Alcohol Testing in
family law matters

Alcohol abuse is often a very important issue in a family law matter.  The abuse of alcohol can lead to issues of risk in some circumstances and decrease the capacity to parent effectively.  Where there is evidence of alcohol abuse …

What is an Undertaking
in Family Law?

When parties separate sometimes a person is requested to give an undertaking that they will or will not do something.  Sometimes undertakings are requested before court proceedings are commenced and sometimes they are requested or provided to the Federal Circuit …

Child Support for
Non-Parent Carers

I provide care for a child but I am not the parent - can I get child support? The short answer:  It depends who you are and what your relationship is to the child you are caring for. In order …

Drink Driving Charges

Can I be charged with drink driving, if I wasn't actually driving? A person may be charged with drink driving if they are over the legal blood alcohol limit and they are:- driving a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel; …

Conversion & Detinue

Someone has my property and won't give it back.  What can I do?  We hear this scenario all too often; you've left your personal property at a mate's place, and now they are refusing to give it back.  Or maybe they've …

Do I really need a Binding
Death Benefit Nomination?

It is common for people to think that they don't have many assets and, therefore, do not need estate planning advice when actually the superannuation benefit payable on their death is often a substantial amount and is their most significant …

Can the Court change my
Child Support Assessment?

Yes, the Court can change your child support assessment, but only in certain circumstances. In most cases any amendments to your child support assessment will be considered by the Child Support Agency internally.  However, the Court may make orders in …

New Waste Disposal Levy

The Queensland Government has announced that it is developing a new waste management and resource strategy to increase recycling, recovery and to create new jobs by introducing the "waste disposal levy". When does the waste disposal levy commence? The amendments …

Notifiable Data Breaches

In February 2018, amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 saw the introduction of the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme.  The Notifiable Data Breaches scheme applies to all organisations that are subject to the Privacy Act and establishes a framework for assessing …

Parenting Orders Breached?

Where one parent is not following or has breached the parenting orders made by the Court, the other parent can file a contravention application. What constitutes a breach of parenting orders? Under the Family Law Act 1975, unless an order …

Remove a Licence
Disqualification Period

Licence Disqualification The Court must disqualify you from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence if you are convicted of certain offences.  Offences that are subject to a mandatory period of licence disqualification include: drink driving; failing to provide a …

Certificates of Title
made redundant

What is a Certificate of Title? A Certificate of Title (also known as a Title Deed) is an official document which evidences details of land ownership. Traditionally, when purchasing a property you would receive a physical paper Certificate of Title …

How long do I have to sue?
Litigation Limitation Periods

Whether you are enforcing your rights under a contract, seeking damages for negligence or pursuing some other form of relief, anyone considering litigation should be aware of the applicable limitation period. A limitation period is a period of time prescribed …

What is a Police Banning Notice?

A Police Banning Notice may be issued by the police if you are behaving in a disorderly, offensive or violent manner in proximity to a licensed venue.  The Police Banning Notice will ban you from a specific area or event, …

Buying or Selling Property
in Queensland

Buying or selling property is often one of the biggest decisions that most people will make during their lifetime as it often involves large sums of money.  The process of transferring ownership of property from the seller to the buyer …

What is Public Nuisance?

Public nuisance is described as a person behaving in a disorderly, offensive, threatening or violent manner that interferes with the peaceful enjoyment of a public area.  There are numerous examples of behaviour that would be considered public nuisance, including:- using …

Neighbourhood Tree Dispute

Neighbourhood disputes can arise over a variety of matters, and have the potential to become all consuming for those involved.  One such example is neighbourhood tree disputes resulting from overhanging branches.  The question is, who is ultimately responsible for remedying …

Can I change my
Child Support Assessment

Yes - but you need to establish grounds In short, yes you can.  You can:- apply to change your child support assessment if you pay child support; or apply to change your child support assessment if you receive child support. …

Why use a Testamentary
Trust

Under a standard Will, the Will-maker generally leaves their estate directly to individuals, that is, usually their spouse (if their spouse survives them) and then ultimately to their children.  However, if after the Will-maker's estate is administered and those individuals …

Offender Levy

The Offender Levy is a fee payable on sentence.  The Offender Levy is used to help pay for the costs associated with Court. Every adult sentenced in Queensland must pay the Offender Levy.  You are not able to appeal the …

How do I dispute a
traffic fine?

What is an Infringement Notice (or fine)? Infringement Notices are tickets issued for particular offences.  An Infringement Notice is commonly referred to as a fine.  Common offences for which a fine is issued include:- speeding; running a red light; toll …

Child Support
– can I get it back?

In limited circumstances, if it arises that a person (the 'paying parent') has been paying child support and it becomes evident that there was no basis for this payment because they were not the parent of that child, then they …

Is it illegal to possess
a bong or pipe?

Drug Offences? There are many offences relating to illicit substances.  These offences do not only relate to possession, but also to trafficking, producing and supplying dangerous drugs.  These are serious offences which may carry severe consequences. There are also less …

Annual Leave for
Casual Employees

Annual leave for casual employees?  What the decision in Workpac v Skene means for you. Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), an employer is required to pay its permanent employees (part-time and full-time) a number of entitlements, such as: …

I’ve Been Caught Hooning –
can my car be seized?

