Friday, 28 February 2014

VIC - Councillors fear Monash residents have lost development appeal rights at five key sites

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VIC - Councillors fear Monash residents have lost development appeal rights at five key sites

Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced the rezoning of five former school sites.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced the rezoning of five former school sites. Source: News Limited
MONASH councillors are worried what the Victorian planning minister’s decision to apply overlays on five sites means for residents’ appeal rights.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced the rezoning of five former school sites in Monash this month and advised that Development Plan Overlays (DPOs) would apply across all sites.
> > Are you affected by the changes? Tell us below or email
They rezoned sites include the former Monash Special Development school, Clayton Primary School, Clayton West Primary School, Oakleigh South Primary School and Brandon Park Secondary College.
But while councillors welcomed the minister’s decision to retain 15 per cent open space at the Brandon Park site, they were concerned that a DPO would effectively remove residents’ right to third party appeal.
Mr Guy said DPOs were commonly used for developments of this scale.
“DPOs exist to manage strategic sites and to put controls in place so everybody knows what the rules are before a single developer goes in,” Mr Guy said.
Mr Guy said the council, as the responsible authority for the five sites, would be able to advocate on behalf of residents.
“A DPO is not the be all and end all, it then puts council in charge of the process,” Mr Guy said.
“So council should be absolutely in charge of setting the DPO and making sure residents have all the objection rights they want, through a DPO process.”
The council must publicly exhibit the final development plans for each site for at least 28 days prior to its final decision.
But Monash Mayor Geoff Lake said the council wouldn’t be able to consult with residents once development plans had been established.
“And we know from experience that residents don’t participate in broad strategic discussions on planning,” Cr Lake said.
Cr Lake said once plans were approved, the council would be obliged to approve permit applications as long as they fell within the general requirements of the plan.
Cr Lake also said Monash Council made its views on the DPO clear during meetings with the planning panel last year.
At last night’s council meeting, Monash councillors voted nine to two in favour of writing to Mr Guy to express their displeasure at the application of a DPO.
The two councillors who voted against the motion were councillors Robert Davies and Theo Zographos, who are in line to be endorsed as Liberal candidates for the state seats of Mulgrave and Oakleigh respectively.
Mr Guy said Monash Council used a DPO itself when it rezoned a parcel of land in Clayton in the early 2000s.
But Cr Lake said he’d come to regret removing third party appeal rights on that occasion.
“I learned my lesson then, that was a bad decision, the community was outraged about it,” Cr Lake said.
Mr Guy said Cr Lake’s retrospective regret was a political stunt.
Under a DPO, the responsible authority (in this case, the council) must formulate a development plan for each of the sites.
Permit applications that are “generally in accordance” with the plan are exempt from notice and review.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Australia: Planning law perspectives: building certifiers

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Australia: Planning law perspectives: building certifiers

HG Building and Construction Alert: 25 February 2014
Last Updated: 26 February 2014
Article by David Nicholls and Olivia Williamson

Issue 5

Welcome to the fifth issue in a rolling series of Alerts offering planning law perspectives on issues relevant to the building and construction industry.
Our previous Alerts have highlighted the importance of building certifiers ensuring that all relevant local government planning scheme requirements have been observed and necessary permits have been obtained.
Where an earlier planning permit has been obtained, a building certifier considering any subsequent building approval needs to ascertain whether the earlier approval includes conditions relevant to building certification, such as a condition requiring development to be "generally in accordance with" approved drawings.
Building certifiers need to ensure that plans they are considering are consistent with any earlier approved drawings and satisfy any relevant conditions.
It has been suggested that the phrase "generally in accordance with" contains an inherent acknowledgement of an intention to make some allowance for deviations1. In deciding whether a proposal under consideration is generally in accordance with an earlier approval, "the significance of any particular deviation will depend upon the criteria by which it is judged."2 The criteria may include the relevant planning scheme.
For instance, in Pine Mountain Court Pty Ltd & Ors v Valente [2000] QPELR 265, the Applicants argued that working drawings approved by the private certifier were not "generally in accordance with" those approved by the Court. It was observed in this case that while there may have been some minor changes to the building's length and width, they were of no real consequence in a fair appreciation of the building bulk. Further, many of the changes involved architectural detailing of features more loosely identified in earlier drawings. Ultimately, the Court was satisfied that the proposal as approved by the private certifier was generally in accordance with the earlier approval.
The Pine Mountain case acknowledges that working drawings will, by their nature, contain more detail and possibly refinement of schematic drawings. However, any deviations need to be consistent with the contemplated building bulk and style.
We recommend that building certifiers have regard to the following principles when considering whether building plans/works are "generally in accordance" with any earlier plans:
  • When considering if a building is "generally in accordance with" an earlier approval, the court will consider the facts, degree and impression, with a focus on substance not form.3
  • The whole of the new proposal must be compared with the whole of the approved plan4; it is the combination of the variations that is considered, not the individual variations.
  • The significance of the variations in the overall context of the development.
  • The town planning consequences, if any, of the variations5, which will likely involve looking at any criteria and thresholds relevant to the variations contained in the planning scheme.
  • Whether the earlier plans can be described as being a preliminary schematic design or plans which conveyed the proposal as a matter of concept or impression, rather than in its detailed particulars. If so, the preliminary nature of an earlier approval may give rise to an inference that there would be further amendments6.
  • Despite the simplicity of an original plan, if it is evident that important planning elements are incorporated into the original approval (for instance with respect to size, scale and location on the site), those issues will be relevant to any alterations.
In applying the considerations outlined above, building certifiers need to interrogate any earlier plans and approvals to consider whether as a matter of impression, degree and scale, the new plans and works are "generally in accordance with" what was approved.
If a building certifier has doubts about conclusions reached in this regard, the local government may be willing to provide its views. Further, it may be prudent to obtain legal advice, particularly in light of the penalties and consequences that flow if a subsequent building permit approves building work that is not generally in accordance with any earlier plans. However, it is important to bear in mind that a local government opinion or legal opinion can only provide comfort and does not necessarily prevent challenge by a third party7.
In the next Alert, we look at the importance of building certifiers keeping detailed documentation and checking compliance throughout the construction phase.
1See for instance, In Reef Resorts 1770 Pty Ltd v Miriam Vale Shire Council [2006] QPELR 597; Jefflane Pty Ltd v Brisbane City Council [2003] QPELR 97, Jewry v Maroochy Shire Council [2005] QPELR 665; Serenity Lakes Noosa v Noosa Shire Council [2007] QPELR 334
2Grace Bros v Willoughby Municipal Council (1980) 44 LGERA 400 at 406.
3Mt Barker Properties Ltd v Mt Barker District Council (2001) 115 LGERA 190, 204; Serenity Lakes Noosa Pty Ltd v Noosa Shire Council [2007] QPELR 334, [9]
4Mt Barker Properties Ltd v Mt Barker District Council (2001) 115 LGERA 190, 204; Serenity Lakes Noosa Pty Ltd v Noosa Shire Council [2007] QPELR 334, [9]
5Firefast Pty Ltd v Council of the City of Gold Coast [1999] QPELR 200 at 202
6Serenity Lakes Noosa Pty Ltd v Noosa Shire Council [2007] QPELR 334, [9]
7Jewry v Maroochy Shire Council & Anor [2005] QPEC 30

