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Tax stimulus package for businesses in response to the Coronavirus 

17 March 2020

On 12 March 2020, the Government announced a stimulus package totalling $17.6 billion to address the economic impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak. Included in the package are tax incentives and cash flow assistance for businesses, in order to support investment and help small businesses manage short-term cash flow challenges.

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Litigation Specialist

Recognition for Rigby Cooke Lawyers Planning and Environment team

16 March 2020

Rigby Cooke Lawyers’ Planning and Environment team continue to be recognised for their outstanding work in the planning space in Victoria.

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Blockchain technology

The role of Blockchain in the international supply chain

12 March 2020

Andrew Hudson has recently co-authored a white paper with the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia, alongside Scott Carson and Gerardo D’Angelo, with additional contributions from Adam Butler, Tim Gray and Taras Lubczyk.

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The risks and consequences of new industrial manslaughter laws

05 March 2020

With the recent introduction of the offence of workplace manslaughter in Victoria, it is important for organisations and their officers to understand the risks should they fail to maintain their health and safety obligations and how the consequences differ across the nation.

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Recording workplace conversations

Recording workplace conversations

04 March 2020

Is it lawful? Can it be done in secret? A recent case sheds light on how and when you can record workplace conversations.

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The legal life – meet Greg Bush

04 March 2020

Meet Rigby Cooke’s Construction and Projects Partner Greg Bush, who has over 20 years of experience in providing advice on project delivery strategies, negotiating and drafting of contracts, the administration and management of contracts to maximise clients’ outcomes and avoid disputes, security of payment remedies, and litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. Greg shares his career highlights and some thoughts for those just starting out in their legal career.

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Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty passes Parliament – Now is the time to act

26 February 2020

On 6 March 2020, the legislation introducing the Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty (amnesty) received Royal Assent.

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Company directors personally liable for unpaid GST

What corporate veil? Company directors personally liable for unpaid GST

25 February 2020

From 1 April 2020, in a significant extension to the director penalty regime, company directors will be personally liable for unpaid GST (including luxury car tax and wine equalisation tax).

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Short-stay accommodation is not just in Victoria for a short stay

24 February 2020

Although short-stay accommodation is not a new concept, the introduction of AirBnB (also known as ‘AirBed and Breakfast’) and similar short term letting agencies created a worldwide phenomenon resulting in an upsurge in short-stay rentals.

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Litigation Specialist

Rigby Cooke Lawyers’ Workplace Relations expertise recognised

21 February 2020

Rigby Cooke Lawyers’ Workplace Relations team continues to be recognised for their outstanding work in Employment Law and Workplace Health & Safety Law in Victoria.

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impacts of the coronavirus

The whole world of trade is getting sick from the coronavirus

18 February 2020

I had previously published an article on 28 January 2020 with some early thoughts on the possible impacts of the coronavirus. However, as matters have progressed, I thought that it warranted an update.

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foreign trust

Your discretionary trust will be deemed a ‘foreign trust’ from 1 March 2020

14 February 2020

Are you considering purchasing Victorian property through a discretionary trust? Think again, because from 1 March 2020 the State Revenue Office (SRO) will deem all discretionary trusts to constitute foreign purchasers.

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European Union

Brexit – the formal start but not the practical end just yet

12 February 2020

This article was first published by AirCargo Magazine.

Well, it finally happened. 1,317 days, two elections and a number of pieces of legislation after the UK referendum voted to leave the European Union (EU), the departure procedures commenced.

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The legal life – meet James Donoghue

11 February 2020

Meet Rigby Cooke’s Corporate & Commercial Partner James Donoghue, who has over 30 years of experience in managing large corporate and project development transactions both within Australia and overseas. James shares his career highlights and some thoughts for those just starting out in their legal career.

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brexit

Some current events and future predictions for 2020

06 February 2020

This article was first published by Daily Cargo News.

As I write these words (8 January 2020), we are swaying on the precipice of escalation of warfare between the US and Iran. We are also stunned by the ongoing bushfire disaster which is taking the lives of animals and people as well as destroying properties and countryside.

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Vita gummies

A predicament? No a medicament!

05 February 2020

The High Court decision on the tariff classification of ‘Vita gummies’ and ‘Garcinia weight-loss preparation’. 

