In brief

18 August 2010

Yesterday, Mr Sam Haddad, Director-General of the NSW Department of Planning gave evidence to the ICACs inquiry into the policy framework governing lobbying in NSW. The transcript is here

Mr Haddads evidence goes to the operation of the new lobbying protocol in the Department of Planning and possible extensions of the protocol.  Urban Taskforce CEO Aaron Gadiel gave evidence on behalf of property developer interests last week. The transcript of his evidence starts at page 26 of 47 here.

The CommSec State of the States report has again ranked NSW’s economy the worst performing in Australia. In commenting on the report, NSW Opposition leader, Barry O’Farrell said the key was getting housing supply up the level of other states: “When we don’t attract investment, when our businesses aren’t growing, when we don’t have the number of housing starts and the strength of housing we see in other states, it means a loss of jobs, it means a loss of opportunity,” Mr O’Farrell said.

Federal Sustainable Population Minister, Tony Burke, has publicly debated population and immigration policy with Shadow Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison. It’s clear whoever wins the election, that population and immigration policy will be changing. More information is here.

The Australian Taxation Office recently released a draft ruling relating to GST on the sale of retirement villages. This ruling will impact on developers who on-sold retirement villages tenanted under a loan/lease arrangement. Prior to this draft ruling, developers were exempt from paying GST on the loans. However, the new draft ruling will now require the payment of GST on the sale price of the property plus the total of the loan contracts. More information on this matter can be found here.

Australian Building Codes Board has a regulatory impact statement on exhibition relating to the proposal to amend the Building Code of Australia to include mitigation against the effects of saline soils. Comments must be received by 10 September 2010. More information available from here.

A regulatory impact statement has been exhibited for the renewal of the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2005. More information is here.

Preliminary works to facilitate the extension of the light rail to Dulwich Hill has begun. A media release is here.

The Federal Government’s Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 commenced on 1 July 2010. More information is here.

New research suggests that despite the apparent under-utilisation of their dwellings according to previous methods of measurement, the majority of older people regard their house as suitable for their needs and adapt excess bedrooms to accommodate temporary visitors and pursue recreational activities. More detail is here.

The Office of Fair Trading recently exhibited a draft of a new version of the Strata Scheme Management Regulation. More detail is here.