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Inside track: Property & Real Estate

09 March 2021

#Property, Planning & Development

Inside track: Property & Real Estate

In the media

Economists warn of surging house prices in wake of Covid recovery
Economists are warning that an economic imbalance could result from stimulus measures designed to respond to the pandemic (25 February 2021).  More...

Proptech survey uncovers obstacles and opportunities for Australian real estate
The survey of 216 Australian property companies – a third of them with asset portfolios valued at more than $1 billion – finds the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated proptech adoption(25 February 2021).  More...

Rent rebound not enough to save Westfield mall owner from $3.7b loss
Retail rents are bouncing back in Scentre Group’s Westfield malls but not enough to save Australia’s largest retail landlord from a $3.7 billion loss (24 February 2021).  More...

This is what resilient real estate looks like
Executive Director of Resilient Cities Network, Lauren Sorkin says we’re seeing the first glimpses of a future property sector, one that is more resilient, equitable, climate sensitive and integrated (24 February 2021).  More...

Environment threat to 'tree-change' and 'sea-change' dreams
In the aftermath of out-of-control bushfires once again devastating parts of Australia, this time in the west, researchers say we cannot continue rebuilding in “at risk” areas (24 February 2021).  More...

Regional preferences means regional reform for housing is needed
Around 20 per cent of city dwellers would like to ‘go country’ according to a new Regional Australia Institute survey (24 February 2021).  More...

Australia's housing is more unaffordable than ever and set to go higher
With housing construction, renovation, and prices soaring, the industry is booming. However, it's meant that those looking for their first home are finding it harder than ever – and affordability is set to get even worse (23 February 2021).  More...

What happens to commercial real estate when government stimulus measures end?
Retail shops could soon go the way of empty city office towers, with small businesses facing a “year of reckoning” as government stimulus measures are wound back (23 February 2021).  More...

Westpac forecasts 20pc house price gains
In a report released Monday, the banking institution’s chief economist Bill Evans said he was expecting dwelling prices to rise 10 per cent nationally in 2021, and said the pace would continue into 2022, off the back of strong economic growth (22 February 2021).  More...

Housing construction eclipses records
Construction on new houses will hit a record high this year, however, there are concerns this boom could be short-lived. (18 February 2021).  More...

Productivity Commission report charts change in social housing provision
The annual 2021 Productivity Commission report on government services and housing reveals that the ongoing long-term reduction in the number of public housing dwellings has continued into 2020 and that the number of community housing dwellings has risen, albeit at a lower number than the number of public housing dwellings lost (17 February 2021).  More...

ICA & MBA call for increased investment in disaster mitigation and building resilience funding
The Insurance Council of Australia and Master Builders Australia have called on the Federal Government to increase investment in disaster mitigation and building resilience funding and education programs to reduce the physical loss and economic disruption caused by bushfires, cyclones, storms, flood and other extreme weather events (16 February 2021).  More...


Victoria headquarters recognised as Geelong’s healthiest office building
Quintessential Equity, the developer behind WorkSafe Victoria’s headquarters, has beenawarded a 5.5 Star NABERS Base Building Energy rating for its A-grade asset at 1 MalopStreet in Geelong – making the building a regional market leader in sustainable design (24 February 2021).  More...

Designs and tender released for eighth vertical school
Victoria will soon have another new vertical government school to address population growth across the inner city.
The project has been funded by the Labor Government with more than $36 million invested in the Victorian Budget 2020-21, a further $5 million delivered from the Infrastructure Planning and Acceleration Fund (17 February 2021).  More...

Backing our environmental volunteers
The Andrews Labor Government is funding 20 new and innovative volunteer projects, including creative ideas to restore koala habitat. The $2 million Fund supports conservation projects by helping with the costs of training, delivery and equipment, making sure people from all walks of life are able to volunteer in our parks and forests (16 February 2021).  More...

Regional Victoria a step closer to four stream recycling
The Andrews Labor Government is fast-tracking development of regional and rural recycling infrastructure as it streamlines kerbside recycling across the state, while keeping jobs in local communities (16 February 2021).  More...


