Please find below information on the industry news as at September 2018.
Earlier this week, the Treasurer announced the appointment of Victorian Land Registry Services as the operator of the land titles and registry functions of Land Use Victoria for the next forty years, after which the functions will be returned to public hands.
Victorian Land Registry Services (VLRS) who paid $2.86 billion to the government for the concession is backed by the First State Superannuation Scheme, a 100 per cent Australian owned superannuation fund, with more than 800,000 members.
The Registrar of Titles will remain under state control, overseeing the private operator and the state will retain ownership of all Registry data, which will be required to be stored in Australia. The Registrar’s statutory function to maintain the integrity and security of the Register remains unchanged.
The State will retain full control over prices for statutory land registry services and price increases will be capped at CPI for non-statutory services provided by Victorian Land Registry Services.
Customers of Land Use Victoria should anticipate business as usual – there should be no change to the service provided. Longer term, the State Government expects commercialisation to respond to customer demand for technology-driven services through private operator innovation and investment.
DELWP Planning reforms
PLANNING SCHEME AMENDMENTS
Amendment VC148: Revolution or evolution of the planning system?
On 31st July last Amendment VC148 was gazetted bringing major reforms. to the Rules Stream of the Smart Planning Program and simplifying and modernising Victoria's planning regulation.
VC148 introduces the biggest change to the VPP since its creation in the 1990s. It also introduces a new integrated Planning Policy Framework (PPF) with state, regional and local planning policies combined into a single policy source, creating a policy framework that is consistent and succinct and easier to use and navigate.
No new permit requirements have been introduced with Amendment VC148. Instead, the Amendment involves a significant restructure and refinement of the VPP which should make the system more user-friendly and transparent. In some cases, permit requirements have actually been removed or reduced. Amendment VC148 affects all planning schemes in Victoria.
On the planning website
, a summary of the VC148 amendment changes along with a set of Advisory Notes, which explain the amendment in more detail have been created. There’s also a list of detailed FAQs to help answer any questions you might have.
The Smart Planning team has also designed a handy ‘clause finder’ tool to help users navigate the changes on a clause-by-clause basis. It provides a simple comparison between the VPP both prior to, and after the time of gazettal of VC148. The tool identifies whether a clause name or number has been amended and outlines the type of change that has occurred.
Further details at the following link. VC148
More details will be presented by Ben Daly from Tract Consultants who was a team leader on the review panel, at our Surveying & Spatial summit on Friday October 5th.
Other amendments of interest
Kingston Planning Scheme - Amendment C152 – Approved 31May, 2018. Inserts a new Clause 22.20 Stormwater Management local policy on an interim basis and modifies Clause 21.09 of the Municipal Strategic Statement to encourage water sensitive urban design measures for new developments.
Moorabool Planning Scheme - Amendment C78 – Approved 31 May, 2018. Amends Clauses 21.01, 21.02, 21.03, 21.09, and updates Clause 21.11 to implement the recommendations of the Small Towns and Settlements Strategy (2016).
VicPlan Enhancements Go Live!
In response to user feedback, a range of enhancements have been made to the state-wide mapping tool VicPlan. You can access VicPlan at the following link:- Launch VicPlan
VicPlan was released in August 2017 as a replacement for the 15,000 PDF maps that provide location-based zone and overlay information. The enhancements will provide a more functional, intuitive and user-friendly mapping tool for planning professionals and the wider community.
The key enhancements include:
- Independent layer control - select the zone or overlay that is relevant to the property, to provide distinction between different layers (particularly if they are similar colours/patterns). Layer control is also available in the Export Map function, so you are able to print only the relevant layers.
- Identify feature - provides more information about a zone or overlay, and highlights the layer to show how far it extends and where the boundary exists.
- Swatch key - shows the colour/pattern of the zone or overlay in the property information panel, to more easily identify which planning scheme document relates to the zone or overlay.
- Greyscale base map – allows greater distinction between the base map and the zones and overlays. Transparency sliders have also been implemented, for greater user control over colour boldness.
- Mark up and measure tools – provide the ability to draw on the map, as well as find dimensions and area information.
- Address highlighter – the property address is now highlighted in the search pane, to allow easier identification of which address relates to the property on the map.
Amendment Tracking System
On July 31st, DELWP released a new digital tool providing DELWP and planning authorities with the ability to lodge, track and pay for planning scheme amendments online, as well as enabling residents and developers to comment electronically on exhibited amendments
More details at: Amendment Tracking System
DELWP's new Resource Library
is now live. You can now search for current and archived planning documents. The library now includes a massive 75,000 pages across 7,000 documents, with an extra 15,000 maps. With the new tool anybody can search for and find a wide range of planning publications and resources published by the Planning Group within DELWP. With future enhancements already planned, the resource library will prove to be a valuable tool for the planning community.
NEW PUBLIC LAND CONTRIBUTIONS MODEL
The Planning and Environment Amendment (Public Land Contributions) Act 2018 came into effect on 2 July 2018, and introduces a land contribution model for the Infrastructure Contributions Plan (ICP) system. The land contribution model enables land for public purposes to be provided as part of an infrastructure contribution when land is developed. This replaces the monetary public land component of the standard levy. At present, the ICP system only applies to metropolitan greenfield growth areas. Further information is available via planning.vic.gov.au/policy-and-strategy/planning-reform/infrastructure-contributions-reform.
