Community Title Information
In 2015, the former Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly passed legislation to establish community title on Norfolk Island. The Community Title Act 2015 (NI) provides for the establishment, registration and administration of community title schemes in Norfolk Island.
The full commencement of the Community Title Act 2015 (NI) has been delayed by the need to make regulations to support its implementation. Council was advised this week that the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is progressing an Ordinance to make the Regulations and amend the Act to ensure its effective operation. Below are the various documents relating to the Community Title Policy in Norfolk Island.
What is community title?
- Community title allows for a single parcel of land to be divided into two or more lots, owned by individuals, with areas of shared common property.
- Community title is different to the subdivision of land because it allows for the creation and management of common property, for the use of all owners and residents.
- It is sometimes referred to as strata title, which is a subset of community title and usually refers to buildings on more than one level (for example, apartments).
- Community title schemes are managed by a body corporate consisting of lot owners.
- Through the body corporate, lot owners are collectively responsible for the maintenance of common property which may include:
- gardens and fences
- swimming pools, gyms and common rooms.
- Some examples of community title schemes are retirement and holiday villages with shared swimming pools and common rooms and groups of units and townhouses with shared gardens.
- There is no obligation for landowners to use community title if it does not suit their needs.
Community title on Norfolk Island will not remove existing planning controls that manage building height, density and general amenity. All developments must still comply with the Planning Act 2002 (NI) and the Building Act 2002 (NI) and follow the requirements set out in the Norfolk Island Plan 2002.
Community title will not lead to high-rise apartment blocks on Norfolk Island.
The Community Title Act 2015 (NI)
In 2015, the former Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly passed legislation to establish community title on Norfolk Island. The full commencement of the Community Title Act 2015 (NI) has been delayed by the need to make regulations to support its implementation.
Amendments to the Community Title Act
Some minor amendments to the existing Community Title Act will be made to support its implementation.
- Regulations will be made and contained in a schedule to the Act. They will outline the requirements of community schemes, their administration and set the fees payable under the Act.
- Suggested rules for owners’ corporations (including health and safety, use of common property and dispute resolution) will be included in a schedule to the Act. These will apply if no other rules have been made.
- The Act will be amended to allow the Land Titles Registrar to create and approve the forms necessary to administer community title, instead of including them in the Regulations. This will make them easier to update and maintain.
- Reference to the GST in subsections 30(2) and (4) of the regulations will be removed because GST does not apply to Norfolk Island.
- The provision (subsection 141(4)) referring matters of a value greater than $10,000 to a Federal Circuit Court Judge will be repealed. All relevant matters will be heard by the Community Title Tribunal established by the Act.
Amendments to the Norfolk Island Plan 2002
To support commencement of the Act, amendments will also be made to the Norfolk Island Plan 2002 to introduce ‘community division’ (a plan that divides land into lots and common property in accordance with the Act) as a ‘permissible (with consent) use or development’ within certain zones on Norfolk Island.
A Development Control Plan will also be introduced to support the Norfolk Island Plan 2002. It will provide more detail on the guidelines and planning requirements for ‘community division’ use or development.
The former Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly’s decision in 2015 to establish community title on Norfolk Island was the result of an extensive community consultation process. In 2016, a draft plan to vary the Norfolk Island Plan 2002 and draft Development Control Plan were also made available for comment. Following this process, both documents were deemed appropriate in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Act 2002 (NI).
Further information is available from the Norfolk Island Regional Council’s website.