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coal mines, coal, gas, climate change, environment, ECoCeQ, Plibersek, Narrabri, Hunter Valley, emissions, mines, anthropogenic, net zero, threatened species, fossil fuel, fossil fuel projects
29 Feb 2024

Court says coal mines can be approved without considering climate change

In a significant legal blow to environmentalists, in 2023 the Federal Court ruled that the federal environment minister does not have to consider climate change when approving coal mines. Environmental group claims minister did not consider climate change The Environment Council of Central Queensland (ECoCeQ) mounted a legal challenge to minister Tanya Plibersek’s assessment of […]
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business disruption, damages, road works, construction, delay, inconvenience, compensated, class action, lawsuit, trackwork, avoidable, unreasonable, light rail, unreasonable interference, private nuisance
01 Feb 2024

Success in class action for business disruption due to Sydney light rail roadworks

A recent Supreme Court judgment may open the way for businesses to claim damages from the government if they lose income due to business disruption as a result of major road works. Construction of light rail causes significant business disruption Two Sydney small business owners took Transport for NSW to court after they lost income […]
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water use, water access, water management, water law, Water Act, Water Management Act, Dam Safety Act, Water NSW Regulation, groundwater, pump, bore, dam, weir, irrigation channel, levee, dewatering, Water Access Licence, domestic use, stock watering, river, lake, estuary
24 Jan 2024

“Is it legal for me to pump water from the river?” – laws governing water use in NSW

Water security challenges loom as groundwater and river systems under threat Australia is a dry continent, and it is only getting drier. The country’s largest river and groundwater systems are under threat. As competing interests assert their right to water access, it is important to understand the laws governing water use. Regional towns and industries […]
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Sending an innocent emoji in a text message could land you in court, because the law could see it as a threat or an acceptance of a contract.
30 Nov 2023

How an emoji can land you in court

We often add an emoji to our emails and text messages to bring a bit of levity to otherwise dull communications, but beware – icons such as the thumbs up, smiley face or gun could land you in trouble with the law. Legal impact of using emojis An emoji is an image used in texting […]
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bank of mum and dad, BOMAD, bank of dad, loan, gift, family loan, financial support, property, mortgage, cost of living, Centrelink, age pension, guarantor, borrowing capacity, credit score, security, documented, divorce, Deed, verbal agreement
19 Oct 2023

Trouble at the bank of mum and dad – the horror story edition on family loans

Unaffordable housing leads to reliance on bank of mum and dad As Australia continues to rank among the least affordable markets for housing globally, it is becoming increasingly difficult for young people and other aspiring first-home owners to buy a property. Consequently, the “bank of mum and dad” is as popular as ever. However, there […]
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nuclear waste, nuclear waste dump, traditional owner, Barngarla, Kimba, South Australia, Lucas Heights, ballot, Federal Court, waste dump, consult, consultation, storage, radioactive, enriched waste, submarine, AUKUS
11 Oct 2023

Court rejects nuclear waste dump after challenge by traditional owners

Coalition government claimed dump site had support of local community When the previous coalition government announced a national nuclear waste dump would be built on a 211-hectare farm near Kimba in South Australia, it proclaimed it had the support of local people. The dump would take low-level radioactive medical waste and temporarily store intermediate-level nuclear […]
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03 May 2023

Electronic signature needs to be seen when signing

Electronic signing of documents grew enormously during the Covid lockdowns, but now questions have been raised about how an electronic signature, created with the press of a button, is properly witnessed under law. What is an electronic signature? Software such as DocuSign can be used to add a signature to a document electronically by pressing […]
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21 Apr 2023

Guilty or not guilty – could computers replace judges in a court of law?

Weighing up the pros and cons of a case, discarding irrelevancies, assessing the likelihood of statements being the truth or a lie… it’s all in a day’s work for a judge in a court. But could computers replace judges, if programmed correctly? Could a computer weigh the evidence and decide whether the defendant is guilty […]
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Rights of Nature, natural world, environment, natural environment, climate change, climate catastrophe, personhood, legal rights, law, animals, plants, Animal Welfare Act, Whanganui River, Ganges River, Murray Darling Basin, Great Barrier Reef, Blue Mountains, rivers
30 Mar 2023

“Rights of nature” redefining humanity’s place in the natural world

The looming climate catastrophe has engendered the “Rights of Nature” movement, which strives to redefine the relationship between humanity and the world we inhabit. The natural world is arguably recognised as a living entity with legal “personhood” and the same rights as humans to be protected, survive and thrive. Climate change and ecological deterioration Chances […]
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smoking on balconies, smoking, smoker, non-smoker, apartment, balcony, strata, Strata Schemes Management Act, common property, owners corporation, nuisance, hazard, health, tribunal
22 Feb 2023

