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Inside track: Property & Real Estate

24 February 2020

#Property & Real Estate

Inside track: Property & Real Estate

In the media

Record house price growth forecast for 2020
Property prices in Australia are set to surpass peak levels over 2020 as the robust turnaround across the nation’s biggest markets continues to gather pace (12 February 2020).  More...

HIA: Lending for new homes continues to grow - National
Lending to first home buyers increased by 6.2 per cent in the month of December 2019 to be up by 3.6 per cent for the quarter. This is the highest number of first home buyer loans since December 2009 (11 February 2020).  More...

Owner occupiers driving housing finance numbers
The value of loans for housing continues to be positive with the increase being driven by owner occupiers, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia (11 February 2020).  More...

Commercial property values in Australia near two-year high, but retail still a weak link: RICS
Australia’s commercial property professionals have maintained a bullish outlook on capital values for the coming 12 months. However, the value of retail assets is likely to decline further, according to new research from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) (10 February 2020).  More...

Stockland strikes $75m CEFC deal
Property developers dedicated to improving their assets energy efficiency will help better environmental outcomes, provide economic advantages to their own business, and supports thriving, resilient communities Stockland chief executive Mark Steinert said (07 February 2020).  More...

Luxury apartment undersupply ‘opportunity’ for developers: Knight Frank
The downsizing lifestyle with a focus on luxury apartment living is a growing trend in Australia, reflecting an appetite towards medium and high-rise development, according to a new report (07 February 2020).  More...

PCA: Office market strength felt across the nation
Australia’s office markets remain strong, with Sydney and Melbourne CBDs at less than four per cent vacancies and strong tenant demand in most other markets. The report shows the national vacancy rate decreased marginally over the last six months to 8.3 per cent compared to 8.4 per cent in the previous period (06 February 2020).  More...

Prefab industry to help with quick rebuilds after bushfires
Prefabricated homes, which are manufactured fully or partly in a factory and assembled onsite, are much faster to build than conventional homes, making them an option for the thousands of people seeking to rebuild after the fires (04 February 2020).  More...


Charter Hall’s $1.5bn tower in Melbourne CBD ramps up
Charter Hall’s plans for a 34-storey mixed-use development at 555 Collins Street have ramped up after City of Melbourne councillors backed the billion-dollar project (11 February 2020).  More...

PCA: Melbourne’s attractiveness on show again as record low vacancy rates continue
The office vacancy rate in Melbourne’s CBD has decreased to 3.2 per cent, the lowest CBD vacancy rate in the nation, proving yet again how attractive the Melbourne office market is to tenants and investors. The PCA has cautioned that the new office stock will do little to relieve pressure on vacancies, particularly in the CBD where C270 planning controls continue to significantly impact the development pipeline (06 February 2020).  More...

Greystar plans $400m build-to-rent asset in Melbourne
US real estate giant Greystar has acquired two adjoining sites in central Melbourne where it is planning to launch its first build-to-rent project on Australian shores (06 February 2020).  More...

Pellicano lodges plans for Fitzroy tower
Victorian developer Pellicano has lodged plans for a $22 million, 13-storey tower in Fitzroy with the Yarra City Council. The building plans for 207 Victoria Parade feature concrete, large circular windows and external greenery, in contrast to the traditional terrace style building (06 February 2020).  More...


Built to construct $130m Parramatta Square development
Australian company Built have been selected to construct the $130 million 5 Parramatta Square following a year-long process by council. The six-storey building would be the final addition to the new Parramatta Square precinct, a three-hectare mixed-use area in the centre of Parramatta CBD (13 February 2020).  More...

Toga Group plans mixed-use project at Central Precinct
While the state government has “not agreed to the proposal”, it said the application “is of sufficient interest to warrant further development and progression to a more defined project”. A steering committee and an assessment panel have been established to oversee Toga’s proposal (07 February 2020).  More...

Independent planning commission overhaul will see it tackle ‘controversial’ projects
The state’s Independent Planning Commission will be overhauled in the wake of an extensive review by the NSW Productivity Commission (03 February 2020).  More...