We have previously written at length on decisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), or State or Federal Courts on the classification of goods for customs purposes. The classification of goods is a vital process as many things follow from that classification including rates of customs duty, the need to pay dumping or countervailing duty and whether the goods are prohibited or need permits or licences.

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The legal life – meet Sam Eichenbaum

03 February 2020

Workplace Relations Partner Sam Eichenbaum has been named as one of Victoria’s leading employment lawyers in the Doyles Guide for five years in a row. Sam shares his career highlights and some thoughts for those just starting out in their legal career.

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coronavirus

China catches a coronavirus and the global economy and its trade may get very ill

28 January 2020

This article was first published by Daily Cargo News.

As I write this article, news of the spread of the ‘coronavirus’ becomes worse on a regular basis. According to today’s media, nearly 60 million people in China’s largest cities are in lockdown, there are 2700 confirmed cases and 80 people have died.

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Phase One

The US and China trade agreement – Phase One

20 January 2020

This article was first published by Daily Cargo News.

Only the beginning of the end of tension?

In much the same way that Australia welcomed rain this week, the release of ‘Phase One’ of the US and China Agreement had led to some degree of relief and confidence in the commercial and financial world.

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Australia - Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (A - HKFTA)

Australia – Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (A – HKFTA)

17 January 2020

The Australia – Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (A – HKFTA) starts today, 17 January 2020. This will include preferential rates of customs duty for certain classifications of goods along with more opportunities for investment and trade in services.

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CGT concession

New hurdle to overcome in accessing the small business CGT concessions – Federal Court narrows the active asset test

13 January 2020

The ‘active asset test’ for the purpose of accessing the small business capital gains tax (CGT) concessions has effectively been narrowed, due to a Federal Court decision which held that land used to store business assets and materials was not an active asset. The decision sets a new ‘direct functional relevance’ test, which will create difficulty for business owners in accessing the concessions.

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Congratulations to our newly promoted Associate

09 January 2020

Rigby Cooke Lawyers is proud to recognise the exceptional work of our legal staff by announcing the promotion of Ed Cormie to Associate in our Litigation & Dispute Resolution team.

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The legal life – meet David McLaughlin

08 January 2020

Meet David McLaughlin, who leads Rigby Cooke’s Workplace Relations team.

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rare defeat at the WTO

Australia suffers a rare defeat at the WTO

16 December 2019

This article was first published by Daily Cargo News.

While much debate surrounds the operation of our anti-dumping legislation in practice, it may be a surprise to some that we did not create the regime unilaterally. Our regime takes its origin from Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT).

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Tenders

Tenders: high rewards but high risks for the manufacturing industry

11 December 2019

Governments and, increasingly big companies, are using tender processes (including Request for Proposals and Request for Tenders) to award contracts to Australian manufacturers.

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Work cover claims

The price of safety goes up for employers! 

11 December 2019

Australian manufacturers know that safety must be part of the business culture. Manufacturing has always carried a high risk of physical injury.

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CBFCA Conference

Thoughts and themes from the CBFCA National Conference

10 December 2019

This article was first published by Daily Cargo News.

I have been in the fortunate position of being involved with the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia (CBFCA) for a number of years.

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removal of CGT main residence

Controversial removal of CGT main residence exemption for foreign residents

05 December 2019

Legislative measures are currently before Parliament, which will operate to deny foreign residents the ability to access the capital gains tax (CGT) main residence exemption upon the disposal of their Australian dwelling.

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freight contracts

When the fine print matters in freight contracts

04 December 2019

The decision of the Victorian County Court in Technology Swiss Pty Ltd and Ecology SRL v Famous Pacific Shipping Pty Ltd which was delivered on 30 September 2019 and published on 13 November 2019 has already received some attention and commentary within industry.

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Labour Hire Licensing Scheme transition period ended on 30 October 2019: Large penalties for ‘providing’ or ‘using’ unlicensed labour hire.

29 November 2019

The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Act) establishes a licensing scheme to regulate labour hire providers and labour hire users in Victoria.

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Waiting for Brexit

Waiting for Brexit – it’s a play in a thousand parts

28 November 2019

This article was first published by Air Cargo.

On occasion, life has a habit of appearing to imitate art.

