Residential developers beware: the sun has set on sunset clauses

The Sale of Land Act 1962 was amended on 4 June 2019. Included in those amendments are restrictions on the use of sunset clauses in certain off-the-plan contracts that will significantly impact residential developers. Sunset clauses are provisions in off-the-plan contracts that have typically allowed either the vendor or the purchaser to rescind an off-the-plan contract […]


Business identification and promotional signs are an essential part of any business. While signs themselves are designed to be eye-catching, the required planning approvals and the durations of those approvals are often overlooked. Subject to a small list of exemptions, almost all businesses will need planning permission from local council to develop and display signs […]

Seller Beware – New GST Withholding Regime

Changes to the GST payment rules have had significant impacts for property developers and purchasers alike since coming into effect on 1 July 2018. The changes require purchasers of new residential properties to withhold GST from settlement and pay it directly to the ATO. This is a significant change from the usual position where the […]

Amendment VC148 – Changes To all Victoria Planning Provisions

On 31 July 2018 the Minister for Planning gazetted Amendment VC148 to introduce a suite of changes to all Victoria Planning Provisions. The Amendment provides the most significant overhaul of the Victorian Planning Schemes since they were first introduced in 1997. The changes are a result of the Government’s Smart Planning Reform Program – a […]

New Public Land Contributions Regime for Victoria

On 2 July 2018 the Planning and Environment Amendment (Public Land Contributions) Act 2018 (the Act) came into effect. The Act implements a new land contributions model to the Infrastructure Contributions Plan (ICP) system, which originally took effect on 27 October 2016 for metropolitan greenfield development. Previously, the ICP system allowed for a monetary levy […]

When is an objection an objection?

The recent Supreme Court decision of Phillip Mannerheim Holdings v Nillumbik Shire Council [2017] VSC 670 has clarified that an objection to the grant of a planning permit does not need to contain a statement of opposition to be considered a valid objection. This means that the bar has been lowered when it comes to […]

Proposed Amendments to Gambling Regulation Act: Post-2022 Arrangements and other matters

The Victorian Government has released its proposed amendments to the Gambling Regulation Act. The amendments relate mainly to the new gaming machine entitlements (“GMEs”) which are to take effect from August 2022. Whilst the Bill has clarified some of the arrangements for the post August 2022 entitlements, it is clear there is much detail still […]

Shareholders’ Agreements and Disputes

We have recently seen a significant number of avoidable disputes between shareholders with common oversights leading to those disputes. The first and most common problem is not having a shareholders’ agreement at all. Shareholders should have shareholders’ agreements as: A company constitution and the Corporations Act 2001 will not specifically address all issues between shareholders […]

Primary Production Land Tax Exemptions

An exemption from Land Tax may be available if your land, or a part of your land, is used for Primary Production. What is Primary Production? For Land Tax purposes, Primary Production is one or more of the following activities: Cultivating crops for the purposes of selling the produce (including in a processed or converted […]

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Withholding Requirements

What is it? The new Capital Gains Tax (CGT) withholding regime is a federal government tax initiative introduced to assist the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in recovering CGT from foreign residents who sell or dispose of (amongst other things) real property in Australia.  This includes land, buildings, residential and commercial property (including options or rights […]