© HopgoodGanim Lawyers
Award-winning law firm HopgoodGanim offers commercially-focused advice, coupled with reliable and responsive service, to clients throughout Australia and across international borders.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

What is Flipkey ? You ask

What is Flipkey ? You ask
is a new site owned by Trip advisor.

Find an apartment, condo, or home to rent on FlipKey.
Vacation rentals combine the excitement of travel with the comforts of home. With extra space, privacy, and amenities, it's the smartest choice. Here's how to begin.

  • Explore your options. Search for a specific location from our homepage or explore all destinations if you aren't sure where you want to go.
  • Check out the details. You can view each rental to check out photos and availability, bedroom and bathroom details, and see what activities and restaurants are nearby.
  • Read Reviews. Take a look at what past guests have said about the rental. FlipKey has real reviews from past guests. Rental owners can never edit reviews.
  • Contact a few rentals. Ask questions before you make a reservation. We recommend contacting at least 5 rental owners or managers to make sure you can choose the perfect place.


even better BYRON BAY has HEAPS

Monday, 17 February 2014

Little Money No problem ask TIM

Australia's Most Comprehensive

I meet Tim at a conference last year and was impressed with his story, so this is a long story but worth a read through. It really shows what people can do with Not Much Money deals.
He has come up with a Program so have a look at this video on his website after you read story below.

Ok here is TIM
This is his story.
1. Getting Started

My name is Tim Hart and I’ve been a full time real estate investor for nearly 10 years now and the most common question I get asked by people starting out in real estate investing is “How did you get started?”. I got started in creative real estate when I was 20. 

After graduating university and starting a career with the Commonwealth Bank in Financial Planning I quickly learned that financial planning seems to be more about sell people products than actually helping people financially and knew I had to do something else. 

After doing some research I just couldn’t understand the idea of losing money every week on a property through negative gearing. 
I wanted a strategy that would give me positive cash flow from day 1 and allow me to quit my job. I stumbled across vendor finance and in particular Instalment Contracts. 
I liked the idea of positive cash flow, but also helping other people achieve their dream of home ownership. I decided that this was the strategy for me. 
I started doing my real estate investing in my free time. For me, Saturday was my “real estate day”. I committed to myself that no matter what was happening on a particular Saturday I had to be moving my real estate investing career forward. 
I knew in my heart that as soon as I said “I’ll go to the movies or a BBQ this Saturday and catch up next week” that I’d never actually catch up and I’d be forever saying “next week I’ll start”. I started by selecting a few suburbs where first home owners where buying as they were my main target market. 

