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Inside track: Property & Real Estate

02 July 2019

#Property & Real Estate

Inside track: Property & Real Estate

In the media


Australia’s robust population growth means more housing is essential
The Australian Bureau of Statistics latest figures on population growth are robust and will need to lead to more new housing, says the Urban Taskforce. The ABS data shows that Australia’s population grew by 1.6 per cent during 2018 with record births (20 June 2019).  More...

Mirvac plans all-electric buildings, net zero emissions
The listed group, which has an investment portfolio across office, retail and industrial assets, and a development business in both residential and commercial sectors, refreshed its sustainability strategy in June. Last year Dexus, Cbus Property and Nightingale Apartments joined other industry heavyweights in committing to the Global Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (20 June 2019).  More...

House prices slump as RBA all but confirms further cuts
More than $150 billion has been wiped off the value of Australian homes over the last six months, while the Reserve Bank has all but confirmed further cuts to interest rates (18 June 2019).  More...

Research shows March housing decline, market to stabilise: REIA
Property prices fell across Australia at the start of the year with the weighted average median prices decreasing by with houses declining 2.2 per cent and other dwellings 1.4 per cent (12 June 2019).  More...

Mortgage rate cuts not automatic for all borrowers at all banks
Even if your bank has publicly promised to pass on this month's Reserve Bank interest rate cut it may not automatically apply to your mortgage, consumer advocates warn (12 June 2019).  More...

PCA: Unlocking the potential of distributed energy
Australia could triple the amount of rooftop solar by unlocking the potential of commercial buildings, but only if the property and energy industries work together, finds a new report (11 June 2019).  More...

If it's voluntary for developers to make affordable housing deals with councils, what can you expect?
Across the country, only 2 percent of private rentals are affordable for a person on the minimum wage. Less than 1% are affordable for a single person on the pension. There are 650,000 households who can’t afford housing at market rates in Australia right now and this figure is projected to reach over a million by 2036 (07 June 2019).  More...

Growing demand to boost build-to-rent
Amid a backdrop of high housing costs and a growing rental population, build-to-rent development is expected to gain more momentum in key locations, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, new research shows (19 June 2019).  More...

Improving the Local Government Act
The Local Government Act is being overhauled for the first time in nearly 30 years to pave the way for a more modern, robust and contemporary set of guidelines. It provides a clear legislative framework to support councils to provide essential infrastructure and services in their areas (20 June 2019).  More...


Planning Minister Rob Stokes flags medium density housing code review
It could be easier for landowners and developers to build terraces and other medium-density homes in more areas of Sydney by the end of the year. The Planning Minister Rob Stokes, is a keen supporter of the medium-density housing code as a means to increase the diversity of housing (13 June 2019).  More...


Bowen Hills planning changes set new standards
Future development in Bowen Hills will deliver housing diversity, high sustainability standards and generous communal spaces, following an update to the Priority Development Area’s (PDA) development scheme (22 June 2019).  More...

Queensland, we have a problem with launch sites for the space race
While Queensland's geographic position on the east coast was technically "very favourable" for a wide range of launch capabilities, there was no immediately identifiable location in the state that met criteria for airspace, operations, environment, cultural matters including issues important for traditional owners (21 June 2019).  More...

Sunland plans residential towers at $1.3bn Gold Coast masterplan
ASX-listed developer Sunland has lodged revised plans for four residential towers at its $1.3 billion masterplan on the Gold Coast. The revised scheme removes plans for four permit-approved commercial buildings and increases the number of apartments from 298 to 310 (19 June 2019).  More...

Sekisui House unveils $1.5bn plans for Ripley town centre
Japanese-backed developer Sekisui House has revealed its $1.5 billion masterplan vision for Ripley Town Centre in heart of Brisbane’s rapidly growing western corridor. Ripley Valley was declared a priority development area in October 2010 (19 June 2019).  More...

PCA: A taxing time for Queenslanders
Local and overseas property owners have again been slugged with unjustifiable and uncompetitive land tax increases in today’s Queensland State Budget. Land tax has increased for all property holdings over $5m in Queensland, with some offshore investors potentially seeing a near doubling of their overall land tax bill ( 11 June 2019).  More...

Planning amendments perfect news for Logan craft brewers
Recently approved amendments to Logan City Council’s planning scheme will make it easier for new craft brewing business ventures in Logan (10 June 2019).  More...

Land clearing battle moves to High Court
A battle over how land clearing is regulated across Queensland has moved to Australia’s highest court, which pits the development industry and farming lobby against a South-East Queensland council (10 June 2019).  More...


