Drugs and Driving

Mobile Drug Testing (MDT) has become common procedure when motorists are pulled over for a random breath test.

Some illicit substances can stay in your system for weeks after you use them and as such, drug driving offences are becoming more common.

MDT utilises technology that can detect the presence of illegal drugs such as ecstasy, cannabis, cocaine and methamphetamine. Most Police vehicles now have the capacity to test for these illicit substances roadside by way of an oral fluid swab.

If your roadside test is positive, you will be required to attend a police station or mobile drug testing vehicle to give a second sample.… Read More

New Form of Residential Tenancies Act (Part 1)

There’s been amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and new Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 which commenced on 23 March 2020.

The purpose of the changes are to improve the tenants’ renting experience while ensuring landlords can improve management of their properties.

The aim of the changes are:-

* to assist with reducing disputes over repairs and maintenance,
* increase protection and certainty for tenants, and;
* clarify the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords.

One of these changes is a new form of Residential Tenancy Agreement and Condition report to be used for agreements entered into from 23 March 2020.… Read More

Hands on the wheel, not on your phone.

After more than 100,000 NSW drivers being found to be illegally using their mobile phone during a recent pilot period of 6 months, the NSW government has now implemented Mobile Detection Cameras statewide.

The detection camera systems use technology which captures the front row cabin space of the vehicle to detect illegal phone use.

So perhaps a refresher of what is a legal use of a mobile while drive may assist.
An unrestricted driver is allowed to do the following while driving:

– Make or receive a call, however you must have the phone secured in a cradle or be able to use the phone without touching it.… Read More

Homebuilders Grant

Recently, the Australian Prime Minister announced a limited time only grant to assist homeowners with building a new home or substantially renovating their existing home.
The Homebuilder Grant will give eligible home owners an amount of $25,000.00 toward their building contracts.
The eligibility requirements for the grant are as follows:

1. Australian citizen/s over the age of 18 years old;
2. Owner/s of the land must not be a company or a trust;
3. Be an individual with a taxable income less than $125,000.00 or if you are a couple with a combined taxable income of less than $200,000.00;
4. Enter into a contract for building work after 4 June 2020 and before 31 December 2020, with construction commencing within 3 months of the contract date; and
5.… Read More

Acquiring Property? Revenue NSW requires more than just payment of Stamp Duty

So, you are looking to find the perfect property. You have spoken to your bank and know the price range which works best for you. You have even remembered to factor stamp duty into your budget. For those who may have forgotten, stamp duty is a duty which is payable when you acquire property in NSW. For example, purchasing a property for $400,000 would incur stamp duty of $13,452. If you are a first home buyer, you may be eligible for an exemption from duty.

If you are acquiring property as a gift, stamp duty is still payable, unless an exemption applies.… Read More

On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again?

As Willie Nelson famously put it, being on the road is a source of freedom and enjoyment for many people. More than this though, having a licence is crucial for people in rural and regional areas, given the tyranny of distance and lack of public transport alternatives.
Despite the importance of a drivers licence, many people lose it for significant periods of time due to poor behaviour on the roads. Previous legislation in this area meant that any driver who committed three relevant offences within a five year period could be declared a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO). The effect of HTO declaration was that the Roads and Maritime Services would impose a further five-year licence disqualification on top of any disqualification imposed by the court.… Read More

Is my inheritance safe if I have declared bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is the legal process by which you are declared as not being able to meet your debts.
Once you are declared bankrupt a Trustee is appointed to manage and control your assets. Essentially the appointed Trustee is given the power to sell your assets as well as use any funds in your bank account(s) that are in excess of the threshold, to pay back money owed by you. Any assets that are sold or used by the Trustee makes up what is known as a bankrupt estate.
So what happens if you receive an inheritance prior to becoming bankrupt?
Much like any other funds in your bank at the time you declare or are declared bankrupt or any other asset of value, an inheritance will be used to pay back any debts you owe.… Read More

A gap in weekly payments of workers compensation

In 2012 the NSW Government made significant changes to the workers compensation system. For injured workers who made workers compensation claims prior to 2012 their weekly payments ceased on 25 December 2017, if they had not been assessed at greater than 20% whole person impaired. If injured workers later went on to be assessed at greater than 20% whole person impaired the workers compensation insurer was not reimbursing payments to the injured worker for the period they went without receiving weekly payments of compensation.
However, new case law decided on 17 June 2020 has now overturned any misconception that weekly payments were not payable for the period that the weekly payments stopped up until the assessment of greater than 20% whole person impairment.… Read More

Notification of new address details after selling your property

So you have sold your house and moving to a new property, who do I need to notify?

First, you should contact Australia Post and complete the mail redirection form to have any mail redirected to your new address. This redirection can be for a period of 1, 3, 6 or 12 months. You also need to ensure everyone in the household will be covered under the redirection form.

Some government departments like Roads & Maritime Services and the Firearms Registry have requirements that you need to advise them within 14 days of your change of address.

The other organisations/businesses you need to advise of your change of address are:-

• Roads & Maritime Services for your driver’s licence, vehicle/trailer/caravan and boat registrations
• Firearms Registry
• Services Australia: – Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support Agency
• Department of Veterans’ Affairs
• Australian Taxation Office
• Electoral Commission
• Recreational Fishing Licence

• Bank/Credit Union/Financial Institution
• Insurance providers
• Company Share registries
• Tradesperson/professional licence i.e.… Read More

What are your legal obligations when you are involved in a car accident?

After the terrifying incident which occurred in Victoria recently, there has been more talk about what you are required to do when you are involved in a car accident.

In NSW, under the Road Transport Act 2013 it is an offence if you are driving and you fail to stop and assist after being involved in an impact which has caused injury or death. This could be impact with another vehicle, a person, or any other object. It also applies if a person is thrown from a vehicle.

Penalties for this offence are significant, with first time offences facing 18 months imprisonment and a $3,300.00 fine.… Read More