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News

We have a number of resources to keep you updated on the latest news and legal issues.  In this section you can find updates on legal issues, articles published and presentations by our professional staff, plus Mullins Lawyers media releases.

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Mullins Lawyers’ Insurance team rank in Doyles Guide 2016 (16 November 2016)

We are pleased to announce legal benchmarking website Doyles Guide* has recognised our Insurance Litigation team in the recently released 2016 rankings.

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Withholding Tax Regime Modifications to Deceased Estates (19 September 2016)

We have previously identified problems for deceased estates arising from the introduction of the withholding tax regime on 1 July 2016 in our July edition of the Report Newsletter (page 2). Clearly there had not been sufficient consultation in relation to the ramifications of the new legislation.

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The clock is ticking.... Are you set for 1 July extended trading hours changes? (3 June 2016)

A number of changes are due to come into effect from 1 July 2016 as part of the Queensland Government’s licensing reforms and all licensees must lodge the necessary applications – where required - to ensure compliance.

 

 

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Small business offered more contractual protections (27 November 2015)

The Treasury Legislation Amendment (Small Business and Unfair Contract Terms) Act 2015 (Cth) received Royal Assent on 12 November 2015, extending unfair contract protections to small business operators.

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New report provides insight into the dark side of sports betting (3 September 2015)

A report released by Financial Counselling Australia entitled "Duds, Mugs and the A-List" (the Report)  highlights the negative social impact of uncontrolled online sports betting and the legislative loopholes that allow online sports betting companies to extend credit to vulnerable individuals who are least likely to be able to repay their debts.

 

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Update on PPSA unproclaimed provisions (27 August 2015)

Further to our previous news piece discussing the Personal Property Securities Amendment (Deregulatory Measures) Bill 2014 (Cth) (the Act) receiving Royal Assent and how the changes will affect small and medium sized hire companies, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has flagged parts of the Act in its latest "Report on Unproclaimed Legislation"(The Report).

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New Productivity Commission inquiry into IP announced (27 August 2015)

The terms of reference of a new Productivity Commission (the Commission) inquiry into Australia's intellectual property arrangements have been released.

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Federal Government report reveals attitudes to online piracy and extent of the problem (23 July 2015)

The Federal Department of Communications has published a research report revealing the apparent scope of online copyright infringement among Australian online consumers.

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Changes to skilled migration lists effective 1 July 2015 (9 July 2015)

Cabinet makers and panelbeaters have been added to the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) under the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) while urban and regional planners, dentists and dental specialists have been removed from the list and instead added to the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL). What do these changes entail?

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Nightclubs and restaurants - 1 July, 2015 heralds the beginning of amendments to the liquor licensing framework (3 July 2015)

The latest instalment of Safe Night Out Strategy initiatives came into effect on 1 July with nightclub and restaurant owners receiving special attention.

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PPSA amendment simplifies leasing processes for small businesses (2 July 2015)

The Personal Property Securities Amendment (Deregulatory Measures) Bill 2014 (Cth) received Royal Assent on 25 June, 2015 ushering in changes to the way some short term leases are handled within the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (the PPSA) and simplifying processes for small and medium sized hire companies.

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Queensland Government announces ongoing campaign to address alcohol-related violence (25 June 2015)

Following on from the regime introduced by the previous Government, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills, the Hon. Yvette D'Ath announced on June 19 the Palaszczuk Government's commitment to clamping down on alcohol fuelled violence by ensuring that licensed venues are "...safe places for everyone to enjoy."

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Impairment testing – points to consider for directors (19 June 2015)

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has published an information sheet, "Impairment of non-financial assets: Materials for directors [INFO 203]" that highlights the importance of implementing accurate impairment testing in the calculation of their company's financial reports.

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ASIC guide helps small business directors (22 May 2015)

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has recently released an online resource, "ASIC's guide for small business directors" to assist small business owners with understanding their rights and responsibilities as company directors.

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OAIC assesses privacy policy compliance – results reveal room for improvement (7 May 2015)

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released the results of a recent review of online privacy policies with some interesting observations.

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Study asserts Kings Cross lockout laws reduce alcohol-fuelled violence (30 April 2015)

The NSW Bureau of Crime Research and Statistics (BOCSAR) has released a statistical analysis of the effectiveness of 2014 liquor licensing reforms in the Kings Cross and CBD precincts with results, it says, demonstrate "immediate and substantial reductions" in the reported incidences of alcohol-related assaults in these areas.

