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Podcast: Hope for future in strata melting pot

Having braved the wilds of Scotland and the woes of Covid, we are back with a brand new Flat Chat Wrap podcast, with our usual mixture of optimism and, it must be said, the occasional bout of weary skepticism. The optimism stems from the plans for a new high-end apartment block that will bring owners […]

Forum: When a bully takes over a small block

There’s an easy and often erroneous assumption that’s often made – that living in a small block is more pleasant than life in a large one. Of course, for some that’s true.  But when things go wrong in a small apartment building, every issue becomes very personal, very quickly. Take the Flatchatter who’s been living […]

ACCC alleges Ultra Tune in contempt of court

28 June 2022The ACCC has instituted contempt of court proceedings against Ultra Tune Australia Pty Ltd (Ultra Tune) for allegedly breaching court orders which restrained Ultra Tune from contravening parts of the Franchising Code of Conduct (Franchising Code) and for allegedly failing to comply with the requirements of a court-ordered compliance program.
In 2019, Ultra Tune was found to have breached the Australian Consumer Law and the Franchising Code and the Court made orders that required Ultra Tune to provide disclosure documents and marketing fund statements to franchisees in compliance with the Franchising Code.
The ACCC alleges that between 2019 and 2021, while the court orders were in effect, Ultra Tune failed to update its disclosure document on time and failed to prepare two marketing fund statements within the timeframe required by the Franchising Code.
Ultra Tune allegedly did not prepare marketing fund statements and audit reports for the 2019 and 2020 financial years until well after the date on which the Franchising Code required them to do. These documents provide transparency on how the marketing funds which Ultra Tune required franchisees to pay were spent. Ultra Tune was also late in updating its disclosure document in 2020.
“We allege that Ultra Tune disregarded its obligations under the Franchising Code, which are designed to provide transparency to franchisees,” ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver said.
“In particular, we allege that Ultra Tune repeatedly failed to prepare important documents for franchisees within the required timeframe, which meant they were denied the opportunity to see, in a timely manner, how their contributions to the marketing fund were being used by Ultra Tune.”
“The alleged failure by Ultra Tune to update its disclosure document is also concerning, as this document is used to give prospective franchisees key information about the franchise system, and existing franchisees current information about the running of the franchise.”
In 2019, the Court also ordered Ultra Tune to implement a compliance program to ensure there were no further breaches of the Franchising Code or the ACL. This compliance program required an Ultra Tune compliance officer to provide quarterly reports on the continuing effectiveness of its compliance program to the company.
The ACCC alleges that for the three quarters between April and December 2021, Ultra Tune failed to ensure its compliance officer provided those reports. 
“Given Ultra Tune’s previous breaches of the Franchising Code and the consumer law, ongoing monitoring of compliance is important,” Ms Carver said.
“The ACCC will pursue contempt of court action when it considers Court orders, including those obtained for the protection of franchisees, have been breached.”  
Background
Ultra Tune is a car servicing franchisor with operations in every mainland state and territory and over 270 centres across Australia.
In 2017, the ACCC instituted proceedings against Ultra Tune in relation to alleged contraventions of the ACL and the Franchising Code.
In January 2019, the Federal Court imposed total pecuniary penalties of $2.604 million against Ultra Tune (reduced to $2.014 million on appeal) for its contravening conduct.
The penalties related to Ultra Tune’s:

late production and dissemination (by over 6 months in some instances) of marketing fund statements and disclosure documents mandated by the Franchising Code; and
treatment of a prospective franchisee, whom the Court found Ultra Tune had misled.

In March 2019, the Court ordered Ultra Tune to implement a compliance program and made injunctions restraining Ultra Tune from contravening certain provisions of the ACL and the Franchising Code.
Release number: 82/22ACCC Infocentre: Use this form to make a general enquiry.

Topics

Franchising

Hub backtracks on strata chairs’ phone numbers

Strata committee office-bearers can breathe a sigh of relief with news that NSW Services is backing away from their requirement for chairs and secretaries to make their phone numbers available to all the owners and residents in their block. Instead, while the numbers will be accessed and stored under strict privacy protections, only office-bearers’ email […]

Preparing for Your First Family Law Appointment

 
In this video, Accredited Family Law Specialist and Page Provan Managing Director Bruce Provan talks about what to expect at your initial consultation with a family lawyer.
The post Preparing for Your First Family Law Appointment appeared first on Page Provan.

