Land Matters July 2016

Geographic Names Committee turns 80!

The committee responsible for approving the names of Western Australia’s towns, suburbs, streets and landmarks is celebrating its 80th anniversary.

Landgate Chief Executive Mike Bradford said the Advisory Committee on Nomenclature, now called the Geographic Names Committee (GNC), met for the first time in July 1936.

“Before the formation of this committee there were no processes for geographic naming in Western Australia. This led to problems like the duplication of names across the country and European spellings of Aboriginal place names which led to them being mispronounced,” Mr Bradford said.

The committee was chaired by historian James Sykes Battye and included Paul Hasluck who later became Australia’s 17th Governor General.

“Some of the first items discussed by the committee were the spelling of Burswood Island, and the mispronunciation of place names by radio presenters,” Mr Bradford said.

“Western Australia has a rich variety of place names; from the unusual including Useless Loop, Disaster Bay and Geekabee Hill, to names reflecting the State’s Aboriginal heritage such as Badgingarra, Narembeen and Bindi Bindi.

“Today local councils and property developers submit names to Landgate for approval. The GNC is called upon to rule on names that don’t comply with naming policies.”

Landgate is looking for two community representatives with an interest in geographic naming to join the GNC which includes members from a range of government agencies, property groups, Australia Post and emergency services.

These new representatives will be required to attend quarterly meetings and will give the GNC important insights into community expectations about geographic naming matters.

Expressions of interest are due by close of business on Friday 29 July and more information is available.

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Strata title reforms update

Proposed strata title reforms will improve the information that a buyer receives before purchasing a strata property.

Before signing any real estate contract, buyers should know all the facts about what they are purchasing.  This is particularly true for a strata lot as there are often different rules and obligations from green title properties (eg: stand-alone houses).

Reforms to the Strata Title Act 1985 aim to provide buyers with the most relevant information in an easy to understand format.  This includes details about the levies owners have to pay, accounts held by the strata company, and a copy of the minutes from the most recent annual general meeting.

Sellers will continue to have a duty to tell a buyer if a notifiable variation (any change to the strata scheme that under the law the seller must tell the buyer) occurs before settlement. However notifiable variations will be limited to changes that specifically impact the buyer.  

The information must be provided within a reasonable timeframe and buyers will be given more time to decide whether to avoid a contract.  

The reforms are large and complex and State Government is working hard to ensure the legislation meets the needs of the people of Western Australia. With a number of other legislative priorities and an election pending, the Minister for Lands has said introducing the strata reforms into Parliament before the end of this year is looking unlikely.  Landgate continues to assist the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office with the drafting process and preparation of the Bill.

Please check the strata reform page for updates and subscribe to our regular Strata Reform email updates.

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Countdown to HackED 2016

Secondary school students across Perth will be showcasing their science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and enterprise skills by addressing business and community challenges during HackED on Thursday 18 August 2016.

HackED introduces high school students in years seven to 10 to the power of location information and technology. The students create location based apps and compete for industry sponsored prizes with the support of professional mentors from a range of industries and backgrounds.

The mentors represent a range of different organisation and industries such as Amazon, NGIS, ESRI Australia, Telstra, Iluka, SSSI, Bloom as well as gaming developers and a mix of others.

We are still on the lookout for more mentors so if you or any colleagues are interested in volunteering your time towards an exciting and fun day, visit the HackED page.

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Find out about European House Borer restrictions

New information in Landgate’s Property Interest Report can inform existing owners and new buyers whether a property is within a restricted movement zone (RMZ) for untreated dry (seasoned) pinewood and other softwood timbers.

The European House Borer (EHB) is a destructive pest of these timbers and restrictions exist for the storage, treatment and disposal of untreated pinewood and other soft timbers within certain zones.

The Department of Agriculture and Food information is outlined in a Landgate Property Interest Report.  The owner or occupier of properties located within a RMZ must comply with the regulations outlined by the department or face a penalty of up to $2,000.

Landgate Chief Executive Mike Bradford said this is one of more than 70 interests that property buyers and home owners can learn about if they order a Property Interest Report.

“Property Interest Reports have important information about restrictions and responsibilities which may impact on an owner’s use or enjoyment of land,” Mr Bradford said.

“Other interests include whether a property is likely to experience aircraft noise or is near power and water infrastructure.”

Legislation relating to property interests changes over time. Existing home owners who are thinking of renovating or landscaping can learn more about any interests that could impact plans to improve their property.

Purchase a Property Interest Report.

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This page was last updated on: 21 Jun 2019