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Female sporting leaders bolstered by new Federal Government programme (10 April 2015)

The Federal Minister for Health and Sport, the Hon. Sussan Ley, has announced that over 84 separate projects totalling $400,000 will benefit from the Federal Government's Women Leaders in Sport (WLIS) initiative nationwide.

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Harper Review – anti-competitive conduct and misuse of power (9 April 2015)

The recently released Harper Review addresses a broad range of issues and makes recommendations for changes to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (the CCA) in the context of our present economic climate.

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Review of the PPSA released (19 March 2015)

The final report of the review of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) was tabled before Federal Parliament on March 18, concluding a statutory review process dating back to April 2014.

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Reminder! New franchising code of conduct now operational (5 March 2015)

As previously highlighted in Mullins' Intellectual Property eNews, the Competition and Consumer (Industry Codes-Franchising) Regulation 2014 (Cth), also known as the "Franchising Code of Conduct" (the Code) commenced on 1 January 2015, replacing the previous version of the Code that operated under the old trade practices regime. The new Code encompasses a range of reforms identified as part of a Governmental review of franchising processes dating back to January 2013.

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Changes to Commercial Building Disclosure program beginning 1 July 2015 (5 March 2015)

Changes to the Commercial Building Disclosure program (CBD) outlined in the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Amendment Act 2015 (Cth) (the Act), which received Royal Assent on February 25 2015, will become operational at the beginning of the new financial year. What effect will this have on commercial property transactions?

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Naming rights – resolving disputes about similar business names (19 February 2015)

ASIC has recently published "Disputes about similar company names" (INFO-199) providing an overview of the options available to business owners when another company registers a name that is similar.

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457 visa breaches cost restaurant sponsorship agreement (5 February 2015)

An Indian restaurant in Melbourne has been penalised for multiple breaches of their obligations under the 457 visa system.

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ASIC appoints company liquidators to facilitate employees’ access to entitlements (19 December 2014)

Nine companies have been wound up by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), allowing the companies' employees to gain access to the Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme (FEG).

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“Lost” painting not proven to be part of estate (11 December 2014)

The children of Australian artist Dr John Olsen have failed in their attempt in the Supreme Court of New South Wales to block the sale of a painting once belonging to their late mother.

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APRA reinforces sound residential mortgage lending practices (11 December 2014)

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has warned authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) that it will be closely monitoring lending practices in response to the current mortgage lending environment.

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Employee share ownership rules revised (28 November 2014)

In response to a consultation paper released in late 2013, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has updated its guidance on employee incentive schemes by issuing a revised regulatory guide plus new class orders.

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Attention employers! Are you paying your employees the right amount of super? (6 November 2014)

From 1 July 2014 the superannuation guarantee rate has increased by one quarter of a percent from 9.25 percent to 9.5 percent.  Have you implemented the changes in your payroll processes?

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NAPLAN testing moving online (6 November 2014)

The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has recently announced that NAPLAN will gradually migrate to an electronic, on-line environment.  ACARA anticipates that the change in format should broaden the scope for assessment tasks, reduce the processing time to collate results and introduce a more tailored approach to testing.

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Queensland Building and Construction Commission and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 passes through Parliament (17 October 2014)

The Queensland Parliament has passed the final instalment of legislation drafted in response to the inquiry into the work of the Queensland Building Services Authority.

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Safe night out laws – update (9 October 2014)

More elements of the Safe Night Out legislative regime came into operation on 26 September 2014 reinforcing the Queensland Government's policy objectives to better control alcohol-related offences in the State's entertainment hotspots.

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ASIC launches new lodgement requirements for registered agents - effective 1 October 2014 (9 October 2014)

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued a reminder to those agents who act as intermediaries for Australian companies that new lodgement processes came into effect on 1 October 2014.

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Essendon supplements program - Federal Court hands down judgment in favour of ASADA (9 October 2014)

Federal Court Justice Middleton has ruled in favour of ASADA in the Authority's court proceedings against the Essendon Football Club and James Hird.

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New national campaign targets visa fraud (3 October 2014)

The Department of Immigration has announced its intentions to crack down on visa sponsors who illegally profit from arranging sponsorship for workers under the 457 visa program.

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New law streamlines sales of lots in Queensland (12 September 2014)

The Land Sales and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (Qld) (the Bill) was passed by Queensland Parliament on 9 September, introducing a new approach to the sale of land and off-the-plan lots. The revisions largely focus on the reduction of red tape while maintaining consumer protections for buyers.