Both Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ and Kafka’s ‘The Castle’ are now widely being considered as contemporary literary representations of the UK’s tortured Brexit process.

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Chain of Responsibility provisions

Changes to the Chain of Responsibility Provisions: One year on

18 November 2019

Readers may be aware that on 1 October 2018 changes to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) provisions of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) were implemented. These changes imposed a primary duty on each party in the supply chain to ensure that everything reasonably practical to guarantee safety in transport and reduce the risk of harm and loss, is done.

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Australian Trusted Trader Programme

The rise and rise of the Australian Trusted Trader Programme

11 November 2019

This article was first published by Daily Cargo News.

The Australian Trusted Trader Programme (ATTP) is one of the lead offerings of the Australian Border Force (ABF) and represents an example of how industry and government can work closely together to co-develop a program which has largely delivered on its intended outcomes and is actively supported by industry.

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Agreement reached to finalise the RCEP

Agreement reached to finalise the RCEP

11 November 2019

This article was first published by Daily Cargo News.

As much of Australia’s focus was taken by the Melbourne Cup carnival, the leaders of 15 of the 16 nations negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) announced the conclusion of ‘text-based’ negotiations with formal signing now expected in 2020.

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Victorian Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act passes Parliament

22 October 2019

Amendments to the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005 (ODFC Act) passed the Victorian Parliament on 12 September 2019, granting greater rights to contractors who own and drive their own vehicles.

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Labour Hire Licensing Scheme starts 30 October 2019

22 October 2019

Large penalties for ‘providing’ or ‘using’ unlicensed labour hire in the Transport industry

The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Act) establishes a licensing scheme to regulate labour hire providers and labour hire users in Victoria.

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Full Federal Court Decision on Fuel Tax Credits

22 October 2019

Linfox Australia Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation of the Commonwealth of Australia [2019] FCAFC 131

The Full Court of the Federal Court recently handed down a decision in Linfox Australia Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation of the Commonwealth of Australia [2019] FCAFC 131 (Linfox Case) in relation to fuel tax credits claimed by Linfox pursuant to the provisions of the Fuel Tax Act 2006 (Cth) (FTA).

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Notifiable Data Breaches scheme – do you know when you need to notify?

22 October 2019

The Commonwealth Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme has now been in place for over 18 months and has been widely publicised. Your organisation should be aware of its obligations and have a data breach response plan in place so that quick action can be taken if a breach occurs or is suspected to have occurred.

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Government attack on the black economy – road freight services targeted

22 October 2019

Businesses that provide road freight services have increased tax compliance obligations as they are now subject to the Government’s Taxable Payments Reporting System (TPRS).

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No records? The burden is on employers to disprove. Accurate employment records are crucial!

16 October 2019

A recent Federal Court judgment demonstrates it is more crucial than ever that employers keep accurate records in accordance with the requirements in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FWA) and Fair Work Regulations (Regulations).

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The legal life – Rob Jackson – South East Business Hub edition

15 October 2019

Meet Rob Jackson, who is one of the partners leading the strategy around our South East Business Hub in Dandenong South.

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safe harbour

Stop tax in its tracks – ATO extends CGT exemption on sale of deceased’s residence

11 October 2019

The sale of a person’s main residence (ie their home) is generally exempt from capital gains tax. This exemption is ‘carried through’ to beneficiaries or executors of deceased estates who seek to dispose of the deceased’s main residence, where certain conditions are satisfied.

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Brexit

Brexit – are we any clearer on the outcomes or effects?

10 October 2019

This article was first published by Daily Cargo News.

I wrote an earlier article on Brexit for this publication and thought it may be a good time to review the situation and whether there was any further clarity on the position.

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loan sheet

Negotiating the Loan Term Sheet: The Borrower’s Perspective

07 October 2019

There are new signs that the Australian property market is on the rebound. As the property market recovers, so does the credit market and companies will increasingly seek financing for their business. Financing may take many forms: revolving credit loans, loans to finance the acquisition of a target company, or construction loans, to name a few.

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Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty

Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty – Ready, Set, Go!

07 October 2019

On 18 September 2019, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Recovering Unpaid Superannuation) Bill 2019 (the Bill) was introduced into Parliament. The Bill seeks to re-introduce a superannuation guarantee amnesty, following the previous amnesty legislation lapsing due to the Federal Election being called in April 2019.

