Practical view of Section 173 Agreements

– City of Ballarat Director of Infrastructure and Environment Terry Demeo

Council has entered into an agreement with the original developer of the Mount Helen estate under the Planning and Environment Act, with Section 173 of that Act providing an ability for local government to enter into legally binding agreements which are an encumbrance on the title to land.

This mechanism’s aim is to ensure specific legal intent of a Council and/or others is enshrined into property law and transparent in the conveyancing process so when properties are transferred the obligations under these agreements are made clear to new owners.

In this instance, the agreement was struck with the conservation objective of not having dogs and cats in this locality given its koala habitat status.

Council has the ability to enforce these agreements via VCAT enforcement orders.

At this point Council has taken a practical view advising land owners of their obligations under these agreements, which includes not replacing pets when they pass, is a more practical approach than the heavy handed action of requiring all pets to be removed from the individual houses impacted by the agreement.

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