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Australian Property Law Bulletin - March 2008 (Vol 22 No 7)

Australian Property Law Bulletin - March 2008 (Vol 22 No 7)

In the March issue: The dangers of developing contaminated land - what lies beneathSuzanne S Dickey, FINLAYSONSProperty developers and past polluters will find plenty to digest in the Victorian…

In the March issue:

The dangers of developing contaminated land - what lies beneath

Suzanne S Dickey, FINLAYSONS

Property developers and past polluters will find plenty to digest in the Victorian Supreme Court's comprehensive decision in Premier Building and Consulting v Spotless Group. For property developers, this case presents a cautionary tale. For polluters, the case presents the possibility that a corporation can be held liable for contamination caused by one of its deregistered subsidiaries, if the corporation made decisions involving the operations of that subsidiary during the time the pollution occurred.

Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Bill 2007 (SA)


An overview of this prospective legislation, introduced into the SA Legislative Council in September 2007.

The clock is ticking on ‘pre-lease' misrepresentations

By Robert Riddell and Daniel Fitzpatrick, GADENS

The Appeal Panel of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT) has recently upheld an appeal against important aspects of the landmark decision in Armstrong Jones Management Pty Ltd v Saies Bond & Associates Pty Ltd. The Appeal Panel's decision significantly alters the retail lease litigation landscape, in many cases introducing a six-month limitation period on claims for compensation in respect of pre-lease misrepresentations.

Estoppel in the fact of statute and rights to terminate land contracts

By Prof W D Dunchan and Prof Sharon Christensen, QUEENSLAND UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

The decision of Juniper v Roberts raises very interesting points concerning the ability of a buyer to be estopped from relying on breaches of the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (Qld) (the Act) by a seller. In SA, a similar question arose in Astill v South Esplanade Developments, where the Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Act 1994 (SA) (the SA Act) provided for the seller to give a written statement in an approved form to the buyer. Both the relevant respective provisions of the Act and the SA Act are notably very prescriptive as to the requirements of a seller with respect to the entitlement of buyers entering residential contracts.

NSW Court of Appeal qualifies exceptions to indefeasibility of title: City of Canada Bay Council v Bonaccorso

By Jodie Masson, Chris Lyons and Rachel Carter, MIDDLETONS

This decision concerns two parcels of land owned by the Canada Bay Local City Council. Both the primary Judge and the Court of Appeal affirmed that the land concerned was classified as ‘community land'. This meant that the legitimacy of the transfer was potentially impeded by s 45(1) of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW). This case reminds practitioners that courts will make efforts to uphold the primacy of the indefeasibility provisions of the Real Property Act 1900 (NSW) and that statutes will be construed as operating in tandem if it is at all possible. The decision also provides other important guidance in relation to the Real Property Act.

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