning for extensive stakeholder and community consultation on the redevelopment of Central Pier, following the Victoria Government’s allocation of $3 million announced in the State Budget (21 May 2021).  More...

NSW

NSW Building Approvals at 33-Year High
New South Wales is leading the way for building approvals, hitting highs last seen in the 1980s. The number of houses approved in April increased 30.1 per cent and apartments were up 12.1 per cent, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data (01 June 2021).  More...

‘You will sterilise land from residential use’: New powers to refuse floodplain development
The NSW government has given councils the power to refuse development occurring on land above the previously prescribed one-in-100 year floodline (29 May 2021).  More...

Sydney’s new buildings soar towards net zero
New buildings will be more energy efficient, use more renewable energy and support the transition to net-zero emissions under an Australia-first plan to include energy targets in development applications (24 May 2021).  More...

Queensland

Tenants allowed to keep pets and rent increases capped under MP’s plan
Greens member for South Brisbane Amy MacMahon has introduced a private member’s bill aimed at addressing the growing rental crisis in Queensland on Wednesday (05 June 2021).  More...

Insurance premiums will continue to soar thanks to Scott Morrison
Insurance premiums for Far North Queensland homeowners will continue to soar due to a lack of funding from the Morrison Government, say Members of Parliament (04 June 2021).  More...

Key planners back study of green bridge between Teneriffe and Bulimba
A green bridge between the inner-Brisbane suburbs would reduce congestion to the CBD and be used heavily by pedestrians and cyclists, one of Australia’s leading urban planning agencies says (03 June 2021).  More...

Where there’s smoke, there’s call for crackdown on cigarettes in units
Apartment dwellers who annoy their neighbours with cigarette smoke could face stricter rules under proposed changes to the law (03 June 2021).  More...

Four years on, still no sign of Qld government’s $60m Old Museum plan
The fate of one of Brisbane’s most historic buildings remains undecided, almost four years after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk promised to raise $60 million to secure the Old Museum’s future (01 June 2021).  More...

Brisbane Airport’s $1bn Third Terminal
Brisbane Airport has unveiled plans to build a $1-billion third terminal that will connect its dual runways. Brisbane Airport Corporation said the development would be marked for completion in 2032, however, the timeline would be moved forward if Brisbane was confirmed as the host of the 2032 Olympic Games (01 June 2021).  More...

Pikos’ Brisbane Triple Tower Gets Go-Ahead
Pikos Group's $350-million Brisbane River development has been approved after multiple applications on the site and an appeal when the apartment plans were rejected by the council (31 May 2021).  More...

Slabs poured on first terrace homes at Carseldine Village
Construction on the first terrace homes at Carseldine Village, a 100 per cent solar and battery neighbourhood, is underway, supporting around 60 construction jobs (28 May 2021).  More...

Two sites on the table for new inner city school
Two short-listed locations are on the table for consultation next month for a proposed new inner-west Brisbane state primary school (28 May 2021).  More...

City Golf Course to Become Biggest Park in 50 Years
Victoria Park’s transformation into a public park will begin in July with 45 ha of green space to be delivered to the community. The Brisbane City Council's City Parklands Service, will manage the transformation of the current pay-and-play golf course into parkland (27 May 2021).  More...

Experts warn sellers of accepting 'highly volatile and risky' cryptocurrency from homebuyers
Queensland's peak real estate body says vendors need to think carefully about accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for the sale of their homes (27 May 2021).  More...

OFT Spotlight on Trust Account Mismanagement
A prosecution last month into the wrongful use of trust money by a Noosa resident letting agent highlights how seriously this conduct is viewed by the courts and acts to remind the real estate industry of the consequences of not dealing with trust money appropriately (26 May 2021).  More...

Gold Coast agent to pay $1.5 million compensation after misleading consumers
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman said the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) does important work in protecting Queenslanders from being misled by dodgy property schemes. The company, which traded as a real estate agent, financial advisor, auctioneer, and mortgage broker was ordered to pay the compensation by the OFT (25 May 2021).  More...

Raptis Lodges Plans for Gold Coast Tower
Gold Coast property developer Jim Raptis has lodged a development application for a high-rise apartment tower at Broadbeach. The site, currently occupied by a low-format, two-level building, sits within the high-density residential zone (24 May 2021).  More...

In practice and courts

Commonwealth

AG issues guide to property and financial agreements and consent orders
The federal Attorney-General’s Department has issued a guidance document called ‘Property and Financial Agreements and Consent Orders – What You Need to Know’. For the first time there are free national property precedents for orders that can be used by lawyers and by self-represented litigants (May 2021).

Consultation on potential national register of Enduring Powers of Attorney
The Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department has released a Consultation Paper seeking public and stakeholder views on possible arrangements for a National Register of Enduring Powers of Attorney. In particular, the Attorneys-General from each Australian jurisdiction are seeking views on: The interaction between existing land titles registers and the new National Register. For further information, please see the Commonwealth Attorney-General's consultation webpage. To view the public consultation paper and submission template click here. Submissions close on 30 June 2021.