Australian Bureau of Statistics
18 June 2019 Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, Mar 2019 (cat no. 6416.0)

In practice and courts


API:  Withholding tax provisions – the purchaser’s obligation to pay an amount for GST on new residential property purchases
The change in legislation applies to sale contracts for new residential premises and land entered into from 1 July 2018. GST is detailed legislation. Valuers are NOT tax experts and if in doubt or lacking formal tax advice, should assume GST at 1/11th of the sale prices  (10 June 2019).  More...

API: Risk rating to be assigned to flammable cladding buildings
Inconsistent approaches to flammable cladding across the country has prompted the Australian Property Institute (API) to lead the way with a valuation protocol which will assign a risk rating on properties that appear to be clad, is known to be clad or is known to have non-compliant cladding (03 June 2019).   More... [member access]

API:  Opinion shopping for valuation metrics
In response to ‘opinion shopping’ for valuation metrics, the Australian Valuation Standards Committee (AVSC) regards requests of these types as inappropriate and recommends that Members do not comply with provision of the requested information. The AVSC reminds Members that the respective International Valuation Standards 2017 and API Code of Professional Conduct protect the interests of the public and the industry (05 June 2019).  More...

API: Risk rating to be assigned to flammable cladding buildings
Inconsistent approaches to flammable cladding across the country has prompted the Australian Property Institute to lead the way with a valuation protocol which will assign a risk rating on properties that appear to be clad, is known to be clad or is known to have non-compliant cladding (03 June 2019).  More...  [member access]

Complex land transfer transactions to be managed online
Land Use Victoria has mandated that complex land transfer transactions, currently managed via paper settlement, must be lodged and managed online from August 2019. This applies to conveyancers and lawyers acting for a party or for themselves. Duties Online enhancements will: Lower administration costs: Improve settlement completion rates: Mean duty is calculated prior to settlement: Increase data security: Ensure information is viewed and agreed to by all parties before settlement.

GBCA important deadlines - green star certification for your project
Many project teams have timelines set around major events. To support this, these guidelines below (based on typical time frames), which specify the deadlines you’ll need to meet in order to have your project certified in time for key milestones in 2019. Deadlines are from 08 April – 04 November 2019.  More...

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2019


Brisbane City plan amendments
Brisbane City Council has adopted amendments to the Brisbane City Plan 2014. These include: Retirement and Aged Care Amendments and The Gap Neighbourhood Plan. Further information can be found on Brisbane City Council‘s website.  (14 June 2019)

Sunshine Coast incentives
Sunshine Coast Council has announced a three-year extension to its Infill Development Incentives Policy which offers incentives for infill development on the Sunshine Coast.  All applications for an incentive must be submitted to Council between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2022. Further information is available here. (14 June 2019)

Titles Registry Alert No 151: Leases and Caveats
The Land Title Practice Manual was recently updated to reflect these changes (14 June 2019):
Leases Surrendered by Operation of Law
There are new requirements when an existing registered lease is surrendered by operation of law as a result of the lodgement of a new lease. Refer to section 69(3) of the Land Title Act 1994 and the Land Title Practice Manual [7-2110] for more information.
Caveat Notices – Notifying the Registrar by way of a Form 14 – General Request
Customers are reminded that a Form 14 – General Request must be deposited by the usual lodgement methods to notify the Registrar of the following caveat matters outlined here. Notifying the Registrar of the above caveat matters using other methods (e.g. by e-mail or letter) is not sufficient to comply with the relevant requirements under the Land Title Act [1994]

OSR update: eConveyancing expansion
The OSR has announced an expansion of the type of transactions that can be self assessed via an eConveyancing lodgment network operator (ELNO).In a staged expansion, the first group of transaction types is now available. The first stage enables the processing of most transfers of land effected by a Form 1 Transfer, registered with the Queensland Titles Registry. To assist with processing transactions via an ELNO, OSR has published updates to the SA1—Self assessment of transfer duty—Instructions for registered self assessors (version 16) and to the electronic conveyancing toolkit.

SA1 - Self assessment of transfer duty – Instructions for registered self assessors
The SA1 has been updated to reflect the changes to e-conveyancing and is available at Queensland Government publications.