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Home care providers and the consumer directed approach (12 September 2014)

The Federal Government has announced the creation of a new website for aged and community care providers as they transition into the consumer directed care (CDC) regime.

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Gaming venues, due diligence and anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing rules (4 September 2014)

The updating of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Instrument 2007 (No. 1) (Cth) tightens the regulation of reporting entities' due diligence obligations regarding the source of funds flowing through their businesses. This has important ramifications for gaming venues.

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Licensees take note! Extended hours application moratorium lifts from September 1 (29 August 2014)

The moratorium on applications for extending trading hours between midnight and 5am will cease to operate from Monday, 1 September 2014.

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Safe night out bill passes through Queensland Parliament (29 August 2014)

The Safe Night Out Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (Qld) was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 26 August 2014 delivering a new set of legislative strategies to combat the public's growing unease with the prevalence of alcohol related violence in entertainment districts across the State.

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ASIC gets tough on false statutory declarations in the building and construction industry (29 August 2014)

ASIC has broadened its surveillance regime targeting phoenix businesses to include companies operating in the building and construction industry.

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Planning amendments receive royal assent in Queensland parliament (22 August 2014)

The State Development, Infrastructure and Planning (Red Tape Reduction) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 received Royal Assent from the Queensland Parliament on 15 August delivering a number of changes to a range of legislation including the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA) and the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EPA).

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Queensland Parliament passes new match-fixing legislation (15 August 2014)

After nearly three months of deliberation the Queensland Parliament passed the Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2014 (the Bill) on 5 August, signalling the beginning of a legislative crackdown on corruption in sport and on match-fixing in particular.

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Land valuation notices now able to be delivered electronically (14 August 2014)

The Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) has announced that landowners are now able to have their land valuation documentation emailed directly to their inboxes.

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ASIC oversight leads to problems with auditor registrations (8 August 2014)

ASIC has admitted that a failure to lodge a legislative instrument dating back to 2005 may have resulted in the registration of a number of auditors being "adversely affected".

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Federal government seeks feedback on online copyright regulation (7 August 2014)

The Federal Attorney-General's Department has published a discussion paper putting forward a case for the ongoing and effective regulation of internet copyright infringements.

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Updated PPSR information sheets published by AFSA (1 August 2014)

The Australian Financial Services Authority (AFSA) has recently released updated versions of a number of information sheets covering various aspects of the personal property securities (PPS) regime.

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Managing online reviews – the ACCC clamps down (25 July 2014)

More and more consumers are turning to the internet for advice and assurance before purchasing a product or service.  Online review sites are becoming increasingly popular and in many ways are replacing word of mouth referral.  Consumers then defer to these sites before they make a final decision about a wide variety of products and services ranging from accommodation and restaurants to appliances and tradesmen.

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Commercial consignments and the art of the PPSA (24 July 2014)

The Federal Ministry for the Arts has called for submissions from visual artists who sell works through galleries as part of the Review of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth).

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Trust income and the ATO's position (18 July 2014)

To herald the beginning of a new financial year, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released an explanatory fact sheet outlining its approach to income derived from trusts and the application of s100A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth) which relates to reimbursement agreements.

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New trades added to the Skilled Occupations List for prospective migrants (18 July 2014)

As at 1 July 2014 a handful of new trades have been added to the Australian Government's "Skilled Occupation List" (SOL) expanding the potential opportunities for skilled migrants.

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The Safe Night Out Strategy – implications for licensees (18 July 2014)

The Government's multi-faceted approach to safeguarding the wellbeing of the public in Queensland's key entertainment zones includes a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing compliance with a more stringent liquor licensing framework.

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Privacy and filing – the garden shed is not a storage option (17 July 2014)

Now that we are becoming more familiar with Australia's new privacy laws, it is still important to remember that the physical security of our hardcopy documents is just as important as digital security.

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ASIC and the ACCC release new guidelines for debt collection activities (10 July 2014)

The "Debt collection guideline: for collectors and creditors" has been updated by the ACCC and ASIC to reflect major changes to the law brought about by the introduction of changes to consumer law, improved consumer credit protections and new privacy laws and principles.

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Aged care changes now operational (4 July 2014)

Aged care providers take note - reforms to the Australian aged care system came into effect on July 1, 2014.

