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Valuer-General Victoria v AWF Prop Co 2 P/L (as trustee) (ACN 603 996 407); Ararat Wind Farm P/L (ACN 158 062 358) & Ararat Rural City Council [2021] VSCA 274

VALUATION OF LAND, REAL PROPERTY
Victorian Court of Appeal
Judge(s): 
McLeish and Emerton JJA and Delany AJA
Parties: 

Valuer-General Victoria v AWF Prop Co 2 P/L (as trustee) (ACN 603 996 407); Ararat Wind Farm P/L (ACN 158 062 358) & Ararat Rural City Council

Judgment Date: 
1 October 2021
Catchwords: 

VALUATION OF LAND - Fire services levy - Levy calculated according to capital improved value of land - First respondents leased 16 parcels of land for purpose of establishing and operating wind farm - Wind farm assets comprised 75 wind turbines, substation, buildings, cabling, and other items affixed to land - Contractual obligation to remove wind farm assets at end of lease - Whether wind farm assets formed part of land to be valued - Whether primary judge erred by valuing wind farm as separate occupancies - No error in approach of primary judge - Whether primary judge erred in valuing land on basis land was leased for wind farm operation - No error in approach of primary judge - Shell Co of Australia Ltd v City of Melbourne [1997] 2 VR 615, Challenger Property Asset Management Pty Ltd v Stonnington City Council (2011) 34 VR 445, considered - Leave to appeal granted, appeal dismissed - Fire Services Property Levy Act 2012 s 16 - Property Law Act 1958 s 154A - Valuation of Land Act 1960 ss 2(1), 2(3), 5A, 13DC - Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984 s 38.

REAL PROPERTY - Fixtures - Tenant's fixtures - Whether wind farm assets belonging to lessee formed part of land - Wind turbines connected to underground foundations - Connection for safety and operational reasons - Turbines and other above ground assets capable of dismantling and removal - Obligation on lessee to remove things erected or installed on land and make good - Lessee entitled to remove turbines and other assets during lease - Lease term 25 years with option to renew - Above ground assets chattels - SPIC Pacific Hydro Pty Ltd v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue [2021] NSWSC 395, considered - Property in assets remaining with lessee during lease by operation of Property Law Act 1958 s 154A - Vopak Terminals Australia Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue (2004) 12 VR 351, Commissioner of State Revenue v Uniqema Pty Ltd [2004] VSCA 82, applied.

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