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Inside track: Property & Real Estate

19 October 2020

#Property, Planning & Development

Inside track: Property & Real Estate

In the media


Australia central bank warns of business failures as property vacancies rise
Business failures in Australia are likely to rise with commercial property seen among the hardest hit sectors as a shift to work-from-home arrangements empties offices and major retail precincts, the central bank said on Friday (09 October 2020).  More...

Remote working and the new normal: Australia’s commercial property market needs to find a new model
The commercial property market as we know it is suffering. The confidence of many tenants and office occupiers are becoming weakened by uncertainty, and it’s disrupting our aptitude to function within the once traditional process (08 October 2020).  More...

JLL: Budget to provide boost for real estate sector
The Australian government’s latest budget is committing support and investment incentives to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 in moves that are likely to bolster the real estate sector (08 October 2020).  More...

Federal Budget 2020: The Property Industry Weighs In
The federal government has rolled out its recession-battling budget, a single-year plan centring on tax cuts, spending, support for businesses and jobs that will rely heavily on a private sector-led recovery (07 October 2020).  More...

Strong’ and ‘encouraging’: Industry reacts to 2020 budget
This week’s federal budget has been mostly well received by members of the real estate industry, who have applauded the measures taken to boost consumer confidence and kickstart property activity. REB has looked at how the budget’s announced measures could impact real estate agents here (07 October 2020).  More...

Budget boost to business investment welcome, further scope to leverage sustainability
In the 2020 Federal Budget, the Government has delivered an unprecedented package of business investment incentives, including a key expansion of the instant asset write off scheme. Business can use this extension to purchase more energy efficient equipment for commercial buildings such as large energy-intensive equipment like chillers, air handling units, pumps, and fans (07 October 2020).  More...

Budget 2020: A strong budget if forecasts become reality
The Real Estate Institute of Australia has said that the critical Budget 2020 has provided an encouraging outlook for all players in the Australian property market (06 October 2020).  More...

PCA: Apartments and housing construction to get shot in the arm with new home deposit scheme
The Government will release an additional 10,000 places under the scheme, earmarked solely for newly constructed dwellings, with amended scheme rules and increased price caps to ensure the scheme boosts apartment sales as well as detached housing (02 October 2020).  More...

Deposit scheme to house more first home buyers: HIA
Changes to the Australian Government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, applying exclusively to those purchasing a new home or apartment, will support jobs in the residential building industry (03 October 2020).  More...

Incentives for home building will help national recovery: HIA
An increase in the number of people that can apply for a place in the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme if they buy or build a new home and the $1.2 billion injection into the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy are major cornerstones in supporting jobs across the residential building industry (06 October 2020).  More...

REIA Questions focus of 10,000 new places for first home buyers
The Real Estate Institute of Australia has expressed reservations about the release of 10,000 new places for first home buyers to build a new home or purchase a newly built home under the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (03 October 2020).  More...

Mortgage pausing is over for most. Here's what happens now
For six months, hundreds of thousands of borrowers have been able to put their mortgage repayments on hold as they dealt with the COVID-19 crisis. But, for most customers, those deferrals are ending. If you're one of them, what happens next? (02 October 2020).  More...

HIA: Impact of HomeBuilder evident in detached building approvals
The impact of HomeBuilder is now emerging in the ABS Building Approvals Data and there is a significant divergence between the outlook for detached and multi-unit dwellings (30 September 2020).  More...

GBCSA: An update on Green Star homes
After issuing over 2600 Green Star certifications across Australia – from office buildings, to retail fitouts, airports, public buildings and everything in-between, in May this year GBCA have made our move into the residential sector, knowing that industry had long been asking for a standard to certify the places where we live (30 September 2020).  More...


CBD tenant demand sags as sub-leasing surges
The amount of office space available for sublease in the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs has begun to swell as the coronavirus crisis continues to hit corporate Australia, forcing tenants to question the prospects of once-thriving city towers (01 October 2020).  More...