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Minimum wage increase commences (4 July 2014)

Following on from the Fair Work Commission's decision in June, the minimum wage will increase by 3% from the first full pay period after 1 July 2014.

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New grants opportunities for Queensland sporting clubs (3 July 2014)

The 2014-15 financial year has ushered in new opportunities for Queensland sports clubs to improve their facilities and develop their membership base by applying for a Queensland Government grant.

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Do you have a "right to be forgotten" on the Internet? (3 July 2014)

The European Court of Justice has recently considered an individual's right to privacy as it applies to search engine operators.

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Your registered business name – use it or lose it (3 July 2014)

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) announced on 20 June, 2014 that a pilot program to free up business names for registration would soon begin.

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Trademark scammers – they’re still out there... (26 June 2014)

Back in February 2013, we warned clients that an increasing number of approaches had been received by Australian trademark owners requesting that they pay money for services which provide no real or tangible benefit

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Debtor’s petition fee abolished by Senate (26 June 2014)

The $120 fee for the lodgement of debtors' petitions is no longer payable as a result of a motion passed by the Australian Senate on Monday, 23 June 2014. This amendment to the bankruptcy process became effective immediately

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WADA Code 2015 – what are some the key areas of change? (20 June 2014)

Recent media coverage of drugs and supplement use in football is a timely reminder that the new WADA World Anti-Doping Code will come into effect on January 1, 2015.

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Infrastructure charges reform - changes to the framework pass through Parliament (20 June 2014)

The Sustainable Planning (Infrastructure Charges) and Other Legislation Amendment 2014 (Qld) was passed by the Queensland Parliament on June 19 heralding a new approach to the way infrastructure charges are applied to commercial, industrial and residential developments.

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The deconstruction of PAMDA (8 May 2014)

The Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (PAMDA) will soon cease to be as the latest legislation in a series of red tape reduction measures was passed by the Queensland Parliament this week.

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Court of appeal lays down new requirements for Retirement Village budgets (9 December 2013)

 

On 29 November 2013, the Queensland Court of Appeal handed down its decision in the case of Australian Retirement Homes Ltd v Ash [2013] QCA 355.  The decision will require many retirement village operators to change the way they currently prepare their budget documents.

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Important reminder for Retirement Village Operators - new obligations relating to Asbestos (8 November 2013)

Being Asbestos Awareness Month, it is timely to remind Queensland retirement village operators that, in under two months, many will become subject to new obligations under the workplace health and safety legislation relating to asbestos in their villages.

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The Directors' Liability Reform Amendment Act 2013 (7 November 2013)

The main objectives of these reforms are to amend previous legal provisions applying to executive officers and their personal liability for offences committed by a corporation, with a view that action only be taken where there is adequate justification to do so

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No award for economic loss (23 October 2013)

The Plaintiff suffered a whiplash injury in a motor vehicle accident. On 16 October 2013, Koppenol DCJ got straight to the point in delivering a 4 page Judgment after the two day trial concluded on the previous day.

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Permission versus forgiveness (30 September 2013)

Readers would be familiar with section 477(2B) of the Corporations Act 2001 which provides that a liquidator "must not enter into" an agreement on the company's behalf which will operate for a period longer than three months without obtaining approval from the Court or the company's creditors.  The wording of the section appears to require prospective approval.  If such an agreement has been entered into without such approval, however, does the section's prospective phrasing mean that all is lost?

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Compliance conditions - back to the future (26 September 2013)

On 31 October 2007, we sent an E-alert on our success in an unreported decision (Williams v BM Alliance Coal Operations Pty Ltd Supreme Court Application No. 7645/2007) in which we successfully insisted that the Court should include certain conditions in its order granting conditional compliance.

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Worker's unsafe system trumps employer (26 September 2013)

On 20 September 2013, the Court of Appeal consisting of Muir, Morrison JJA and Wilson J handed down its decision in Heywood v Commercial Electrical Pty Ltd [2013] QCA270.  Muir JA wrote the leading judgment with which the other judges agreed. 

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Body Corporate Case Update: Sundeck Case (25 September 2013)

The lot owners had purchased a unit from the developer in 1998. The sale contract described the property as including the "exclusive use of adjacent roof area". The first community management statement made no reference to this exclusive use right.