I've been caught hooning, what can I be charged with? Hooning is a broadly used term to describe anti-social behaviour while driving, such as speeding, burnouts and street racing.  There are a number of offences that may result from hooning …

How Do I Compare
Retirement Villages

In 2017, the Queensland Parliament passed legislation which amended the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (Qld) ("the Act"). The amendments to the Act will take effect from 1 February 2019. Changes to Documentation Operators will no longer issue Public Information Documents. …

De facto Relationships
and Wills

Will separating from my de facto partner impact my Will? Amendments to the Succession Act 1981 on 5 June 2017 mean that the end of a de facto relationship will be treated the same as a divorce when it comes …

Payment Claims in
the Construction Industry

We have previously touched on the new Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 ("the BIF Act") and summarised some of the changes effected by its introduction.  The following article will explore how progress payments are claimed under the …

Search Warrants in
Queensland

The police don't have a warrant.  Can they search me? There are some circumstances where you, your home or your vehicle can be searched without a warrant. Searching your home without a warrant The police are able to enter and search …

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is not just physical violence. Respondents to an Application for Protection Order sometimes say "but I never physically hurt them".  Domestic violence is more than just physical violence and includes a variety of behaviours which are controlling, dominating, …

Important Changes to
the Building Industry

In 2017, the Queensland Parliament passed legislation to reform many aspects of the building and construction industry.  Although the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 ("the BIF Act") commenced on 10 November 2017, many of the reforms are …

High Speed Driving
Offences in Queensland

High speed driving offences carry serious penalties in Queensland. What is a high speed offence? You may be charged with speeding if you exceed the speed limit allocated to a given area.  However, if you exceed the speed limit by more …

Child Support after 18

Will I still have to pay child support after my child turns 18? In certain circumstances, yes you may. Application to extend child support assessment A parent receiving child support for a child who is turning 18; and completing full …

Copyright, Trademarks and
Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual property law is both complex and interesting, focusing on incentivising artists, creators and inventors to contribute to the progression of arts and science.  This is achieved by protecting the exclusive rights of an individual and affording them control over …

Energy Efficient Buildings

The Commercial Building Disclosure Program The Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program requires that the energy efficiency information of certain commercial office spaces be provided to prospective tenants or buyers prior to the relevant building being sold, leased or subleased. A …

Assault

Being charged with Assault, Grievous Bodily Harm or Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm in Queensland. Assault is broadly defined in Queensland, with many different behaviours held to constitute assault. These behaviours commonly include:- hitting; kicking; pushing; touching; or applying force of …

Debt Recovery vs
Debt Management

There are a number of different mechanisms available to recover a debt owed, including, but not limited to: Commencing proceedings through the traditional courts; Making a claim with the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal; Making a payment claim under the …

Spousal Maintenance

What is Spousal Maintenance? 'Spousal maintenance' is financial support provided by one party to the other after a relationship has ended (whether married or de facto).  Spousal maintenance is one of the orders a party is able to apply for …

Failure to Appear at Court

It is an offence to fail to appear at Court when you are required to do so. If you do not attend Court in accordance with your Notice to Appear, Complaint and Summons or Bail Undertaking, a warrant may issue …

Family Provision Application

In Queensland, there are a number of ways in which you can dispute a Will. Such circumstances may include where the testator lacks capacity at the time the Will was made, where the testator’s Will has been overborne by undue …

Building Legislation
Amendment: Cladding

In response to the fatal fire at the Grenfell Tower in London, the Queensland Government carried out an investigation of the extent to which non-conforming combustible cladding was being used in Queensland buildings. Following this investigation, the Building and Other …

Contravention of
Parenting Orders

When a parent breaches a parenting order they can file an Application for Contravention. When a parenting order is made, each person who is affected or directed to do something by that order must follow it.  If a party does …

Vegetation Management Laws

Clearing Your Property of Weeds (aka "Native Vegetation") Changes to Vegetation Management Laws   The Palaszczuk Labor Government has introduced a suite of changes to Queensland’s vegetation management laws, making it more difficult to obtain clearing permits for certain properties. If …

Insurance Disputes

What is Insurance? Insurance is a form of risk management, which plays a vital role in every aspect of modern society. Although insurance is generally not mandatory, many Australians choose to insure themselves against risk by taking out a variety …

Serious Assault

Being charged with serious assault in Queensland Assault is broadly defined in Queensland, with many different behaviours held to constitute assault. These behaviours commonly include:- Hitting; Kicking; Pushing; Touching; or Applying force of any kind. There are several different offences …

Social Media and
Family Law Proceedings

Can I post about my family law court proceedings? Family law proceedings are confidential and under section 121 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), it is an offence to “publish” any identifying information relating to your family law matter. Section …

GST Withholding Regime

Buying or Selling Your House? You may be affected by the new GST Withholding Regime.   If you are planning to buy or sell residential property after 1 July 2018 then you should be aware of some recent changes to the …

Bankruptcy

Are you experiencing financial difficulty?  Maybe you're contemplating bankruptcy, and need some advice - we may be able to help. Bankruptcy is a legal process that catches most of your debts and liabilities.  It provides individuals relief from relentless creditors …

Drug Driving

In Queensland, there are two offences relating to driving with drugs in your system. The offences are:- Driving with a relevant drug in your system; and Driving under the influence of a drug. Both offences carry significant penalties and mandatory …

When do kids get to
decide who they live with?

