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HERITAGE ESTATES - FAQ

What properties make up Heritage Estates?

About 1,220 lots in the Shoalhaven region that were subdivided in 1915-1916. Of these 1,145 are privately owned and the remainder are owned by Shoalhaven City Council. The map below shows the estate’s boundaries.

What is the aim of Heritage Estates Voluntary Land Purchase?

To provide a long-awaited solution to land owners by giving them the opportunity to sell their land so that it can be managed for conservation as part of the Jervis Bay National Park. The land will provide a wildlife corridor all the way to Booderee National Park and help protect 26 threatened species including the Eastern Bristlebird and the Leafless Tongue-orchid.

Thriving habitats at Heritage Estates. Photo: Chris Grounds.

How much money are you offering?

We are offering $5,000 per lot while our funding lasts. 

If I own more than one lot, will you offer to buy each of them at that price?

Yes. The price is per lot.

How was the offer price determined?

The offer is designed to be a fair and reasonable price for the land, taking into account its market value. Recent comparable sales and valuations put the value of a standard lot at around $1,000, and this offer is well above that. The Australian Government has to be satisfied that the purchase of the land is an appropriate use of taxpayers’ money and takes into consideration the valuation of the land.

Is the offer price negotiable?

No. The offer is a “one-off” offer. The amount of funding available to purchase the lots is finite and the offer amount is fair and reasonable, given the current market value.

When does the offer run out?

You must have accepted the offer by 5pm on 31 December 2017 and finalised the paperwork and submitted a signed transfer form by 5pm on 28 February 2018.

Will the offer be repeated in future?

No.

How do I take up the offer?

Complete the Offer to Sell form and return it to us by mail, email or fax. If you need another copy of the form call us on Tel 1300 780 143 or email rdelfino@fnpw.org.au. The form creates no legal obligation on you or us. It is just a registration of interest.

What happens next?

We will send you a confirmation letter and a Transfer Document. To finalise the sale, you will need the signed Transfer Document, your title deed and a Discharge of Mortgage (if applicable). You will also need to follow the instructions in the confirmation letter.

How will outstanding rates, land tax and mortgage balances be treated?

As per normal conveyancing practice, you will need to pay any outstanding amounts at the time of sale. If you have a mortgage, you must arrange with your financier to repay the amount required by them for you to hand over a Discharge of Mortgage on settlement. You can pay any of these amounts by using the payment you will receive for the land.

Find more information on Land Tax at http://www.osr.nsw.gov.au/taxes/land/ .

Get information on rates from the Rates Department of Shoalhaven City Council on (02) 4429 3111.

What if I can’t find my title deed?

Complete the relevant question on the Offer to Sell form. We will let you know what other documents can be used to prove your ownership of the property. If you have a mortgage over the land, then your financier probably has the original title.

What if a registered owner has died?

The number of original owners that are still registered on title and how the title was originally held will determine what documents are required. Call us on 1300 780 143 or email rdelfino@fnpw.org.au for details.

Can I change my mind after giving you the Offer to Sell?

Yes, at any time up until settlement. You are under no obligation to sell until you deliver the signed Transfer Document, and we transfer the money to you.

Do I need to hire a lawyer?

As with any land sale, you may wish to seek your own independent legal advice. FNPW cannot give you legal or financial advice.

What if I don’t want to sell?

You don’t have to. The project is strictly voluntary. However, we encourage you to think about it as this is a one off opportunity that is only available until 31 December 2017.

Why can’t my land be developed or rezoned for development?

The land was zoned ‘rural’ in 1964, which prevented it from being developed. It provides habitat for many threatened species some of which are protected under State and Federal Government biodiversity laws. This means it cannot be rezoned for development. This was confirmed in 2009, when the then Federal Minister for the Environment rejected a proposed rezoning due to unacceptable impacts on threatened species and on Commonwealth land (Booderee National Park located on the southern peninsula of Jervis Bay). For details on the 2009 rezoning decision,
go to http://www.shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au/ .

What will happen to my land if I sell it?

The land title will transfer to the Minister for the Environment and added to Jervis Bay National Park to be managed by the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service.

If I don’t sell, will my land be acquired under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act?

No.

Are there other examples of voluntary land purchase projects?

Yes, both in Victoria:
• 90 Mile Beach, Victoria: Wellington Shire Council is buying lots for $1,500.
• Northern entrance of the Geelong River: Greater Geelong Council is buying rural-zoned lots in a paper subdivision for $2,500.

Why will the land be added to Jervis Bay National Park?

The land has very high biodiversity values, but the many separately owned lots make it difficult to manage problems such as dumping and trail bike riding. The voluntary land purchase project gives owners a way to realise some value out of their land, and it allows the land to be managed for conservation as part of the existing National Park.

What will happen to the land in the future?

On 15 May 2012 Shoalhaven Council passed a resolution that Heritage Estates be rezoned to ‘E2-Environmental Conservation’ at the appropriate time. This will continue to prevent development and further strengthens the environmental protection on the land.

Who is managing the voluntary purchase process?

The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife. You can call us on 1300 780 143 or email rdelfino@fnpw.org.au .

Who is providing the money?

All levels of government have come together with FNPW to provide this solution. The Australian Government is providing funding of $5,493,400. The State Government will provide ongoing management of Heritage Estates for conservation as part of Jervis Bay National Park. The Council will transfer all Council-owned land to the State Government. FNPW is contributing $60,000.

Why was Heritage Real Estate Pty Ltd allowed to sell the lots in the 1980s and 1990s?

Because it was and still is legal to do so. Councils in NSW can inform the public about precautions to take when buying land in their Local Government Area, but they cannot stop land from being bought and sold.

How can I find out more?

Call FNPW on 1300 780 143 and ask to speak to an officer about the Heritage Estates Project. Or email us at rdelfino@fnpw.org.au. Or visit www.fnpw.org.au/heritage-estates

For details on the zoning and planning history, visit Shoalhaven City Council’s website:
http://shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au/PlanningampBuilding/Strategicplanning/PaperSubdivisions.aspx

Disclaimer: These FAQs have been prepared by the project partners to provide general information only about the project to landowners. They are not to be construed as comprising legal or financial advice, nor are they intended to comprise property specific information and may need to be considered having regard to the specific circumstances of each particular land owner. The FAQs are intended as general information only, which may assist you in making a decision whether you wish to participate in this voluntary land purchase project. Participation is a decision for each individual landowner and you are encouraged to obtain your own independent legal and/or financial advice and not to rely solely on the information herein or its accuracy or relevance to your circumstances.

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