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Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

28 April 2021

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability

Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability

In the media


Property industry confidence continues to climb
Property industry confidence levels are approaching record highs as the sector leads Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The ANZ/Property Council industry survey for the March quarter found that national industry confidence soared to 142 points, the second highest level since the survey began (15 April 2021).  More...

Infrastructure Australia publishes Sustainability Principles
Recently released Sustainability Principles from Infrastructure Australia are set to guide and promote sustainability across the infrastructure sector, securing major investments to provide the best outcomes for the community (13 April 2021).  More...

Commercial developers on the ropes
The big story for banking is the fall over of developers of units, town-houses, medium density and high density towers and fortresses. In modern finance, the breakdown in bank credit quality almost always centres on commercial property developers (12 April 2021).  More...


'They've destroyed enough': Locals oppose hard-rock quarry expansion
The group says proposed changes to the facility 30 kilometres south-east of Melbourne should be rejected to protect residents and the local environment (15 April 2021).  More...

Caulfield Racecourse unveils $570m sports, entertainment precinct plan
The historic venue plans to create a concert space to rival the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, an indoor sports complex and up to seven sporting fields within the perimeter of its racetrack (14 April 2021).  More...

Getting bushfire-affected Victorians back on their land
Since launching in May 2020, the Andrews Labor Government’s Short-Term Modular Housing program has helped get more than 35 households back on their land and in their communities (12 April 2021).  More...

Office developers turn attention outside CBD
Development applications are coming in thick and fast for office projects in the City of Yarra region. While Melbourne's CBD office vacancy is currently 8.2 per cent, the long-term future for office space will be recovery, according to Knight Frank Melbourne research (12 April 2021).  More...

Fears plan for Sunshine rail ‘super hub’ will be watered down
A promise by the Andrews government to build a transport “super hub” at Sunshine station that would fuel an economic boom in the working-class suburb may not proceed. Upgrades to the station as part of the $8-$13 billion airport rail project are mooted to be treated predominantly as a “transport infrastructure-led project” rather than an opportunity for urban renewal (11 April 2021).  More...

Greenfield lot supply struggles to meet demand
The demand for housing lots in Melbourne’s outer suburbs and greenfield markets is now exceeding local development capacity (09 April 2021).  More...

New Queen Victoria Market facilities to create 400 jobs
New trader and customer facilities and a revitalised Food Hall at Queen Victoria Market will create up to 400 construction jobs as part of a nearly $40 million investment in delivering the next stage of the market’s revitalisation. Construction of the Food Hall, Trader Shed and Northern Shed is expected to get underway in early 2022, subject to approvals (08 April 2021).  More...

‘Plonked on a plaza’: Skyscraper plan puts spotlight on heritage laws
Plans for a tower to be built near Shell House in Melbourne’s CBD have sparked debate over protection for public space and modern architecture, amid fears it will “set a dangerous precedent” (05 April 2021).  More...


'There will be bankruptcies': Mascot Towers owners urged to sell as developers circle
Owners of the beleaguered building are told to expect to cop a loss of up to 80 per cent on their units after several developers expressed interest in buying the block with a view to demolishing it and rebuilding from scratch (15 April 2021).  More...

New rules for Airbnb-style letting in NSW delayed by three months
The short-term letting rules were due to come into force on July 30, but the government has decided within the past 24 hours to delay their introduction to November 1 after it had received substantial feedback from key stakeholders about concerns regarding the timeline to implement changes (13 April 2021).  More...

A burden, not a celebration of history’: NSW government pushes heritage law review
Arts Minister Don Harwin said a NSW parliamentary committee would scrutinise the controversial legislation aimed at protecting the state’s significant natural, cultural and built heritage items (07 April 2021).  More...

Land values around Sydney’s new airport soared dramatically ahead of rezonings
The first study of its kind by the state’s valuer general found that property values rose years ahead of rezonings, some by almost 250 per cent (07 April 2021).  More...


Bid to open up student accommodation to workers
Scape Australia plans to open up its student accommodation to essential workers and interstate travellers as it waits for international students to return to the country (15 April 2021).  More...

Public register portal opens up environmental records to all
A new online portal released will give the public improved access to environmental licences and permits in Queensland. The Public Register Portal can be accessed here (14 April 2021).  More...

Brisbane City Council to face court fight over Boggo Road Gaol plans
The $25 million project was approved in early March for the state-owned and heritage-listed site amid community objections and warnings of a court appeal (08 April 2021).  More...

Developers for $2b Eagle Street Pier towers hit back at opposition
Commercial owners of the neighbouring Riparian Plaza claim plans were not properly submitted and their approval was “wrong at law” (06 April 2021).  More...

In Practice and Courts


Updated better apartments design standards
The Victorian Government is committed to creating better apartments in our neighbourhoods and that’s why the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is announcing updates to the standards to address external amenity. Learn more about the updates to the standards here (19 April 2021).

Victoria: Review of the Retirement Villages Act 1986
The Government is seeking feedback on a range of options that have been developed from the first round of consultation. Consultation for the Retirement Villages Options Paper has been extended to 14 May 2021. Interested parties will be able to view the Options Paper via and can register for updates


Short-Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) policy
This framework includes limits on the number of days’ properties can be rented out in certain circumstances, new fire safety standards, a government-run register, mandatory Code of Conduct and an exclusion register to ensure properties are up to scratch. The policy comes into effect on 30 July 2021 to give businesses and homeowners time to understand their requirements. For more information visit (09 April 2021). Policy update Government to delay introduction to November 1 (13 April 2021).