When working out living arrangements for children after separation, parents will often ask "what age can my child decide who to live with?"  This is an unexpectedly complex answer and it really is true that each case is different.  There …

Anti-Discrimination Law

Australian Anti-Discrimination Law - Your Rights & Obligations In Australia, it is unlawful to discriminate against someone for possessing certain attributes.  The major federal legislative instruments include:- Age Discrimination Act 2004 Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 Disability Discrimination Act …

Dangerous Driving
and Careless Driving

Dangerous Driving It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle in a dangerous manner. Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle is a criminal offence, as opposed to a traffic offence. Therefore, a conviction may be recorded on your criminal …

Changing a Child’s Surname

When the parents of a child separate, the child will retain the surname listed on their birth certificate.  This is usually the father's surname. Where a mother has remarried or has reverted back to using her maiden name, a parent …

Data Breaches
– what are your obligations?

Recent changes to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) have imposed strict obligations when personal information is lost or released.  "Personal information" includes client personal details, bank accounts, licence details, medical records and taxation documents.  Personal information can be stored electronically …

How to Enforce a
Judgment Debt

There are several ways that you can enforce a judgment debt, including: Enforcement Hearing An enforcement hearing is a useful way to find out about the judgment debtor's assets and liabilities.  This information may assist you when choosing the most …

Factors for Sentencing

When you plead guilty or are found guilty of an offence, a Magistrate or Judge will impose a sentence as a penalty for committing the offence.  There are many different sentences available to the Magistrate or Judge, such as a …

Problems Communicating
with Your Ex

Sorting out parenting arrangements after separation can be difficult, particularly when there are problems with communicating with your ex.  It is important to remember that the way parents choose to communicate with each other can be beneficial, or, in some …

Succession Planning
for Farming Families

Farm Management Grants Scheme The Queensland Government has introduced the Farm Management Grants Scheme to assist eligible primary producers and their family members to manage the costs of succession planning. Under the Farm Management Grants Scheme, a primary producer (or a relative) …

Labour Hire Licensing
Regulation 2018

The Labour Hire Licensing Regulation 2018 (Qld) (“the Regulations”) was released on Friday, 6 April 2018 to support the recently implemented Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (Qld) (“the Act”). Summary of the Act The Act introduces a licensing system for labour …

Challenging a Will

Do you feel like a deceased friend or family member’s Will does not reflect their wishes? Or perhaps you are concerned that at the time of making their Will, they were not in the right frame of mind to understand …

Bail in Queensland

The general position in Queensland is that everyone charged with a criminal offence should be placed on bail. Bail is simply the Court’s permission to allow you to remain in the community (rather than in custody) whilst your matter is …

Social Media Posts:
Users Beware

More than ever before, individuals are using a range of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn. The amount of content posted to social media by the public is unprecedented.  Likewise, lawyers have seen an increase …

Retail Shop Leases Act
Important Information

On 10 May 2016 the Queensland Parliament passed the Retail Shop Leases Amendment Bill 2015, making a number of significant changes to the current legislation.  These changes commenced operation on 25 November 2016. If you are a party to a …

Finalising Property Settlement
After Separation

When a relationship ends, the process of working out who gets what is known as a property settlement. It is important to note that the family law legislation in Australia has some very specific rules about what can be included …

Transfer Duty Concessions
– Farm Land

Intergenerational Farm Transfers - Transfer Duty Concessions for the Family Farm The Queensland Government has a support package for rural Queensland, which includes abolishing transfer duty on family farm transfers. These changes are aimed at dealing with legacy issues within the Queensland …

Failing to Stop
(Evading Police)

If you are directed by a police officer to stop your vehicle, you must do so as soon as reasonably practical. It is an offence to evade police by failing to stop your motor vehicle. There are significant penalties for …

Paternity Doubt: Do I
have to pay child support?

Doubts about paternity often arise after parents separate. One reason for these queries to be raised is where the parents of a child separate and the father is assessed to pay child support. If the person does not believe they …

Dream Home
or Nightmare?