It was about a 45 minute drive to get there, but I didn’t mind as it gave me time to listen to real estate trainings as I went. Also when you’ve just driven for 45 minutes you make sure you actually do something when you get there so it’s not a waste! For the first few weeks it was about getting to know the suburb and what the prices were. I went to all the open inspections and chatted to the real estate agents. I made sure I asked them all the same questions to ensure I was getting the correct information. I asked them where the good areas are and the bad areas. What prices houses were selling for etc. 
I needed to get to a stage where I could look at a house and know within $20,000 what it was worth. I quickly realised that the real estate agents asking price was usually a good 5% over market value. Another thing that worked well for me was to go to a garage sale in the area. If you’ve ever had a garage sale you know most people come first thing in the morning then you sit there doing nothing for the rest of the day. 
I went to a few garage sales at late morning and I took my street directory in with me and told the people I was looking to buy in the area and could they tell me a bit more about the suburb. I found most people extremely happy to talk to me and help me out. It’s amazing the information you find out from a local that the real estate agents won’t tell you.
Once I had a pretty good idea of what houses where worth in the area I then had to start making offers. Its fine to do some research in an area, but don’t kid yourself into thinking you are an investor until you are making offers to purchase. I knew that until I was putting in offers to actually purchase property all I was doing was being a glorified property inspector. Don’t get me wrong it was scary putting in offers. It all became very real for me when I was signing letters of offer, but I knew it was the only way to move forward.

Now at the time my strategy was to purchase the properties the traditional way through the real estate agents, but make sure I was getting a good 15+% discount off retail. Then I would on-sell the properties on vendor finance for full retail. From my research I knew roughly what the property was worth then I was putting my offer in around 15% below that.

Being the detail orientated person I am I wanted to make sure all my figures were correct before I purchased. I started creating a deal analyser in excel. Something to work out the stamp duty costs, land titles fees, my cash flow, upfront investment, return on investment, backend profit etc. 

I knew that it didn’t matter how pretty the house the numbers had to stack up. Like any business making an investment I had to do all the number crunching before I signed on the dotted line! I didn’t want to get into a property and suddenly get a nasty little surprise that I hadn’t considered. 

The deal analyser spreadsheet quickly got to the point where excel couldn’t handle the functionality that I needed and that’s when I decided to hire a team of programmers and create the Property Investor System ( 
The software has come a long way over the last 10 years and can now analyse all the different types of creative finance like instalment contracts, lease options, rent to buys, joint venture agreements, second mortgage carry backs, renovations, buy and holds, and every combination of them. This is what gave me the confidence to move forward.
The first offer I put in was around $50,000 under the asking price and I thought the agent was going to yell and scream at me and throw me out of his office. The reality was that the worst an agent would do is shake their head and say there is no way they are going to accept an offer that low. It’s funny the scenarios your mind comes up with and yet its never as bad as you think it might be.

 It took me 16 offers before I finally had an agent call me back and say “Tim I can’t believe it but they actually took you offer”. Fear and excitement hit me like a tonne of bricks! I was still living at home with my parents so I had never even rented a house before let alone bought one. The biggest thing for me that took the fear and emotion out of the purchase was knowing my numbers. I went straight back to my deal analyser and studied the numbers for the deal and could see in black and white that it was a great deal and I was going to make a lot of money out of it. This put my mind at ease. To help out people getting started in property investment we have just introduced a $1 for a 30 day trial of my software. You can go to for more information.
Until next time. Happy investing!
Tim Hart
Property Investor and Software Creator. The Property Investor System is Australia’s most comprehensive property investor system. The only Australian system that can analyse, track, and report on all types of property transactions. Visit for more information.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Great work Guys sub divide where others did not !!!!

Great work Guys sub divide where others did not !!!!
note : if seeing this on "email only" open website to see pictures, by clicking blue text above.

I am very impressed with my friends Jan and Don. They have done it again.
they are the Ultimate Achievers literally.

I meet Jan and Don while ago studying with Dymphna Boholt and straight away feel in love with their passion and energy. They continued with their journey with property investing and development.
Many give up or just don't have a good experience with their first deal.
It really does come down to following the steps with your mentor and keeping up education.

What have these guys been up too?

Well they found a large block in a Brisbane Suburb which every one passed on because it had a sewage line right through the middle of it. EVEN ME !!!!! arghhh , that's ok , I reward their ingenuity.

The pictures below actually show you the block they are sub dividing.
They have also done something special here.
They are sharing this journey with several other people as seen in the photo's.
This makes me very excited seeing so many people smiling and enthusiastic to be part of the learning process.

What Jan and Don are doing is holding hands with this group of students and going on the journey with them. They are a TEAM EFFORT. They sharing every little bit of information with them to guide them through the whole process.

Property investing and development is scary at first , so they are taking this fear away.

This is not a all pool money in deal, they just see the whole process then they can use their own money to find one that is similar. They purely just learn the whole process ON SITE, no risk high rerwards I say.

This is a new idea that they came up with and I was keen to check out their site progress and share time with educating people.
Jan and Don asked me to come and talk to these new budding crew and share my experiences with these deals too.
I am really impressed with the team that has chosen to go on this journey with them.
The confidence in the crowd here and the knowledge they where telling me from this project was really impressive.
I know that each one of them will gain the extra confidence to replicate these learning and produce profitable well managed deals of their own.

Their group of followers here on the site are dead keen to change their life and get more knowledge on property development. Again, the energy here on this learning experience was amazing. Each person here will see the site develop week by week.