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Body Corporate Case Update: North Point Case (25 September 2013)

This case related to the North Point community titles scheme. The Queensland Police Credit Union owns the ground and first floor levels as well as 35 out of 76 lots. Two unit owners in the scheme brought an application setting aside motions carried at an extraordinary general meeting regarding air-conditioning works. Other issues also arose out of the dispute.

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Body Corporate Case Update: Cleaning Fees case (25 September 2013)

This decision relates to an application by the body corporate for leave to appeal an adjudicator's decision. The dispute revolved around a debt owed by the body corporate for onsite caretaking services. The body corporate contended that the onsite caretaker had not demanded payment. Further, it argued that there was not a binding and enforceable agreement between the body corporate and the onsite caretaker.

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Claire Hammond v Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland M172/12 (20 September 2013)

On 11 September 2013, Magistrate Jennifer Batts of the Caboolture Magistrates Court dismissed Ms Hammond's claim as she failed in her burden of proof to make a causal link between the event of 28 January 2011 and her claimed injuries pursuant to sections 305D (Causation) and 305E (Onus of proof) of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.

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A $30,000 Kebab (18 September 2013)

On 9 September 2013 Judge Robin QC of the District Court dismissed Mr Samimi's appeal against a conviction of an offence under s.533 of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (WCRA).

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Reasonable and Appropriate Rehabilitation (17 September 2013)

The 23-year-old Applicant suffered a severe traumatic brain injury following a motor vehicle accident on 20 September 2011, resulting in profound mobility, visual and communication impairments.

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Testing the competition (11 September 2013)

External administrators would be only too familiar with a provision found in guarantees (and other transactional documents); that is, a clause preventing a guarantor proving in an external administration in competition with another creditor in whose favour the guarantee is given. But is there more to these clauses than meets the eye?

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Media Release: Mullins Lawyers Acts on iconic hotels (6 September 2013)

Liquor and Gaming Specialists, Mullins Lawyers, have recently represented valued clients in some of the largest pub transactions seen in the last few years.

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Is the Essendon saga over? (2 September 2013)

Can someone explain some things to me about the Essendon matter which I don't understand?

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Queensland Workers' Compensation Review (27 August 2013)

The Attorney General has tabled the government's interim response to the workers' compensation review report.

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Borrowing in a Post GFC World (20 August 2013)

Whilst the causes of the Global Financial Crisis are complex and technical, the impact of the GFC on the availability of finance was clear and dramatic.

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Same Injury, Different Descriptions - What About Costs? (16 August 2013)

In these decisions, it was viewed that an Applicant seeking to defend his/her right to claim in circumstances where there has been some variance in either the description or date of injury between the statutory claim and the Notice of Claim for Damages should be awarded costs of and incidental to the Application.

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ACMA clamps down on betting advertising during sporting broadcasts (1 August 2013)

On July 30 the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) registered its amendments to the broadcasting codes of practice placing greater restrictions on the promotion of gambling and betting odds during live sports broadcasts.

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July results of recent gaming machine operating authority tenders (30 July 2013)

A summary of the latest results from the July 2013 Public Trustee sale of gaming machine operating authorities for hotels.

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PERFECTION IS THE KEY (17 July 2013)

The New South Wales Supreme Court recently handed down the first significant judgment relating to the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA), in Maiden Civil (P&E) Pty Ltd; Richard Albarran and Blair Alexander Pleash as receivers and managers of Maiden Civil (P&E) Pty Ltd & Ors v Queensland Excavation Services Pty Ltd [2013] NSWSC 852. This case confirms that ownership will not always prevail in priority disputes under the PPSA.

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Scope of Duty to Cooperate under s279 of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (9 July 2013)

In this recent Queensland District Court decision, the Applicant failed in his Application in which he sought disclosure of two files held by WorkCover in relation to claims made by another employee. The Application was heard by Kingham DCJ.  

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Australian sports anti-doping authority given more power to investigate (8 July 2013)

As a result of the Australian Sports Anti‑Doping Authority Amendment Act 2013 (Cth) receiving Royal Assent on June 29, the Australian Sport Anti-Doping Authority will now have the power to compel persons of interest in doping investigations to cooperate with the Authority or run the risk of receiving a civil penalty of $5,100 for each contravention of the Act.

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When three years is not enough (28 June 2013)

A liquidator has three (3) years within which to bring an application under section 588FF of the Corporations Act 2011 (Cth) unless an extension is obtained within that period. Obviously, significant delay or inactivity can occur in an external administration. In Meares Nominees Pty Ltd (in liq) [2013] FCA 631, the Court granted the liquidators an extension under subsection (3)(b), despite apparent concerns as to the reason for the delay.