Property Council releases plan for rebooting Melbourne
Ahead of the City of Melbourne Council elections, the Property Council has released an election platform, Rebooting Melbourne, A Plan for Jobs, Economic Growth and Revitalising the CBD. The election platform identifies eight recommendations for an incoming City of Melbourne Council to boost economic activity, create jobs and build confidence across the City of Melbourne (09 October 2020).  More...

Work on a new pedestrian route between Docklands and the CBD begins
The new, permanent walkway under the rail line between Flinders Street and Southern Cross Station will link the Melbourne Quarter redevelopment to the rest of the city, making it one of Melbourne’s most pedestrian-friendly precincts (07 October 2020).  More...

Development on Yarra River’s north bank sails on
The revitalisation of the historic goods shed beside Melbourne’s Yarra River will become the centre of a $500 million hotel and apartment project, with its developer still targeting a 2023 completion date despite Covid-19 restrictions (06 October 2020).  More...

Commercial property owners to suffer extra penalty
Victorian commercial property owners who have already provided hundreds of millions of dollars in rental relief to struggling businesses will be placed under further financial stress by new regulations introduced by the Victorian Government (01 October 2020).  More...

Outdoor dining to transform Melbourne
In a move that will transform Melbourne’s food culture for generations to come, the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government will support businesses to expand their outdoor trading onto footpaths, carparks, streets and laneways (01 October 2020).  More...


Workers have no plans to return the city, so developers are taking to the suburbs
The race is on for development projects across Metropolitan Sydney with plans lodged for a variety of mixed-use assets to cater for the pandemic-struck home workers who want an office – but not in the CBD (10 October 2020).  More...


Coolangatta apartment development seeks new heights
Plans for a 72-apartment residential development spanning 13-storeys in Coolangatta has been lodged with the Gold Coast council (09 October 2020).  More...

Limitless lodges medi-hotel plans
Developer Limitless plans to build a 173-room medi-hotel in Brisbane as health-focused developments ramp up in the wake of Covid (08 October 2020).  More...

Build-to-Rent pilot project
The Property Council welcomes the announcement regarding the Government’s preferred proponents for its Build-to-Rent pilot project. This is as an important step in demonstrating how Government and the private sector can work together to deliver this new housing model in Queensland (08 October 2020).  More...

Build-to-Rent developers locked in to boost affordable housing options
The Palaszczuk Government has secured agreement with two leading national builders to develop the first two affordable housing projects under the Build-To-Rent program. (03 October 2020).  More...

PCA: Townsville Regional Economic Recovery strategy
The Queensland Government has announced its economic recovery plan to support Townsville and the surrounding regions. The plan formulated as part of the Government’s Unite & Recover strategy aims to provide the region with economic support as it rebuilds from COVID-19 (02 October 2020).  More...

Gold Coast land supply will dry up within five years, developers warn
The State Government reports there is enough land for 45,000 new dwellings on the Gold Coast, despite fears from the construction sector that less than a quarter of that land could be developed (02 October 2020).  More...

PCA: Commercial leasing guidelines extended
The amendments introduce an ‘extension period’ and separate the requirements between the response period (29 March 2020 to 30 September 2020) and the extension period (1 October 2020 to 31 December 2020). Given the ongoing impact of the Regulation on members, the Property Council successfully advocated for an expansion of land tax rebates available for landlords (01 October 2020).  More...

Singapore’s ARA unveils Brisbane CBD office tower
Singapore's ARA Asset Management is pushing ahead with a major commercial project in Brisbane’s CBD, lodging plans for a 22-storey commercial tower set to be wrapped in a terracotta frame (01 October 2020).  More...

Jobs gallop in with commitment to $38 million Gold Coast Turf Club redevelopment
The Palaszczuk Government has announced a $31.5 million commitment to the multimillion-dollar Gold Coast Turf Club redevelopment (30 September 2020).  More...

Modernised Body Corporate regulations to commence in March 2021
The Palaszczuk Government has finalised a modernised set of body corporate regulations which will deliver important benefits for Queensland unit owners. To assist stakeholders with the transition, the new regulations will take effect from 1 March 2021 (29 September 2020).  More...

