Workers Compensation payments and COVID-19 lockdown – are they being calculated correctly?

Headshot of Libby Campbell - Solicitor at Everingham Solomons TamworthIf you are injured at work and require workers compensation, one of the entitlements available to you is weekly payments for the period you are incapacitated to work. Weekly payments are calculated based on your Pre-Injury Average Weekly Earnings (PIAWE) and are the average of your gross earnings from any employment performed for 52 weeks immediately before the date of injury. Therefore if you work in two jobs, immediately before your injury, earnings from both employers are included in your PIAWE.

Recently, as a result of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns that have been required, the question is then raised if you were not receiving income for the total 52 week period immediately prior to your injury, will your average earnings still be calculated over a 52 week period?… Read More

Introducing Nick Hawkins – Solicitor

Headshot of Nick Hawkins - Solicitor at Everingham Solomons TamworthI began working at Everingham Solomons in 2019 as a legal administrator and have recently began a new role as a solicitor working in the property department.

I graduated from the University of New England in 2019 with a Bachelor of Business (Financial Management) and Bachelor of Laws. In 2021 I also obtained a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the College of Law and was admitted as a Solicitor to the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

While working as a legal administrator and paralegal at Everingham Solomons I gained experience working across a number of fields including: workers compensation; property and conveyancing matters and; wills and estate planning.… Read More

Council has a sewer/water main on my property but no easement?

We are often asked whether a local council requires an easement for its water and sewer pipes to remain on a person’s private land and further whether council is entitled to enter upon the private land to carry out repairs and works on that infrastructure.

The Local Government Act provides the answer in respect of storm water works, sewer and water supply works.

Section 59A of the Local Government Act provides that Council is the owner of all works of water supply, sewerage and storm water drainage installed in or on land by the council, whether or not the land is owned by council.… Read More

The Merger of the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia

Headshot of Emily Cullen - Solicitor at Everingham Solomons TamworthIn February 2021, the Senate passed the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Act 2020 providing for the amalgamation of our two specialist Family Law Courts in Australia: The Federal Circuit Court of Australia and The Family Court of Australia.

The Act provides for the establishment of a new Court, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCA) comprising of two (2) divisions:

  • FCFC Division 1 will continue the work of the Family Court of Australia, dealing with the more complex matters and exercising appellate jurisdiction; and
  • FCFC Division 2 will continue the work of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and will be the point of entry for all new family law and child support cases.
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Mental Health Legislation Changes

The Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Act 2020 (NSW) came into effect on 29 March 2021 and replaced the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 (NSW).

There are a number of changes that this new piece of legislation introduces in relation to the previous act. This new act makes amendments and additions to the previous definitions relating to cognitive impairment and mental illness and/or mental condition, now referred to as a “mental health impairment”.

A mental health impairment is now defined as a “temporary or ongoing disturbance of thought, mood, volition, perception or memory” which “would be regarded as significant for clinical diagnostic purposes” that “impairs the emotional wellbeing, judgment or behaviour of the person.”… Read More

Will your business be impacted by the change to the definition of “consumer” under ACL?

Recent amendments to regulations expand the applicability of the consumer guarantees regime under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

Under the current definition in section 3 of the ACL, a person is a “consumer” if the person acquires:

– goods or services that are priced at $40,000 or less;
– goods or services that are of a kind ordinarily acquired for personal, domestic or household use (regardless of the price of the goods or services); or
– a vehicle or trailer acquired for use principally in the transport of goods on public roads.

The consumer guarantees do not apply to goods acquired:

– for the purpose of re-supply;
– for using them or transforming them through processing, production or manufacture; or
– for repairing or treating other goods or fixtures on land.… Read More

Is the sale of farmland GST free?

The answer is sometimes.

Where a farming enterprise has been carried on a rural property, for a minimum of 5 years and where the purchaser intends to carry on a farming operation, then generally the sale will be exempt from payment of GST.

A recent matter highlighted the importance of ensuring that each transaction is examined on its facts and generalisations such as the above rule, are not adopted on a wholesale basis.

The facts: The sellers had operated a farming enterprise (sheep) on their property for many years. They had agreed to sell 15 acres from their rural property to a Purchaser.… Read More

Conveyancing Terminology

Buying or selling real estate is an exciting prospect. The actual process of transferring ownership in land can be quite daunting for many people. Sometimes a buyer/seller of property has difficulty understanding conveyancing terms their solicitor/conveyancer uses.

The following are some commonly used terms you will encounter when buying or selling property in NSW:-

Vendor: the owner of the property

Purchaser: the buyer of the property

Mortgagee: the Bank providing monies to a person for the purchase of property

Mortgagor: the person borrowing the money from the Bank to purchase the property

Offer: The price the purchaser puts to the vendor (usually through a real estate agent) for the property.… Read More

Property Purchase – Is a Survey Report an additional cost or a cost-saving?

There are various enquiries and inspections you should consider undertaking when purchasing a property. One of those is a Survey Report.

What is a Survey Report?

A Survey Report is obtained from a surveyor to establish that the improvements you wish to buy are actually located on the land you are buying and also to establish if there are any encroachments by improvements onto other properties or by improvements onto the land you are buying. A further purpose is to demonstrate that the house is positioned on the land in order to comply with Council’s set back requirements from the boundaries.… Read More

Good behavior driver licence

In NSW a demerit point system applies to traffic offences. Different categories of drivers have differing numbers of points on their licence. For instance, a professional driver has 14 points, unrestricted drivers have 13 points, P2 licence holders have 7 points and drivers on their P1 licence or learner’s licence have 4 points.

The demerit point system works by allocating demerit point penalties for different types of driving offences. If the driver accumulates more demerit points than allowed based on their category of licence, within a three-year period, their licence will automatically be suspended.

The length of a demerit point suspension depends upon the amount of points accumulated in the 3 year period.… Read More