Queensland Urban Utilities: Water and sewerage charges 2019-20
Queensland Urban Utilities has announced an increase in charges for residential and commercial properties.  Increased charges apply to water and sewerage. QUU’s website provides a full breakdown of prices across the five regional areas: Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Somerset. The full breakdown of the new pricing is available on QUU’s website. (06 June 2019)

Revised Queensland Titles Registry fees
The new fees for the 2019–2020 financial year are prescribed in the Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Legislation (Fees) Amendment Regulation 2019 which is available on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website. The Titles Registry online fee calculator will be updated on 1 July 2019 to reflect the revised fees that commence on that date.  More...

Land Title Practice Manual Reminder: Paper Certificates of Title are changing
Please be aware that the way in which the Titles Registry deals with paper certificates of title (paper CTs) is changing. As of 1st October 2019, paper CTs will no longer have any legal effect. From 1st October 2019, there will no longer be the option to lodge a Form 19 - Application for certificate of title. Similarly, a Form 17 – Request to Dispense (with production of a CT) will become redundant as of 1st October 2019.  More...

Note: Safer Buildings: Parts 2 and 3a deadlines extended
Bodies corporate and building owners across Queensland have been given additional time to complete Parts 2 and 3a of the Safer Buildings combustible cladding checklist. The new deadlines will be as follows:
Part 2: extended from 29 May 2019 to 31 July 2019
Part 3a: extended from 27 August 2019 to 31 October 2019.  More...


Revised Queensland titles registry fees
The new fees for the 2019–2020 financial year are prescribed in the Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Legislation (Fees) Amendment Regulation 2019 which is available on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website. The Titles Registry online fee calculator will be updated on 1 July 2019 to reflect the revised fees that commence on that date.  More...



Caligiuri & Anor v Attorney General (on behalf of the State of Victoria) & Ors (No 2) [2019] VSC 365
JUDICIAL REVIEW – Land acquisition – Procedural fairness – Whether procedural fairness requires persons with an interest in land to be acquired to be heard before the Governor in Council can certify on the recommendation of the Minister that it is unnecessary, undesirable or contrary to the public interest for land to be reserved under a planning instrument for a public purpose – Whether obligations of procedural fairness arise before an acquiring authority can decide to serve a notice of intention to acquire land or notice of acquisition – Whether a notice of intention to acquire land is invalid as a result of miscalculation of the area of an easement – Whether a notice of acquisition is invalid due to failure to serve notice of intention to acquire on a party with an interest in the land – Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic) ss 1, 3, 4, 5(1), 5(3), 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 19, 21–24, 26, 105 – Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) ss 6(2)(c), 20(3)(a)(i).

Provans Timber Pty Ltd v Secretary to the Dept of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources [2019] VSC 390
LAND ACQUISITION AND COMPENSATION – Land compulsorily acquired for East West Link Project – Land used for hardware business – Owner of land and tenant related companies – Compensation to landowner claimed on higher use than current use – Highest and best use – Secretary to the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources v Manor Lakes (Werribee) Pty Ltd [2017] VSCA 114; ISPT Pty Ltd v Melbourne City Council [2008] VSCA 180; (2008) 20 VR 447– Construction of initial offer of compensation – Whether a single indivisible offer or three separate offers – Whether Authority bound by offer of relocation costs – Whether offer of relocation costs contained information that was incorrect – Whether relocation costs ‘the natural, direct and reasonable consequence’ of compulsory acquisition – Meaning of ‘natural, direct and reasonable’ – Halwood Corporation Ltd v Roads Corporation (1995) 89 LGERA 280; Melbourne City Link Authority v Teford Pty Ltd [2001] VSCA 54; (2001) 113 LGERA 102; Roads and Maritime Services v United Petroleum Pty Ltd [2019] NSWCA 41 – Whether award of compensation for relocation costs precluded by s 41(2) of the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 – Peter Croke Holdings Pty Ltd v Roads and Traffic Authority of New South Wales (1998) 101 LGERA 30 – Whether award of compensation for relocation costs inconsistent with assessment of market value based on vacant possession – Whether claimants to be treated ‘as one’ – Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic), ss 30, 31, 31(8), 40, 41(1)(d), 41(2), 53; Valuation of Land Act 1960 (Vic), s 5A(3).

Gray v Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change [2019] VSC 382
TOWN PLANNING – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 s 148 – Tribunal decision to refuse permits required with respect to proposed dwelling and proposed works – Authority of Departmental Officer to object to grant of permit – Authority to institute application for review of local Council’s decision – Tribunal finding as to access – Whether access track a public highway – Whether Tribunal’s conclusions as to access track correct – Whether Tribunal’s reasoning with respect to bushfire risk, removal of native vegetation and impact on waterways open – Leave to appeal refused.