Hudson plots Bowen Hills office tower
ASX-listed investment group Hudson has lodged plans for a mixed-use development in Brisbane’s fast-growing inner north. The proposed mixed-use development, set to replace two existing two-storey office and industrial buildings, lies within the 100-hectare Bowen Hills priority development area (28 September 2020).  More...

In practice and courts


Current Inquiries and Consultations
Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan Review
Review of the Lands Acquisition Act 1989 (Cth)

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2020


SRO: Further land tax relief for landlords and business owners
The Victorian Government has announced further land tax relief for landlords, in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as part of its extension of the commercial and residential tenancy relief schemes until 31 December 2020. Commercial landlords who apply for coronavirus land tax relief must continue to provide rent relief that complies with the requirements of the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme.

Victorian eviction moratorium extended until 28 March 2021
Residential tenants and landlords who struggle to reach agreement over rent reductions have access to the dispute resolution service run by Consumer Affairs Victoria for residential tenancies. The Victorian Small Business Commission offers a similar service for commercial tenancies. Residential and commercial tenants and landlords can also take advantage of more support, including further land tax reductions and more grant funding. For more information see our Renting rules and support during the moratorium page.


NSW Revenue: 2020 land tax COVID-19 relief - Guidelines
24 September 2020 – measures to provide relief to commercial and residential landowners, View details here.


New Body Corporate Regulations
The Queensland Government has released a new set of Body Corporate regulations intended to streamline body corporate procedures and increase protections for lot owners. To find out more about the new regulation, please click here (October 2020).

Commercial Leasing Guideline extended
An extension to the mandatory leasing provisions introduced to give effect to the National Commercial Code of Conduct, has now been enacted through the Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Amendment Regulation 2020. The amendments introduce an ‘extension period’ and separate the requirements between the response period (29 March 2020 to 30 September 2020) and the extension period (1 October 2020 to 31 December 2020).
Note: You can access the Amendment Regulation here. The Queensland Small Business Commissioner will continue to assist with resolution and mediation of COVID-19 affected small businesses leases.

QLS: Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Amendment Regulation 2020- 30 September 2020
Feedback request on retail and commercial lease regulation extension. Practitioners are invited to comment on potential outcomes from the Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Amendment Regulation 2020.  More...

Introducing OSR online
OSR Online is your new home for transfer and insurance duty. It replaces OSRconnect for duties lodgements in Queensland. It gives you a better way to lodge and pay your transfer and insurance duty. Set up an account so you’re ready to benefit when it becomes fully functional in October.
Why OSR Online?
- Easier to make lodgements
- Access to the most relevant training and support materials
- See payments, lodgements and credits all in one place
- More secure with highest level of data security
- Quicker to update your details.  More...

P&E Court to resume in-person ADR conferences
In-person ADR conferences have resumed in the Planning and Environment Court as of 28 September.  More...

Submission update: Gold Coast Coastal Adaptation strategy
01 Oct 2020 - Property Council of Australia - The Property Council has provided input into the ongoing development of the City of Gold Coast’s Coastal Hazard Adaptation strategy. To view the submission, please click here.

COVID-19 Update on Courts, Commissions, Tribunals
See current COVID-19 updates for the Courts, Commissions and Tribunals here. Additionally, QLS also provides COVID-19 updates specifically relating to property law and criminal law.

PCA: Land Tax Relief extended
As part of its ‘mini-budget’ the Queensland Government has announced a 25 per cent land tax rebate is available for eligible properties for the 2020-21 assessment year. The due dates for applications for the land tax rebate are: 2019-20, applications close on 31 October 2020 and 2020-21, applications close on 26 February 2021.
The rebate is only available if you owned an eligible property at midnight on 30 June 2019 and/or 30 June 2020, and were liable for land tax in relation to the property (2020).  More...

Walkable Neighbourhoods
The Queensland Government has introduced the Mandatory Planning (Walkable Neighbourhoods) Amendment Regulation 2020. The regulation will apply to all Development Applications lodged after September 28 2020. To find out more about the Mandatory Planning (Walkable Neighbourhoods) Amendment Regulation 2020 and the supporting technical documents, please click here.

