HILLMAN LAWYERS - OLD DOGS, NEW TRICKS

As announced, we have now moved after 9 years at Three Saints Square on the border of Darlinghurst and Paddington. We are back in Sydney CBD to be more easily accessible and better able to service our clients.

Level 29 Chifley Tower 2 Chifley Square Sydney 2000, tel +61(0)2 9216 9070, email ua.moc.sreywalnamllih@ofni, or direct ua.moc.sreywalnamllih@namllih.b

Check out our new website www.hillmanlawyers.com.au

BUGLE BLOWS ITS OWN TRUMPET

With great satisfaction we successfully concluded a personal injury matter for a young Frenchman seriously injured, including brain damage, in a traffic accident in Sydney in 2008. Compensation was obtained but we had to set a precedent to have the compensation paid to a committee set up in France to receive and manage the funds. The Supreme Court has just given us a judgement to effect this (PB v BB (2013) NSWSC 1223).

THERE MAY BE MORE TO A CONTRACT THAN MEETS THE EYE

Employers may think that if they meet Fair Work Australia norms, the employment agreement means what is says and no more, so the employer's obligations are defined in the combination of the employment agreement and stated requirements of Fair Work Australia.

In a recent case, CBA v Barker (2013) FCAFC 83, the Full Court of the Federal Court held that the employment agreement had an implied term that the employer had to attempt to fully explore redeployment within the organisation for an employee to be terminated for redundancy before termination. In failing to do this, the employer was open to a claim for damages. Employers need to check with a lawyer, firstly that the employment agreement conforms to the legal requirements, as they exist at the time of the contract, and even more to check with a lawyer before any contemplated termination. The employee needs to check with a lawyer on termination or threat of it.

MIGRATION

Without migration Australia would stagnate. Birth rate is low, skilled labour is in short supply, training is in poor supply, economies of scale are hard to achieve, and the domestic market is weak.

WHERE DO MIGRANTS COME FROM?

The Department of Immigration & Citizenship has released last year's figures that show estimated quota of 190,000 migrants was spot on, made up approximately 2/3 as skilled migrants and 1/3 as family reunion.  Main source countries in descending order were India, China and the UK.

Interestingly, France and Germany have moved into the top 10 for 457 (long term temporary work sponsored business visas) and tourist visas.

XENOPHOBIA – PLEASE EXPLAIN?

The lead up to the recent election allowed both major parties to indulge in a race to the bottom in whipping up fear and loathing of foreigners.  Former Prime Minister Gillard rushed through legislation tightening up temporary long term business visas (457 visas) on the justification that cheap labour was flooding into Australia and pushing locals out of the job market.  The Government was unable to provide any evidence of this claim, but felt that it would gain votes through the suspicions and divisions created, The reality is that 457 visas allow Australian businesses to grow through bringing highly qualified people who pay full taxes, receive no social security or Medicare, and have to leave when they are no longer employed.  Not only does Australia benefit from education paid for by others, and skills and experience gained elsewhere, but has a prime source of an employed and proven workforce who may go on to permanent residence on the basis of their skills and continuing employment.  In spite of the cheap xenophobia and tightening up of regulations, 457 sponsorships and visas continue, and we can help you with them.

ASYLUM SEEKERS PREVENT AUSSIE MUMS FROM PICKING UP THEIR CHILDREN

Not to be outdone by the now previous government, a new goal was scored by the now newly elected Liberal member for the seat based on Penrith in Sydney's West.  When asked what impact asylum seekers in boats from Indonesia were having on her electorate, she said that they contributed to traffic hold ups on M4 freeway and so inhibited working mothers in their dash to collect their children from preschool before 6pm.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHILDREN GONE?

The election brought on much discussion about paid parental leave, and what it will achieve.

If Europe is any indication of what happens in advanced economies, then it appears that it is not so much about having children, but what happens after they are born. Population growth is down in all European countries, and some, such as Germany, Italy and Spain face virtually disappearing in the future. Growth is demonstrated in the Scandinavian countries and France - all recipients of migrants, but also with extensive child care schemes that permit mothers to return rapidly to and remain in the work force.

HOW TO MAKE CHILDREN

Populations in advanced economies are ageing and staying uncommitted for longer, and sometimes forever - more and more singletons.

Figures show the median age:

  • in Australia is now 37
  • in the UK and France: 40
  • in Germany, Italy and Japan: 44.
  • Number of marriages per 1000 in 2011:
  • in Australia 5.4
  • in UK 4.3
  • in France 3.7

The combination of low birth rates and lack of encouragement for working mothers means we have to find productive population to feed the increasing cohort of aged, and points to greater reliance on immigration permanent or temporary.

IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID!

Election is over, costings reveal not much difference between the policies and spending projected by the Coalition and Labor.

However, as we all know, the Australian economy dances very much to tunes played by our Asian neighbours/importers. The priority countries for Australia are China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia.  China alone accounts for 40% of Australia's exports.  All anticipate much reduced growth, a reduced growth that will reduce needs for raw materials that Australia has been so profitably exporting.

HELP THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY BY BUYING REAL ESTATE

To boost exports the Reserve Bank has been bringing down interest rates with a view to reducing the value of the Australian dollar.

This in turn makes interest returning investments less attractive but real estate more so because of lower rates on mortgages.

We and, even more our real estate agent friends, have noticed a big pick up in activity, particularly in investment properties. It goes without saying that we are able to help clients in entering into market, as well as, on a larger scale, assisting in real estate development projects.

CHECK YOUR FINANCE BECAUSE DEFAULT ON A CONTRACT MAY BE WORSE THAN YOU THOUGHT

Most people presume that in the worst case scenario, if they cannot complete the contract they will forfeit the 10% deposit.

The NSW Supreme Court (Kelly v Galafassi & Anor (2013) NSWSC 680) ordered not only the forfeit of the deposit but also damages to cover the vendor's expenses and loss in ultimate sale price, being a pay out of over $800,000 when the purchaser reneged on a $6.35 million purchase price and the vendor only achieved $5.5 million in subsequent sale.

Brian Hillman

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