ATO Alerts
01/06/2021 Making a tip-off
We are interested in COVID-19, JobKeeper, phoenix, tax evasion and black economy tip-offs you may have about members of the community who gain an unfair advantage by intentionally doing the wrong thing.

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2021

NSW

Registrar General: Timetable to digital survey plans in NSW launched
Some important deliverables in the next 12 months are:
July 2021: Surveyors will be able to create survey plan workspaces in the NSW Land Registry Services (LRS) portal and pre-fill titling documents online
End of 2021: Move to 100 per cent online lodgment along with new NSW LRS portal tools that make it easier for surveyors to lodge digital survey plans.  More...

Queensland

Reporting and challenging asset valuation outcomes
QAO Published: 31 May 2021: Advice
Most Queensland Government and local government entities revalue their land, buildings and infrastructure every year.  More...

Queensland Courts: Practice Directions

Planning and Environment Court – Appearances other than in person at Reviews/Applications
Parties and practitioners are advised that the Planning and Environment Court has released additional guidance in relation to appearances other than in person at the hearing of an application or review (31 May 2021).  More...

Amended protocol for Applications in the Brisbane Supreme Court
An amended protocol for Applications will apply in the Brisbane Supreme Court from Wednesday 26 May 2021 until further notice (25 May 2021).  More...

Revised titles registry fees for the 2021-2022 financial year
Revised fees for Queensland Titles Registry lodgements and searches will take effect from 01 July 2021. For a summary listing the revised fee amounts please click here. The 2021-22 fees are prescribed in the Debt Reduction and Savings Bill 2021 which is available on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website (24 May 2021).

Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation (Tenants' Rights) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021
The Bill was referred to the Community Support and Services Committee for detailed consideration and report by 26 November 2021. The explanatory notes state that the objective of the Bill is to improve rights for renters in Queensland, address rental affordability concerns and improve access to safe and secure housing. The Bill aims to achieve its policy objectives by amending the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 outlined here.

PCA: Brisbane City Council Green Bridges Project Update
Brisbane City Council has delivered an update on its Green Bridges Project with the announcement of two new green bridge locations connecting Toowong to West End and West End’s Orleigh park to Guyatt Park in St Lucia. Planning is progressing for the Kangaroo Point Green Bridge with designs being released for new walking and cycling connections at the bridge landings. For more information on the Green Bridges Program please click here (27 May 2021).

Place Names – Current proposals
Job number 19-027: Yaraka
Closing date for comments: 16 July 2021

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

Cases

Splash Leasing Pty Ltd v Standfirm Commercial Pty Ltd (Building and Property) [2021] VCAT 533
Retail Leases Act 2003: Claim struck out by Tribunal; respondent makes claim for costs; applicant files and serves submissions that raise doctrine of res judicata; respondent makes further submissions in response ;applicant acknowledges claim based on doctrine of res judicata was raised on an incorrect premise; respondent makes further claim for costs; interim orders made.

Evalia Holdings Pty Ltd v Mascoma Metal Design Pty Ltd (Building and Property) [2021] VCAT 539
Lease: Monthly periodic tenancy of factory premises, landlord’s claim for rent and outgoings, whether parties agreed to increase the monthly rent payable under the periodic tenancy, whether periodic tenancy validly terminated, whether periodic tenancy to be in writing, Property Law Act 1958: s53 and s54.
The respondent must pay the applicant $35,862.66.

Strathallan Golf Club Inc v Darebin CC [2021] VCAT 551
Power of the Tribunal to reinstate a proceeding – whether orders should be re-opened where made by consent – whether a ‘hearing’ has occurred where orders were made on the papers – proceeding not reinstated – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) s 120 – orders made pursuant to s 93 – whether s 120A is more apt – Lillas & Loel Lawyers Pty Ltd v Celona & Ors [2014] VSCA 19 applied – Bradd v State Revenue Office [2006] VCAT 867 considered – Waddingham v Australian Securities Ltd [2010] VCAT 1311 considered – BCSP 5622 v Whitehorse City Council [2009] VCAT 1134 considered. 

TM Mitchell Holdings Pty Ltd v Mitchell SC [2021] VCAT 536
Section 80 review under Planning and Environment Act 1987; Mitchell Planning Scheme; General Residential Zone Schedule 1, Heritage Overlay Schedule 308 (Seymour Railway Precinct) and Land Subject to Inundation Overlay; Applicant seeking removal of permit conditions reducing dwellings from seven to six, increasing separation between dwellings, and additional visitor car space.

Correa v He & Ors [2021] VCC 679
OCCUPIER’S LIABILITY Cause – claim by plaintiff for damages for injury suffered to her left leg and foot when a low brick wall collapsed – wall located on the boundary of premises owned by her, and an adjoining premises which was leased to tenants – claim against first and second defendants as owners of the leased property and third, fourth and fifth defendants as managing real estate agents – issue as to what caused the wall to fall – consideration of Part X of the Wrongs Act 1958 – factual findings as to whether there were defects observed in the wall and whether those defects were made known to the real estate agents – whether duty owed by the first and second defendants delegated to the third, fourth and fifth defendants – whether breach of the duty owed by the defendants. Wrongs Act 1958, s14B Judgment: No breach of duty – judgment for the defendants.