Safer Buildings program enters final stage
The QBCC is administering the three-part Safer Buildings program to understand the extent of combustible cladding use in Queensland’s private buildings. The Safer Buildings program has advanced considerably with Part 3 of the combustible cladding checklist now underway. The deadline for building owners to finalise the Part 3 assessment is 3 May 2021. For more information visit

Place names recent decisions
02 October 2020 - Job number 19-017: Dundula Creek

EHP prosecutions
A selection of the department’s enforcement actions are summarised in prosecution bulletins outlining the facts and outcomes of finalised prosecutions.
Prosecution bulletin no 6/2020 October 2020

Open for consultation: Moreton Bay Regional Economic Development strategy
Moreton Bay Regional Council has developed a Regional Economic Development Strategy that is now open for community consultation. The strategy provides a 20-year economic vision for Moreton Bay, and a blueprint for sustainable economic growth into the future. To view the draft strategy and provide feedback, please click here.

Reminder: Planning legislation amendment
The additional time provided through the extension notice applies to development approvals in effect on 8 July 2020 or which come into effect between 8 July 2020 and 31 October 2020. For example, a development approval that would have ordinarily lapsed on 1 August 2020 now won’t lapse until 1 February 2021.  More...

Queensland Planning legislation
Urgent amendments to the Planning legislation are in effect to address concerns raised by a range of stakeholders, including local government and industry, in response to the COVID-19. The Minister for Planning has extended the COVID-19 emergency applicable event to 31 October 2020.  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

REIA News – 30 September 2020
Federal Budget 2020; Rental Eviction Moratorium and Claiming Deductions for home-based business.  More...


Mark Ward Trading Pty Ltd v Ball (Building and Property) [2020] VCAT 1103
Retail Leases Act 2003: Applicant executed lease with a third party; third party assigned lease to respondents in 2013; dispute arose between applicant and respondents in 2017 and the applicant initiated this proceeding; dispute settled by terms of settlement executed in 2017; terms of settlement required the parties to execute a new lease on certain terms; new lease not executed; first respondent sought a declaration that the terms of settlement were not binding; Tribunal declared terms of settlement were binding on 16 December 2019; allegations made after December 2019 that applicant was in breach of the lease; application made by applicant for rectification of the lease, for an order that the first respondent specifically perform terms of settlement and execute a lease once its terms have been determined, for an order for damages for breach of the lease and for other relief; cross application by the first respondent for order for possession, for an order for damages for breach of the lease and for mesne profits. 

Zelos v Zelos (Building and Property) [2020] VCAT 1092
Property Law Act 1958 – Part IV – co-owned property – who is a co-owner – interest of person must be co-owned with someone else – sole interest in land not co-owned with owners of different interests in the same physical piece of land – finding of the extent of co-owned party’s interest necessarily requires the determination of other interests – findings as to the existence of interests of co-owners binding only upon the parties to a proceeding – s.18A and s.233 – claims for compensation and an account only made between co-owners.

CIFG (Australia) Pty Ltd v Perna [2020] VSC 630
FUNDS IN COURT – surplus proceeds from sale of land paid into court – application for payment out – Plaintiffs claim equitable charge under guarantees given to secure principal debtor’s indebtedness to the plaintiffs – first defendants claim equitable charge under a security agreement – whether liability of the principal debtor to plaintiffs joint or several – whether guarantors liable to a plaintiff or the plaintiffs under guarantees – whether plaintiffs’ charge enforceable – Adaz Nominees Pty Ltd v Castleway Pty Ltd [2020] VSC 201 applied – whether first defendants’ security agreement a sham transaction – whether first defendants charge enforceable – Snook v London and West Riding Investments Ltd [1967] 2 QB 786; Sharrment Pty Ltd v Official Trustee in Bankruptcy (1988) 18 FCR 449; ASIC v Managed Investments Ltd and Ors (No 9) [2016] QSC 109
PROPERTY – competing equitable interests in land – whether interest created first in time should be postponed – Butler v Fairclough [1917] HCA 9; (1917) 23 CLR 78; Latec Investments Ltd v Hotel Terrigal Pty Ltd (in liq) [1965] HCA 17; (1965) 113 CLR 265; J & H Just (Holdings) Pty Ltd v Bank of New South Wales [1971] HCA 57; (1971) 125 CLR 546; Mimi v Millenium D.