REINSW: Combustible cladding: Government announces interest-free loans to speed up removal from NSW apartment buildings
Interest-free 10-year loans have been welcomed to fast-track the removal of high-risk combustible cladding from apartment buildings across NSW. Owners Corporations will be able to apply for financial assistance from next month as part of the State Government’s Project Remediate, which was given the go-ahead last week (22 February 2021).  More...


Brisbane flood victims win $440 million from class action over Wivenhoe Dam operation
Flood victims win $440 million in compensation from the Queensland government and Sunwater in a long-running class action over the operation of Wivenhoe Dam during the 2011 floods while Seqwater is yet to settle the remaining 50 per cent (26 February 2021).  More...

Three of Brisbane’s five new bridges are hanging in limbo
Three of the five new green bridges slated for inner-city Brisbane are still awaiting decisions on their final design and location almost a year after the council’s re-election (24 February 2021).  More...

Former PM Kevin Rudd seeks ruling on Labor’s developer donation ban
Queensland Labor’s ban on political donations from property developers has caught out the LNP in the past but now former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has sought a ruling (24 February 2021).  More...

Pressure mounts on Brisbane City Council to reduce developer influence
A range of groups are now asking Brisbane City Council to reduce the ability of developers, as landholders - to influence the neighbourhood planning phase (24 February 2021).  More...

Planned $2 billion Eagle Street Pier reformation appealed by Riparian Plaza owners
The planned $2.1 billion reformation of Brisbane's Eagle Street Pier by developers Dexus has been appealed in court by the commercial owners of a neighbouring tower. Its commercial owners, Riverside Development Pty Ltd, said the development should have been impact assessable, not code assessable (24 February 2021).  More...

Queensland on cusp of property boom
Queensland is booming according to Westpac’s Housing Pulse Report. Senior economist Matthew Hassan said the state’s markets were now very tight with “sales running well ahead of listings and extremely tight rental vacancy rates in most areas (23 February 2021).  More...

DVB lodges three-level penthouse plans for Broadbeach tower
A luxury three-level penthouse will sit atop a proposed DVB Projects' 26-storey apartment tower in Broadbeach, according to freshly lodged development plans (23 February 2021).  More...

Boggo Road Gaol commercial development application still waiting for council decision
A development application for a mixed shopping and office building at the heritage-listed Boggo Road Gaol site in Brisbane's Dutton Park is still waiting for a decision (23 February 2021).  More...

Residents fight truck driveway, waste recycling facility next to school
Southern Brisbane residents are fighting against the movement of a waste and recycling facility's driveway, used by heavy vehicles, closer to a state school amid safety concerns for students, staff and parents (18 February 2021).  More...

This region wants to be more than 'the bit in-between' Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast
Moreton Bay wants to "turbocharge" its economy by doubling it to $40 billion by 2041. It plans to add more than 100,000 jobs to attract residents to the "hidden gem" region (17 February 2021).  More...

In practice and courts


ARNEC Publications
Model Operating Requirements - Under the Electronic Conveyancing National Law, Electronic Lodgment Network Operators are required to comply with Operating Requirements made by the Registrar in each State and Territory.
Model Operating Requirements Version 6 – Clean 24/02/2021
Model Operating Requirements Version 6 – Marked up 24/02/2021

Coming soon: NABERS Perform – new technology for conducting NABERS ratings
NABERS Perform is a new human-centred cloud platform for conducting NABERS ratings faster and more efficiently (24 February 2021).  More...

Announcements, Draft Policies and Plans released 2021


Have your say on changes to how building design and construction is regulated in NSW
The development of supporting regulations is the next step on delivering on this piece of the Government’s building reform agenda, with the scheme commencing on 1 July 2021. The Design and Building Practitioners Regulation commences on this date.  More...

NSW Revenue: Land tax build to rent
The NSW Government is introducing a land tax discount for new build-to-rent housing projects until 2040 and a new Housing Diversity SEPP to provide more housing options, greater surety for renters, boost construction and support jobs during the COVID-19 recovery (16 February 2021).  More... 

QLS: Phishing campaign targets PEXA users
A number of PEXA users have received phishing emails, supposedly from PEXA, containing links to ‘WeTransfer’ (24 February 2021).  More...