WEBINAR: WHS update and safety systems in the face of natural disasters – does yours hold up?

Register now
If the past few years have taught us anything, it is that our businesses need to have robust systems in place to allow us to respond and adapt to the unexpected.
 
Aside from the extended impacts of the pandemic, organisations have faced floods, cyclones and fires that have caused significant negative impacts for their operations as well as for the safety of their teams.
 
In particular, the recent floods in Queensland have highlighted some gaps in safety systems, risk management and disaster recovery plans.
 
In this complimentary webinar from our workplace relations and safety team, Gemma Sharp will share recent learnings from her work assisting organisations in their safety response to natural disasters.
 
Gemma will discuss:

the types of work health and safety issues that can arise in natural disasters
the key elements of a safety and risk management plan that enable organisations to respond quickly to a natural disaster, ensuring the safety of their teams
common gaps in safety systems that can lead to issues when disaster strikes
how to mitigate the risks posed in the return to full operations after a natural disaster
practical steps you can take to ensure your organisation is prepared.

 
Julia Braddick will also take the opportunity to provide an update on recent amendments to the Model WHS Act and Regulations.
 
This webinar is designed for safety managers and officers, as well as other senior executives involved in the response to safety incidents.
 
We hope you can join us for this practical and insightful session.

The post WEBINAR: WHS update and safety systems in the face of natural disasters – does yours hold up? appeared first on Cooper Grace Ward.

Property prices – ‘it’s a correction, not a crash’

Despite the current state of turmoil in the NSW property market, with prices slowing or falling, interest rates rising and inflation spiralling, a major new report has signalled that buyers today are unlikely to regret good  purchasing decisions, writes Sue Willams. “Downturns are always shorter and less severe than the upswings,” said the author of […]

Missing Mascot papers prove value of Hub

As if the former residents of Mascot Towers in Sydney weren’t doing it tough enough, last month they received another blow and it’s one that smacks of local government incompetence, with maybe even a whiff of potential corruption. As the NSW government cranks up an investigation into what led to the emergency evacuation three years […]

It Depends – Do I pay stamp duty on the change of trustee?

In this edition of ‘It depends’, senior associate Tom Walrut talks about whether you need to pay stamp duty on a change of trustee and what circumstances you need to look out for.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
Hi and welcome to today’s It depends. Today we’re going to be talking about stamp duty and stamp duty on the change of a trustee.
Do I pay stamp duty on a change of trustee?
The first question is, is there stamp duty on the change of trustee and well, it depends. And it depends on a multitude of circumstances. The main ones being firstly, does your trust actually earn any dutiable property and we talk about dutiable property here in Queensland, we talk about things like land, Queensland business assets, interests in land and also trust interests as well.
What circumstances do I need to look out for?
So, the second question is what type of trust are we dealing with? Is it a unit trust? Is it a family discretionary trust? Is it a super fund? And then the third one that we have to work through is the background and the circumstances relating to the trust and how the trust has been operated to date to see if there’s anything which affects whether or not we have to pay stamp duty. So, when we’re looking at some examples of that, things to look out for are if there’s been any trust acquisitions or changes in the interests of the trust, particularly for dealing with unit trusts on which stamp duty has never been paid. If stamp duty has never been paid, that’s going to stop you getting the change of trustee exemption on the change of trustee. The other ones, obviously, are if you’ve got a family discretionary trust, whether or not there have been any variations, which again, trigger a trust acquisition or a trust surrender and on which stamp duty has never been paid. A third and final point is also to look out for where the arrangement which we’re implementing as part of the change of trustee is part of a broader arrangement changing the rights and entitlements of any of the beneficiaries in the trust. If those circumstances are present, then you might not be entitled to your exemption from stamp duty for the change of trustee.
But as always, if you do have a change of trustee that you’re looking to get the duty exemption on, please do feel free to give us a call. We’ve got a very large friendly team here that’s happy to talk at any time about these things. Thanks.
The post It Depends – Do I pay stamp duty on the change of trustee? appeared first on Cooper Grace Ward.

Surrogacy Act 2022 (Northern Territory)

Accredited Family Law Specialist and Page Provan Director Stephen Page published a paper regarding the Surrogacy Act 2022 that was enacted on 12 May 2022.
The Surrogacy Act brings the Northern Territory into line with every State and the Australian Capital Territory in regulating altruistic surrogacy and criminalising commercial surrogacy.
DOWNLOAD THE PAPER HERE.
 