PCA: Koala conservation strategy and regulations
The Government introduced regulatory amendments to the planning framework and enforcement of updated koala habitat mapping on 7 January. New regulatory provisions prohibit clearing of koala habitat within Koala Priority Areas with some limited exemptions. Applications will be assessed against the new State Development Code (14 February 2020).  More...

Ridong Group's $160m garden resort in limbo
Ridong, and one of the original developers for Jewel resort in Surfers Paradise, put forth the application for the wellness retreat in September 2018. Council officers raised a number of concerns at an Economy, Planning and Environment Committee meeting, including applicant has not demonstrated a ‘need’ for the development to be located at the subject site (12 February 2020).  More...

Brisbane townhouse ban to be finalised at council meeting
A ban on townhouses in Brisbane's low-density suburbs is expected to be given final approval by Brisbane City Council, despite the state government expressing strong reservations. The ban will extend to townhouses and apartments in low-density-zoned suburbs (11 February 2020).  More...

Craft brewery being served up opposite the Gabba
The Gabba punters will have a new place to slake their thirst after a craft brewery close by was approved by Brisbane City Council (08 February 2020).  More...

Mount lofty defence housing plan ignites debate on loss of koala habitat to development
A petition to stop the development of known koala habitat on Queensland's Darling Downs has garnered 95,000 signatures, with experts accusing the Federal Government of 'reckless profiteering' (07 February 2020).  More...

Adani pleads guilty to giving 'false or misleading documents to an administering authority', fined $20k
Mining giant Adani has been fined $20,000 after pleading guilty to providing false or misleading information to Queensland's environmental regulator. No conviction was recorded against the company Adani Mining Pty Ltd, in the Brisbane Magistrates Court (06 February 2020).  More...

Brisbane property market update: January 2020
In Brisbane property this month, it has been described as the “busiest January in a decade” by some real estate sales agents. Looking ahead, interest rates are expected to see further reductions in 2020, which along with consistently strong population growth to South East Queensland, is likely to continue to support housing demand in Brisbane (06 February 2020).  More...

Brisbane CBD’s future capacity under the microscope
The Property Council has released the ‘Brisbane CBD of the Future’ report, produced by Urbis, which outlines an analysis of the volumetric composition of Brisbane CBD’s various land uses, and the future capacity of the CBD. The Property Council will use the report to underpin its advocacy for amendments to current site cover restrictions within the Brisbane CBD (06 February 2020).  More...

In practice and courts


API: PropertyPRO supporting memorandum release date 5 April 2020
The effective date for the ‘new’ PropertyPRO Supporting Memorandum, including full adoption of the report templates, is Sunday 5 April 2020. The current PropertyPRO Residential Valuation and Security Assessment Supporting Memorandum remains in effect. A PDF version of the current version is available hereMore...

National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Small Amount Credit Contract and Consumer Lease Reforms) Bill 2019 (No. 2)
On 5 December 2019, the Senate referred the above inquiry for report by 6 April 2020. This Bill amends the regulatory framework for Small Amount Credit Contracts (commonly known as payday loans) and consumer leases (known as rent-to-buy schemes). Submissions close 21 February 2020.  More...

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2019

PCA submissions: Mandatory provisions for neighborhood design and the Gold Coast city plan amendments
The Property Council supports the intent of the mandatory provisions but is concerned about when and how the provisions would be imposed by local government. If you would like to find out more about the model code for neighbourhood design, please click here (14 February 2020).

New regulatory provisions prohibit clearing of koala habitat within Koala Priority Areas
The State Government will now be responsible for assessing development that proposes to clear koala habitat areas outside the Koala Priority Areas. In addition to the new assessment regime, the Government has updated the Queensland Environmental Offsets Policy to support the new protections. To view the regulatory amendments to planning framework click here, or to access the new koala habitat mapping click here. A new Koala-sensitive design guideline: a guide to koala-sensitive design measures for planning and development activities has been released (07 February 2020).

