Doing Business in Australia

The Australian Government welcomes foreign investment. With well-developed infrastructure, a stable political environment, robust economy and easy access to Asia Pacific, Australia is an ideal investment location for foreign companies looking to grow internationally. There are important considerations for foreign investors to make when deciding on how to enter the Australian market. Whether it’s the […]

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Call for comment on proposed new standards for apartment exteriors

The Victorian government is proposing further changes to the requirements for apartment developments, with the release of the Better Apartments in Neighbourhoods – Discussion Paper 2019 (the BANs Discussion Paper) which proposes changes to the planning controls that regulate apartment developments in Victoria. Following on from the Better Apartment Design Standards (BADS) which were introduced […]

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Security of Payment Amendment Act set to commence

The Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment Act 2018 (Amendment Act), which was passed by the NSW Parliament in November last year, will commence on 21 October 2019. The Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment Regulation 2019 (Amendment Regulation) will also commence on this date. The changes made by the Amendment […]

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Queensland e-conveyancing update

Queensland’s shift towards a fully digital land registry has taken further steps forward with enabling legislation passed by the Queensland parliament in recent months. The Revenue and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2018 expands the scope of transfers which can be carried out within an e-conveyancing network to all freehold land types (vacant, residential, commercial and industrial) with […]

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I didn’t mean to sign that –when can a party escape from a contract because they didn’t understand it?

You are negotiating a deal and it becomes clear the other party has misread or misunderstood the effect of a clause in the document.  Do you point this out to the other party or stay silent and hope they don’t notice? The risk of staying silent is highlighted by the recent decision of the Victorian […]

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Going digital – When is an electronic land contract ‘signed’?

When the concept of electronic contracting was first conceived, there was some uncertainty about whether they would be suitable for land sale contracts.  This was due to the requirement in the Property Law Act 1974 that, to be enforceable, a contact for the sale of land has to be: in writing; and signed by the relevant party […]

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Developing Resilient Future Cities

The 2019 Asia Pacific Cities Summit (APCS) and Mayors’ Forum provided a platform for connection and conversations on cities’ innovation, mobility, liveability and sustainability. A powerful contingent of some 1480+ delegates, spanning 140 cities, close to 90 Mayors and Deputy Mayors, and entrepreneurs came together to solve complex problems to develop resilient future cities. What does this […]

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Ravenhall Landfill decision confirms the scope of VCAT’s powers to review EPA approvals

In June this year, VCAT made the decision to approve a Works Approval to allow for the expansion of the Ravenhall Landfill, the largest landfill in Victoria in the decision of Melton CC v Landfill Operations Pty Ltd (Red Dot) [2019] VCAT 882. Originally approved by the EPA in 2016, the Works Approval was appealed […]

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Businesses pay high price for environmental non-compliance

In Queensland, businesses that fail to comply with environmental obligations under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) risk enforcement and prosecution action by the Department of Environment and Science (Department), including the imposition of significant fines and recording of convictions, as illustrated by the following cases.   Waste Transfer Business A company operating a waste transfer […]

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Landowner wins appeal against Council enforcement notice

The Planning and Environment Court in Benfer v Sunshine Coast Regional Council[2019] QPEC 6 has held that an enforcement notice given to a landowner in relation to an alleged development offence should be set aside due to deficiencies in the content of the notice, including a lack of detail as to the nature and timing of […]

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Development refused due to inconsistency with Centres Strategy

The Planning and Environment Court in Hotel Property Investments Ltd v Council of the City of Gold Coast [2019] QPEC 5, refused a change application (other) lodged in accordance with sections 78 and 82 of the Planning Act 2016 (Planning Act) for an existing approval from showrooms and a café to offices on a site located in […]

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Is a sand quarry ground lease a “retail premises” lease?

In the recent decision of Phillips v Abel (Building and Property) [2019] VCAT 1031 the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has once again considered the question of what is a “retail premises” for the purposes of Section 4(1) of the Retail Leases Act 2003 (“the Act”). The case involved a lease of a quarry at […]

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