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Study examines the prevalence of bullying in Australian schools (26 June 2013)

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has released its findings on Australian children's experience of unfriendly behaviour at school as part of its Longitudinal Study of Australian Children

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Not-for-profits free to comment on Federal Government policy (21 June 2013)

A new Commonwealth act now gives not-for-profit (NFP) entities the freedom to publicly advocate or oppose government policy changes.

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New national philanthropic fund for schools in need (13 June 2013)

The Federal Government has announced the establishment of a new foundation designed to assist schools to foster continuing philanthropic partnerships with individuals and businesses.  

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Simplified Easement Regime for Small Lot Developments (12 June 2013)

The concept of high-density development easements has recently become law, with effect from 14 May 2013. This is the result of recent changes to the Land Title Act 1994.

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Liquor and Gaming (Red Tape Reduction) and other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 (12 June 2013)

As you are aware the Liquor and Gaming (Red Tape Reduction) and other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 has been passed and is now the Liquor and Gaming (Red Tape Reduction) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2013.

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Workers' Compensation Review (24 May 2013)

Last night the Parliamentary Committee published its report.

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LETS GOOGLE IT! (18 April 2013)

Google has had a win in the High Court in successfully defending a claim by the ACCC, which had alleged that Google's search results were misleading and deceptive.  The ACCC's claim was based on the "sponsored links" which are paid for by advertisers to appear (via Google's Adwords Product) on Google's website and the selection of "keywords" which are relevant when displaying search results.

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The Long Arm of the Law (11 April 2013)

In Australian Securities and Investments Commission v ActiveSuper Pty Ltd; ACN 143 832 053 Pty Ltd; Burrows and Gibson (No 1) [2012] FCA 1519, the Federal Court revisited the principles relating to the appointment of provisional liquidators over foreign corporations under the Corporations Act 2001 (the Act). The decision itself involved an interesting set of factual circumstances.

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March results of recent gaming machine operating authority tenders (5 April 2013)

A summary of the latest results from the March 2013 Public Trustee sale of gaming machine operating authorities for hotels.

 

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Retail Landlords – Note your Notices! (2 April 2013)

A recent QCAT decision of White v Downes [2012] QCAT 450 again highlights the importance of retail landlords being aware of and complying with its notice obligations in the context of options to renew.

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Lot Entitlements Changes Now Passed (2 April 2013)

You will recall our Mullins Update in October 2012 which provided you with some information about the introduction into Parliament of the Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012. This is to let you know that the Bill was passed (with some minor amendment) on 19 March 2013 and the Act was assented to on 27 March 2012.

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SAME INJURY, DIFFERENT DESCRIPTIONS (25 March 2013)

In Ley v Woolworths Limited [2013] QSC 59 the Claimant was a butcher and was required to carry boxes of meat weighing up to approximately 25kg at or above shoulder height and to lift the boxes in cramped conditions.

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Dad and partner pay (21 March 2013)

Following amendments to the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 (Cth) Dad and Partner Pay is now available to eligible working dads and partners (including adopting parents and same-sex partners) who care for a child born or adopted from 1 January 2013.

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Warning on trademarks (28 February 2013)

In recent times clients have told us that they have received an increasing number of unsolicited approaches, touting for payment in relation to their IP rights and in particular their Australian registered trademarks.  There are a number of ways in which these approaches are presented

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Drugs in sport and the Australian Crime Commission Investigation (15 February 2013)

The Federal Government and the Australian Crime Commission held a press conference last week and handed down the Australian Crime Commission's Report headed Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport. Since that time Australian sport, and in particular AFL and NRL, have been under a cloud of suspicion as to the extent of performance enhancing drug use and the involvement of organised crime.

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NEW CODE FOR BUILDING CONTRACTORS ON COMMONWEALTH FUNDED PROJECTS (7 February 2013)

From 1 February 2013 the Building Code 2013 outlines standards for all participants in Commonwealth funded construction projects.

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Aged care reform - ministerial announcement (7 February 2013)

Federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, the Hon. Mark Butler has accepted key recommendations made by the Aged Care Financing Authority that will provide greater consumer protection for aged care residents and increased government funding for the improvement of facilities.

