Australia’s leading property body has welcomed the decision of the Queensland Government to reinstate the right of developers to enforce covenants that are not in conflict with achieving improved environmental outcomes.
This action is in response to concerns raised by the Property Council following the passing of the Building and Other Legislation Amendment Act late last year. The particular part of the Act that removed the right of a developer or body corporate to enforce covenants is popularly referred to as the ‘Ban the Banners’ amendments.
Property Council of Australia Queensland Executive Director Steve Greenwood said “The Property Council always supported the intent of the legislation which was to remove covenants that restricted a property owner’s ability to incorporate environmentally sustainable features such as solar hot water systems into their home.
“Unfortunately the legislation went too far and prevented a developer or body corporate from enforcing covenants that did not impact on the environment but protected the local community’s interests in terms of amenity, quality and security of investment.
“These are protections that are sought by residents in new developments, not imposed on them.
“For example, a covenant regularly enforced by developers and body corporates is a requirement to build within a particular timeframe following the purchase of land.
“In the context of a master planed community this covenant ensures that future population projections will accurately equate to the timed provision of infrastructure and services such as schools, child care centres and shops.
“Without the protection of covenants such as this, local communities feared that some of the security that underpinned their investment was at risk.
“We acknowledge the work of the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe and his Cabinet colleagues in recognising this as a major issue for the industry and moving to make appropriate changes.
Steve Greenwood - Executive Director
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