Disclaimer: Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in our publications. However, information should not be used or relied upon as a substitute for legal advice.
The post Surrogacy Act 2022 (Northern Territory) appeared first on Page Provan.

(WIP) Minimum fines of $10 million

In April this year, highly anticipated increases to the financial penalties for contravening the Franchising Code (the Code) came into effect. As a result of these changes, it’s essential that business review their franchise agreements to ensure they remain compliant with the Franchising Code.

Environment Protection Act fires the starting pistol

The new Environment Protection Act 2017 (Vic) (the EP Act) brings a raft of changes, including introducing direct third-party enforcement rights. This Insight outlines the key things companies should know about the third-party enforcement rights regime.

Deal profile | Gadens supports the future growth of cloud-based winery production software, vintrace

Gadens is pleased to support the founders of vintrace, one of the world’s most trusted winery production software companies, on its sale to Encompass Technologies, a comprehensive cloud-based ERP, CRM, eCommerce, and data solutions provider for the food and beverage industry.
Founded in 2007, vintrace has remained at the forefront of innovative technology to help global wine   makers crush, track and process over 6 million tons of fruit, in order to assist them in navigating the challenges and complexities associated with the wine-making supply chain.
The transaction allows vintrace to achieve its vision of delivering the best production solution for wineries. With Encompass Technologies’ network of over 1,100 manufacturers in 25 countries, more than 650 distributors, over 1,140,000 retailers, and more than 200,000 active users worldwide, customers gain efficiencies and end-to-end supply chain insights from an expanded and digitally connected supply chain that promotes data sharing for more streamlined operations.
Gadens was engaged to advise on all aspects of the transaction, after having worked with vintrace and its founders for a number of years.
Joshua Abra, CEO and co-founder of vintrace said,
“This acquisition is the next milestone in the vintrace global growth story to realise our vision of better quality, more sustainable and efficient wine production. As a SaaS founder going through a first time M&A process it was critical for me to have a trusted team of experienced legal, tax & employment professionals. James Beckley and his entire team at Gadens, supported by Brett Livingston, went above and beyond to ensure the whole process ran efficiently. This allowed me and my team to keep our focus on the business while going on this exciting journey with Encompass Technologies to add even more value to our customers.”
James Beckley, Partner commented,
“There’s little that’s more gratifying in this profession than having the privilege of (working alongside Brett Livingston) chaperoning three brilliant and hard-working founders through a transaction like this. Gadens congratulates all stakeholders and it’s exciting to see what’s next for vintrace with the power of the Encompass group behind them.”
Practice groups: Corporate Advisory
Key team members: The team was led by corporate partner, James Beckley who was supported by Matt Watt (Senior Associate) and Alistair Moore (Lawyer). Peter Poulos (Partner) led the tax team with support from Isabelle Smith (Associate). Louise Rumble (Partner) and Sarah Saliba (Associate) advised on employment aspects.

About Encompass Technologies
Encompass Technologies provides a comprehensive cloud-based platform connecting manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in the beverage and food industry. Encompass solutions span full ERP, CRM, eCommerce, data and insights, route accounting, warehouse management, logistics, data warehousing, financials, sales execution, and more. With more than 20 years of industry experience in distribution software, expertise in beverage manufacturing technology solutions through the merger with Orchestra Software and acquisition of vintrace, and experience in offering retail insights and solutions through the acquisition of Handoff Technologies, Encompass has a reputation for innovation and collaboration, and for focusing on moving the industry forward. Visit https://encompasstech.com for more information.
About vintrace
Since 2007, vintrace has constantly evolved, using innovative technology to help global winemakers meet the challenges and complexities of running their businesses. With a presence in Australia, the USA, Europe, and South America, vintrace has helped global winemakers crush, track, and process over 6 million tons of fruit, making it one of the most trusted solutions for winemakers worldwide.
The post Deal profile | Gadens supports the future growth of cloud-based winery production software, vintrace appeared first on Gadens.

Common mistakes made in an Application for a Domestic Violence Order

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The process of filing an Application for a Protection Order aka an Application for a Domestic Violence Order (“DVO”) can be confusing and overwhelming when you do not have legal support.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence includes:

Physical or sexual abuse;
Emotional and psychological abuse;
Economical abuse;
Threatening behaviour;
Coercive control; or
Behaviour which is any other way controls or dominates a person to fear for their safety.