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Rachael Grabovic

Rachael Grabovic’s Wills & Estates team proficiency recognised

24 September 2019

Rigby Cooke Lawyers’ Wills & Estates team continues to be recognised for their outstanding work in the Wills & Estates space in Victoria.

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free trade

School is back in Canberra and it’s time to complete the homework on free trade and trade facilitation

11 September 2019

This article was first published by AirCargo magazine.

Now that the 46th Federal Parliament has resumed and the commencement formalities have been completed, it is a good time to review the status of our Free Trade Agreement (FTA) agenda along with other new initiatives aimed at facilitating trade.

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supply chain issues

Can the ‘Blue Highway’ of Australian coastal shipping provide a viable option to remedy some of our supply chain issues?

11 September 2019

This article was first published by Daily Cargo News.

Even with the current political pressures around global trade and the supply chain, there seems to be little prospect that there will be no reduction in goods being moved through the international supply chain.

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tax deductions on vacant land

Do you claim tax deductions on vacant land you own? An unwelcome surprise for property investors from 1 July 2019

10 September 2019

In a Bill currently before Parliament, property investors will be denied deductions for holding and financing costs incurred in owning vacant land. Ordinarily, such costs would be deductible where the land is intended to be used for the purpose of producing assessable income.

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Peptides Clinic

TGA imposes severe penalties on supplier of online prescription medicines to consumers

09 September 2019

The Internet can offer consumers a convenient way to access therapeutic goods, but online purchases of prescription-only medicines can be extremely dangerous.

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Judge gives lesson

Judge gives lesson to insolvency practitioners on determining proofs of debt

05 September 2019

Key Points:

  • In a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Victoria, the Court held that an appeal under the new Insolvency Practice Rules against an insolvency practitioner’s determination on a proof of debt at a meeting of creditors is a hearing de novo (ie a fresh hearing) without any need for the appellant to identify error by the original decision-maker.
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The legal life – Andrew Hudson – South East Business Hub edition

29 August 2019

Meet Andrew Hudson, who is one of the partners leading the strategy around our South East Business Hub in Dandenong South.

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Promises made during your lifetime may bind your estate long after you die

29 August 2019

Victoria’s family provision legislation was substantially amended by the introduction of the Justice Legislation Amendment (Succession and Surrogacy) Act 2014. This Act had the effect of reducing the classes of claimants that may make a claim for provision from a deceased estate, and also the number of claims being filed in Victorian courts against estates.

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Remaining married can leave your Will open to challenge

No Divorce, No worries? No Way!

29 August 2019

Remaining married can leave your Will open to challenges

We have seen a number of recent deceased estates where a deceased person remained married at the time of their death, despite having separated from their spouse for a significant period of time prior to their death.

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The legal life – Simone Caylock – South East Business Hub edition

23 August 2019

Meet Simone Caylock, who is one of the partners leading the strategy around our South East Business Hub in Dandenong South.

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Labour Hire Licensing Scheme starts 30 October 2019: Large penalties for ‘providing’ or ‘using’ unlicensed labour hire

15 August 2019

The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Act) establishes a licensing scheme to regulate labour hire providers and labour hire users in Victoria.

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The legal life – Julia Cameron – South East Business Hub edition

09 August 2019

Meet Julia Cameron, who is one of the partners leading the strategy around our South East Business Hub in Dandenong South.

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The ABF announces a new initiative building on an old concept

09 August 2019

This article was first published by Daily Cargo News.

The start of a new financial year is often used by the business community to launch new initiatives into the market. However, in this case, by media release on 1 July 2019, the Australian Border Force (ABF) as a division within the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) provided details of the establishment of a new ‘Customs Group’ within the ABF.

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Are you overpaying land tax?

26 July 2019

Are you overpaying land tax based on out of date council valuations?

The 2019-2020 Victorian State Budget reported that land tax revenue in 2019-2020 is expected to increase to $3.7 billion. This is a significant increase from the $1.2 billion raised in 2009-2010.

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Congratulations to our newly promoted Associates

25 July 2019

We congratulate Travis and Bethany for their promotion to Associate.

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How blockchain may affect practices in the supply chain – nowhere to hide!