Report - No. 45, 56th Parliament - Implementation of The Spit Master Plan Bill 2019
Tabled 07 February 2020 - The committee's findings from its examination of the Implementation of The Spit Master Plan Bill 2019. State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industry Development Committee - Report No. 45, 56th Parliament - Implementation of The Spit Master Plan Bill 2019 inquiry.  More... 

Brisbane City Council: Draft Central Park masterplan
The draft plan is now out for public consultation following the release of five creative concepts from architecture and planning firms last year. The Victoria Park concept plan is now open to the public until April 28 on the Brisbane City Council’s website.

Land Restoration Fund—applications opening soon
The State Government has announced the Land Restoration Fund to support farmers, landowners and traditional Owners develop carbon farming projects. Applications for the 2020 investment round will open on 28 January 2020 and include a financial support package to allow applicants to obtain professional advice, including legal advice. More information on the Land Restoration Fund and eligibility criteria can be found here.


Melbourne Water Corporation & Yarra Valley Water Corporation v Caligiuri [2020] VSCA 16
JUDICIAL REVIEW – procedural fairness – compulsory acquisition of land by water corporations for purpose of providing water infrastructure – land not reserved for a public purpose – certification that reservation ‘unnecessary, undesirable or contrary to the public interest’ – applicants had interest in acquired land under contract of sale with registered proprietor – applicants not given an opportunity to be heard – applicants sought orders invalidating steps taken by water authorities to acquire land compulsorily – Judge declared Notice of Acquisition (‘NOA’) to be invalid – whether publication of NOA conditioned by obligation to accord procedural fairness – publication of NOA not so conditioned – Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic) ss 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 18, 19, 20, 22, 30, 31, 51; Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) ss 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; Water Act 1989 (Vic) s 130; Annetts v McCann (1990) 170 CLR 596, Kioa v West [1985] HCA 81; (1985) 159 CLR 550, SZBEL v Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs [2006] HCA 63; (2006) 228 CLR 152, applied
CIVIL PROCEDURE – application to make orders allowing appeal by consent – Court has duty to be satisfied of appellable error – appeal allowed – Telstra Corporation Limited v Minister for Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy (2008) 166 FCR 64, applied
CIVIL PROCEDURE – whether registered proprietor of land a necessary party to the proceeding – registered proprietor entitled to apply for compensation – declaration that NOA invalid affected right to claim compensation – only became aware of proceeding after the trial had concluded – rights affected by the proceeding from the outset – News Limited v Australian Rugby Football League Limited [1996] FCA 870; (1996) 64 FCR 410, applied

Almia Pty Ltd v Port Phillip CC (Red Dot) [2020] VCAT 163
NATURE OF CASE - how Environmental Audit Overlay applies to the commencement of a sensitive use on an upper level of a subdivided multi-storey office building
PLANNING SCHEME – interpretation or consideration of VPP provision
Interpretation of clause 45.03-1 of Victorian planning schemes, and the ‘land’ that is to be the subject of an environmental audit or statement.
CHANGE TO VPPS – whether change to VPPs is desirable – Clarification of VPP Clause 45.03-1 recommended, and a copy of decision referred to Minister for Planning for consideration.

Ramjee v Manningham CC (Red Dot) [2020] VCAT 1
NATURE OF CASE – consideration of decision guideline in relation to the impact of overshadowing on an existing rooftop solar energy system on a dwelling on an adjoining lot in the General Residential Zone
LOCATION OF PASSAGE OF INTEREST – paragraphs 38, 39 and 88 – 115
REASONS WHY DECISION IS OF INTEREST OR SIGNIFICANCE PLANNING SCHEME – interpretation or consideration of VPP provision – This case involves a consideration of the decision guideline at clause 32.08-13
CHANGE TO LEGISLATION OR VPPS – whether change to VPPs or statutory provisions is required or desirable
Desirability of having clearer and more sophisticated planning scheme guidance to determine the acceptability of a proposal’s impacts on the performance of existing rooftop solar energy systems on adjoining residential lots due to overshadowing