Ok so pictures below shows the site.
Don explaining what you should be prepared for on a work site.

 pictures below shows the Civil Engineer showing what he will be doing today
pictures below shows the new moved sewage line

Again thanks Jan and Don for sharing this experience and keeping the dream alive and taking time every day to keep the knowledge flowing from what you have learnt to others. 
Thats what it is really all about, taking what you have learnt and using those skills, but , always passing on that knowledge and sharing. 

Friday, 14 February 2014

Thinking about air BNB. Yes worth a look

Holiday and short-term rentals: Do the finances stack up in a real life case study?

By Cameron McEvoy
Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Recently, we identified new ways to rent out your investment property, via the likes of Airbnb. Though this strategy will not work for every property, there is clearly opportunity to be had in renting your apartment with this approach.
Property Correspondent has since contacted a friend who has shared some top line stats of his experience.
Is it worth it?
We asked our friend, who owns a modest two bedroom unit in the inner west of Sydney (within 5 kilometre access to the CBD; Balmain area) about his experience with his unit because he’d rented it out in the tradition way for a number of years, before converting it to an Airbnb property recently.
Here’s some rough apples-for-apples comparison numbers for his first year of operation:
  • Rented on a standard lease at $620 per week: $29,760 annually
  • Real estate agents’ management fees of 6% of rental revenue: $1,785.60 annually
  • Maintainance & repairs allowance: $1,500 annually
  • Total actual revenue: $26,384.40
  • This example assumes an average of 5 out of 7 nights per week of rental occupancy.
  • There were several initial up front costs:
  • Initial cosmetic ‘light’ renovation (simply paint and new carpets) – $1,400
  • New furniture (master suite, 2nd bedroom suite, washer/dryer combo, ironing equipment, kitchen cookware, utensils, fridge, lounge, coffee and dining tables, side tables, art/decoration, TV/AV/Internet facilities, linen) – $7,600
  • Security key installation – $110
Then there are administrative running costs that needed to paid on a regular basis, so I’ve calculated these as an annual figure:
  • Airbnb listing costs (nomimal): $100 annually
  • Housekeeper costs: $200 per week, so $10,400 annually
  • Maintainance products (Cleaning products, soaps, shampoos, handwash, toilet paper, kitchen towel, perhaps a welcome gift each time. My friend joined Costco for about $50 and buys all of this in bulk once per quarter): $3,800 annually
  • Property maintainance and repairs (Year #2 onwards only): $2,500 annually
  • Nightly commandable rent rate: $230
  • Total rental revenue ($215 x 260 days): $59,800 annually
  • Total annual expenses (Year #1): $23,410 annually
  • Total net revenue (Year #1): $36,390
  • Total net revenue (Year #2 onwards): $43,000
Of course, both ‘revenue’ figures will then require strata, water, council rate, tax and other additional property operating expenses furhter to those listed above. I asked my friend if there were any horror stories thus far in his experience. His feedback was that problems were minimal, providing that he was always contactable and available, and he screened his tenants carefully.
He did mention a couple of incidents where the tenant had clearly had parties, requiring additional housekeeping costs. Additionally, there were instances where tenants had lost keys. Although the tenants paid the key/lock replacement costs out of their bond; it did cause the property to be out of action for more days than expected, resulting in future-booked tenants having been cancelled. As you could imagine, this did not help his review ratings at the time. These were just a handful of little bumps along the road that he is still discovering.
This case study highlights the profit potential for renting an entire property out. What is missing is the ‘human’ cost – of your time commitment – in running the property for twelve months. There is also the opportunity to live in a two bedroom property yourself, and ‘Airbnb’ the second room out at a reduced nightly rate. However, investors need to be mindful of tax implications in producing rental revenue from their owner-occupied home.
Still, it may well be worth it. If instead of renting your second room for say $250 per week, you could get someone in at least four nights per week, for say $90 per night ($360 per week minimum), you’d be well ahead. An added benefit would also be that you’d only have a flatmate for four to five nights per week.
Australian investors are best served to keep this in mind when considering this approach to renting out their properties.
Cameron McEvoy is a NSW-based property investor and maintains a blog, Property Correspondent.

       Holiday and short-term rentals: Does your property fit the bill?