23 July 2019

The term seems to have first arisen in the early 1990s with reference to an ‘open distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way’ and was developed to serve as a ‘public transaction ledger’ for the bitcoin cryptocurrency.

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Surveillance in the workplace

23 July 2019

With the ever increasing responsibility on companies and their directors and officers to ensure safety and security in the workplace, as well as to ensure compliance with the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), various forms of workplace surveillance are increasingly being used by employers in the transport and logistics industry.

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Biometric Fingerprinting and Unfair Dismissal

23 July 2019

Safety v privacy: In a landmark decision, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) Full Bench has held that an employee was unfairly dismissed for refusing to use biometric scanners to sign in at work.

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Recent Ministerial decisions on trade measures investigations and the consequences for industry

15 July 2019

This article was published in the July print edition of Daily Cargo News and updated for recent events

In the week leading to the recent Federal election, the Minister for Industry Science and Technology (Minister) released her decisions as to the imposition of interim dumping and countervailing duties on steel pallet racking and PVC covered electrical cabling

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Ministerial decisions on dumping duty investigations released in the shadow of the Australian Federal election

08 July 2019

In the week leading to the Federal election, the Minister for Industry Science and Technology (Minister) released her decisions as to the imposition of interim dumping and countervailing duties on steel pallet racking and PVC covered electrical cabling.

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Medical Device Regulation in Australia: TGA Clamp Down

03 July 2019

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), currently uses a standardised, risk-based international classification system (risk-based system) to assess and approve the use, consumption and implantation of medical devices in Australia. The same system is used in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan.

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Rigby Cooke Lawyers backs vision for an ever expanding Melbourne with South East Business Hub

02 July 2019

Accommodating a growing client base in Melbourne’s south-east, Rigby Cooke Lawyers has opened a business hub in Dandenong South to serve business located in the region.

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1 July 2019 – increases to wages and remuneration in the transport sector

01 July 2019

Adjustments to wages and remuneration in the transport industry commence today.

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Schedule of minimum wage increases – transport sector

01 July 2019

The following tables detail the new minimum rates of pay for part-time and full-time employees under various modern awards, applicable to adult employees in the transport industry.

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Something new is coming

26 June 2019

Accommodating a growing client base in Melbourne’s south-east, we are thrilled to announce that we will be officially opening a South East Business Hub in Dandenong South on the 2 July. Check out the progress of our fit out which has been undertaken by Canopy Fitouts.

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Transport

A separate Australian response to the global trade impasse?

26 June 2019

This article was first published in AirCargo magazine, June 2019.

Those in industry (let alone anyone with an interest in world news) would be painfully aware that global trade is under massive pressure at the moment. Examples of these threats are everywhere and if they come to pass, the consequences will be uniformly bad. Trade and global integration has been a driver of financial and social improvement with the World Bank estimating that more than a billion people have been lifted out of poverty over the last 25 years.

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Interaction of the new whistleblower protections with the Fair Work Act 2009

25 June 2019

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) does not specifically deal with whistleblowers, and the Federal Government has previously rejected proposals to amend the FW Act to link disclosure rights under public and private sector whistleblowing laws with the General Protections in Part 3-1. That said, whistleblowers can still utilise provisions in the FW Act to gain additional protection, including where their disclosure may not actually qualify for protection under whistleblowing laws.

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Duties Trap for Property Developers – Economic entitlement rules now law

20 June 2019

Property developers who enter into agreements to develop Victorian land with an unencumbered value of over $1 million are at significant risk of incurring a duty liability, under new legislation that received Royal Assent on 18 June 2019.

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Employee misrepresentation – what can you do when an employee lies on their CV/job application?

07 June 2019

The last few years have seen several high profile cases of senior executives being ‘caught out’ providing fake or misleading information on their CVs/ job applications.

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Mental health issues in the workplace and the employer’s duty of care

05 June 2019

What is the employer’s duty of care?

Employers have a duty under workplace health and safety legislation, including the Occupational Health & Safety Act (2004) (Vic), to provide and maintain (as far as is reasonably practicable) a safe workplace. In addition, employers have a duty to monitor the health of their employees. Criminal prosecution, penalties and potentially imprisonment can result if these statutory duties are breached.

