No Comments

Removal of Vehicles Illegally Parked on Strata Land

Removal of abandoned/uncollected goods and vehicles that are illegally parked on strata land

One of the problems with strata is that there is sometimes just “stuff” lying around in all the wrong places. For example, abandoned goods scattered across the scheme (especially when someone moved out) or even cars and trucks just parked everywhere out of convenience or they have been abandoned.

On and from 1 July 2020, abandoned and uncollected goods are no longer governed by strata legislation. The old section 125 of the Strata Management Scheme Act 2015 (NSW) and regulation 34 of the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016 (NSW) are now repealed with the issues now dealt with under the Uncollected Goods Act 1995 (NSW). NSW Fair Trading has some great information on this topic which can be accessed by clicking here. So, you would need to stop following the old processes about the sticking of disposal notices on items/cars and remove them when obstructing access (like driveways). And accordingly, most parking by-laws should be updated as they would be referring to the old car towing provisions, albeit the wheel clamping provisions under the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) still remain.
Continue reading…

No Comments

Common Problems with Common Property Rights By-Laws

Common problems with common property rights by-laws

Time and time again, we see some poorly drafted or “simple” by-laws. Sorry, we have to vent! Here is an example (below) – and no, it is not drafted by us:

  1. Special Privilege for Commercial Lot 1
  2. The owner of Commercial Lot 1 has the special privilege to carry out works on the lot without first obtaining the consent of the owners corporation to the alteration of the common property in connection with those works.
  3. The owner must give the corporation at least 7 days written notice of the intention to carry out works under this by law. The notice should give sufficient details of the works to be carried out to allow the owners to determine if the intended works are in compliance with this by law.
  4. Any works carried out under this by-law involving disruption to the access to the car space Lots to be carried out between 8:30 am-5:30 pm Monday-Friday only.
  5. Continue reading…

No Comments

New! Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List

New! Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List

A new Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) was announced on 2  September 2020.


This list aims to support Australia’s economic recovery after COVID-19 based on advice from the National Skills Commission and consultation with relevant Commonwealth agencies, and comprises:

  • 111111: Chief Executive or Managing Director
  • 133111: Construction Project Manager
  • 233512: Mechanical Engineer
  • 253111: General Practitioner
  • 253112: Resident Medical Officer
  • 253411: Psychiatrist
  • 253999: Medical Practitioner nec
  • 254111: Midwife
  • 254412: Registered Nurse (Aged Care)
  • 254415: Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency)
  • 254418: Registered Nurse (Medical)
  • 254422: Registered Nurse (Mental Health)
  • 254423: Registered Nurse (Perioperative)
  • 254499: Registered Nurses nec
  • 261312: Developer Programmer
  • 261313: Software Engineer
  • 312911: Maintenance Planner

The PMSOL will be reviewed and updated regularly depending upon its impact and changes in the economy.

Exemptions and Priority Cases

Offshore visa holders who have been sponsored by an Australian business in a PMSOL occupation can request an exemption from Australia’s travel restrictions but will be subject to a strict 14 day quarantine period on arrival at their own expense.
Continue reading…

No Comments

Tougher Labour Market Testing and Nomination requirements due to COVID

New! Tougher Labour Market Testing and Nomination requirements due to COVID

The Australian Government has recently taken steps to protect job opportunities for Australians in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and fill gaps in critical sectors.

New Rules

As a result, current labour market testing requirements(LMT) have been enhanced to ensure that Australian workers are prioritised for job opportunities in Australia.

Specifically, a new legislative instrument has been introduced and requires any future nominated positions to be advertised on the Government’s Jobactive website.

This measure is in addition to the requirement for at least two advertisements in one or more mediums outlined in the existing policy.

Businesses that are considering employing overseas skilled workers on a Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa, Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa, or Subclass 494 (Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional)) visa will have to abide by these requirements.

Key Date and Exceptions

The enhanced LMT requirements apply to nominations lodged on or after 1 October 2020. 