Smoking on balconies and the law

Smoking on balconies is the cause of many apartment block disputes. Recently a non-smoking couple took their downstairs neighbours to court to prevent them from smoking on the balcony below. After a protracted dispute, the non-smokers won. Complaint that smoking on balconies affects health and wellbeing A Kingscliff couple took their smoking neighbours who lived […]
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facial recognition technology, FRT, facial scanning, biometric data, suspects, crime scene, passport, privacy, surveillance, police, facial recognition, human rights, freedom of assembly, unregulated, right to privacy
14 Feb 2023

Clear laws needed for use of facial recognition technology

Police and security services are making ever more use of facial recognition technology, which can identify individuals via CCTV by scanning an individual’s face and matching it to images held in a database. No dedicated laws in Australia for facial recognition technology Facial recognition technology (FRT) can be useful, but Australia does not have clear […]
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raise the rent, rental increase, landlord, tenant, NCAT, lease, evict, eviction, month to month, negotiate, object, excessive, property, higher rent, rent
01 Dec 2022

How much can the landlord raise the rent?

With inflation pushing up interest rates and mortgage costs, many tenants are anxious that their landlord wants to raise the rent. It’s important for both landlords and tenants to know the law regarding rental increases. When can a landlord raise the rent? The landlord can’t raise the rent for tenants who are on a fixed-term […]
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Exclusion Register, STRA, short term, rental accommodation, guest, host, neighbour, letting, renting, code of conduct, Fair Trading, common property, strata, property
01 Nov 2022

Bad short-term renters and hosts in NSW can now go on Exclusion Register

There is good news for neighbours of rowdy, poorly managed short-term rental accommodation in NSW, with a new Exclusion Register to prevent guests and hosts with two serious breaches of the Code of Conduct in a two-year period, from participating in the industry. What is the Exclusion Register? Since August 2022, bad renters and bad […]
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selling a property, buyer, deposit, due diligence, finance, contract, cooling off period, property, real estate agent, seller, settlement
06 Oct 2022

Selling a property in NSW – the buyer, the seller, the lawyer and the real estate agent

Selling a property, or buying one, usually involves a buyer (purchaser), a seller (vendor), a lawyer (solicitor) or conveyancer, and a real estate agent. Each of these people has a role to play for the transaction to be completed smoothly, without unnecessary drama or grief. Problems can often arise when one of these people underestimates […]
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vacant land, off the plan, Landcom, developer, subdivision, roads, builder, sunset date, construction, climate change, flood, flood prone, delay, council
14 Sep 2022

What you should know when buying vacant land “off the plan”

Many people dream of finding some vacant land and building a special home on it. But just as with buying an apartment “off the plan” in a yet-to-be-built apartment block, there are many factors to take into consideration and potential pitfalls to be aware of. What does it mean to buy vacant land off the […]
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rescind a contract, rescission, dispute, sale of land, buyer, seller, mental illness, impediment, mentally ill, incapacitated, diagnosed, Mental Health Act
21 Jul 2022

Can you rescind a contract for the sale of land due to mental illness?

by Anneka Frayne and Talitha Fishburn As the incidence of mental illness and the awareness of it continue to grow, there is an increasing likelihood of one or the other party wanting to rescind a contract for the sale of land due to mental illness. What does it mean to rescind a contract? With property […]
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Real estate agent, property sale, residential, buyer, seller, purchaser, vendor, contract, exchange, conveyancer, lawyer, deposit, auction, settlement, conditions, agency agreement, warning statement
24 Feb 2022

Checklist for real estate agents – dealing with a lawyer or conveyancer on a residential property sale in NSW

For a residential property sale to go as smoothly as possible for all parties, it is helpful for real estate agents to provide complete and accurate information to the lawyer (solicitor) or conveyancer who is handling the transaction. This article outlines some of these items. Sales process for residential property There is a normal sales […]
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pay for repairs, residential lease, commercial lease, retail lease, landlord, tenant, repairs, maintenance, wear and tear, equipment, fixtures, fittings, premises
25 Nov 2021

Who has to pay for repairs? The landlord or the tenant?

Working out who has to pay for repairs on a property may not always be straightforward. There are legal obligations on both parties – the tenant and the landlord – regarding the upkeep and repair of a property. However, it can still sometimes be ambiguous. Residential leases vs commercial leases Responsibility for paying for repairs […]
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