Yeung v Santosa Realty Co Pty Ltd [2020] VSCA 7
OCCUPIER’S LIABILITY – personal injury – claim brought by tenant against landlord and managing real estate agent – property not in good repair – failure by agent to inspect property and notify landlord of obvious defects – apportionment of liability between tortfeasors – whether landlord delegated duty of care to agent – whether judge erred in finding that landlord failed to take any real steps to ensure property was in good repair – Jones v Bartlett (2000) 205 CLR 166 applied – Bevillesta Pty Ltd v Liberty International Insurance Co [2009] NSWCA 16 and Libra Collaroy Pty Ltd v Bhide [2017] NSWCA 196 discussed - Wrongs Act 1958 ss 14A, 14B, 24(2) – leave to appeal granted – appeal allowed

Bishopp Outdoor Advertising Pty Ltd v Moreton Bay Regional Council [2020] QPEC 1
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPLICATION – joinder of parties – whether a request under s 43 of the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994 (Qld) was made – whether the applicant should be joined as a party to the appeal pursuant to r 69 of Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld)
APPEAL – against refusal of development application for operational works for an advertising device
Planning Act 2016 Qld; Transport Infrastructure Act 1994 Qld; Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 Qld

The President’s Club Limited & Anor v Palmer Coolum Resort Pty Ltd & Anor (No 2) [2020] QSC 11
PROCEDURES – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – COSTS – GENERAL RULE: COSTS FOLLOW EVENT – EVENT: WHAT CONSTITUTES – where the first plaintiff made an application that the proceeding be transferred to the Federal Court of Australia – where it was determined that the first plaintiff’s application was a step for which the first plaintiff required leave to proceed – where leave to proceed was refused – where the defendants made an application that the proceeding be dismissed or permanently stayed for want of prosecution – where the first plaintiff’s application to transfer the proceeding was dismissed – where the first plaintiff submits the proceedings constituted two events – where the defendants submit that the proceedings constituted one event– whether the proceedings constituted one event, or two, for which costs are to be determined
PROCEDURES – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – COSTS – GENERAL RULE: COSTS FOLLOW EVENT – GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND EXERCISE OF DISCRETION – where r 389(2) of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) provides that if no step has been taken in a proceeding for two years from the time the last step was taken, a new step may not be taken without an order of the court – where the last step taken by the first plaintiff was nearly six years ago – where the defendants applied to dismiss or permanently stay the proceeding for want of prosecution – where it was determined that the first plaintiff’s application that the proceeding be transferred to the Federal Court was a step for which the first plaintiff required leave to proceed – where leave for the first plaintiff to take a step was granted – where the defendants’ application to dismiss the proceeding was dismissed – where the first plaintiff’s application to transfer the proceedings was dismissed – whether costs should be disposed of in accordance with the general rule that costs follow the event – whether the “indulgence principle” applies – whether costs of the initial hearing should be costs “of and incidental” to the hearing on 30 July 2019 – whether the defendants’ application to dismiss or permanently stay the proceeding requires the making of any separate order for costs – whether any costs order should preclude enforcement until final judgment in the action

Skilton v 2PL Superannuation Pty Ltd (No 2) [2020] QLC 8
ENERGY AND RESOURCES – MINERALS – MINING FOR MINERALS – COMPENSATION – where the land was used for commercial cattle operations – whether there was an entitlement to compensation for deprivation of possession of the surface of land – whether there was an entitlement to compensation for diminution of the value of the land – whether there was entitlement to compensation for diminution of the use made of the land or any improvements thereon – whether there was entitlement to compensation for loss or expense arising from the mining operations – whether there was entitlement to compensation for the cost of preparing a valuation report

Jackson v Ocean Blue Queensland Pty Ltd & Ors [2020] QCAT 23
HUMAN RIGHTS – DISCRIMINATION LEGISLATION – DIRECT DISCRIMINATION – INDIRECT DISCRIMINATION – whether applicant had an impairment and relied on an assistance dog – where applicant evicted for having a dog in breach of “no pets” term in lease – whether complainant treated less favourably than other Medi-Aid tenants who did not rely on an assistance dog – whether “no pets” term constituted indirect discrimination - whether term imposed with which a higher proportion of people without applicant’s impairment comply or are able to comply being a requirement which is not reasonable having regard to the circumstances of the case and with which applicant not able to comply – whether contravention of ss 83 or 85 of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld)
Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 Qld s 6, s 7, s 8, s 9, s 10, s 11, s 83, s 84, s 205, s 209, Schedule
Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 Qld s 12A, Schedule 4