Muller & Anor v Del Vecchio [2020] QCAT 373
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – TREES, VEGETATION AND HABITAT PROTECTION – DISPUTES BETWEEN NEIGHBOURS – where a row of Lilly Pilly trees on the Respondent’s land were alleged to have resulted in obstruction of sunlight affecting the Applicants’ dwelling necessitating increased heating costs – where the Applicants sought orders under the Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011 (Qld) – where photographs revealed glass doors and windows of the Applicants’ dwelling in shade and the trees were the obvious cause – where the tree assessor found the trees to restrict sunlight by 80 per cent – whether the obstruction of sunlight was ‘severe’ for the purpose of s 66(3)(b)(i) of the Act – whether the obstruction of sunlight amounted to substantial, ongoing and unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the Applicants’ land for the purpose of s 66(2)(b)(ii) of the Act – whether the Tribunal is bound by tree assessor’s opinion on interference - where the tree assessor found the trees provided privacy for the Respondent - whether orders should be made for work to be carried out to reduce the height of the trees
Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011 Qld s 46, s 59, s 61, s 65, s 66, s 70(2), s 71, s 73, s 75. 

Purcell v Challenor & Anor [2020] QCAT 372
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – TREES, VEGETATION AND HABITAT PROTECTION – DISPUTES BETWEEN NEIGHBOURS – whether the neighbour made a reasonable effort to reach agreement with the tree-keeper to give rise to a power to make an order – whether bamboo caused serious damage to the neighbour’s land or property or is likely to cause serious injury – whether the bamboo causes substantial, ongoing and unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the neighbour’s land – loss of view – whether view existed at the time the neighbour purchased the property – whether severe obstruction of view caused by bamboo – whether bamboo causing obstruction of sunlight and breezes to the neighbour’s land. Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011 Qld s 42, s 45, s 46, s 47, s 48, s 49, s 62, s 65, s 66.

Hilas & Anor v GGPG Developments (No 133) Pty Ltd & Anor [2020] QSC 313
CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – FORMATION OF CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS – MATTERS NOT GIVING RISE TO BINDING CONTRACT – VAGUENESS AND UNCERTAINTY – CERTAINTY AS TO PRICE – where the parties entered into a put and call option deed for the acquisition by the first respondent of certain property – where the deed was varied to extend the time for exercising the options under the deed – where the variation did not address the purchase price in relation to the options – whether the deed was uncertain as to the purchase price of the call option
CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – FORMATION OF CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS – OFFER – OPTION FOR VALUABLE CONSIDERATION OR UNDER SEAL – EXERCISE OF OPTION – METHOD OF EXERCISE – where the applicants gave a notice of exercise of the put option under the deed – where the applicants also enclosed an executed contract, which was not required under the deed – whether the notice of exercise of option was valid and effectual.

Cases to 05 October 2020

Catterall & Ors v Moreton Bay Regional Council & Anor [2020] QPEC 52
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL – where appeal against decision to approve a change application for other than a minor change to a development approval – where the changes proposed increase building height but reduce density, bulk and scale – whether the subject land is suitable for high density residential development – whether the changed development, by reason of its height, bulk, scale and density, will have unacceptable impacts on character and amenity – whether the height, bulk scale and density of the changed development complies with the respondent’s planning scheme – whether the change application should be approved or refused
Acts Interpretation Act 1954 Qld s 14B
Planning Act 2016 Qld ss 45, 59, 60, 78, 82, 229 and Sch 1 & 2
Planning & Environment Court Act 2016 Qld ss 43, 45, 46 and 47.


Native Title Amendment (Infrastructure and Public Facilities) Bill 2020
09/10/2020 - The Native Title Amendment (Infrastructure and Public Facilities) Bill 2020 (the Bill) amends the Native Title Act 1993 (the Native Title Act) to extend the operation of Subdivision JA for another 10 years.

PAYG Withholding variation for foreign resident capital gains withholding payments – no residue after a mortgagee exercises a power of sale 2020.

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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