There has been a substantial increase in insolvency in the building and construction industry, and with the significant pressure placed on builders, there is little surprise. Builders – both sole traders and construction companies – are required to manage sub-contractors, …

Early Access to
Superannuation

Depending on your age and circumstances, there are a number of limited circumstances in which you can gain early access to your superannuation savings, namely: on 'compassionate grounds'; you are suffering severe financial hardship; you have been diagnosed with a …

Small Debt Recovery

Small Debt Recovery and Enforcement of Monetary Court Orders Do you have a small debt owing to you?  If the debt is less than $25,000 you can make an Application to QCAT to recover the money from the person or …

Breach of Protection Order

A Protection Order is also referred to as a Domestic Violence Order (“DVO”). The Applicant in an Application for a Domestic Violence Order can be either the person applying for the DVO or an authorised person, such as a Police …

Child Passports without
consent from the ex

When applying for a child's passport, it is a requirement of the Passport Office that the child's parents, or any other person with parental responsibility, provide written consent to the passport being issued. Obtaining the consent of the other parent …

Being Prepared for
Civil Trial

If your dispute is one that is not resolved prior to attending court, there are many steps and considerations to be made in the lead up to trial.  The month before trial can often cause the greatest amount of stress, …

Superannuation Death
Benefits

Although most people don't realise it, your superannuation actually does not form part of your estate upon your death. Under the trust deed, the Trustee of your super fund has the discretion to decide which of your dependants will receive …

Recording of a Conviction

When you plead guilty to an offence you will be convicted of that offence.  You will also be convicted if you plead not guilty and are then found guilty of an offence by a Magistrate or jury.  The impact of …

Industrial Manslaughter

With workplace injuries and deaths a cause for concern amongst employees and employers alike, the recent amendments to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) are hardly surprising. The most significant of these changes, the introduction of the offence …

Increasing Your Share
of Your Assets

Property settlements are all about dividing what net assets are available.  There is inevitably pressure from each spouse to maximise the net assets they each want to receive or retain.  Obviously what assets exist before separation cannot be duplicated and is …

Changes to
Labour Hire Legislation

The Queensland Government recently passed the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (Qld), which introduces a licensing system for labour hire providers throughout the State. The commencement date of the Act is yet to be determined. Under the Act, any person …

Defamation and the Internet

a lesson from Douglas v McLernon The decision of Justice Martin in Douglas v McLernon [No 4] [2016] WASC 320 serves as a reminder to us all that our behaviour online is not immune from legal action. Defamation occurs when …

Driving without a Licence

What is unlicensed driving? In Queensland it is an offence to drive without holding a valid driver licence.  This offence is referred to as unlicensed driving.  Usually unlicensed driving occurs where a person has had their licence suspended due to …

Equal Time Arrangements
for Shift Workers

Shift workers and equal time arrangements for children - what you can do to make it work Section 65DAA of the Family Law Act requires people to "consider" whether an equal or substantial and significant time arrangement is appropriate.  Consider …

Estate Administration
an Executor’s Responsibilities

When a person creates a Will, they appoint an executor to administer their estate upon their death.  The executor is responsible for ensuring that all outstanding debts and taxes are paid and that the remaining assets are distributed according to …

Steps to Divorce

What are the steps to divorce? Australian law operates on the principle of no-fault divorce.  This means that when a couple or an individual applies for a divorce a Court will not consider the reasons why the marriage ended.  There …

Statutory Demands

In situations where a company has a debt which is due and payable, the creditor who is owed the money may issue a statutory demand for the payment of the debt. What are the requirements for issuing a Statutory Demand? …

Estate Planning – The importance
of a properly drafted Will

Your Will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign, and it must be properly drafted to ensure that the assets you have spent a lifetime collecting are left according to your wishes. You may be surprised …

Probation Orders

What is a Probation Order? A Probation Order is a community-based sentencing option used by the Courts. The Courts are able to release an offender into the supervision of a Probation and Parole Officer under a Probation Order.  A Probation Order …

Child Custody for parents
who don’t work 9 to 5

Workable solutions for separated parents who don't work 9 to 5 Set out below are some practical tips for the many separated parents in this region who do not work 9 to 5, Monday to Friday.  Rosters can vary from …

Business Succession Planning

Do you have a plan? Many people own and operate successful businesses through partnership, company or trust structures. However, the key people in the operations of these businesses are often too busy to consider what would happen in the event …

Drug Diversion Programs

There are two drug diversion programs in Queensland, the Drug Diversion Assessment Program (DDAP) and Court Ordered Diversion. The programs are aimed at diverting minor drug offenders away from the Court system, by referring offenders to a relevant drug education …

Family Violence and
Parenting Orders

The Family Law Act requires all parties to carefully consider the circumstances of alleged incidents of family violence when determining what parenting orders are appropriate.  There is a wide definition of domestic violence in section 4 of the Act which …

Unfair Online Reviews

My business is being affected, what can I do? Many businesses often deal with negative online reviews.  Customers are entitled to voice their opinions in online forums but these must be based on fact.  Negative reviews may deter would be …

Water Use by Commercial
& Rural Properties

Most, if not all, rural or commercial farming operations have a water allocation or a water licence in place to allow the lawful taking of (or interfering with) water in connection with those operations. Water Licence ​A water licence is …

Caveat Emptor – Buyer Beware

This is the premise on which all property sales in Queensland are based.  It is up to the buyer to thoroughly investigate the property themselves rather than rely on information provided by the seller. Buying a property is one of …

Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program

What is an Alcohol Ignition Interlock? An Alcohol Ignition Interlock (‘Interlock’) is a device that is installed in a vehicle to prevent a person driving while under the influence of alcohol. An Interlock requires the driver of a vehicle to …

Grandparents & Parenting Matters

Following separation grandparents are often left to question where they stand regarding the care arrangements for their grandchildren.  These issues can be resolved in a number of ways: Informal arrangements directly with the parents (in particular the parent who the …

Domestic Violence
– who can be protected?

