Changes for Learner, P1 and P2 Drivers

  From Monday 20 November 2017, a number of changes to how you can obtain your licence will commence. Learner drivers will have to pass the Hazard Perception Test (‘HPT’) before they can attempt the driving test. If you wait more than 15 months without passing the driving test, you will have to complete the HPT again. Drivers will no longer be required to pass the Hazard Perception Test to obtain their P2 Licence. The only requirement is to hold your P1 licence for at least 12 months. There will […]

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Driver Disqualification Update

  From 28 October 2017, major changes in relation to licence disqualification laws will take place. People who commit offences such as driving while unlicensed, suspended, cancelled or disqualified will have maximum penalties and disqualification periods reduced. The Court will also have the power to decide when the disqualification will start (i.e. it won’t automatically be in addition to any suspension already being served). Disqualification periods can be lifted after a period of good behaviour with no other traffic offences (either 2 or 4 years depending on the type of […]

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Inheritances received after separation

  The Family Court of Australia recently looked at whether an inheritance received by one party three  years after separation should be included as property to be divided between the a Husband and Wife. The Case The case involved a Husband and Wife who, at the time of trial, had been married 17 years and separated 8.5 years. Under his brother’s Will the Husband received a property worth $715,000 three years after the parties’ separation. The property was unencumbered at the time of trial. The trial judge excluded the property […]

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Final Occupation Certificate – The Holy Grail for Purchasers, or is it?

A final occupation certificate has long been thought to give peace of mind to purchasers of dwellings, however a recent court of appeal case held that a final occupation certificate cannot be relied upon.  The Case The Purchasers entered into a contract with the Vendor (owner-builder) to purchase a substantially renovated house in Wahroonga, NSW. The Vendor engaged Ku-ring-gi Council to certify a two-level extension at the back of the existing house as well as an engineering firm to prepare structural drawings. The Council issued a Final Occupation Certificate despite […]

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Section 60I Certificates explained

What is a section 60I Certificate? If you need to go to Court for children’s matters you must first obtain a section 60I certificate. The Court cannot accept an application for children’s orders without the certificate or you have a valid reason for the certificate to be waived. How can I get a section 60I Certificate? You can only get a section 60I certificate through an accredited Family Dispute Resolution practitioner. A section 60I certificate can be provided to you after you have attended mediation, if your former partner refuses […]

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When Does a Gift Become a Loan?

  A recent NSW Court of Appeal case examined the circumstances when money initially provided as a gift could later be classified as a loan. The Case In the case, the father made a financial advance to his son in the amount of $1.2 million to assist the son and his wife purchase their family home. Following a successful purchase at auction, the father had several discussion with friends and his son, the father changed his mind and wished to classify the gift as a loan. The father engaged his […]

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What happens to your super when you die?

  Did you know the provisions in your Will do not necessarily determine where the proceeds of your superannuation go? A recent case highlighted the importance of ensuring your testamentary intentions are properly documented for your superannuation. The Case The deceased’s girlfriend, who he had been living with for 9 months before he died, was awarded the vast majority of his superannuation ($352,170), leaving his two young daughters with less than one quarter of his superannuation ($49,664 each). The Law In a nutshell, your estate will be separated into two […]

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Duffy Elliott Lawyers farewell Denise

In August 2017 Duffy Elliott Lawyers said farewell to longstanding staff member Denise. Denise had been part of Duffy Elliott Lawyers, previously MJ Duffy & Son, since 1969. Denise initially joined the firm as an office junior and later become a Legal Assistant to former partner Peter Poulton and then to current Director Stephen Duffy. During her time with the firm Denise distinguished herself with her patience and dedication. Denise’s willingness to guide and assist new staff members along with her gentle nature held her in high esteem by the […]

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Loose-Fill Asbestos

From 1 September 2017 a Contract for Sale and Purchase of Land must include a warning that if the dwelling was constructed prior to 1985 then the purchaser should make enquiries to determine if the premise contains loose-fill asbestos.   The warning recommends the purchaser; Search the Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation Register. Check if the local council holds any records on premises that have Loose Fill Asbestos. What is Loose-Fill Asbestos (LFA) and Why is it Dangerous? In the 1960’s and 70’s raw crushed asbestos was used in ceilings as insulation.  Asbestos fibres […]

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UNREGISTERED FIREARM? HAND IT IN NOW TO AVOID PENALTY

From 1 July 2017 to 30 September 2017, individuals who have an unregistered firearm or firearm-related item in their possession – for whatever reason – can legally dispose of it without penalty. You may also be eligible to sell your firearm to a dealer. The purpose of the amnesty is to improve public safety by reducing the number of unregistered firearms in Australia. The minister has said that the amnesty “is as much about giving a family a chance to get rid of an old heirloom as it is about […]

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