Japara Developments Pty Ltd v Knox CC (Red Dot) [2019] VCAT 828
Planning application for a residential aged care facility
Paragraphs 5-8 (Law); Paragraphs 35-41 (Consideration of a VPP provision); Paragraphs 48-70 (Analysis)
LAW – issue of interpretation or application - That the requirements of clause 53.17 override requirements of the applicable Zone and Overlays but do not override policy considerations.
PLANNING SCHEME – interpretation or consideration of VPP provision
Consideration of clause 53.17 in a context of policies, zone provisions and overlays that discourage large, bulky built form.
ANALYSIS – exposition of how to asses an issue or matters to consider


Council of the City of Gold Coast v McKean & Ors [2019] QPEC 28
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – BUILDING CONTROL – COUNCIL CONSENT AND APPROVAL – MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION BY COUNCIL – FIRE AND SAFETY – Where there are no development permits for material changes of use of the land – where the first respondent has a building permit for a dwelling on the property – where the first respondent was unable to avoid the requirement of a code assessable development application – Whether there was a requirement at the time of the issue of the building permit for a development permit for a material change of use for a dwelling house under the Planning Act 2016.
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – OPERATION OF STATUTORY CONTROLS – ENFORCEMENT – OBJECTIONS TO COMPLIANCE – Where the applicant argues the respondent was granted a building permit despite non-compliance with s 83 of the Building Act 1975 – where the applicant argues this is amounts to a breach of a fundamental precondition – Whether the building permit was either void ab initio or voidable
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – COSTS – GENERAL MATTERS – POWER TO AWARD GENERALLY – STATUTORY BASIS GENERALLY – Where parties generally bear their own costs – whether the first respondent should be ordered to pay the applicant’s costs for having no reasonable prospects of success.

Building Act 1975 Qld s 83; Planning Act 2016 Qld s 260; Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld s 59, s 60 

Council of the City of the Gold Coast v Ashtrail Pty Ltd & Anor (No.2) [2019] QPEC 26
The  substantive  proceeding  was  concerned  with  an  application  brought  by  the Council of the City of Gold Coast (the Council) against Ashtrail and Talranch. The relief  sought  was  essentially  for declaratory  relief  and  consequential enforcement  4orders pursuant to s11 of the Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 (PECA) and s180 of the Planning Act 2016. Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld; Planning Act 2016 Qld; Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 Qld

Dobeson v Ray White Sherwood [2019] QCAT 155
CONTRACTS – GENERAL CONTRACTUAL PRINCIPLES – residential tenancy – when a residential tenancy agreement starts – conditions precedent – unlawful termination
STATUTES – ACTS OF PARLIAMENT – INTERPRETATION – GENERAL APPROACHES TO INTERPRETATION – GENERAL WORDS – Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld) – lease agreement – written, oral or implied terms – what must be in writing. Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 Qld ss 12(3), 58(1), 61, 61(6)(b), 62(1), 62(2), 64(5), 87, 159

Crosswell & Anor v Thompson [2019] QCAT 153
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – TREES, VEGETATION AND HABITAT PROTECTION – DISPUTES BETWEEN NEIGHBOURS – whether land is zoned rural under relevant planning scheme – whether the Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011 (Qld) applies to the trees the subject of the dispute – whether Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear and decide the dispute.

Rowan v Commissioner of State Revenue [2019] QCAT 151
TAXES AND DUTIES – LAND TAX – LIABILITY FOR LAND TAX – Review of a decision of the Commissioner of State Revenue pursuant to section 69(2)(b) of the Taxation Administration Act 2001 (Qld) – where land tax assessment by the Commissioner is calculated on the basis that the applicant was an ‘absentee’ pursuant to section 31 of the Land Tax Act 2010 (Qld) – whether the applicant was ‘an absentee’ pursuant to section 31 of the Land Tax Act 2010 (Qld)