A large number of people can be protected by a Domestic Violence Order, commonly known as a “DVO”. Who can apply for a Domestic Violence Order? The “Applicant” in an Application for a Domestic Violence Order can be either the …

Drink Driving: Penalties
& Disqualification Periods

Do I have to go to Court? If you have been charged with drink driving, you will likely be issued a Notice to Appear by the Queensland Police Service.  You must attend Court on the date provided on the Notice …

Clearing Vegetation on Your Property

Most people don’t realise that the vegetation on their land may be protected by legislation, and therefore any unauthorized removal of that vegetation could result in significant fines being issued by the State or Commonwealth governments. Vegetation clearing laws are complex …

Domestic Violence
– how can a solicitor assist me

Domestic violence is a form of violence that occurs within a relationship.  There are many forms of domestic violence, including:- physical abuse; emotional abuse; and threatening or intimidating behaviour. If you have been experiencing domestic violence, you may wish to …

Domestic Smoke Alarms

Over the last 12 years in Queensland there have been 150 deaths directly attributed to residential house fires. A number of Coronial inquests into those fires have noted, among other things, that these deaths occurred in properties where smoke alarms …

Your rights as a black
coal mining employee

Workers in the black coal mining industry have a number of rights under the Black Coal Mining Industry Award (2010) ("the Award") and Black Coal Mining (Long Service Leave) Administration Act 1992. Pay Employers and employees are free to negotiate …

Redundancies in Small Business

At some point in running a small business you may have to cut costs through redundancies.  This is a very painful process, but if the correct procedures are performed, that pain can be limited. The Small Business Fair Dismissal Code …

Child Support – make it easier

Parents almost always complain about the child support system, both paying parents and parents who receive child support.  However there are certain things that parents can do to make child support easier. Private Agreements A lot of parents would pefer …

What happens if I can’t pay my fine

A Court may impose a fine as your penalty for committing an offence.  A fine can be imposed as part of your penalty, or can be imposed alongside other penalties such as a period of disqualification.  You will also be …

Court Made Will – overcoming a
lack of testamentary capacity

In order for a person's Will to be a valid and binding document in Australia, that person (the Testator) must have 'testamentary capacity' at the time at which the Will was created. This means that the Testator must not be …

Recovery Orders

A child being taken from a parent, or not being returned to a parent’s care can be very stressful. Parents in this situation need to seek assistance as soon as possible, and if they are unsuccessful in requesting the child …

Am I going to lose my licence?

In Queensland, there are several offences that are subject to mandatory licence disqualification. For these offences, the Court must disqualify you from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence for a period of time. This means that a period of …

Neighbourhood Fence Disputes

Dividing fence disputes are common between neighbours. In practice, most fence disputes concern responsibility for the costs of maintaining a dividing fence. Ordinarily, both neighbours are liable to each pay half of the costs of maintaining a dividing fence. ​ …

How long do I have to sue?
Litigation Limitation Periods

Whether you are enforcing your rights under a contract, seeking damages for negligence or pursuing some other form of relief, anyone considering litigation should be aware of the applicable limitation period. A limitation period is a period of time prescribed …

Neighbourhood Tree Dispute

Neighbourhood disputes can arise over a variety of matters, and have the potential to become all consuming for those involved.  One such example is neighbourhood tree disputes resulting from overhanging branches.  The question is, who is ultimately responsible for remedying …

Annual Leave for
Casual Employees

Annual leave for casual employees?  What the decision in Workpac v Skene means for you. Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), an employer is required to pay its permanent employees (part-time and full-time) a number of entitlements, such as: …

Important Changes to
the Building Industry

In 2017, the Queensland Parliament passed legislation to reform many aspects of the building and construction industry.  Although the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 ("the BIF Act") commenced on 10 November 2017, many of the reforms are …

Child Support after 18

Will I still have to pay child support after my child turns 18? In certain circumstances, yes you may. Application to extend child support assessment A parent receiving child support for a child who is turning 18; and completing full …

Copyright, Trademarks and
Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual property law is both complex and interesting, focusing on incentivising artists, creators and inventors to contribute to the progression of arts and science.  This is achieved by protecting the exclusive rights of an individual and affording them control over …

Energy Efficient Buildings

The Commercial Building Disclosure Program The Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program requires that the energy efficiency information of certain commercial office spaces be provided to prospective tenants or buyers prior to the relevant building being sold, leased or subleased. A …

Assault

Being charged with Assault, Grievous Bodily Harm or Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm in Queensland. Assault is broadly defined in Queensland, with many different behaviours held to constitute assault. These behaviours commonly include:- hitting; kicking; pushing; touching; or applying force of …

Debt Recovery vs
Debt Management

There are a number of different mechanisms available to recover a debt owed, including, but not limited to: Commencing proceedings through the traditional courts; Making a claim with the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal; Making a payment claim under the …

Spousal Maintenance

What is Spousal Maintenance? 'Spousal maintenance' is financial support provided by one party to the other after a relationship has ended (whether married or de facto).  Spousal maintenance is one of the orders a party is able to apply for …