By Cameron McEvoy
Wednesday, 29 January 2014

If your investment property is in a highly desirable location, you may want to explore alternative ways to rent it out. It is common in some mining towns throughout Australia, northern USA and southern Canada to rent out properties at nightly rates, for near-ludicrous rental returns. These properties can command such high rates and rental structures due to their remote location and general lack of housing stock required to house the growing mining industry working population.
For those not familiar with Airbnb and Flipkey, it is worth visiting both websites to educate yourself on these enormous global rental listing sites.
In short, both services enable property owners to rent out their property, fully furnished, at nightly (or sometimes weekly/monthly) rates, direct to their tenant. For well located and well serviced properties, the profit possibilities are far greater than the conventional way of renting a property out in Australia (i.e. via a real estate agency who sources a tenant who pays a fixed rental rate for a six or 12 month term).
I actually recently returned from a trip to Hawaii where I enlisted both of these services, as a holidaymaker/short-term tenant, and was very pleased with the entire experience.
Introducing this for an investment property in a non-resources town location however, can be quite challenging. There are two major components that you must carefully consider components to doing this.
Location and property type – Is your property relevant?
You should consider all of the following before offering your property for rent on such services:
-          First and foremost, if your property is a unit and not a house, you need to check with your strata committee the rules on operating your investment property in such a way. Some building strata by-laws will not allow for an Airbnb-style approach to tenancy.
-          Location needs to be genuinely awesome. The two major users of these services are holiday makers and travelling business people. Short-term student stays would arguably be the third user persona. All users have a high expectation that the property is in the best location to either enjoy their holiday hotspots, commute to business meetings and offices, or close to the campus or facility where their student program will be based.
-          Users also have high expectations regarding the quality of the property and features. Holidaymakers do not want to spend time in anything less than a property that, well, makes them feel like they are on holiday. Similarly, travelling business people expect to pack less in their suitcase and have everything they need, laid out for them.
-          So, cheap second-hand furniture bought from Gumtree likely will not cut it.
-          In line with the above, this means that properties will need to have fresh linen either fitted or neatly presented for the tenant (towels, sheets, kitchen cloth).
-          AV facilities should include TV/Blu-Ray player/stereo/free wi-fi internet access. Additionally, a folder that serves as a local guide is also a smart move. Include local restaurants/attractions, directions to transport and fun things to do, in the folder.
-          Tenants expect a fully functional kitchen stocked with quality working applicances. If parking is possible, instructions for how/where they should park their vehicles need to explicitly laid of for them.
-          A bit of a wow factor. This is important as negative reviews online will hurt your continued success on the service. Future users simply won’t book. In this way, it is typical to see welcome champagne/chocolates with a nice welcome card for tenants, sometimes fresh flowers, and sometimes a cute ‘guest book’ where tenants can read about the previous tenants holiday trips.
-          Other handy tips to help make your property a more unique and special experience to consider would be a little bowl of local spices or products in the kitchen. For international travelers, you’d be surprised at the positive response to supply local delicacies such as Tim Tams, Vegemite, or Manuka Honey can provide. You can even go one step further and leave a note requesting a positive review if they’ve enjoyed the place/service

Service commitment – Do you have the required ongoing time spare to commit to it?
To commit to ongoing, often daily, changeover of tenants, you need to have your property serviced frequently. You can either do this yourself, or hire the services of a maid/housekeeper, which is an additional operating cost. These are just some of the many considerations to keep in mind. All of them obviously add to the time you will be spending managing this property:
-          Security maintenance. Typical setups usually enable tenants to access a little pin-coded lockbox on the exterior of the dwelling. Inside are house keys. When they leave/check out of the property, they simply put the keys back in and pin-lock the little box. Tenants will never meet the next tenant, so this is how keys/access is usually passed along. You may be up for upfront costs to install such security necessities.
-          Above mentioned maid / housekeeper costs. Typically, Airbnb properties are run where the tenant(s) check out by 12pm, and the new tenants check in no earlier than 3pm, allowing a three hour window for the housekeeper to come and perform a set roster of duties. You must set the roster and practice it through with the housekeeper prior to the first tenant stay.
-          Site listing maintainance. Not only do Airbnb service costs need to be taken into account, but keeping the listing up to date and securing as many positive reviews as possible, also requires significant time investment.
Cameron McEvoy is a NSW-based property investor and maintains a blog, Property Correspondent.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Australia's Top Suburb reports online

Australia's Top Suburb reports online

                 Find information on every suburb in Australia
Looking to find out more about an Australian suburb? Enter a suburb or postcode below to get comprehensive suburb profiles detailing house and unit medians, capital growth, demographics and much more without paying a cent.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

VIC Ballarat Planning hurdle for orphanage

     Planning hurdle for orphanage

DEVELOPERS of the former Ballarat orphanage are facing dozens of objections, a ‘blood claim’ and an Aboriginal Affairs investigation into the possibility of buried human remains.
The City of Ballarat is now likely to bring in an independent planning panel after receiving another 33 submissions on the future of the Victoria Street site.
The former Ballarat Children’s Home was sold to a developer in 2011 for a residential subdivision with a medical centre and shopping complex.
But buildings would need to be rezoned for commercial, mixed and residential use and public consultation was recently invited.
A report, to be considered by the council on Wednesday, said the public submissions raised heritage, traffic, amenity and flooding issues for the development.
The report recommends sending the information to an independent planning panel.
Of the 33 submissions, eight called for more of the site to be retained, particularly the former schoolhouse building.
A former resident also made a ‘blood claim’ to the land and highlighted the possibility of human remains on the site.
Adjoining residents expressed concerns about building heights overshadowing residential properties, while VicRoads suggested there would be traffic implications.
The council recently approved several buildings for demolition but rejected the developer’s bid to knock down the majority of structures.
The decision is the subject of a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal appeal.
Several submitters requested the former schoolhouse be converted into a museum, but acknowledged that funding would need to be sourced.

