4 waste disposal bins

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 to the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2001 (Qld) (“the Act”) which introduced the waste disposal levy commenced on 1 July 2019.

What does the waste disposal levy mean to households?

The Queensland Government has announced that they are committed to ensuring the introduction of the levy will not have a direct impact on households and the levy will not apply to wheelie bin waste or self hauled residential waste.

What does the waste disposal levy mean for businesses?

The commencement of the waste disposal levy will create additional operational expenses for businesses who regularly dispose of waste.  Those businesses should consider reassessing their waste management policies (by reducing waste generation and recycling as much as possible) to prepare for the impact the levy may have on their cost of operation.

Where in Queensland will the waste disposal levy apply?

The waste disposal levy will be imposed in designated levy zones which include 38 out of 77 local councils within Queensland including the Mackay Regional Council area.    All waste disposal sites in the levy zone will need to install a weighbridge within five years.  The Act provides that the waste disposal levy will be payable if:

  • The waste is generated in a levy zone in Queensland regardless of whether the disposal occurs in a levy zone or in a non-levy zone.
  • The waste is generated in a non-levy zone and is disposed in a levy zone.

How much is the waste disposal levy?

The levies are as follows (with the expectation that the waste levy for all classifications will increase by $5.00 on 1 July each year):

Waste ClassificationLevy rate(per tonne)
General Waste (construction and demolition waste, commercial and industrial waste and municipal solid waste)
The Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (Qld) provides that commercial and industrial waste includes waste containing arsenic, lead, pesticides, sewerage and oils among other things.
$75.00
Category 1 Regulated WasteThe Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (Qld) provides that category 1 regulated waste includes boron compounds, copper compounds, ethers, fly ash among other things.$155.00
Category 2 Regulated WasteThe Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (Qld) provides that category 2 regulated waste includes asbestos, grease trap waste, acidic solutions. lead acid batteries (intact) among other things.$105.00

Is some waste exempt from the waste disposal levy?

The Act provides that some waste will be exempt from the waste disposal levy including:

  • Waste resulting from a serious local event, declared as a disaster such as a cyclone, bushfire or flood;
  • Certain types of lawful, managed and transported asbestos waste;
  • Litter and illegally dumped waste collected by the government, council and plantation licensees;
  • Waste required for landfill operations including daily cover;
  • Waste received as a part of donations or what have been left in and around recycling charity donation bins and stores;
  • Litter and illegally dumped waste which is collected as part of an activity such as Clean Up Australia Day;
  • Transitional exemptions for existing recycling and recovery facilities; and
  • Discounts for new or existing recycling facilities which contribute to Queensland’s self sufficient and waste producing.

If you operate a business that regularly disposes of waste and would like further information or assistance please do not hesitate to contact one of our local experts today to discuss the impact these legislative changes may have and whether any exemptions are applicable on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Catherine Da Silva, Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

Catherine Da Silva
Solicitor
Business & Property

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Certificate of Title

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 of the said property as evidence of your ownership of the property.  You could not deal with the property (i.e. sell or register a mortgage against it) unless you lodged the paper Certificate of Title with the transaction in relation to the property.  As we move to a more digital world we have slowly moved away from paper Certificates of Title.  Only about 11% of titles still have a paper Certificate of Title in Queensland.

When is a paper Certificate of Title no longer valid?

On 26 March 2019,  a bill was passed in parliament amending the Land Title Act 1994.  The effect of the amendment being that from 1 October 2019, paper Certificates of Title will become an item of historic or sentimental value only and will no longer have any legal effect.  As a result they will not need to be deposited with the Titles Registry when a transaction is lodged in relation to a property.

As from 1 October 2019:

  • There will be no requirement to dispose of existing paper Certificates of Title;
  • Certificates of Title will not need to be destroyed or brought into the Titles Registry;
  • Certificates of Title will not need to be dispensed with for a transaction in relation to a property to proceed.

If you have a paper Certificate of Title and would like further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact one of our local experts to discuss the impact these legislative changes may have on you.  Please contact us on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.  We will be more than happy to assist.

Catherine Da Silva, Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

Catherine Da Silva
Solicitor
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family packing to move house

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 is called conveyancing.