Failure to Appear at Court

It is an offence to fail to appear at Court when you are required to do so. If you do not attend Court in accordance with your Notice to Appear, Complaint and Summons or Bail Undertaking, a warrant may issue …

Family Provision Application

In Queensland, there are a number of ways in which you can dispute a Will. Such circumstances may include where the testator lacks capacity at the time the Will was made, where the testator’s Will has been overborne by undue …

Building Legislation
Amendment: Cladding

In response to the fatal fire at the Grenfell Tower in London, the Queensland Government carried out an investigation of the extent to which non-conforming combustible cladding was being used in Queensland buildings. Following this investigation, the Building and Other …

Contravention of
Parenting Orders

When a parent breaches a parenting order they can file an Application for Contravention. When a parenting order is made, each person who is affected or directed to do something by that order must follow it.  If a party does …

Vegetation Management Laws

Clearing Your Property of Weeds (aka "Native Vegetation") Changes to Vegetation Management Laws   The Palaszczuk Labor Government has introduced a suite of changes to Queensland’s vegetation management laws, making it more difficult to obtain clearing permits for certain properties. If …

Insurance Disputes

What is Insurance? Insurance is a form of risk management, which plays a vital role in every aspect of modern society. Although insurance is generally not mandatory, many Australians choose to insure themselves against risk by taking out a variety …

Serious Assault

Being charged with serious assault in Queensland Assault is broadly defined in Queensland, with many different behaviours held to constitute assault. These behaviours commonly include:- Hitting; Kicking; Pushing; Touching; or Applying force of any kind. There are several different offences …

Social Media and
Family Law Proceedings

Can I post about my family law court proceedings? Family law proceedings are confidential and under section 121 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), it is an offence to “publish” any identifying information relating to your family law matter. Section …

GST Withholding Regime

Buying or Selling Your House? You may be affected by the new GST Withholding Regime.   If you are planning to buy or sell residential property after 1 July 2018 then you should be aware of some recent changes to the …

Bankruptcy

Are you experiencing financial difficulty?  Maybe you're contemplating bankruptcy, and need some advice - we may be able to help. Bankruptcy is a legal process that catches most of your debts and liabilities.  It provides individuals relief from relentless creditors …

Drug Driving

In Queensland, there are two offences relating to driving with drugs in your system. The offences are:- Driving with a relevant drug in your system; and Driving under the influence of a drug. Both offences carry significant penalties and mandatory …

When do kids get to
decide who they live with?

When working out living arrangements for children after separation, parents will often ask "what age can my child decide who to live with?"  This is an unexpectedly complex answer and it really is true that each case is different.  There …

Anti-Discrimination Law

Australian Anti-Discrimination Law - Your Rights & Obligations In Australia, it is unlawful to discriminate against someone for possessing certain attributes.  The major federal legislative instruments include:- Age Discrimination Act 2004 Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 Disability Discrimination Act …

Dangerous Driving
and Careless Driving

Dangerous Driving It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle in a dangerous manner. Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle is a criminal offence, as opposed to a traffic offence. Therefore, a conviction may be recorded on your criminal …

Changing a Child’s Surname

When the parents of a child separate, the child will retain the surname listed on their birth certificate.  This is usually the father's surname. Where a mother has remarried or has reverted back to using her maiden name, a parent …

Data Breaches
– what are your obligations?

Recent changes to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) have imposed strict obligations when personal information is lost or released.  "Personal information" includes client personal details, bank accounts, licence details, medical records and taxation documents.  Personal information can be stored electronically …

How to Enforce a
Judgment Debt

There are several ways that you can enforce a judgment debt, including: Enforcement Hearing An enforcement hearing is a useful way to find out about the judgment debtor's assets and liabilities.  This information may assist you when choosing the most …

Factors for Sentencing

When you plead guilty or are found guilty of an offence, a Magistrate or Judge will impose a sentence as a penalty for committing the offence.  There are many different sentences available to the Magistrate or Judge, such as a …

Problems Communicating
with Your Ex

Sorting out parenting arrangements after separation can be difficult, particularly when there are problems with communicating with your ex.  It is important to remember that the way parents choose to communicate with each other can be beneficial, or, in some …

Succession Planning
for Farming Families

Farm Management Grants Scheme The Queensland Government has introduced the Farm Management Grants Scheme to assist eligible primary producers and their family members to manage the costs of succession planning. Under the Farm Management Grants Scheme, a primary producer (or a relative) …

Labour Hire Licensing
Regulation 2018

The Labour Hire Licensing Regulation 2018 (Qld) (“the Regulations”) was released on Friday, 6 April 2018 to support the recently implemented Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (Qld) (“the Act”). Summary of the Act The Act introduces a licensing system for labour …

Challenging a Will

Do you feel like a deceased friend or family member’s Will does not reflect their wishes? Or perhaps you are concerned that at the time of making their Will, they were not in the right frame of mind to understand …

Bail in Queensland

The general position in Queensland is that everyone charged with a criminal offence should be placed on bail. Bail is simply the Court’s permission to allow you to remain in the community (rather than in custody) whilst your matter is …

