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Current Issues

On a regular basis, we provide some overviews of current legal issues that might affect you in your business or otherwise.  I hope you find these of use or interest, and let me know if you want further information on any particular item.

Business and Companies

New Freedom Of Information Regime Commenced July 1
- News Article 07/08/09
The Queensland Government's new freedom of information (FOI) regime under the Right to Information Act 2009 and the Information Privacy Act 2009 commenced on July 1. The new system differs from the previous FOI regime in a number of respects...

Insolvent Trading
- News Article 07/11/08
Directors of companies have a number of duties and responsibilities under the Corporations Act 2001 (the Act). One such duty, which has perhaps become more relevant during this time of economic turmoil, is the director’s duty to prevent insolvent trading. more

Use Of Statutory Demand
News Article 07/11/08

It is also a timely reminder on the use of creditors’ statutory demands under the Corporations Act.  The use of the statutory demand to require payment of debts over $2,000 can’t be underestimated as a weapon in recovering unpaid debts.  The Debtor company has the option of disputing the debt or paying up, otherwise it is liable to be wound up.  more

Anti competitive Practices And The Trade Practices Act - News Article 10/07/08
Earlier this year, eBay announced the proposed implementation of two major changes to its payment system which would affect both buyers and sellers using the auction website. Both of these changes related to the use of PayPal, an online payment system owned by eBay. more

Personal Property Securities Reform
- News Article 03/06//08
Retention of title clauses are widely used in a large variety of industries that supply goods to customers.  For businesses that sell or lease goods but retain title to those goods in their terms and conditions, or that use their property as security when raising capital, their title to those goods has generally been sufficient to ensure that they have priority in those goods ahead of any third party.  That is of course useful in case the other party goes into liquidation or for recovery of the goods for non-payment. For a number of years, however, there has been talk of reforming the Personal Properties Securities law. more

Preventing Former Employees Contacting Your Clients - News Article 30/05/08
Through the use of contractual provisions, employers often look to restrain ex-employees from contacting and dealing with their former clients.  Employers may protect their interests by imposing post-employment restraint clauses or by relying on the duty of confidentiality imposed on ex-employees.

Advertising Changes For Your Business - News Article 21/05/08
The Federal Government will be introducing changes in advertising laws later this year which will make it a requirement for all businesses to specify prominently a ‘total price’ in all advertisements that have a statement about the price of consumer goods or services.  A failure to follow the new laws can result in a prosecution involving the incurring of fines and other penalties.

Buying and Selling Property

Buying Off-The-Plan - Buyers Get Out Of Contracts - News Article 29/06/09
You may have seen this reported in the news recently. It was reported as a ‘loophole’ that allowed off-the-plan buyers to terminate contracts at any time before they settled. It wasn’t a loophole at all. more

Landlords To Pass On Land Tax To Tenants In Commercial Properties - News Article 29/06/09
While until now, most landlords calculated the rent they charged to commercial tenants based on costs they knew about, and thereby, indirectly passed on costs including land tax incurred by them, it has now been made easier by the Queensland government to pass on land tax to tenants as well.  more

PAMDA - News Article 03/04/09
PAMDA is the acronym for the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act in Queensland.  Anyone who buys or sells residential property in Queensland is bound by its provisions.  It can provide a lot of pitfalls for unsuspecting sellers and gives ‘outs’ to buyers if the seller or the seller’s agents don’t follow the letter of the law exactly. more

Employment Law

Employers, Employees And Workcover - News Article 03/04/09
A recent Court decision revolved around whether or not a particular person was a worker for the purposes of Workcover legislation. This decision is a timely reminder for all employers of the business ending ramifications of not having in place appropriate insurances for employees and considering whether employees fit within the definitions in the legislation.  The decision has meant that the company is now in liquidation due to the major creditor of the company being Workcover with the debt arising resulting from an injury to a ‘worker’. more


Doctors, Lawyers, Golf And Insurance - News Article 04/09/08
This update is an overview of a couple of recent court decisions relating to insurance and related claims. The first one about the lawyer is a reminder to all of us who may have the need for professional indemnity insurance in their business and the problems associated with proper disclosure in their proposals, while the second one involves perhaps some common sense from the Courts. more

Litigation and Disputes

Proposed Amendments To The Bankruptcy Act - Period Of Bankruptcy - News Article 07/08/09
The Attorney-General’s Department has recently released a discussion paper with some more proposed changes to the Bankruptcy Act.  One of the proposed amendments is that the period of bankruptcy be a 'maximum' of 12 months for first time bankrupts - with the possibility of early discharge. more

Workplace Relations

Employment Law – Probationary And Qualifying Periods - News Article 13/10/08
A recent decision of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (“AIRC”) has highlighted the necessity for employers to ensure that they take care to properly calculate when a probationary qualifying period ends when dismissing an employee. more

Independent Contractors – Unfair Contracts Remedy - News Article 13/10/08
A recent decision of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (“AIRC”) has highlighted the necessity for employers to ensure that they take care to properly calculate when a probationary qualifying period ends when dismissing an employee. more