Understanding the Contract

The most common form of contract used when buying or selling property in Queensland is the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) Standard Contract.  Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to enter into a contract to purchase or sell property without understanding all the implications and risks involved.  It is not uncommon for the seller and/or buyer to be unaware of the following:

  • time is expressly of the essence under REIQ contracts in Queensland which means that the buyer and seller must perform their respective obligations strictly by the due date and time.  Failure by either the seller or the buyer to perform, unless an extension has been granted, will be a breach of an essential term of the contract and will entitle the other party to sue for specific performance or terminate the contract without further notice.
  • the property is at risk of the buyer from 5pm on the next business day after they sign the contract even though the buyer is not in possession of the property and the seller might still be residing at the property.  The seller does have an obligation until settlement to take reasonable care of the property, however, it is the buyer’s responsibility to obtain insurance effectively as soon as they have signed the contract.

Getting Advice

Whilst it is easy to fall prey to the many conveyancing pitfalls and misunderstandings that exist, with the assistance of experienced solicitors and conveyancing clerks, we can help guide you through the process from preparing the contract, reviewing the contract and advising you on the legal implications and risks involved.

We strongly recommend that if you are considering buying or selling property in Queensland that you seek our expert advice before signing the contract.  If you would like further information or assistance please do not hesitate to contact one of our local experts today on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Catherine Da Silva, Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

Catherine Da Silva
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Elderly couple preparing a testamentary trust Will

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 subsequently divorce or suffer financial misfortune then the Will-maker’s hard earned assets may be at risk.

A Testamentary Trust is created by a Will and only comes into effect on the death of the Will-maker.  Preparing a Will which incorporates Testamentary Trusts ensures that:

  • the Will-maker’s hard earned assets are protected from their children’s misadventures after the Will-maker passes away, such as divorce or bankruptcy;
  • income may be distributed to a broader range of beneficiaries;
  • the beneficiaries can utilise the taxation advantages available which makes them an effective estate planning tool.

Benefits of a Testamentary Trust?

There are two main advantages for preparing a Will which incorporates Testamentary Trusts – Asset Protection and Taxation Benefits.

Asset Protection

Well drafted Wills incorporating Testamentary Trusts can:

  • ensure that assets held in the trust are separate from assets personally owned by the beneficiaries.  Therefore, in the event of a relationship breakdown, the assets held in the Testamentary Trust earmarked for the Will-maker’s children may be held separate from the assets of the relationship.  While asset protection cannot be guaranteed there is a higher level of protection than that provided to absolute gifts made by way of a standard Will.
  • be structured so to limit the control a certain beneficiary has over the asset which can protect against irresponsible use or early sale of the asset while allowing the beneficiaries to enjoy the use or income of the asset.
  • help to protect the Will-maker’s estate from creditors of beneficiaries if a beneficiary becomes bankrupt due to business misadventures after the Will-maker passes away.

Tax Benefits

Testamentary Trusts allow the beneficiaries to take advantage of the available income tax benefits by providing that:

  • all beneficiaries including minor children receive the tax free threshold;
  • distributions can be made from the trust, not just to the primary beneficiary but to other potential beneficiaries (including perhaps primary beneficiaries’ spouse, child or sibling).  This may be attractive as it allows potential beneficiaries to take advantage of lower income tax bracket thresholds that potential beneficiaries may have.

A properly prepared estate plan is essential to ensure that your hard earned assets are protected for your family members, both during your lifetime and after you pass away.  If you would like further information and assistance with the preparation of your estate plan, please do not hesitate to contact one of our local experts today on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Catherine Da Silva, Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

Catherine Da Silva
Solicitor
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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. These will be replaced by a Village Comparison Document – Retirement Village Form 3 (“VCD”) and a Prospective Costs Document – Retirement Village Form 4 (“PCD”).

The purpose of a VCD is to give general information about a retirement Village to prospective residents and to help them compare Villages. Both existing and new Villages must have a VCD.

The purpose of a PCD is to provide particular information about the specific unit that a prospective resident may wish to purchase. It is intended to help the resident understand the costs of entering, living in, leaving the particular unit and any contract options that they may be interested in. It is expected that this information is personalised for each prospective resident.

Pre-Contractual Waiting Period

Operators will now need to wait at least twenty-one (21) days before entering into a Residence Contract with a prospective resident, after giving that person a copy of:-

  • the Residence Contract;
  • the VCD;
  • the PCD;
  • any by-laws; and
  • any additional contract that forms part of the Residence Contract (for example, a Lease or a Loan Agreement).</

Failure by Operators to provide the necessary documents to the prospective resident or meet the timeframes as provided above will result in the Operators committing an offence which carries penalties under the Act.

If you would like further information about the changes to the Act and their effect on you or your family, contact one of our local experts today on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Catherine Da Silva, Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

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