Foreign owners of residential dwellings in Australia are required to pay an annual vacancy fee if their dwelling is not occupied or rented out for more than 183 days (six months) in a year. The vacancy year starts when the owner first held interest in the dwelling and the vacancy fee is paid 30 days after the vacancy year ends.
Foreign owners of vacant land do not have to lodge a vacancy fee return until a dwelling has been constructed on the land. If during the year the dwelling is sold or otherwise legally transferred, death of the owner and the owner ceases to be a foreign resident then a vacancy fee return will not be required to be lodged.
If for at least 183 days in a vacancy year the dwelling was incapable of being occupied as a residence, the owner will not be liable to pay the vacancy fee. However to claim this exemption, a vacancy fee return will need to be lodged with the ATO.
Ref: Tax & Super Australia