This is the developer’s proposal for Rezoning the former Orphanage and Children’s Home site. They're wanting to place a supermarket in the purple area, Medical Center in the Red area and the green is for public space, the rest will be for residential.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Joint SMSF investors may be at risk: Legal expert

Joint SMSF investors may be at risk: Legal expert

article from :
By Zoe Fielding
Monday, 10 February 2014

Investors who buy property with others through a single self-managed superannuation fund could be putting their assets at risk, a lawyer who specialises in the area has warned.
Unless the joint investors are close family members with the same investment goals, they should try to hold the property as tenants in common through separate self-managed super funds (SMSFs), despite higher costs and potential difficulties with lenders, said Allan Swan, director of asset and wealth management lawyers Swan and Yii.
Business partners who buy their business premise through an SMSF of which they are both members are particularly at risk, he said. “If there’s a business dispute between the partners there’s one fund and it can be a recipe for disaster.”
Lenders often demand that limited recourse borrowing arrangements used to finance a single property purchase be held through only one SMSF.
A limited recourse borrowing arrangement is a special type of mortgage used by SMSFs in which the lender can only claim the property that secures the loan if the borrower defaults on repayments. In regular mortgages the lender has full recourse to all of the borrower’s assets.
“What some people do to save [administrative] costs is put all their SMSF assets in the combined fund,” Swan said. “One business partner might have half the property and $100,000 of other investments, and the other might have $1 million in other investments in addition to the other half of the property.”
Members must use a structure know as a segregated fund if they wish to keep their other assets separate within the same SMSF. In most SMSFs, assets are pooled between members and allocated in proportion to their individual balances.
Running a joint SMSF with segregated funds, rather than separate SMSFs can save on costs. But Swan said the segregate parts needed to be administered separately and have different bank accounts, which ate into the savings. Audits could also be more complex and costly.
“[Also], if people are making decisions about the rest of their super, having to get the approval of the other member can be a real pain, especially if there have been disputes between the members,” Swan said.
A better solution would be to negotiate with the lender to allow separate limited recourse loans through separate SMSFs owning the property as tenants in common, Swan said. While lenders may be reluctant to offer the loan arrangements to separate super funds, they may be more accommodating if there’s a risk that they may lose the business as a client, he added.
If the lender will not offer finance to separate SMSFs, Swan said the next best option was for members to keep their other investments in separate funds and only hold the property in the joint fund.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Retreat on financial planning rules to hit investors

Retreat on financial planning rules to hit investors

Retreat on financial planning rules to hit investors Cecily and Robin Herd on Friday: the collapse of Storm Financial ruined their retirement plans. Photo: Glenn Hunt
Duncan Hughes, Sally Patten and Christopher Joye
Financial planners will once again be able to earn commissions for selling a wide range of investment products after a federal government decision to water down investor protection laws.
Assistant Treasurer Arthur ­Sinodinos is consulting the industry on draft rules, drawn up after heavy industry pressure, that will make it easier for advisers to receive commissions and other so-called “conflicted payments” provided they have not tailored their advice to the client’s personal ­circumstances.
The proposed changes will apply to the Future of Financial Advice or FoFA reforms that have cost industry $1 billion to implement and followed a spate of collapses including Storm Financial and Trio Capital. Major banks and wealth managers are moving quickly to take advantage of the softer rules.
Leaked MLC documents for financial planners obtained by AFR Weekend reveal the National Australia Bank-owned wealth manager plans to impose a new annual “dealer facilitation fee” of up to 0.5 per cent of clients’ assets under management.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s CommInsure division is offering $985 “scholarships” to advisers so they can attend a conference in Toronto. The original intention of the FoFA reforms was that volume-based sales payments and soft-dollar incentives such as overseas trips would be banned. A spokesman for Mr Sinodinos confirmed that under the government’s changes ­products sold pursuant to general advice, that is advice given without a review of the client’s financial affairs, will not be subject to the ban on conflicted remuneration.
“The current ban on conflicted remuneration captures a far wider range of circumstances than was originally intended and has resulted in ­significant compliance costs for industry,” the spokesman said.
Conflicted remuneration was less likely to cause a detriment to the client because general advice was less likely to influence a person’s investments decisions, he said. Industry experts told AFR Weekend practically all types of investment products could be sold under general advice.
The return to the widespread ­payment of commissions to financial planners is partly due to loose drafting of the laws by the previous Labor government. That has enabled banks and wealth managers to reintroduce soft-dollar incentives and new fees in an apparent effort to encourage advisers to sell their products.
Critics of the changes to the Abbott government’s reform package claim they have “gutted” the laws that were intended to boost transparency, protect investors and improve access to advice.
“This goes way beyond tidying up, or tweaking some regulations,” said David Whiteley, chief executive of Industry Super Australia, which represents six million industry fund members.
“This is about wide-ranging changes that go to the very heart of the proposed reforms,” he said.
Michael Chaaya, a partner at legal firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth, said the changes to allow commission relating to general advice were a “significant watering down of the FoFA regime”.
“What the government is doing right now is slowing down the process of building a professional financial services sector and going down the cheap popular path of least resistance rather than doing the hard yards and lifting standards,” said opposition spokesman for financial services Bernie Ripoll.
MLC documents being distributed to advisers, marked “confidential”, state the fee will cover research “and assessing the suitability of the product” for clients. The fee is paid to the licensee who typically return it to the adviser.
Tim Mackay, principal for Quantum Financial, an independent financial adviser, said the new charge appeared to replace volume bonuses, which were to be banned because of concerns they might compromise the quality of advice. “Simply replacing a banned fee type with a renamed fee type sends entirely the wrong message to consumers,” he said.
MLC denied the fee was in any way linked to volume payments.
“The [dealer facilitation and adviser service] fees are linked to the advice planners are providing their clients, rather than any volume incentive,” said a spokeswoman.
“The dealer facilitation fee is a fee for the advice services provided by the dealer group that that particular independent financial adviser is part of,” the spokeswoman said, adding that the fee covered research and product assessment, IT services and other support.
Independent planners argued adviser “scholarships” from Comm­Insure for a “Million Dollar Round Table” in Canada later this year could be an attempt to get around the planned ban on offering “soft-dollar” incentives, or junkets, to top performers.
Funding for the event, which is a meeting of some of the world’s leading insurance salespeople and financial advisers, covers $985 registration and more than $500 in discounts.
Some advisers claim restricting scholarship applications to those who are “regular writers of life insurance” for the bank means it is an incentive to flog its products.
CBA said eduction and training payments are allowed under FOFA.
The legislation has also been amended to make it easier for volume-based rebates to be paid to platforms by fund managers. Under the existing rules, a platform must be able to prove that a rebate “may reasonably attributed” to efficiencies gained by the fund manager due to economies of scale. The draft legislation allows for rebates to be paid if they “can reasonably be attributed towards economies of scale.”