Cases to 10 February 2020

Spryszynski v The Body Corporate for Residences on Upper Oxford [2020] QCATA 14
APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – APPEAL – GENERAL PRINCIPLES – RIGHT OF APPEAL – WHEN APPEAL LIES – ERROR OF LAW – where s 289(2) of the Body Corporate Community Management Act 1997 (Qld) allows a person aggrieved by an Adjudicator’s order to appeal on a question of law to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal – what is error of law – whether there was an error of law
REAL PROPERTY – STRATA AND RELATED TITLES – MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL – BYLAWS – whether Body Corporate in General meeting acted reasonably in failing to pass motions put forward by a lot owner.
APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – PROCEDURE – QUEENSLAND – STAY OF PROCEEDINGS – GENERAL PRINCIPLES AS TO GRANT OR REFUSAL – where orders were made by an Adjudicator relating to an application– where the current application seeks to stay the proceedings below pending an appeal.

Copley & Anor v Valuer-General [2020] QLC 7
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – COMMENCING PROCEEDINGS – TIME FOR SERVICE OF ORIGINATING PROCESS OR RENEWAL – where the appellant failed to appeal to the Land Court in time –where the Notice of Appeal was lost or delayed in the post– whether there was a reasonable excuse for the failure to lodge the appeal in time – where the Court found there was a reasonable excuse, and that it therefore had jurisdiction to hear the appeal
Queensland Legislation cited
Land Valuation Act 2010 Qld s 155, s 157, s 158

MGT Minerals Pty Ltd v Dunn & Ors [2020] QLC 5
ENERGY AND RESOURCES – MINERALS – COURTS OR TRIBUNALS EXERCISING JURISDICTION IN MINING MATTERS – QUEENSLAND – where an application was made to amend an environmental authority to expand tin mining operations – where an objection was made to the application – where, after considering the objection, a draft environmental authority was issued with both standard and site-specific conditions – where the Court found, inter alia, that the draft environmental authority was sufficient to minimise harm to the environment – where the Court recommended that the Department approve the amendment subject to an amendment of the date in various conditions
Environmental Protection Act 1994 Qld s 3, s 173(1), s 176(2), s 176(3), s 185, s 190(1), s 191, s 523, sch 2 pt 1
Mineral Resources Act 1989 Qld s 269(4)





Taxation Administration (Remedial Power—Disclosure of Protected Information by Taxation Officers) Determination 2020
29/01/2020 – This instrument modifies the operation of the taxpayer confidentiality rules in Division 355 of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953. The modification ensures that a taxation officer can disclose protected information of a deceased person to the registered tax agent, BAS agent, or legal practitioner of an executor or administrator of the estate of the individual who has died.


Subordinate legislation as made
No 9 Nature Conservation and Other Legislation (Koala Protection) Amendment Regulation 2020
07 February 2020 - This Regulation is made under the Environmental Offsets Act 2014, Nature Conservation Act 1992, Planning Act 2016, and Vegetation Management Act 1999. The Regulation amends four pieces of subordinate legislation associated with the regulation of koala habitat areas and koala priority areas: Environmental Offsets Regulation 2014, Nature Conservation (Koala) Conservation Plan 2017, Planning Regulation 2017, and Vegetation Management Regulation 2012.


Implementation of The Spit Master Plan Bill 2019
Introduced by: Hon C Dick MP on 26/11/2019
Stage reached: 2nd reading to be moved on 7/02/2020

Vegetation Management (Clearing for Relevant Purposes) Amendment Bill 2018
Stage reached: 2nd reading failed on 4/02/2020

Mineral and Energy Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020
Introduced by: Hon A Lynham MP on 4/02/2020
Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 4/02/2020

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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