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The content contained in this section of the website is not intended to be legal advice and it should not be relied upod by others as such. No responsibility is accepted by Burt & Hanke Legal and its directors for any errors in the content, including errors arising from omission or negligence. Person seeking legal advice should contact Burt & Hanke Legal for an appointment

news

11

Dec

2014

VICTORIA STRENGTHENS LAWS AGAINST DRINK-DRIVERS

CATEGORY: Blog

WRITTEN BY:admin-ryan

Victoria has expanded the application of its Alcohol Interlock Program with a view to making its roads safer.

The change in law relates to drink-driving offences committed in Victoria on and after 1 October 2014 and sees more drink-driving offences carrying mandatory interlock licence conditions.

All drink-driving offenders who have their licence or learner permit cancelled due to a drink-driving offence will be required to install an alcohol interlock device in any vehicle they drive or ride as a condition of being relicensed.

An alcohol interlock device is a breath-testing device that prevents a motor vehicle from being started unless the driver of the vehicle returns a zero Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) reading.

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08

Dec

2014

CRIMINAL LAW CHANGE IN VICTORIA: SUSPENDED SENTENCES ABOLISHED

CATEGORY: Blog

WRITTEN BY:admin-ryan

For all offences committed in Victoria on or after 1 September 2014, a Magistrate or Judge no longer has the power to impose wholly or partially suspended sentences. In fact, in the County or Supreme Court in Victoria, a Judge cannot impose a suspended sentence for offences committed on or after 1 September 2013.

A suspended sentence is a term of imprisonment imposed on an offender that is not to be served immediately, or at all, subject to conditions. The offender is released into the community on the condition that they do not commit any further offence punishable by imprisonment during a specified period of time. If the offender breaches that condition, then, unless there are exceptional circumstances, he or she must serve the term of imprisonment (plus any additional sanction for the further offence).

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02

Dec

2014

CHANGE IN LAW MEANS YOU MAY NOT WANT A LAWYER AT POLICE INTERVIEWS

CATEGORY: Blog

WRITTEN BY:admin-ryan

The right to silence in the criminal justice system is fundamental.

The right itself is simple. It means that a person has the right to refuse to answer police questions (except, in certain circumstances, questions relating to the person’s identity).

With the introduction of section 89A of the Evidence Act in New South Wales, the protection afforded to accused persons exercising their right to silence has been compromised in particular circumstances.

The section only applies to serious indictable offences and to adult accused persons.

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27

Nov

2014

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR POOL OWNERS IN NSW

CATEGORY: Blog

WRITTEN BY:admin-ryan

With the introduction of the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012, a number of changes have been made to the law surrounding properties with swimming pools and spas in New South Wales (NSW).

The purpose of the changes is to impose further obligations on owners of land with swimming pools to ensure standards for safety and security are adhered to.

There are two major changes that owners of property with swimming pools in NSW must be aware of.

The first of these changes is already in place and requires swimming pools and spas in NSW to be registered on a state-wide swimming pool register. Registration can be effected online (www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au) or via the relevant local council. Failure to register a swimming pool or spa as required can result in fines of up to $2,200.00.

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21

Nov

2014

GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES FOR FIRST HOME BUYERS (NSW & VIC)

CATEGORY: Blog

WRITTEN BY:admin-ryan

Government incentives for first home buyers in New South Wales and Victoria have decreased steadily over the last few years.

At its peak, in 2009, the Victorian Government offered a $36,500.00 grant to first home buyers purchasing newly constructed homes in regional Victoria.

Now, in Victoria, for contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2013, the Government offers a $10,000.00 grant to first home buyers purchasing newly constructed homes regionally and in metropolitan areas.

In New South Wales, for contracts entered into on or after 1 October 2012 (and before 1 January 2016), the Government offers a $15,000.00 grant to first home buyers purchasing newly constructed homes.

Importantly, there is no longer a grant available to first home buyers purchasing established homes in Victoria or New South Wales.

Having said that, in Victoria, first home buyers may be eligible for a discount of up to 50% on the stamp duty payable on the purchase of an established (and newly constructed) home. A similar break for first home buyers looking to purchase an established home in New South Wales, does not currently exist. It is only first home buyers purchasing newly constructed homes in New South Wales that may be eligible to a reduction of, or exemption from, stamp duty.

A comparison of the government incentives available in New South Wales and Victoria, reveals that one State is be better than the other, depending upon whether the purchase is a new or established home. For first home buyers in Albury or Wodonga, a consideration of the different State incentives available may sway your decision to buy your first home on the other side of the Border.

For experienced assistance and advice in respect to conveyancing matters in Victoria and New South Wales, contact Albury solicitors, Burt & Hanke Legal.

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19

Nov

2014

CHANGES TO BAIL IN NEW SOUTH WALES (AGAIN!)

CATEGORY: Blog

WRITTEN BY:admin-ryan

The law in relation to bail in New South Wales was overhauled on 20 May this year, with the introduction of a new Bail Act.

The changes to the law resulted in a risk-assessment approach to bail similar to the system in Victoria.

However, the new Bail Act sparked media outcry with claims that more accused persons would be released on bail posing further risk and danger to the community.  

In response to those concerns, and only a month after the introduction of the new Bail Act, the Government commissioned a review. As a result of the review, a number of changes to the new Bail Act have been recommended.

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19

Nov

2014

ELECTRONIC CONVEYANCING

CATEGORY: Blog

WRITTEN BY:admin-ryan

Important changes in conveyancing practice are coming.

The first stage of electronic conveyancing has commenced in Wollongong and Sydney. Electronic conveyancing is expected to be rolled out in the rest of New South Wales, including Albury, in early 2015.

Contact Albury solicitors, Burt & Hanke Legal, for advice as to how electronic conveyancing may effect you.Important changes in conveyancing practice are coming.

The first stage of electronic conveyancing has commenced in Wollongong and Sydney. Electronic conveyancing is expected to be rolled out in the rest of New South Wales, including Albury, in early 2015.

Contact Albury solicitors, Burt & Hanke Legal, for advice as to how electronic conveyancing may effect you.

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17

Nov

2014

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR VENDORS IN THE SALE OF LAND IN VICTORIA

CATEGORY: Blog

WRITTEN BY:admin-ryan

On and from 1 October 2014, important changes have been made to vendor disclosure requirements in sale of land matters in Victoria. Failure to comply with the new requirements may result in penalties and the purchaser rescinding the contract.

For assistance and advice in New South Wales and Victorian conveyancing and property matters, contact Burt & Hanke Legal | Albury solicitors, lawyers and conveyancers.

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