Countering Victoria’s Land Tax Grab

Amidst the outcry over the Victorian Government’s recently announced increases in land tax rates, it is more important than ever for landowners to consider potential strategies for containing their land tax cost. Indeed the latest announcement is just a further symptom of the Government over-reliance on land tax, which is also impacting landlords in a […]

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The new General Environmental Duty – What does this mean for directors?

Victoria’s approach to environmental protection and human health is changing soon. Coming into effect from 1 July 2021, the General Environmental Duty (GED) will be the cornerstone of the new Environment Protection Amendment Act 2018 (Vic) (EPA Act). The new GED will require all Victorian businesses and individuals to take proactive steps to prevent and […]

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Amendment VC194: Fast track of state and local infrastructure projects

Amendment VC194 (Amendment) was gazetted by the Minister for Planning earlier this week. The Amendment inserts two new particular provisions at clauses 52.30 (State projects) and 52.31 (Local government projects) into the VIC Planning Provisions and all local planning schemes. Fast track of state and local infrastructure projects   The new particular provisions provide planning permit […]

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COVID-19 | Reminder to Landlords: 2020 land tax relief applications close soon

This article is issued as a timely reminder to Landlords who intend to seek COVID-19 land tax relief for the 2020 land tax year. Applications for relief in New South Wales and Victoria must be lodged prior to 31 March 2021. In this update, we summarise the application process, eligibility criteria and evidentiary requirements for […]

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Changes to the Owners Corporations Act – what developers need to know

Developers have an obligation to act honestly, in good faith and with due care and diligence in the best interests of the Owners Corporation created on registration of a plan of subdivision for a development under the Owners Corporations Act 2006 (Vic) (OC Act). There has therefore been a tension between the developer’s obligation to […]

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A New Year, a new beginning, and a new foreign investment regime

On 5 June 2020, the Treasurer announced major reforms to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth) (FATA). The reforms are intended to strengthen the foreign investment framework and ensure that the framework keeps pace with emerging national security risks and global developments. On 18 September 2020, the Federal Government released exposure draft legislation […]

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What’s that ‘new’ levy on my title?

You may not be aware, but there may be a ‘new’ levy on your title! On 1 July 2020, the Melbourne Strategic Assessment (Environment Mitigation Levy) Act 2020 (Vic) (MSA Act) came into effect. It imposes an obligation to pay a levy prior to certain works being undertaken in specified areas of Melbourne’s growth corridors […]

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NSW Parliament Introduces a Statutory Duty of Care for Residential Building Work

In Brookfield Multiplex Ltd v Owners Corporation Strata Plan 61288 (2014) 313 ALR 408, the High Court found that a builder did not owe a common law duty of care to the developer of residential apartment buildings or its successors in title (including an owners corporation) for economic loss caused by defective work. The High […]

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The Residential Apartment Buildings Act: 5 Things You Need to Know

Recent reports of structural defects in high-rise apartments including the Opal tower and Mascot tower have undermined public confidence in the quality of construction work carried out in New South Wales. It has also raised questions as to avenues open to property owners to seek redress for defective work and the enforcement powers available to […]

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Owners Corporation Fees – How to recover when the lot owner fails to pay

In the current economic climate many lot owners may find it financially challenging to pay owners corporation fees. This can be problematic for an Owners Corporation where cash flow is crucial in order to fund the ongoing cost of maintaining the common property. Initiating the fee recovery process The Owners Corporation Act 2006 (Vic) (the […]

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Developer loses appeal against refusal for overdevelopment of land for retirement village

In GTH Resorts No 5 Pty Ltd v Gold Coast City Council [2020] QPEC 2020, the Planning and Environment Court was required to determine whether a proposed retirement village was an overdevelopment of the land and, if so, were there relevant grounds to justify approval despite the overdevelopment. The land the subject of the proposed […]

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Landowners win against council in rating categorisation dispute

In a major win for the owners of two Bunnings warehouses in Ipswich, the Court of Appeal has held that the Ipswich City Council wrongly categorised their properties for rating purposes. The decision highlights the financial impact, as well as the difficulties, that can arise in applying differential rating categories to land. The long running […]

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