Sunday, 9 February 2014

BRISBANE Code Assessable development application

BRISBANE Code Assessable development application

Residential Zones

Subdividing requires a Code Assessable development application if your property is in one of the following zones:
  • low density residential
  • character residential
  • low-medium density residential
  • medium density residential
  • high density residential
A code assessable development application is also required if:
  • all proposed lots are 450m2 or greater with an average width of 15m or greater, and all proposed rear lots are 600m2 or greater (excluding access way), or
  • the projects entail only the subdivision of existing or approved buildings, except houses.
Subdivision (other than subdivision of existing or approved buildings) requires a Code Notifiable development application where:
  • in the Low Density Residential Zone, where not in a Demolition Control Precinct (DCP), any proposed lot is 400m² or greater but less than 450m², or with an average width or 10m or greater but less than 15m
  • in the Low Density Residential Zone, where in a DCP, any proposed lot is 450m² or greater than an average width of 10m or greater but less than 15m
  • in the Character Residential or Low-medium Density Residential Zones – any proposed lot is 400m², or with an average width of 10m or greater but less than 15m
  • in the Medium Density and High Density Residential Zones – where any resulting lot is 400m² or greater but less than 450m², or with an average width of 10m or greater but less than 15m

Subdivisions in the Residential Zones that do not fit with the above will require an Impact Assessable - Generally Inappropriate development application.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

NSW Shire zoning concerns stop Cronulla Carpets store plans

 Shire zoning concerns stop Cronulla Carpets store plans

FURNISHINGS retailer Cronulla Carpets has appealed against a rezoning condition it says would prevent it redeveloping its landmark store at Taren Point.
"Our family has had this property since the mid-1970s," general manager Anthony Casaceli told a draft local environmental plan review hearing.
"We live and breathe it; we know what happens down there.
"Everyone knows it's a landmark location and the gateway to the shire.
"Every day I get phone calls from people saying: 'When are you going to build on it, because we need more bulky goods.'
"We know it looks shabby because we have buildings that were built in the 1960s which are just about falling down.
"We want to see glass all the way through, but while it is zoned industrial why would you be putting in glass?"
The 2007 LEP rezoned the area industrial, confining bulk goods warehouses to the eastern side of Taren Point Road.
As an existing occupant, Cronulla Carpets was able to maintain its business.

The 2013 draft LEP maintained the industrial status, but the revised document rezoned it for bulky goods warehousing on the condition it was amalgamated with two adjoining properties.
Mr Casaceli said that was unlikely "any time soon" because of the number of properties involved. One was strata titled.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

BRISBANE Protection of Residential Buildings Constructed Prior to 1911 - ceases to have effect end 7 May 2014

BRISBANE Protection of Residential Buildings Constructed Prior to 1911 - ceases to have effect end 7 May 2014

TLPI 01/13 Protection of Residential Buildings Constructed Prior to 1911

On 8 May 2013, Temporary Local Planning Instrument 01/13: Protection of Residential Buildings Constructed Prior to 1911 (TLPI 01/13) came into effect.
TLPI 01/13 provides for the assessment of the removal or demolition of any residential building constructed prior to 1911 that exists within the Demolition Control Precinct and Demolition Control Precinct (Local Character Significance), as well as those buildings identified by TLPI 01/13 as being residential buildings constructed prior to 1911.
Under TLPI 01/13, residential buildings constructed prior to 1911 can only be demolished if they are found to be structurally unsound. However, it is important to note that this TLPI will not apply to residential buildings on land where a current approval applies that permits the demolition of residential building(s) to which this TLPI would otherwise apply.
TLPI 01/13 will be in place for 12 months. During that time Council’s draft new City Plan, which will further refine Council’s approach to protecting the city’s traditional building character, will be prepared and finalised.
Some documents on this page need Microsoft Word or Microsoft Word Viewer installed on your computer to view or print them.
Download Temporary Local Planning Instrument 01/13 Protection of Residential Buildings Constructed Prior to 1911 (Word - 70kb).
Download the Protection of residential buildings constructed prior to 1911 questions and answers (Word - 135kb).

