70’s Rock & Traffic Law

“Life in the fast lane” is the title of one of the Eagles’ biggest hits from the 1970s. Unfortunately however, it is also a turn of phrase that can be used to describe the driving habits of many drivers.
If you have, to quote Meatloaf, been driving “like a bat out of hell” and had your licence suspended, in certain circumstances you are able to appeal a licence suspension made by either Transport for NSW (TfNSW) or the Police. Examples of appellable decisions include:

– TfNSW licence suspensions for exceeding the speed limit by more than 30          but less than 45 kilometres per hour;
– Police on the spot licence suspensions for exceeding the speed limit by more than 45 kilometres per hour; and
– TfNSW decisions to suspend P1 or P2 provisional drivers licence for loss of demerit points.… Read More

Residential Tenancies Act – Smoke Alarm Obligations (Part 3)

There are new smoke alarm obligations for landlords and tenants under Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and new Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 which commenced on 23 March 2020.

Landlords need to ensure smoke alarms installed in a rented property are in working order.

Under the new Regulation, a landlord must repair/replace a battery-operated or hardwired smoke alarm and:

• carry out annual checks to ensure all smoke alarms installed at the property are in working order
• replace a removable battery in all smoke alarms in the period specified by the smoke alarm manufacturer (for a removable lithium battery) or otherwise annually
• repair/replace a smoke alarm that is not working within 2 business days of becoming aware that it is not working
• provide more than an hour’s notice to the tenant to replace or carry out repairs to the smoke alarm
• replace a smoke alarm with a new smoke alarm within 10 years from the manufactured date, or earlier if specified by the smoke alarm manufacturer.… Read More

Does every employee get 10 days personal leave a year? The High Court has decided…

On 13 August 2020 the High Court handed down their decision in the appeal of the Full Federal Court’s decision in the Mondelez case. The previous decision stated that based on the National Employment Standards all employees, regardless of whether they were part time or full time employees, were entitled to 10 days personal leave each year.

The High Court has now overturned the decision in the case Mondelez Australia Pty Ltd v AMWU & Ors [2020] HCA 29. The High Court established that the 10 days of personal leave referred to in the National Employment Standards, is to be known as 10 ‘notional days’ of leave.… Read More

Residential Tenancies Act – What is fit for habitation? (Part 2)

There are new minimum standards to clarify “What premises are fit for habitation” under Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and new Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 which commenced on 23 March 2020.

Currently landlords are required to provide a rented property in a reasonable state of cleanliness and ‘fit for habitation”. The changes introduce 7 minimum standards which clarify what ‘fit for habitation’ means.

To be fit to live in, the property must (as a minimum):

1. Be structurally sound
2. Have adequate natural or artificial lighting in each room, except storage rooms or garages
3. Have adequate ventilation
4. Be supplied with electricity or gas, and have enough electricity or gas sockets for lighting, heating and other appliances
5.… Read More

Is the Redundancy “Genuine”?

Due to the unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19, many employees’ positions have been made redundant throughout Australia. However, employers should note that if the redundancy is not “genuine”, the employer can be liable for unfair dismissal of employees.

According to section 389 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (the “Act”), to be a genuine redundancy all of the following requirements must be satisfied:

a. The employer no longer requires the employee’s job to be performed by anyone because of changes in the operational requirements of the employer’s enterprise.

The employer must consider whether the job is no longer required and will not be performed by anyone else.… Read More

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