Department of Planning Consultation – proposed changes to clause 4.6 variations review now on exhibition
The NSW Government is committed to ensuring the NSW planning system is transparent and accountable; and easy to use and understand. As part of this commitment the department is seeking feedback on how to improve the way clause 4.6 operates and provide certainty to councils and industry. Have your say during public exhibition from 31 March until 12 May 2021. More information can be found here.

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 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...

NSW Planning Department: Have your say – draft plans and policies

Design and Place State Environmental Planning Policy
Notification start-end date 26/02/2021 - 28/04/2021
The new Design and Place State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) is part of a broader review of all our SEPPs and aims to simplify and consolidate how to deliver good design in NSW.  More...

Changes to biodiversity offsets scheme
From: 22 March 2021 to: 19 April 2021
Have your say on the proposed changes to how payments to the Biodiversity Conservation Trust are determined under the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme.  More...

Planning Amendments for Agriculture
The department is proposing to simplify the planning process and approval pathways for those who wish to do small business activities, such as agritourism, and low-impact agricultural development on NSW farms. Submissions close on 19 April 2021.  More...


PCA: Submission update
The Property Council has provided the following correspondence to Government on the Gold Coast Planning Scheme. To view the submission, please click here (15 April 2021).

PCA: Exploring the Queensland Globe
The Queensland Government has provided the following information to assist users in utilising the Queensland Globe. The Queensland Globe is an online interactive mapping tool that allows you to view land and property information over high resolution satellite imagery. Access Queensland Globe via the link below:
Queensland Globe – (01 April 2021).  More...

Inland Rail – Border to Gowrie project – draft environmental impact statement Closes 19 April 2021
Inland Rail – Helidon to Calvert project – draft environmental impact statement Closes 23 June 201



Trivunovic v Popovic (Building and Property) [2021] VCAT 313
CO-OWNERSHIP – application under Part IV Property Law Act 1958 for sale of a jointly owned residential property in respect of which the applicant contends on the basis of his alleged sole contribution to the purchase price and payment of holding costs that he has sole beneficial ownership, and that he is entitled to the entire proceeds of a sale of the property as sought by him. EVIDENCE – ISSUE ESTOPPEL – decision of a foreign tribunal – whether the reasons given for orders of a German Court have the effect of precluding the applicant from so contending – consideration of criteria in Clayton v Bant [2020] HCA 44.


Kennards Self Storage Pty Limited v Campbelltown City Council [2021] NSWLEC 31
APPEAL – refusal of development application for self-storage unit facility – satisfaction of statutory conditions to grant of consent – resolution of contentions regarding traffic management and pedestrian safety, flooding and stormwater, urban design and visual impact, biodiversity management and impact on trees.

Fandakis v Canterbury-Bankstown Council [2021] NSWLEC 1166
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) – boarding house development in R4 High Density Residential zone – weight given to draft Local Environmental Plan – clause 30A character of the local.


Sunshine Coast Regional Council v D Agostini Property Pty Ltd & Ors (No. 2) [2021] QPEC 23
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPLICATION – Where the applicant seeks to substitute respondents in the proceedings – where the applicant seeks final orders restraining only some respondents in the proceedings – where the respondent submits a procedural defect in the application – where the respondent further submits the Court lacks the power to make the orders sought – where the respondent further submits against the making of final orders prior to the further hearing of the proceeding
Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld s 10, s 11(4), s 164, s 165, s 180(6); Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 Qld s 12, s 40, s 44; Planning and Environment Court Rules 2018 Qld r 4
Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 Qld r 69, r 74, r 117, r 377.

E.J. Cooper & Son Pty Ltd v Townsville City Council & Anor [2021] QPEC 20
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL – appeal against refusal of a development application under the Integrated Planning Act 1997 – application for a preliminary approval for a material change of use to develop a large rural holding into a master planned residential community supported by other uses – where the development application also sought a variation to the planning scheme – the operation of statutory provisions in relation to such applications –whether the application for a preliminary approval for the material change of use must be assessed against the provisions of the Planning Scheme sought to be varied – what weight should be given to the more recent planning documents – whether proposal should be refused having regard to the nature of the proposed uses, its likely impact on amenity, potential for reverse amenity impacts, infrastructure requirements, traffic impacts or having regard to issues of flooding or stormwater quality - whether the proposal conflicts with the planning documents – whether the application ought be approved having regard to grounds/matters in favour of the proposal – whether there is a need sufficient to support approval – likely benefits in times of flood – benefits from stabilizing and rehabilitating eroded parts of the site – other matters in favour – whether the development should be approved in part – whether the variations component of the application should be approved
Integrated Planning Act 1997 Qld ss 1.3.2, 3.1.6, 3.5.5, 3.5.5A, 3.5.14, 3.5.14A, 4.1.50(1), 4.1.52(1), 4.1.52(2)
Integrated and Other Legislation Amendments Act 2003 Qld; Planning Act 2016 Qld ss 289(2), 311
Sustainable Planning Act 2009 Qld ss 242, 326, 329, 802, 819.



Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Planning Portal) Regulation 2021 (2021-180) – published LW 16 April 2021
Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021 (2021-152) – published LW 9 April 2021
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Short-term Rental Accommodation) Regulation 2021 (2021-171) – published LW 9 April 2021

Environmental Planning Instruments
State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) Amendment (Warehouses and Data Centres) 2021 (2021-185) – published LW 16 April 2021
State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) Amendment (Short-term Rental Accommodation) 2021 (2021-175) – published LW 9 April 2021

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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