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Preparing for 1 July 2019 – Increases to wages and remuneration

30 May 2019


20 June 2019 – Correction to article in footnote 5


Annual Wage Review Decision

On 30 May 2019, the Fair Work Commission handed down its 2019 Annual Wage Review Decision. The key elements of the decision are:

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freezing orders

High Court Appeal – Comptroller-General of Customs v Pharm-A-Care Laboratories Pty Ltd

29 May 2019

This article is co-authored by Andrew Hudson and Bethany Clark 

During each year we discuss various important decisions handed down by the Tribunals and Courts.

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congratulations

Rigby Cooke Lawyer recently acted for Stronghold Investment Management on its acquisition of the Cardinia Club

28 May 2019

Rigby Cooke Lawyer, led by property partner Darren Marx, recently acted for Stronghold Investment Management on its acquisition of the Cardinia Club from Pakenham Racing Club for $16m. The well established entertainment venue has 105 Electronic Gaming Machines, a large bistro, upmarket sports bar and multiple function rooms. Brisbane based Stronghold is a specialist Business Park and Hospitality sector Fund Manager.

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 ‘Fairness in Franchising’ – The Call for Equitable Exit Arrangements

23 May 2019

Chapter 11 of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services ‘Fairness in Franchising Report’ – published in March 2019 – covered the termination of franchise agreements.

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New Parliament could expedite FTAs and other trade initiatives

21 May 2019

Now that the Australian Federal election has been run and won, attention will turn to the priorities of the Coalition Government once Parliament resumes, whether in relation to the introduction of new initiatives or pursuit of the agenda which had been on hold pending the election outcome.

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Rigby Cooke support Barnes Capital, on the launch of the Oakwood Hotel and Apartment development in Dandenong

20 May 2019

Led by partner Michael Gough, Rigby Cooke is delighted to have the opportunity to support Barnes Capital, a premier boutique capital investment firm, on the launch of the Oakwood Hotel and Apartment development in Dandenong.

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Tougher penalties to be introduced under the Privacy Act

17 May 2019

Businesses operating in Australia are subject to a kaleidoscope of constantly evolving privacy obligations. As privacy week draws to a close, it is an opportune time to look forward to how the privacy landscape might change in the future, subject to the outcome of tomorrow’s federal election.

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Recognition for Rigby Cooke Lawyers Planning and Environment team

15 May 2019

Rigby Cooke Lawyers’ Planning and Environment team continues to be recognised for their outstanding work in the planning space in Victoria.

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Mondaq Comparative Guide to Trademarks 2019

14 May 2019

Rigby Cooke Lawyers partner and Intellectual Property expert, Ian Rosenfeld, has been selected by Mondaq Ltd as its Exclusive Australian Contributor and author of the Australian chapter of the Mondaq Comparative Guide to Trademarks 2019.

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Rigby Cooke launches Notary Public offering

09 May 2019

Rigby Cooke Lawyers have just introduced a new Notary Public offering led by Partner, Rachael Grabovic.

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What happens next for pending FTAs and our trade agenda after the election?

08 May 2019

This article was first published by Daily Cargo News.

I write this article on 12 April 2019, shortly after the announcement of the federal budget and the announcement of the date for the federal election. As expected, this period encompassed the usual claim and counter-claim between the major political parties and the usual cynicism that even after the election, the political landscape may not change significantly.

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Brexit is deferred but still alive – and the fun’s certainly not over

30 April 2019

This article was first published by AirCargo Magazine.

Faced with the prospect of a no deal Brexit on 12 April 2019, the EU and the UK put into place a compromise that is referred to as a ‘flextension’ because it delays Brexit until 31 October 2019, subject to a number of conditions. 

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Video didn’t kill the Will

29 April 2019

What is a Will? Almost all of us would answer that question by mentioning that it’s a written document setting out who receives our assets when we die.

However, recent court cases have taken a more expansive view as to what they are prepared to accept is a valid Will. The 2017 decision of the Supreme Court of Queensland (QSC) in Re Nichol; Nichol v Nichol & Anor [2017] QSC 220 held that an unsent SMS message was sufficient to constitute a Will.

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Proposed developments in digital transformation and enhancement of trade to assist the position of SMEs

17 April 2019

This article was first published by Daily Cargo News.