You can find references to specific examples in the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (Qld).
How to Write the Application
It is vital that your DVO application is drafted properly so that the Magistrate has all the relevant information before them. If the application is not properly drafted, this can be the deciding factor as to whether or not you obtain a Temporary Protection Order (“TPO”). A TPO is an Order which remains in place for your safety while the matter progresses through the Court to a hearing.
Common mistakes we see all the time in DV Applications include; writing in long paragraphs, including irrelevant information, not being specific enough regarding the incidents of DV and even including incidents which wouldn’t necessarily classify as DV.
Here are some tips when you are drafting your Application for a DVO to maximise the prospects of the Court granting a TPO:

Be concise. Use short sentences and dot points. Remember that the Magistrate will often have in excess of 60 DV matters before them in a day. They do not have time to read long paragraphs with irrelevant information.

Be particular. The Magistrate will see endless sentences that say “he/she was verbally abusive”. Remember, abuse can mean a number of things to different people. You need to provide specific examples.

Including your most significant incidents first. You do not have to write them in date order.

We Can Help
We understand that it can be very emotional reliving these incidents while you are writing them out. It can also be very challenging to put them into words in a way that explains it properly to the Court. If you require assistance with this process please contact our experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer Ellie Prior for a reduced rate initial consultation. We are here to help.
 
Written by Ellie Prior.

The post Common mistakes made in an Application for a Domestic Violence Order appeared first on Barton Family Lawyers.

It Depends – What did the High Court decide about binding death benefit nominations in SMSFs in Hill v Zuda?

In this edition of ‘It depends’, partner Scott Hay-Bartlem talks about the recent Hill v Zuda High Court decision on binding death benefit nominations in self-managed superannuation funds.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
Welcome to this ‘It depends’ where I’m talking about what the High Court decided about binding death benefit nominations in self-managed superannuation funds in the recent case of Hill v Zuda.
The Background
So, Zuda Pty Ltd was the trustee of The Holly Superannuation Fund which was a self-managed superannuation fund. One of the members died and his daughter challenged his binding death benefit nomination on the basis it did not comply with the specific rules for binding death benefit nominations in the superannuation rules.
The Decision
The High Court decided that the provisions of the superannuation laws that apply to binding death benefit nominations do not apply in self-managed superannuation funds.
What does that mean?
Okay, so this means that when we’re doing binding death benefit nominations in self-managed superannuation funds, it all comes down to the trust deed. So, you’ll have to, say with me. Read the deed, read the deed, read the deed. The specific provisions in the superannuation laws about three-year lapsing’s and two witnesses are not relevant to SMSFs unless of course your trust deed says so. And it comes back to looking at your deed and following it precisely.
So, binding death benefit nominations are all okay for self managed super funds then?
Well, this is our “it depends”. So, the High Court challenge on this particular issue has been sorted out, but there are many, many, many other issues, and many other ways we see binding benefit nominations being challenged. So, does it follow the deed, have we worded it properly? Does it have the result that we want? Does it work in with the overall estate plan? We still see many disputes about binding death benefit nominations. It’s not all okay yet.
Now, join Clinton Jackson and I on the 3rd of June at: pm. We’ll to do a webinar. We’ll talk about all this in far more detail. Thanks for watching this It depends.
The post It Depends – What did the High Court decide about binding death benefit nominations in SMSFs in Hill v Zuda? appeared first on Cooper Grace Ward.

What is the best way to separate from your spouse or partner? How to end a marriage or de facto relationship well.

People sometimes come to us for pre-separation advice. That is before they have made a decision to end a relationship or marriage. Sometimes they want to talk through the pros and cons of embarking on the path of separation and divorce and other times, they know that they wish to separate but want to end the relationship in the best way possible.
Making the decision to end a marriage or de facto relationship is difficult. If you are seeking to understand how to end a marriage or de facto relationship in a way that is empathetic and as positive as possible, this article highlights what we have witnessed helps many people end their de facto relationships and marriages, well.
To answer the question, ‘What is the best way to separate from your spouse or partner?’, we have narrowed our insights into five key considerations to keep in mind. 
1. Determine Where Everybody Is At
Upon separation, information gathering is often the first stage of the formal process of separation as it relates to the assets you share between you. It may not be suitable to progress with these next steps involving your partner immediately when you are aiming to end your relationship as peacefully as possible, particularly where your partner may not see the end of the relationship coming.
When we assist our clients, whichever side of the relationship they are on, we are mindful of where our client is ‘at’, personally. We tailor the assistance and information at that point to what their needs are. Sometimes that means that people come back and see us months or years down the track, or not at all, depending on what they ultimately decide to do. 
If you are the person initiating a separation, it is likely you are at a different ‘stage’ of the process to the other person. As people go through stages at different times and in different ways, this may affect their ability to cope and address the steps that follow on from a separation. 
2. Familiarise Yourself With The Grief Cycle
For anyone interested in learning how to end a marriage well, we often start by pointing them to the stages of grief that people typically go through. 
The Kubler-Ross Grief Model breaks grief down into five stages of loss:

Denial
Anger
Bargaining
Depression
Acceptance

As people go through the stages of grief, they may display different behaviours or actions. Importantly, be aware that this process is not linear and each stage can take longer for one person to move through than another.
3. Focus on Minimising Conflict
Certain actions or events may be triggering or affect how you, or they, may feel about a situation.
Knowing the stages and where you and your partner or spouse are at, among them, is important. 
Being aware can help you both identify which stages you may each be in, at different times. Being aware and discussing the stages you are in can help you both communicate better or identify a need to reconsider the timing of certain conversations. 
4. Give Them (And Yourself) Time and Space
As we have explored, where you are in your relationship doesn’t necessarily match up with your partner is mentally or emotionally. Some people will need some time and space to think, or get support to work through what they need to, and it’s appropriate to give them some.
Recognise that your partner may need time to grieve your relationship and require space to work through their feelings. You may already have been through this process, especially if you’ve been considering divorce for some time.
Both of you will need to work on the most pressing issues, but other issues may be able to be parked. Sometimes leaving a little bit of time to pass can be desirable, providing there is not anything urgent, or that might be detrimental to you not to have acted upon. A good ‘holding pattern’ can avoid escalating a situation when the other person isn’t ready. Being mindful of the time you and they might need, is very important particularly early on in the separation and divorce process.
5. Seek Out Support
In our work we see people going through the stages of grief and while they may think they are at a certain stage, something may happen that sets them back or triggers a feeling or reaction. The breakdown of a relationship is one of the most significant loss events in people’s lives, so seeking support is vital, regardless of whether it is you that has ‘called time’ on the relationship, or not.
Your support may come through friends and family or with a professional, like a counsellor or even a coach who is outside of the separation and divorce field (or both!). Seeking support is particularly important in the early stages as you negotiate a significant period of change.
You Will Get Through This
Although your situation may be difficult right now, know that the passage of time does help.
From time to time we receive updates and insights from people who are further down the road on this journey you may be embarking on. While they acknowledge that it was a really difficult time, once they managed to work through the process, they discovered there can be silver linings. 
Just as with any challenge or difficult situation, it may be hard to see any silver lining right now, but there can be positives that ultimately come from these big life changes.
Related Articles: How To Divorce Well: Working Together To Plan Your Life Apart
Self Care During Separation and Divorce
Phillips Family Law is an award-winning Family Law practice serving clients across Australia and abroad. Regardless of where you are in your decision-making process, we can make you aware of your options. To discuss your situation confidentially, phone (07) 3007 9898 or secure a time by filling in our confidential form here.
 
 
 
Disclaimer: The content in this article provides general information however it does not substitute legal advice or opinion. Information is best used in conjunction with legal advice from an experienced member of our team.
Written by Fiona Caulley, Accredited Family Law Specialist, Director, Phillips Family Law

The post What is the best way to separate from your spouse or partner? How to end a marriage or de facto relationship well. appeared first on Phillips Family Law.

‘Rate my builder’

In this Insight, we explain iCIRT’s potential impact, and what action construction professionals and businesses can be taking now.

Stamping out stamp duty

In the state budget for FY 2022/23 handed down this week, the NSW Government has announced the first steps towards reforming the stamp duty payable in respect of certain property transactions.  Stamp duty reform has been flagged for some time, with a number of policy options outlined in the NSW Treasury Consultation Paper Buying in NSW, Building A Future, initially published in November 2020 and open for submissions until March of 2021 (Consultation Paper).
 
The preliminary reform announced as part of this year’s budget package, known as the “First Home Buyer Choice“, will allow eligible first home buyers the choice to either pay the traditional stamp duty, or alternatively opt-in to an annual property tax, where the property purchased is up to $1.5 million.  The rationale is to reduce the hurdles to home ownership by enabling eligible purchasers to purchase a property without needing to pay the substantial and burdensome stamp duty upfront.
 