The amendment will not affect nominations lodged prior to 1 October 2020 or nominations for a select occupation or a select position to which alternative evidence arrangements apply.

More Attention

There will be more attention given to employer nominations in relation to Australian workers in similar occupations when considering whether there is a genuine need for an overseas worker including:
Continue reading…

No Comments

Simone Brew appointed Managing Director of Matthews Folbigg Lawyers

1 September 2020

Matthews Folbigg Lawyers is delighted to announce the appointment of our new Managing Director, Simone Brew. Simone is the head of the firm’s Litigation, Planning and Local Government groups.

Matthews Folbigg Lawyers is the premier medium sized firm in Western Sydney, based in Parramatta, with 8 practice groups and over 60 lawyers and legal service professionals. This is the first time in the firm’s 60 year history that the firm has had a female Managing Director. Even more notably the firm is owned 50% by our experienced female lawyers.

Chairman of Matthews Folbigg Lawyers, Jeff Brown said “Matthews Folbigg is delighted to announce Simone’s appointment as Managing Director. She has been an integral part of the firm’s Executive group for many years and in particular has been instrumental in leading the firm’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is just one example of the strengths that make her qualified to lead our firm into the future”.
Continue reading…

No Comments

Recovering costs for debt collection services

Recovering costs for debt collection services

Fees and costs, including legal costs and costs for third party debt collection services can only be collected from a debtor if there is an agreement between the creditor and debtor providing for those costs to be payable to the creditor. Attempting to recover costs in the absence of a clause in the relevant agreement can be misleading deceptive and conduct in contravention of section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law (Schedule 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)), section 154 of the National Credit Code (Schedule 1 of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth)) as well as Section 12DA of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) (“the ASIC Act”).

This issue was raised in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Sampson [2011] FCA 1165 in which a solicitor was found liable for, amongst other things, asserting that debtors were liable for legal costs of $30 on top of the debt for unpaid video rental fees, when sending letters of demand and notices to customers of a video rental company. There was no entitlement for the video rental company to recover pre-litigation legal costs and so the Court found the statements made by the solicitor were misleading and deceptive.
Continue reading…

No Comments

Can your Affair End in a Property Settlement? Family Law Lawyers Delve Into This

If you’re having an affair, something that you may want to consider is whether the person you are having an affair with can claim your property after the relationship breaks down.

Firstly, your family law lawyers will need to consider whether your affair amounts to a de facto relationship. Considerations include the duration of the relationship, whether you have lived together, whether you attend events together socially, and whether you depend on each other financially.

The case of Jonah v White (2011) considered whether someone you are having an affair with can amount to a de facto relationship. In this case, the Husband (H) had a 17 year long affair with a woman (Ms J). During the affair, H continued to live with his wife and three children. Family law lawyers for Ms J argued that the relationship she had with H amounted to a de facto relationship under the Family Law Act.

The Court said that “The key to the definition is the manifestation of a relationship where the parties have so merged their lives that they are, for all practical purposes, living together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis. It is the manifestation of “coupledom”, which involves the merger of two lives as just described, that is the core of a de facto relationship as defined [by the law]”.
Continue reading…

No Comments

A Will Lawyer’s Advice relating to Capacity to make a Will

A Will Lawyer’s Advice relating to Capacity to make a Will

Can a person without capacity have a will made for them?

If a person does not have testamentary capacity, that is the mental ability and understanding to make a will, the Court has the power to make a Will for that person.

What if a person makes a will beforehand and later loses the ability to change it due to mental impairment?

Consider the following scenario. A person has made a will which leaves all their assets to their spouse. If a few years later this person permanently separates from their spouse and forgets to change their will and some time later they become mentally impaired, they will no longer have the capacity to alter their will. If this person were to die, their previous spouse would receive all their assets. No assets would be given to the person’s children or other important people that the person would have intended to have mentioned in their will if they had the capacity to change it.
Continue reading…