Roma Street Cross River Rail Priority Development Area
Submissions are now being invited to contribute on the proposed Roma Street CRR PDA Development Scheme, Draft Development and Offset Plan. With a new underground Roma Street Cross River Rail station being constructed, the PDA will be used to guide a coordinated development of the surrounding precinct. Submissions close on 1 April 2021.

Moreton Bay economic strategy
Moreton Bay Regional Council has released its Regional Economic Development Strategy 2020 – 2041 to support its ‘Bigger, Bolder, Brighter’ vision. Five key region building projects are The Mill (former Amcor Petrie Paper Mill site); Southeast Queensland Northern Freight Terminal; Wamuran Irrigation Scheme; North Harbour PDA; Scarborough Harbour Masterplan (February 2021).

Report on post implementation review of Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act
Open to 30 April 2021- Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.
Have your say on the consultation report for the Post Implementation Review of the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act 2017.  More...


Mason v Head, Transport for Victoria [2021] VSCA 19
LAND VALUATION AND COMPENSATION – determination of questions reserved by order of trial judge pursuant to Supreme Court Act 1986, s 17B – rights of owners of land to compensation in circumstances where value of land is adversely affected by imposition of reservation for public purposes pursuant to planning scheme – interpretation of ss 98(1) and 108 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (P&E Act) – subject land reserved for a public purpose under a planning scheme; registered proprietor at the time reservation was imposed, died without having sold the land; applicants became registered proprietors as beneficiaries under the land owner’s will – whether applicants precluded from claiming compensation under s 98(1)(a) of the P&E Act on the basis that they were not owners of the land at the time of the imposition of the planning reservation – reconsideration of Halwood Corporation Ltd v Roads Corporation [1998] 2 VR 439 – reasoning with respect to s 98(1) – sufficient that claimant be owner or occupier at the date the right to compensation arises – claim limited to financial loss suffered as the natural, direct and reasonable consequence of the reservation – whether in circumstances where applicants became registered proprietors as beneficiaries under the will of the former registered proprietor, they have ‘acquired’ the land within the meaning of s 108(2) of the P&E Act – applicants have not since the reservation ‘acquired’ the land within the meaning of that word understood in its context – leave for consideration of questions granted – both questions answered ‘no’ – Planning and Environment Act 1987 ss 98, 99, 108 – Halwood Corporation Ltd v Roads Corporation [1998] 2 VR 439 reconsidered.

Queensland Rifle Association Inc v State of Queensland [2021] FCA 110
NATIVE TITLE – non-claimant application for determination of native title under s 61(1) Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) – negative determination – subject land used as a rifle range – whether within power and appropriate for Court to make orders sought – application granted. Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) ss 13, 61, 66, 81, 86G, 225 and 253

Rodriguez & Sons Pty Ltd v Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority trading as Seqwater (No 27) [2021] NSWSC 145
REPRESENTATIVE ACTION – Queensland Floods – quantum issues – recovery of damage to fixtures and chattels – measure of damages – clean up costs – reasonable commercial cost of cleaning or cost of labour of individuals who undertook clean up? – Powercor Australia Pty Ltd v Thomas considered Held: Commercial cost is appropriate measure – ASSESSMENT – individual group member – farm enterprise – losses to farming business – inconvenience – subsidised interest on loan

TradeCoast Land Pty Ltd v TradeCoast Central Pty Ltd & Ors [2021] QSC 25
The plaintiff applies for further disclosure. The dispute between the plaintiff and the first defendant arises from a Development Agreement entered into between them in November 2004. At that time the Brisbane City Council owned a large area of land near the Brisbane Airport. The Development Agreement contemplated that BCC would transfer that land to the plaintiff which would thereafter hold it, and dispose of it, only as permitted by the Development Agreement 

Traspunt No. 7 Pty Ltd v Moreton Bay Regional Council [2021] QPEC 9
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPLICATION – COSTS – where the appellant’s appeal against a condition of a development approval was dismissed – where respondent sought an order as to costs – whether the proceeding was frivolous or vexatious – whether costs should be assessed on the indemnity basis
Acts Interpretation Act 1954 Qld s 14
Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld s 59, s 60