Social Media Posts:
Users Beware

More than ever before, individuals are using a range of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn. The amount of content posted to social media by the public is unprecedented.  Likewise, lawyers have seen an increase …

Retail Shop Leases Act
Important Information

On 10 May 2016 the Queensland Parliament passed the Retail Shop Leases Amendment Bill 2015, making a number of significant changes to the current legislation.  These changes commenced operation on 25 November 2016. If you are a party to a …

Finalising Property Settlement
After Separation

When a relationship ends, the process of working out who gets what is known as a property settlement. It is important to note that the family law legislation in Australia has some very specific rules about what can be included …

Transfer Duty Concessions
– Farm Land

Intergenerational Farm Transfers - Transfer Duty Concessions for the Family Farm The Queensland Government has a support package for rural Queensland, which includes abolishing transfer duty on family farm transfers. These changes are aimed at dealing with legacy issues within the Queensland …

Failing to Stop
(Evading Police)

If you are directed by a police officer to stop your vehicle, you must do so as soon as reasonably practical. It is an offence to evade police by failing to stop your motor vehicle. There are significant penalties for …

Paternity Doubt: Do I
have to pay child support?

Doubts about paternity often arise after parents separate. One reason for these queries to be raised is where the parents of a child separate and the father is assessed to pay child support. If the person does not believe they …

Dream Home
or Nightmare?

There has been a substantial increase in insolvency in the building and construction industry, and with the significant pressure placed on builders, there is little surprise. Builders – both sole traders and construction companies – are required to manage sub-contractors, …

Early Access to
Superannuation

Depending on your age and circumstances, there are a number of limited circumstances in which you can gain early access to your superannuation savings, namely: on 'compassionate grounds'; you are suffering severe financial hardship; you have been diagnosed with a …

Small Debt Recovery

Small Debt Recovery and Enforcement of Monetary Court Orders Do you have a small debt owing to you?  If the debt is less than $25,000 you can make an Application to QCAT to recover the money from the person or …

Breach of Protection Order

A Protection Order is also referred to as a Domestic Violence Order (“DVO”). The Applicant in an Application for a Domestic Violence Order can be either the person applying for the DVO or an authorised person, such as a Police …

Child Passports without
consent from the ex

When applying for a child's passport, it is a requirement of the Passport Office that the child's parents, or any other person with parental responsibility, provide written consent to the passport being issued. Obtaining the consent of the other parent …

Being Prepared for
Civil Trial

If your dispute is one that is not resolved prior to attending court, there are many steps and considerations to be made in the lead up to trial.  The month before trial can often cause the greatest amount of stress, …

Superannuation Death
Benefits

Although most people don't realise it, your superannuation actually does not form part of your estate upon your death. Under the trust deed, the Trustee of your super fund has the discretion to decide which of your dependants will receive …

Recording of a Conviction

When you plead guilty to an offence you will be convicted of that offence.  You will also be convicted if you plead not guilty and are then found guilty of an offence by a Magistrate or jury.  The impact of …

Industrial Manslaughter

With workplace injuries and deaths a cause for concern amongst employees and employers alike, the recent amendments to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) are hardly surprising. The most significant of these changes, the introduction of the offence …

Increasing Your Share
of Your Assets

Property settlements are all about dividing what net assets are available.  There is inevitably pressure from each spouse to maximise the net assets they each want to receive or retain.  Obviously what assets exist before separation cannot be duplicated and is …

Changes to
Labour Hire Legislation

The Queensland Government recently passed the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (Qld), which introduces a licensing system for labour hire providers throughout the State. The commencement date of the Act is yet to be determined. Under the Act, any person …

Defamation and the Internet

a lesson from Douglas v McLernon The decision of Justice Martin in Douglas v McLernon [No 4] [2016] WASC 320 serves as a reminder to us all that our behaviour online is not immune from legal action. Defamation occurs when …

Driving without a Licence

What is unlicensed driving? In Queensland it is an offence to drive without holding a valid driver licence.  This offence is referred to as unlicensed driving.  Usually unlicensed driving occurs where a person has had their licence suspended due to …

Equal Time Arrangements
for Shift Workers

Shift workers and equal time arrangements for children - what you can do to make it work Section 65DAA of the Family Law Act requires people to "consider" whether an equal or substantial and significant time arrangement is appropriate.  Consider …

Estate Administration
an Executor’s Responsibilities

When a person creates a Will, they appoint an executor to administer their estate upon their death.  The executor is responsible for ensuring that all outstanding debts and taxes are paid and that the remaining assets are distributed according to …

Steps to Divorce

What are the steps to divorce? Australian law operates on the principle of no-fault divorce.  This means that when a couple or an individual applies for a divorce a Court will not consider the reasons why the marriage ended.  There …

Statutory Demands

In situations where a company has a debt which is due and payable, the creditor who is owed the money may issue a statutory demand for the payment of the debt. What are the requirements for issuing a Statutory Demand? …

Estate Planning – The importance
of a properly drafted Will

Your Will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign, and it must be properly drafted to ensure that the assets you have spent a lifetime collecting are left according to your wishes. You may be surprised …

