Page 3477 - Week 11 - Thursday, 24 September 2015

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formal building approval. This amendment provides an alternate mechanism for working out the amount of the levy under the Building and Construction Industry Training Levy Act.

Alongside the various changes made to aspects of the demolition process the bill also amends the Land Rent Act 2008 to allow for the resale of a remediated block surrendered under the buyback program to a former home owner by way of a land rent lease. This will be offered where the former home owner has a first right of refusal and is eligible for land rent. These amendments are designed to assist home owners who cannot afford to purchase the lease as well as pay the cost of rebuilding their family home to return back to their community.

Currently, land rent is only available in greenfield estates. This bill makes a number of technical amendments to the Land Rent Act to allow the application of the land rent scheme in the very specific circumstances of a former Mr Fluffy home owner seeking to return to their former block. The bill also makes some more substantive amendments to the act to reflect the special nature of the newly available leases in established suburbs where land rent would not otherwise ever be available. The current land rent scheme allows a land rent lease to be sold to another person as a land rent lease, provided that the purchaser is eligible to participate in the scheme. The amendments to the Land Rent Act include a provision to restrict the transfer of a land rent lease that is granted under the first right of refusal. The amendments are intended to be a benefit that is only available to the specific former owner to enable them to rebuild on their land and return to their former neighbourhood.

A further aspect of the land rent scheme that will have a modified application where a land rent lease is granted to the former Mr Fluffy owner of the block is the amount paid to convert the lease from a land rent lease to a nominal rent lease—that is, a standard lease—under the Planning and Development Act 2007. The amount payable for such a lease variation is determined by the Planning and Land Authority by reference to a ministerial policy direction through a disallowable instrument under the Planning and Development Regulation 2008.

The current policy direction allows the lessee the option of calculating the amount that is payable for the lease variation on the basis of either average unimproved value or market value. Consistent with the objective of reselling land at market value after the remediation works are complete, the government intends to make a new disallowable instrument so that land rent leases granted to former owners of affected blocks must be converted to a standard lease at market value.

The bill also amends the Planning and Development Act 2007 in relation to development approval for the demolition of affected residential premises that are also heritage premises. The bill amends the act so that the automatic impact track assessment will not apply where the proposal is for demolition of affected residential premises. This is balanced with the requirement that the Heritage Council must have approved a statement of heritage effects under the Heritage Act 2004 in relation to the proposal. This is applicable only to the demolition of the building. Any proposal to rebuild in a heritage area would still need to go through the full planning approval process.

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