Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2692 ..
Further information on the framework for the recission of contracts is provided in the response to question 4 below.
(2) The Government is aware of an instance in 2015 of a developer rescinding a contract and selling the unit at a higher price. The details of that matter are addressed in an ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal case Tummala v Tiger Property Group Pty Ltd (Civil dispute)  ACAT 118.
(3) The Government has been contacted by several affected “Vivace” purchasers or their family members. The government will consider whether the concerns raised warrant legislative reform.
A contract to purchase off-the-plan is an agreement to purchase a property which has not yet been built. As many things can go wrong during the building process, there are certain risks associated with contracts of this nature. To assist in managing these risks, many off-the-plan contracts include a ‘sunset clause’. A sunset clause provides a period of time for the completion of a development and creates a right to rescind the contract if the specified period of time elapses.
Sunset clauses can protect both purchasers and developers from the risk that the development takes longer than either party anticipated.
The use of sunset clauses is not prohibited by ACT law.
The First Home Owner Grant is available for eligible applicants who entered into a transaction, with a commencement date prior to 30 June 2019, to buy a new or substantially renovated home. The commencement date of a transaction is the date on which the contract was signed and exchanged, or in the case of building a home, the day the foundations start being laid.
From 1 July 2019, the ACT Government replaced the First Home Owner Grant with an expanded Home Buyer Concession Scheme, which is available for both new and existing homes including off-the-plan purchases, providing more choice for first home buyers.
(6) A right to rescind provided by agreement in a contract can benefit one or both parties to a contract.
The Government is considering whether legislative reform to constrain the creation or exercise of rights of recission by developers is warranted.
Conveyance duty is levied on the dutiable value of the property and is only payable for transactions which occur. As such, conveyance duty does not apply to rescinded contracts.
Otherwise, please see the response to question 4 above.