Monthly Legal Updater – December 2017

In Show 040 – Monthly Legal Updater originally broadcast on Facebook Live on Friday 8 December 2017 we explore this interesting topic.

Show Notes

On this month’s legal updater we are going to talk about some of the big stories that grabbed our attention.  The recent state elections in Queensland are, once again, going to change the legal landscape.  The current Labour government is likely to remain in power and that means there are going to be some new policies implemented.  Among those are:

Increase Transfer Duty Surcharge

The surcharge is going up from 3% to 7%.  It applies to any non-Australian buying property in Queensland.  It hasn’t been legislated yet but it was party of Labour’s platform.  If your property is worth more than $10 million than an additional 2.25% will be levied.

Luxury car tax

Any car worth more than $100 thousand will be taxed an additional 2%.

Industrial relations changes

The laws that govern employees and employers are going to be extensively revised.  They are aiming to revise the collective bargaining system.

Prevent the use of drones and tracking devices

Larger businesses may be considering using new surveillance equipment like drones to keep tabs on their employees.  The government is promising to legislate against any such practice.

Medically assisted dying

The government is promising to introduce legislation that will allow for medically assisted suicide.

There have also been some interesting rulings from the courts recently that we think you should be aware of.

Prenuptial agreements

In early November the Supreme Court ruled that the prenuptial agreement between a foreign women and Australian was null and void.  The reason for that was the fact that there was undue influence.  The women was presented with the agreement just a few days before the marriage.  When the marriage ended she was left with $50 thousand, an apartment and a car.  The high court has said that was not fair and the prenup was set aside.

New Building and Safety Laws

The law has been changed to put the responsibility to report unsafe practices on anyone on a building site.  That means that any person who witnesses unsafe building practices must report or they will be liable for fines.

Brisbane fraudster

A financial advisor in Brisbane was found guilty of misusing clients’ money by investing in businesses that ultimately failed.  A total of $10 million was lost.  The man was handed a 12 month sentence by the courts.

Bitcoin

The explosion in the price of Bitcoin has regulators worried.  The huge increase in the price of digital currencies means a much greater likelihood that they will be used to launder the proceeds of crime.  Australia is going to introduce new legislation to allow Austrac to regulate Bitcoin exchanges.

ACCC investigations

There were recent changes to the rules around unfair contracts.  The ACCC soon announced that Ashley and Martin were being investigated for some of their agreements.  The contract in question only allowed two days for customers to opt out of a contract before being charged the full amount.  That was deemed to be unfair.

Fastaway Couriers fined

In the franchising code of conduct the franchisor has to reveal a proscribed set of financial details to the franchisee.  The ACCC found that Fastaway was not providing that information and were fined just under $10 thousand.

Finder penalized

Financial comparison website Finder was recently fined by the ACCC for misleading consumers.  The website claimed that it was checking 65,000 different health polices when in fact it was substantially less than that.

 

More about this Show

We started Business Legal Lifecycle to create a simple way for you to understand complex legal terms.  Most importantly we want to help you to develop a plan to take your business successfully into the future.  There’s a startling statistic the underscores the importance of developing a solid plan.  The majority of business owners are just seven months away from losing everything.  A single aspect of your business that is not set-up correctly can shut down your whole operation very quickly.   Legal advice is not cheap and even when you can afford it there is often a divide between lawyers and their clients.  We want to close that gap once and for all.  We want to put legal knowledge and tools into your hand to prevent the worst from happening to you.

Twice a week we are going to deliver those tools right to your home or office with Business Legal Lifecycle TV.  We’ll start the week with Fast Fix Monday, a short 5-10 minute video that will tackle a single issue that businesses have to deal with.  Then on Wednesday’s our main show will feature with more fulsome discussions and interviews all delivered in a straightforward and easy to understand format.