How will the annual property tax be calculated?
 
Ordinarily, stamp duty is calculated based on the dutiable value of the property, usually evidenced by the contract price.  Under existing first home buyer assistance available from the NSW government, first home buyers on eligible purchases may be entitled to either a full stamp duty exemption or, where the value of the property exceeds the relevant threshold, a concessional rate of duty is applied.
 
Rather than paying a one-off stamp duty payment assessed on the contract price, under First Home Buyer Choice, eligible first home buyers can elect to pay an annual property tax, which will be assessed against the property and calculated by reference to its land value.  This is similar to land tax which is assessed annually by reference to the unimproved capital value of the dutiable land.
 
If a purchaser opts-in to the annual property tax, the rates for 2022/23 are anticipated as follows:

For an owner-occupied property (which is ordinarily exempt from land tax under the existing tax model), the yearly property tax will be charged at $400.00 per annum plus 0.3 per cent of the property land value.
For an investment property, the yearly property tax will be charged at $1,500.00 per annum plus 1.1 per cent of the property land value.

The applicable tax rates will be indexed annually.
 
How will the annual property tax work?
 
As an example, if first home buyers Jack and Jill purchase an existing residential property for $1.4 million, currently the stamp duty assessed in respect of the purchase would be $61,895.00.  Jack and Jill would not be eligible for a stamp duty exemption or concession as the value of the property exceeds $800,000.00.
 
Assuming that the land value of the same property is $820,000.00, if Jack and Jill opted in to the First Home Buyer Choice, no stamp duty would be payable on the transaction.  The annual property tax payable would be $2,860.00 in the first year, if the property were used as Jack and Jill’s principal place of residence.  If the same property were used as an investment property, the property tax levied at the higher rate of assessment would be $10,520.00.
 
By leaving the decision to first home buyers as to whether to opt into the scheme, individuals can consider which tax model would better suit their circumstances.  If Jack and Jill plan only to live in their home for five years, opting into the annual property tax may better suit their needs by eliminating the cost of stamp duty and paying the lower rate of property tax each year.  However, if they intend the property to be their ‘forever home’, they may find it more effective in the long term to have paid the stamp duty upfront.
 
Will the annual property tax run with the land?
 
As far as this initial reform is concerned, if a purchaser opts in to the First Home Buyer Choice scheme, the annual property tax is only applicable whilst that purchaser owns the property.  On sale of the property, the tax would not run with the land, unless the next purchaser is eligible and opts into the scheme.
 
The Consultation Paper indicates that if there is a broader reform along similar lines (for all purchasers rather than just first home buyers), the relevant property would continue to be assessed for the property tax, meaning subsequent purchasers would not have the choice to opt in or opt out.
 
When do the changes come into effect?
 
The reforms are yet to be legislated, although the government envisages introducing the legislation in the second half of 2022, to take effect from 16 January 2023.  There will be an online calculator published at that time to
 
This means eligible first home buyers who exchange contracts to purchase a property on or after 16 January 2023 should be able to elect to pay an annual property tax in lieu of stamp duty.
 
As a transitional mechanism, the government intends that first home buyers who enter into a contract between the date the legislation passes and 15 January 2023 must pay their stamp duty upfront in the usual manner but, once the scheme is enacted, may apply for a refund of the duty and to opt into the annual property tax.
 
Why is this important?
 
The First Home Buyers Choice is more accessible than existing schemes to assist first home buyers. The existing schemes only benefit first home buyers looking to purchase eligible properties under $800,000.00.
 
The existing stamp duty exemptions and concessions available under the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme will continue for now, meaning first home buyers can opt into the scheme that best suits their needs.  The government envisages that between the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme and the First Home Buyer Choice, measures available to support first home buyers should reach approximately 97% of all first home buyers in the state, representing approximately 55,000 people each year.
 
More importantly, the First Home Buyers Choice appears to be the first step towards a major overhaul of the property tax system in New South Wales.  The Consultation Paper sheds some light on this, although no doubt there may be alterations taking into account the numerous submissions received.  We anticipate that the broader changes, not just those affecting first home buyers, may form part of the state election campaign in the lead up to the election in March 2023.
 
If you have any, questions please do not hesitate to contact our Sydney Property Team.
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