Probation Orders

What is a Probation Order? A Probation Order is a community-based sentencing option used by the Courts. The Courts are able to release an offender into the supervision of a Probation and Parole Officer under a Probation Order.  A Probation Order …

Child Custody for parents
who don’t work 9 to 5

Workable solutions for separated parents who don't work 9 to 5 Set out below are some practical tips for the many separated parents in this region who do not work 9 to 5, Monday to Friday.  Rosters can vary from …

Business Succession Planning

Do you have a plan? Many people own and operate successful businesses through partnership, company or trust structures. However, the key people in the operations of these businesses are often too busy to consider what would happen in the event …

Drug Diversion Programs

There are two drug diversion programs in Queensland, the Drug Diversion Assessment Program (DDAP) and Court Ordered Diversion. The programs are aimed at diverting minor drug offenders away from the Court system, by referring offenders to a relevant drug education …

Family Violence and
Parenting Orders

The Family Law Act requires all parties to carefully consider the circumstances of alleged incidents of family violence when determining what parenting orders are appropriate.  There is a wide definition of domestic violence in section 4 of the Act which …

Unfair Online Reviews

My business is being affected, what can I do? Many businesses often deal with negative online reviews.  Customers are entitled to voice their opinions in online forums but these must be based on fact.  Negative reviews may deter would be …

Water Use by Commercial
& Rural Properties

Most, if not all, rural or commercial farming operations have a water allocation or a water licence in place to allow the lawful taking of (or interfering with) water in connection with those operations. Water Licence ​A water licence is …

Caveat Emptor – Buyer Beware

This is the premise on which all property sales in Queensland are based.  It is up to the buyer to thoroughly investigate the property themselves rather than rely on information provided by the seller. Buying a property is one of …

Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program

What is an Alcohol Ignition Interlock? An Alcohol Ignition Interlock (‘Interlock’) is a device that is installed in a vehicle to prevent a person driving while under the influence of alcohol. An Interlock requires the driver of a vehicle to …

Grandparents & Parenting Matters

Following separation grandparents are often left to question where they stand regarding the care arrangements for their grandchildren.  These issues can be resolved in a number of ways: Informal arrangements directly with the parents (in particular the parent who the …

Domestic Violence
– who can be protected?

A large number of people can be protected by a Domestic Violence Order, commonly known as a “DVO”. Who can apply for a Domestic Violence Order? The “Applicant” in an Application for a Domestic Violence Order can be either the …

Drink Driving: Penalties
& Disqualification Periods

Do I have to go to Court? If you have been charged with drink driving, you will likely be issued a Notice to Appear by the Queensland Police Service.  You must attend Court on the date provided on the Notice …

Clearing Vegetation on Your Property

Most people don’t realise that the vegetation on their land may be protected by legislation, and therefore any unauthorized removal of that vegetation could result in significant fines being issued by the State or Commonwealth governments. Vegetation clearing laws are complex …

Domestic Violence
– how can a solicitor assist me

Domestic violence is a form of violence that occurs within a relationship.  There are many forms of domestic violence, including:- physical abuse; emotional abuse; and threatening or intimidating behaviour. If you have been experiencing domestic violence, you may wish to …

Domestic Smoke Alarms

Over the last 12 years in Queensland there have been 150 deaths directly attributed to residential house fires. A number of Coronial inquests into those fires have noted, among other things, that these deaths occurred in properties where smoke alarms …

Your rights as a black
coal mining employee

Workers in the black coal mining industry have a number of rights under the Black Coal Mining Industry Award (2010) ("the Award") and Black Coal Mining (Long Service Leave) Administration Act 1992. Pay Employers and employees are free to negotiate …

Redundancies in Small Business

At some point in running a small business you may have to cut costs through redundancies.  This is a very painful process, but if the correct procedures are performed, that pain can be limited. The Small Business Fair Dismissal Code …

Child Support – make it easier

Parents almost always complain about the child support system, both paying parents and parents who receive child support.  However there are certain things that parents can do to make child support easier. Private Agreements A lot of parents would pefer …

What happens if I can’t pay my fine

A Court may impose a fine as your penalty for committing an offence.  A fine can be imposed as part of your penalty, or can be imposed alongside other penalties such as a period of disqualification.  You will also be …

Court Made Will – overcoming a
lack of testamentary capacity

In order for a person's Will to be a valid and binding document in Australia, that person (the Testator) must have 'testamentary capacity' at the time at which the Will was created. This means that the Testator must not be …

Recovery Orders

A child being taken from a parent, or not being returned to a parent’s care can be very stressful. Parents in this situation need to seek assistance as soon as possible, and if they are unsuccessful in requesting the child …

Am I going to lose my licence?

In Queensland, there are several offences that are subject to mandatory licence disqualification. For these offences, the Court must disqualify you from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence for a period of time. This means that a period of …

Neighbourhood Fence Disputes

Dividing fence disputes are common between neighbours. In practice, most fence disputes concern responsibility for the costs of maintaining a dividing fence. Ordinarily, both neighbours are liable to each pay half of the costs of maintaining a dividing fence. ​ …