Gold Coast City Council v Sunland Group Limited & Anor [2019] QCA 118
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – COURTS AND TRIBUNALS WITH ENVIRONMENT JURISDICTION – QUEENSLAND – PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT COURT AND ITS PREDECESSORS – OTHER MATTERS – where the applicant had issued infrastructure charge notices to the respondent – where the respondent appealed the applicant’s decision to issue the infrastructure charge notices to the Planning and Environment Court – where the Planning and Environment Court made declarations overturning the imposition of the infrastructure charge notices – whether the Planning and Environment Court erred in their decision
APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – APPEAL - GENERAL PRINCIPLES – RIGHT OF APPEAL – WHEN APPEAL LIES – OTHER CASES – where the applicant issued notices to the respondent each under s 635 of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) in order to levy charges on the respondent for trunk infrastructure – where the respondent filed an appeal against the appellant’s decision to issue the notices – where the learned primary judge held that the notices were not in accordance with s 637(2) of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) and were not infrastructure charge notices under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) – where the applicant has sought leave to appeal against the declarations of the learned primary judge – whether the learned primary judge erred in declaring that the notices did not comply with the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) and were not infrastructure charge notices under the Act
STATUTES – ACTS OF PARLIAMENT – INTERPRETATION – INTERPRETATION ACTS AND PROVISIONS – where it is contended the questions raised on appeal are of specific importance to the applicant as the entity responsible for issuing infrastructure charge notices in its local government area – where it is contended that the questions raised on appeal are of importance to other local governments throughout Queensland – where the resolution of the issues are relevant to the applicant’s budgeting and financial resources – where it is submitted that the appeal raises critical questions about proper statutory construction – where is its contended that the Planning and Environment Court erred in holding that a failure to comply with s 637(2) of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) rendered the notices invalid – where it is submitted that the Planning and Environment Court erred by not refusing the declarations sought by the respondent – whether s 637(2) of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) was correctly interpreted by the learned primary judge
STATUTES – ACTS OF PARLIAMENT – OPERATION AND EFFECT OF ACTS – RETROSPECTIVE OPERATION – where the Court granted the parties leave to make supplementary submissions as to the impact of s 344 of the Planning Act 2016 (Qld) on the appeal – where the applicant contends that s 344 of the Planning Act 2016 (Qld) has a retrospective effect, applying to infrastructure charge notices issued on or after 4 July 2014 – where the respondent contends that the appeal must be determined upon the law as it stood at the hearing below – where it is submitted that as s 344 of the Planning Act 2016 (Qld) was not in existence at the time of the notice and therefore cannot apply – whether s 344 of the Planning Act 2016 (Qld) operates in a retrospective sense or not. Acts Interpretation Act 1954 Qld s 27B; Planning Act 2016 Qld s 344; Sustainable Planning Act 2009 Qld s 478, s 635, s 637(1), s 637(2)

Goldicott House Pty Ltd v Brisbane City Council & Ors [2019] QPEC 25
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPLICATION –where orders of this court have previously identified the issues in dispute – where Council now seeks to extend issues in dispute to include the matters dealt with in the reports – where joint expert reports went beyond the identified issues

F A Pidgeon & Son Pty Ltd v Valuer-General [2019] QLC 26
REAL PROPERTY – VALUATION OF LAND – OBJECTIONS AND APPEALS – QUEENSLAND – where appellant objects to valuation – where the site value is the basis of valuation – where sales have a different highest and best use to the subject – where sales are described as not directly comparable – where expert opinion comparison is required – where expert opinion of one expert significantly changed during oral evidence – what was the result of the valuer’s concession
REAL PROPERTY – VALUATION OF LAND – OBJECTIONS AND APPEALS – QUEENSLAND – NOTICE OF APPEAL – evidence – burden of proof – whether the appellant has met the onus of proof
EVIDENCE – ADDUCING EVIDENCE – WITNESSES – COMPETENCE AND COMPELLABILITY – where expert provides inconsistent evidence Land Valuation Act [2010].



Subordinate legislation as made
No 100 Queensland Building and Construction Commission (Minimum Financial Requirements) Amendment Regulation (No. 2) 2019 - 14 June 2019
No 104 Planning Legislation (Fees and Other Matters) Amendment Regulation 2019

Robina Kidd, Partner
T: +61 2 8083 0454

Vanya Lozzi, Partner
T: +61 2 8083 0462

Cameron Sheather, Partner
T: +61 2 8083 0461

Breellen Warry, Partner
T: +61 2 8083 0420

Chris Lovell, Chairman
T: +61 3 9321 9832

Lou Farinotti, Senior Partner
T: +61 3 9321 9861

Chris Brodrick, Partner
T: +61 3 9321 9804

Lisa Cody, Partner
T: +61 3 9321 9872

Richard Skopal, Partner 
T: +61 3 9321 9866

Joseph Monaghan, Partner 
T: +61 3 9321 9857

Ron Eames, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0629

Katie Miller, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0606

Peter Nugent, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0632

Gerard Timbs, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0644

John Wei, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0688 

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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