Great Union Pty Ltd v Sportsgirl Pty Ltd [2021] VSC 277
ARBITRATION – whether clause in lease required disputes about entitlement to rental abatement to be referred to arbitration. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – whether Court should stay non-arbitral claims pending determination by arbitrator of the arbitral claim. PLEADING – whether pleading of claims for rental abatement and breach of quiet enjoyment clause under lease should be struck out – purposes of pleadings considered.

Stumpy Gully Holdings Pty Ltd v Doolkoora Pty Ltd (Costs) (Building and Property) [2021] VCAT 529
COSTS–RETAIL LEASE–alleged agreement for lease–ten hearing days completed–strike-out and other applications brought by respondent landowners during the nine month period that the hearing was adjourned part heard–cross-applications by the applicant occupier for order requiring the respondents to comply with a previous order of the Tribunal–whether respondents’ applications bound to fail.
RETAIL LEASES ACT 2003–Section 92 Retail Leases Act 2003–discussion of relevant principles concerning costs. 

Tzilantonis v S & C Thomas Holdings Pty Ltd (Building and Property) [2021] VCAT 486
LANDLORD AND TENANT – COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) (Commercial Leases and Licences) Regulations 2020 (the Regulations); Assessment of rent relief – whether a complaint request for rent relief made under reg 10(2) of the Regulations – whether more than document can constitute a single request for rent relief under the Regulations – whether documents accompanying a request for relief under the Regulations need to be sent contemporaneously with the request – meaning of ‘accompanied by’ in reg 10 of the Regulations – the giving of a ‘statement’ distinguished from the giving of ‘information’; Calculating the decline in turnover expressed as a percentage; whether the Regulations require waving recovery of any outgoing or expense.

Cannon Hill Investments Pty Ltd & Anor v Malt Brewing Company Pty Ltd & Ors [2021] QPEC 30
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – ORIGINATING APPLICATION – whether development application was impact assessable, not code assessable – whether the proposed development was for a “Hotel” and not for a “Food and Drink Outlet” – whether the proposed development exceeded 250m² gross floor area – whether relief should be refused in the exercise of discretion.
Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld s 11; Planning Act 2016 Qld s 45.

Self Storage Helensvale Holdings Pty Ltd v City of Gold Coast Council [2021] QPEC 29
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL – DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – where the Council refused an application to develop land for a self-storage facility – where the land was in the Medium density residential zone – whether the type of use is appropriate in the zone – whether the scale of use is appropriate in the zone – whether the built form and character and visual amenity impacts of the proposed development are acceptable – whether the planning scheme has been overtaken by events – whether there is a planning, community and economic need for the proposed development – whether the proposed development provides other relevant public benefits – whether the proposed development should be approved in the exercise of the planning discretion Local Government Act 2009 Qld s 251.

Cases to 31 May 2021

Wormell Pty Ltd v Gold Coast City Council & Anor (No 2) [2021] QPEC 22
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL - DEVELOPMENT CONTROL – CONSENTS, APPROVALS, PERMITS AND AGREEMENTS – MODIFICATIONS – GENERALLY – Appeal against approval – Where the appellant appeals against the approval for a material change of use – Whether the proposed use is indoor sport and recreation or an educational establishment – Where it was held that the use is for indoor sport and recreation – Whether the use complies with relevant elements of the existing City Plan – Whether noncompliance, if any, can be remediated by the imposition of relevant conditions – Whether the application should be approved in the exercise of the relevant planning discretion - Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld s 43; Planning Act 2016 Qld s 45.

Legislation

Commonwealth

Bills

Water Legislation Amendment (Inspector-General of Water Compliance and Other Measures) Bill 2021
HR 26/05/2021 - The Water Legislation Amendment (Inspector-General of Water Compliance and Other Measures) Bill 2021 would amend the Water Act 2007 to establish the role of an independent Inspector-General of Water Compliance (Inspector-General) to monitor, and provide independent oversight of, water compliance.

Liability for Climate Change Damage (Make the Polluters Pay) Bill 2021
HR 24/05/2021 – This Bill makes fossil fuel companies liable for climate change damage, giving victims of climate change, such as the 2019 – 2020 bushfire survivors, the right to bring an action against thermal coal, oil and gas companies for climate change damage.

Queensland

Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accomodation (Tenants' Rights) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021
Introduced by: Dr A MacMahon MP on 26/05/2021; Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 26/05/2021
The objective of the Bill is to improve rights for renters in Queensland, address rental affordability concerns and improve access to safe and secure housing.

Subordinate legislation as made – 28 May 2021

No 49 Water Plan (Mary Basin) (Postponement of Expiry) Notice 2021
For section 56(1) of the Act, the new expiry date for the Water Plan (Mary Basin) 2006, as postponed under section 55 of the Act, is 28 May 2024.

Disclaimer
The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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