In brief

29 September 2011

The NSW Government has released further details of its changes to stamp duty concessions. From 1 January 2012 First Home Plus exemptions and concessions will be replaced by the First Home – New Home Scheme. The amendments provide that an agreement or transfer will only be eligible for the concession or exemption if it is for the acquisition of a new home or vacant land intended to be used as the site for a new home. This includes a substantially renovated home. There is a stamp duty exemption for home valued up to $500,000 in the case of a new home purchase or an off the plan purchase and $300,000 in the case of a vacant land purchase. There are stamp duty concessions, on a sliding scale, until the homes hit a value limit $600,000 in the case of a new home purchase or an off the plan purchase and $450,000 in the case of a vacant land purchase. A Q&A guide is available from the Office of State Revenue here.

Proposed legislation to implement the change is here.


The Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Fibre Deployment) Act 2011 came into effect on 27 September 2011. The bill, which was passed unamended, is available here.

The purpose of the new law is to support the Government’s policy that fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) infrastructure should be installed in new developments. A Fibre in New Developments Policy is available from the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy here.

The Productivity Commission is conducting a benchmarking study into business regulation and the role of local government. An issues paper has been released and submissions must be lodged by 31 October 2011. More information on the study and a copy of the issues paper is available from here.

The NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure is exhibiting a proposal to allow the continued use of council planning controls for complying development proposals, alongside the statewide Government codes as outlined in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (“the Codes SEPP”). The proposal extends the operation of council planning controls for complying development until 1 September 2012 (unless the council has a comprehensive standard instrument local environmental plan in place). Submissions on the proposed amendment were abel to be lodged 19 September 2011. Exhibition material is available from here.
and a fact sheet is here.

The Australian Government has released a consultation draft of an environmental offsets policy that will operate under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. The draft policy provides guidance including when offsets can be required, how they are determined and the framework under which they operate. Comments on the policy will be received until 21 October 2011. The draft policy may be accessed from here.

On 22 July 2011, the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure held a forum to launch the review of the NSW planning system. The full feedback report can be accessed from here. Individual stakeholder meetings have also occurred. Notes of these meetings can be accessed from here.  The review of the planning regulation is now “on the road”. The consultation process commenced on 12 September in Broken Hill and will conclude in Sydney on 14 November. The consultation timetable is here. The Urban Taskforces initial submission to the planning review is available here.


The NSW Government has announced that legislation would be introduced to the Parliament to ban all corporate political donations. The proposed legislation does not change existing bans on donations by property developers, tobacco, liquor and gaming companies, and close associates. This means that private individuals who happen also to be close associates of property development companies (such as being a significant shareholder or an officer) will still banned for participating in political party events for which an entry fee is charged.  It is not clear whether the Premiers proposed extended ban on corporation donations will be supported in the Parliaments upper house. The Premier’s media release is here.