Budget Overview

On Tuesday, 6 October 2020, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg handed down the Federal Budget which was largely defined by the COVID-19 pandemic. At a glance A wide range of sectors and stakeholders are affected by the Budget. At a high level, the winners and losers of this Budget have been reported as follows: (Source: ABC News)   Key takeaways The economy Australia’s economy has taken one of its largest blows as a result of the pandemic. Since the July economic update, Australia’s debt and deficit have increased with the country headed toward a record debt of $1 trillion by June 2024. Our current net debt is $703 billion. Income tax cuts The Treasurer announced Stage 2 of the Government’s tax cuts will provide relief for more than 11 million Australians. The tax cuts will be brought forward and can be backdated to July 2020, affecting each income threshold differently. An additional $17.8 billion in personal income tax relief is being delivered to aid economic recovery with a further $12.5 billion over the next year. This will add to the…

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Travel exemptions: navigating COVID-19 restrictions and what you need to know before you travel

Currently, nationwide travel restrictions remain in place, affecting thousands of people wishing to exit or enter Australia. A request for a 'travel exemption' is the only means by which some individuals and families can cross national borders and exit or re-enter the country. The following groups do not require a travel exemption to enter Australia: -Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members -New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia and their immediate family members However, for non-citizens of Australia, including bridging and temporary visa holders on a wide range of visa classes, ongoing travel restrictions mean continued 'lockout' from international travel for a still undefined and uncertain period of time. The impact of these travel delays on individuals, their businesses, their families and on the economy are immeasurable. Applying for a travel exemption in the form prescribed by the Australian Government can be time-consuming and valid reasons for lodging an application are limited. The rates of successful travel exemptions in the various categories provide a snapshot of the current situation. Recent figures published by the Department…

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Thoughts and sympathies to the people affected by the devastating explosion in Beirut, Lebanon

On 4 August 2020, the world was shocked by the horrific explosion in Beirut, Lebanon which has killed at least 135 people and injured more than 5000 others. The stories of survivors and their experiences in the wake of the explosion are particularly harrowing. Many people from all over the world are still grappling with the events that have unfolded and are desperate to understand how such a catastrophic blast could occur. Still, the consequences of the explosion have not yet been fully realised, as emergency workers and responders continue to search for survivors and tend to the injured. In Australia, our Lebanese community and their extended family and friends have been deeply affected by this crisis, and we as Australians are similarly distraught. Our team at Madison Marcus maintains strong relationships with these local communities, and we wish to extend to them our sincerest thoughts and sympathies. We cannot possibly understand how distressing this has been for those who have loved ones living in Lebanon. We recognise that many people are experiencing this pain, and we want…

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How COVID-19 has impacted tenants’ and landlords’ rights: Residential Tenancies (Amendment) COVID-19 Regulation

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) COVID‑19 Regulation 2020 generally prohibits, until 14 October 2020, subject to further extension (the moratorium period), a landlord from giving a tenant who is a member of a household financially impacted by the COVID‑19 pandemic (an impacted tenant) a termination notice for non‑payment of rental charges and provides that during the moratorium period a landlord may only evict an impacted tenant for non‑payment of rent or charges if: the landlord gives a termination notice or applies for a termination order at least 60 days after the commencement of the regulation the landlord and impacted tenant had participated in good faith in a formal rent negotiation process about the rent or charges payable it is fair and reasonable in the circumstances of a case for the landlord to give the termination notice or apply for the order. The Regulation requires a landlord under a residential tenancy agreement to give at least 90 days’ notice of the termination of: a fixed term tenancy at the end of the term a periodic tenancy a tenancy because of…

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STRATA UPDATE: ANOTHER WIN FOR OWNERS CORPORATIONS AGAINST AIRBNB

Further to our recent article about our team’s big NCAT victory in having an owner fined for Airbnb letting and winning a costs order (click here to view), a recent change in laws will have an even bigger impact on stopping short term letting. In the Estens decision from 2017, the Tribunal invalidated a short-term letting by-law, for breaching s139(2) of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (SSMA), which says a by-law cannot prohibit or restrict the leasing of a lot.   Many were critical of aspects of that decision, and it did not set a precedent other NCAT Members had to follow.  However, that is all a moot point now.  Owners corporations can decide if they want to be a building that allows Airbnb.   Can a valid by-law ban short-term letting? This answer was not previously clear, but is now emphatically yes.  Section 137A of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, passed in August 2018 by both houses of NSW Parliament, is at last now in effect. Section 137A says a by-law may prohibit a lot…

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