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Government Committee Recommends Passing Reforms to Commercial Arbitration in Queensland (7 February 2013)

In a report tabled on 4 February, the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee has recommended that the Commercial Arbitration Bill 2012 (Qld) be passed by the Queensland Parliament. This is the final step in the process of bringing the state into alignment with the original reforms proposed by the Standing Committee of Attorneys- General (SCAG) back in 2010 as a response to the increasingly litigious nature of arbitration in Australia.

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New Federal charities and not-for-profits regulator – what you need to know (3 January 2013)

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is the new national regulator overseeing the  not-for-profit (NFP) sector across all states and territories. We outline some of the key objectives of this new body.

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Changes to Fair Work Regime (7 December 2012)

The Fair Work Amendment Act 2012 received Royal Assent on December 4, 2012 and introduces a raft of changes to the original 2009 legislation that the Government envisages will help to further reinforce the effectiveness of Australia's workplace relations watchdog.

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POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION OF TORTFEASOR NOT NECESSARY TO ESTABLISH LIABILITY (7 December 2012)

Mansi v O'Connor & Ors [2012] QSC 336
On 2 October 2012, Her Honour Justice Ann Lyons found one of six identified cement trucks was, on the balance of probabilities, responsible for causing a motor vehicle accident despite the fact that no witness could attest to the vehicle's registration details or identify the drive

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OFF THE PLAN LAND SALES LAW UNDER REVIEW (5 December 2012)

It is nearly thirty years since the Land Sales Act 1984 came into force. There have been some minor amendments made over the years, but the Queensland Government is now conducting a full review. The expectation is that a Bill will be introduced sometime in 2013.

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UCPR OFFER NEEDS DISCHARGE (4 December 2012)

On 23 November 2012 McMeekin J held in Armstrong v Allianz Australia Insurance Limited and another [2012] QSC 370 that a faxed Offer to Settle pursuant to rule 361 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules must be certain.

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UNFAIR DISMISSAL AND THE HIGH INCOME THRESHOLD CAP (3 December 2012)

There has been a lot of conjecture recently regarding what the unfair dismissal high income threshold is and how it is calculated, which applies under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

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TAKE YOUR TIME AND PAY THE FINE (25 October 2012)

On 10 October 2012, His Honour Douglas J considered whether settlement monies paid within the time allowed by an order for sanction could still be subject to interest under s 48 of the Supreme Court Act 1995 (Qld).

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LOT ENTITLEMENTS - EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN! (24 October 2012)

The new State Government has taken steps to reverse the controversial 2011 Amendments regarding lot entitlements adjustments, by the introduction of the Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 ("the Bill"). It is anticipated that the Bill will become law by the end of November 2012.

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PLAINTIFF FAILS DESPITE BREACH OF DUTY (24 October 2012)

In the Supreme Court of Queensland decision of Wolters v The University of the Sunshine Coast [2012] QSC 298 delivered on 5 October 2012, Applegarth J found the University of the Sunshine Coast ("the University") had breached its non-delegable duty of care to the Plaintiff, however did not accept the breach of duty caused the Claimant's injury.

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PROCEDURAL FAIRNESS AND NATURAL JUSTICE (9 October 2012)

In the unfortunate circumstances where an employee must be dismissed it is important to follow the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness to reduce the risk of a successful unfair dismissal claim in Fair Work Australia.

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NON-DIVISIBLE PROPERTY AND THE BANKRUPTCY TRUSTEE’S RIGHTS (2 October 2012)

The Full Federal Court recently considered whether a trustee in bankruptcy can have recourse to the non-divisible property of a bankrupt for the payment of his or her reasonable remuneration and outlays in relation to the care, preservation, realisation and distribution of such non-divisible property.

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SOCIAL MEDIA ENTHUSIASTS BEWARE (27 September 2012)

While some people seem to have a relaxed attitude to material which is posted on the internet and social media sites, that is far from the legal position. Businesses that fail to maintain and monitor their social media sites including user posts, do so at their own risk.

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IS A PSYCHIATRIC CONDITION A LEGAL DISABILITY TO EXTEND THE LIMITATION PERIOD? (27 September 2012)

On 19 September 2012, His Honour Douglas J considered whether a psychiatric condition constituted a legal disability sufficient to extend the limitation period.

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Government acts on Williams High Court decision (26 June 2012)

legislation will be introduced to secure funding for community programs

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Mullins brothers celebrate 30 years post admissions (26 August 2011)

mullins lawyers celebrates a significant milestone in the firm's history.

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