Technology has contributed to improvements in trade and is seen as one means to facilitate improvements. For example, many parties are looking to Blockchain as a means to enhance both the speed and safety in the movement of goods. Most contemporary Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) include provisions to facilitate customs procedures and trade as well as chapters on assisting e-commerce. In one excellent example, the FTA Portal by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) comprises up to date information on the terms of our FTAs in a way which makes it easier for parties to understand the FTAs and take advantage of them.

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Labour Hire Licensing Scheme Commences in Victoria 2019

12 April 2019

Last year the Victorian Government passed the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Act). The Act legislates a scheme to regulate labour hire providers and labour hire users in Victoria (Labour Hire Participants). The scheme legislated by the Act will commence operation on 29 April 2019 and labour hire providers are required to have applied for licences under the Act by no later than 29 October 2019.

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‘Fairness in Franchising’ – Unfair Contract Terms in Franchising Agreements

09 April 2019

Last month, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services published its ‘Fairness in Franchising report’ (Report). The terms of reference for the Report were released over 12 months ago and more than 400 submissions were received, mostly from franchisees.

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Australian Federal Budget 2019 – Released. Sort of.

03 April 2019

The Federal Budget 2019 was formally released by the Federal Government last night (2 April 2019). However, in an election year, the Federal Government took the unusual path of confirming that the government would not be seeking to pass new legislation implementing that Budget in the remaining Parliamentary sitting days. Instead, the Budget legislation would be left only to pass if the government is re-elected in the next Federal Election which is likely to take place in May 2019.

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Court made Wills

28 March 2019

The freedom to make a Will and to leave your estate to whomever you choose (called testamentary freedom) is one of the most fundamental principles of succession law in Australia.

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Best Lawyers success for Rigby Cooke Partners

28 March 2019

Rigby Cooke Lawyers Customs and Trade Partner, Andrew Hudson, and Workplace Relations Partner, David McLaughlin, have both been ranked in the 2020 edition of Best Lawyers.

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NZ Customs opens the Infringement Notice Scheme for business

27 March 2019

As many readers would be aware, when the New Zealand Customs Act 2018 (Act) commenced on 10 October 2018, not all of its provisions come into force on the same day.

I had been working with Custom Brokers & Freight Forwarders Federation of New Zealand (CBAFF) and other members of the Stakeholders Reference Group (Group) established by New Zealand Customs (Customs) in reviewing the proposed terms of the Act including changes to powers to Customs and the enforcement regime in the Act.

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Please sir, a dog ate my Brexit

11 March 2019

This article was first published by Daily Cargo News.

The term “Brexit” has well and truly entered into regular use and represents one of the top topics for news and current affairs at the moment. The world is transfixed by developments in the UK including close attention to the (non) passage of legislation to implement the Exit Agreement brokered by the UK Government with the EU and the associated pressure on the UK Conservative Government. As the day of departure from the EU approaches (29 March 2019), the absence of a clear exit process gives rise to more concerns on how the world will cope if no deal (or a bad deal) is struck.

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Contracting with liquidators and administrators: how to do so effectively and the need to take care

11 March 2019

Key points:

  • When contracting with administrators or liquidators, counterparties need to be careful to ensure such contracts will give them enforceable rights.
  • An administrator can enter into almost any contract and is personally liable for numerous categories of debts they may incur.
  • A liquidator has only limited powers to enter into contracts on behalf of a company, and generally has no personal liability under such contacts.
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Can a liquidator obtain or enforce a judgment under the Security of Payments Act?

11 March 2019

Key points:

  • A liquidator is unable to apply for a judgment under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) (SOPA).
  • Where judgment under the SOPA was obtained by the contractor before it went into liquidation, and the principal asserts an offsetting claim, the Court will stay enforcement of the judgment pending a taking of accounts pursuant to section 553C of the Corporations Act.
  • Ultimately, a liquidator will only be able to enforce payment of an amount actually shown to be owed under the construction contract, after a final reconciliation has occurred.
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When can a liquidator sell a cause of action?

11 March 2019

Key points:

  • Liquidators have the power to sell causes of action belonging to the company, or conferred on the liquidator by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act).
  • Selling instead of litigating causes of action can be a safer, surer and quicker path for a liquidator to realise value for creditors.
  • However, there are certain important limitations on a liquidator’s power to sell causes of action.
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