cane farm with mountains in the background

Buying or Selling
Rural Property

It was not so many years ago that a handshake out in the paddock was all that was needed to buy and sell a farm or other rural property.  The sale of a farm today is a much more complex process with many different issues to consider and deal with.  A contract between the parties is required to ensure every “I” is dotted and “T” is crossed.

At a minimum, the following should be discussed and included in your contract:

  • What is included?  Is the current cattle/crop part of the sale or to be retained by the seller?  What plant and equipment is being sold?
  • Any and all encumbrances on the land are disclosed including easements, covenants, sugar industry access rights and road licences.
  • Any water licences attached to the land or water allocations which are included in the sale.
  • Details of Cane Supply Agreements and/or forward selling obligations.

It is also important to ensure that the buyer and seller have discussed their GST obligations with their accountants and that the contract correctly reflects the parties obligations with respect to same.

We strongly recommend that if you are considering the sale or purchase of a farm or other rural property in Queensland that you seek our expert advice before signing a 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
Solicitor
Business & Property

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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
Residential Conveyancing

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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
Solicitor
Residential Conveyancing

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Land tax relief measures have been announced by the Queensland Government in light of the ongoing effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on properties in Queensland.

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There has been unprecedented disruption to our lives and businesses due to COVID-19 with some businesses being unable to open their doors.

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