Cases to 22 February 2021

Calmmonth Pty Ltd v AVJennings Properties Limited (No 2) [2021] QSC 23
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – COSTS – OFFERS OF COMPROMISE, PAYMENTS INTO COURT AND SETTLEMENTS – INFORMAL OFFERS AND CALDERBANK LETTERS – UNREASONABLE REFUSAL OF OFFER – where the defendant made a Calderbank offer – where the plaintiff did not accept the offer – whether the plaintiff acted unreasonably in not accepting the offer

Sunshine Coast Regional Council v Gavin & Anor (No. 2) [2021] QPEC 2
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – BUILDING CONTROL – OTHER MATTERS – where the first and second respondents constructed a building and used it as an ‘accommodation building’ in a zone where this use was not permitted – where respondents accepted they had committed development offences – what enforcements orders are appropriate to secure compliance with the legislative scheme
Planning Act 2016 Qld s 180; Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld s 58, s 59, s 61(1), s 63
Planning and Environment Court Rules 2018 Qld r 4; Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 Qld r 680, r 686, r 687, r 702, r 742 


Native Title Legislation Amendment Bill 2020
Assent Act no: 6 Year: 2021 16/02/2021 - Amends the: Native Title Act 1993 to: Allow a native title claim or compensation group to impose conditions on the authority of its authorised applicant and require public notification of any such conditions; clarify the duties of the applicant to the claim group; allow the applicant to act by majority as the default position; allow the composition of the applicant to be changed without further authorisation in certain circumstances; allow the claim group to put in place succession-planning arrangements for individual members of the applicant; allow body corporate Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) to cover areas where native title has been extinguished; remove the requirement for the Native Title Registrar to notify an area ILUA unless satisfied it meets the ILUA requirements; allow minor amendments to be made to an ILUA without a new registration process; specify that the removal of an ILUA from the register does not invalidate future acts subject to that ILUA; extend the circumstances in which historical extinguishment can be disregarded to areas of national, state or territory parks, and certain pastoral leases; allow a registered native title body corporate to bring a compensation application over an area where native title has been extinguished; require the registrar to create and maintain a public record of section 31 agreements; and make a number of technical amendments; and Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 to: Require registered native title bodies corporate (RNTBC) constitutions to include dispute resolution pathways for persons who are or who claim to be common law holders, and provide for all the common law holders to be directly or indirectly represented in the RNTBC; limit the grounds for cancelling the membership of a member of a RNTBC to certain grounds; remove the discretion of directors of RNTBCs to refuse certain membership applications; specify that the registrar may place a RNTBC under special administration in certain circumstances; and ensure that proceedings in respect of a civil matter arising under the Act that relate to a RNTBC are to be instituted and determined exclusively in the Federal Court, unless transferred to another court with jurisdiction; confirm the validity of certain section 31 agreements; and provide that a person would be entitled to compensation if the bill effects the acquisition of property of a person other than on just terms (within the meaning of paragraph 51(xxxi) of the Constitution).


Subordinate legislation as made – 26 February 2021
No 13 Body Corporate and Community Management Legislation Amendment Regulation 2021

Subordinate legislation as made – 19 February 2021
No 11 Uniform Civil Procedure (Fees) and Other Legislation Amendment Regulation 2021
This Regulation is made under the Supreme Court of Queensland Act 1991, COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020, and Retail Shop Leases Act 1994. The objectives of the Regulation are to amend the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 to remove duplication in the rules in relation to the amendment of pleadings following a request for trial date, to address an issue in relation to applications for reduced fees, and to clarify the transitional provisions in part 5 division 2 of the Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020.

No 7 Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Amendment Regulation 2021
Tabled: 19 February 2021. This Regulation is made under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 and Retail Shop Leases Act 1994. The policy objective of the Regulation is to restore the less than $50 million turnover threshold for small-medium sized enterprise (SME) entities under the Regulation, while allowing any dispute or other matter for a lease held by an SME entity above that threshold that had been finalised or resolved prior to commencement of the Amendment Regulation to be unaffected.


COVID-19 Emergency Response and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020
(3)Section 39 and schedule 1 commence on 1 March 2021. Schedule 1 amends the regulation modules under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 it mentions.

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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