An ICP can include two types of levies;
1. A Monetary Levy
The monetary levy is paid in the form of a standard levy and/or a supplementary levy rate on a per hectare of net developable area basis. Both the standard levy and the supplementary levy rates must be apportioned between community and recreation construction costs and transport construction costs. The appropriate levy rate is then formulated based on the class of development. The monetary levy can only include funding for infrastructure required by the PSP area. It is not designed to fund infrastructure that is required for a need external to the PSP area.
2. A Land Component
The land component of the contributions plan allocates all land required for infrastructure projects identified in the PSP. This may result in an ICP partially funding the cost of a project but acquiring the area of land required for the whole project. Land owners are paid compensation for the land acquired at a valued rate that also includes a financial algorithm to calculate the credits/debits of above or below average land provision in comparison to the average provision across the ICP. The land component can also include land outside the ICP area that is required for infrastructure.
A new Ministerial Direction on the Preparation and Content of Infrastructure Contributions Plans and Ministerial Reporting Requirements for Infrastructure Contributions Plans was issued by the Minister for Planning on 2 July 2018. Further information is available via planning.vic.gov.au/policy-and-strategy/planning-reform/infrastructure-contributions-reform.
NEW LOCAL GOVERNMENT BILL INTRODUCED TO PARLIAMENT.
On May 23 last, Minister for Local Government Marlene Kairouz introduced the Local Government Bill 2018 into Parliament, following three years of consultation with the community.
The bill repeals and replaces the Local Government Act 1989 and will usher in landmark reforms, including:
- Giving the Minister for Local Government the power to suspend individual councillors who pose a significant threat to the governance of a council for up to a year
- Clearly defining sexual harassment under the Councillor Code of Conduct and introducing the power to remove councillors for serious sexual harassment
- Allowing mayors serving two-year terms to be ousted from their roles, following a motion moved by at least three-quarters of all councillors in office
- New measures to ensure service charges levied by Councils do not exceed the cost of those services.
Planning and Buidling Legislation Amendment (Housing Affordability and Other Matters) Act 2017
Planning Minister Richard Wynne announced new regulations that have come into force that better define 'affordable housing' and make it easier for Councils and developers to negotiate voluntary agreements to include affordable homes in residential developments.
Mr Wynne said the previous system lacked a clear definition of affordable housing, which created uncertainty about the legal validity of such agreements reached between Councils and developers, and the consequent loss of affordable housing development opportunities.
Planning and Environment Amendment (Objectors Review Timing) Regulations 2018
These Regulations came into effect on 1 July 2018.They amend regulation 35 of the Planning and Environment Regulations 2015 to standardise the point at which the time an objector can apply for review starts. The date of the notice of the decision is the point that the counting of the days starts. The number of days has been increased from 21 days to 28 days to take account of the new starting point and the changes to delivery time by Australia Post.
Developers will need to be aware of the increase to these timeframes and factor the additional days into project timelines.
BUSHFIRE PRONE AREAS MAP UPDATED
The 11th review of the Bushfire Prone Areas (BPA)
mapping has been completed resulting in over 9,000 residential lots being removed from the BPA. On 16 May 2018 notice was published in the Government Gazette and the BPA Map online was updated. The 12th review will open shortly with a request for sites about to commence development to be identified for review. Contact: email@example.com.
MARINE AND COASTAL ACT 2018
LAND USE VICTORIA CUSTOMER INFORATION BULLETINS
There have been a number of recent releases of Land Use Victoria's Customer Information Bulletins.
Issue 179 covers
- New lodgment and search fees from 1 July 2018
- Reminder and update on creating restrictive covenants in transfers
- Getting ready for 100% electronic lodgment in August 2019
- Legal entity names
Issue 180 covers
- Registrar’s requirements for paper conveyancing transactions version 5 - update to section 6 'Electronic Instruments'
- Progression towards 100% electronic lodgement
Issue 181 covers
- Information on the Treasurer's announcement on the private operator for land registry services
Advisory committee established by Victorian Government to improve stormwater management
The Victorian Government has recently established a dedicated advisory committee to improve stormwater management as part of an effort to create more liveable cities and healthier waterways and improve Victoria's environment.
The Improving Stormwater Management Advisory Committee will provide independent advice to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne and Minister for Water Lisa Neville on how to improve stormwater management and strengthen the links between planning and urban water management across Victoria.
Stormwater runoff is predicted to increase by almost 50 per cent by 2051, which will require towns and cities to become more 'water sensitive' to protect the environment and improve quality of life for current and future generations.
The Committee will advise on issues such as the types of developments needed to manage stormwater impacts and how they can be delivered, and will seek advice and views from key stakeholders and the community to shape urban planning principles around how to best filter or redirect water.
The Committee will begin seeking community input to guide its deliberations in coming weeks.
Cultural Heritage Sensitivity – Re check areas previously unaffected
There has recently been a series of amendments to the State Government Planning mapping, specifically those areas which are deemed to be located within an area of Cultural Heritage Sensitivity.
Aboriginal Affairs Victoria (AAV) has recently updated the areas which are of Cultural Heritage Sensitivity or are of potential significance. The new mapping highlights additional areas which are often a substantial distance from existing waterways and coastlines, and are in highly developed areas which may at a glance appear unlikely to be included as sensitive.
Large tracts of land in Metropolitan Regions which were previously unaffected are now identified as being within areas of Cultural Heritage Sensitivity. Any existing or future planning applications in such areas may trigger the need for a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP), or otherwise as a minimum a determination from AAV that a CHMP is not required.