The purpose of this TLPI is to provide for the assessment of the removal or demolition of any residential building constructed prior to 1911.  The purpose of this instrument will be achieved through the following overall outcomes: 
Development ensures that residential buildings constructed prior to 1911 are protected and retained. 
Development ensures that the removal or demolition of residential buildings constructed prior to 1911 only occurs where they are structurally unsound and not capable of being made structurally sound.

This TLPI applies to assessing building work involving the removal or demolition of a residential building constructed prior to 1911.  This TLPI applies to: 

Residential buildings existing on those lots identified in ‘Appendix A: Schedule of Residential Buildings Constructed Prior to 1911’ on the date of commencement of this TLPI; and 
Residential buildings constructed prior to 1911 on those lots contained within the Demolition Control Precinct and Demolition Control Precinct (Local Character Significance) as identified on Planning Scheme Map 3 of 3, Brisbane City Plan 2000.  

This TLPI does not apply to minor demolition work as defined in Brisbane City Plan 2000 and which is exempt development under Chapter 3 of the Brisbane City Plan 2000.   

This TLPI does not apply to residential buildings on land to which a current approval applies which by the nature of such approval permits the demolition of residential building/s to which this TLPI would otherwise apply. The term “residential buildings constructed prior to 1911” is defined in Section 5 of the TLPI.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

BRISBANE Interim flood level maps - TLPI

 Interim flood level maps - TLPI


Following the January 2011 flood event, Brisbane City Council responded by adopting Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) 01/11 Brisbane Interim Flood Response, and subsequently, the TLPI 01/12 Brisbane Interim Flood Response. These planning instruments have successfully allowed flood-affected residents in Brisbane to re-establish their homes while improving flood resilience.
On 26 March 2013 Council adopted the Brisbane Interim Flood Response (PDF - 300kb) into the Brisbane City Plan 2000. This amendment came into effect on 16 May 2013.
This change allows Council to provide continued guidance and certainty for the community in relation to residential development and building in flood-affected areas. Furthermore, this amendment maintains the Interim Residential Flood Levels (PDF - 300kb) for new residential development in flood-affected areas. It also maintains the additional height benefits and reduced levels of assessment of the previous TLPI. Only minor changes have been made since TLPI 01/12 to make it more user friendly.
The interim flood level as defined in the Brisbane City Plan 2000 is the highest of either the January 2011 flood or the existing Defined Flood Level. You can find the January 2011 flood levels from the TLPI Flood Maps, and find the existing Defined Flood Levels from the TLPI Brisbane Interim Flood Response maps.

Temporary Local Planning Instrument maps

To see if your property was covered by the Brisbane River flood in January 2011, select the approximate location of your property on the map. A more detailed map will display showing if the Brisbane Interim Flood Response (PDF - 300kb) provisions apply to your property.

Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) area maps
TLPI map 1 (PDF - 946kb) TLPI map 2 (PDF - 398kb) TLPI map 3 (PDF - 1.5Mb*) TLPI map 4 (PDF - 675kb)
TLPI map 5 (PDF - 2.65Mb*) TLPI map 6  (PDF - 1.5Mb*) TLPI map 7  (PDF - 1.2Mb*) TLPI map 8  (PDF - 3Mb*)
TLPI map 9 (PDF - 2Mb*) TLPI map 10 (PDF - 685kb) TLPI map 11 (PDF - 802kb) TLPI map 12 (PDF - 881kb)
TLPI map 13 (PDF - 1.9Mb*) TLPI map 14 (PDF - 2Mb*) TLPI map 15 (PDF - 792kb) TLPI map 16 (PDF - 1.1Mb*)
TLPI map 17 (PDF - 1.3Mb*) TLPI map 18 (PDF - 1.8Mb*) TLPI map 19 (PDF - 1.5Mb*) TLPI map 20 (PDF - 1.2Mb*)
TLPI map 21 (PDF - 1.6Mb*) TLPI map 22 (PDF - 1.6Mb*)
Documents on this page may have large file sizes, and may take some time to download.

Individual TLPI flood maps

To find out if your property is covered by the Brisbane Interim Flood Response due to Brisbane River (other than the January 2011 Brisbane River flood), waterway or creek flooding, download a TLPI flood map by selecting your suburb from the dropdown box below.

Some documents on this page need Adobe Reader to view or print them. You can download Adobe Reader for free.

Note about the interim flood line

The flood line on the maps has been created by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection with input from Brisbane City Council. The flood line was created using aerial flood imagery taken between 13-15 January 2011 and pre-flood aerial imagery. The determination of the location of the flood line depended largely on image quality and the ability to identify feature detail.
Inaccuracies may exist particularly in the Brisbane CBD area due to high rise buildings, areas of heavy vegetation along the river banks and low lying flat areas near the mouth of the Brisbane River. For the purpose of the Brisbane Interim Flood Response provisions in the Brisbane City Plan 2000 the extent of the January 2011 Brisbane River flood (flood line) is fixed.

For mapping queries, visit the Queensland Reconstruction Authority website.