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Just some suggestions regarding cyber security that everyone should know.

We’re not IT professionals so you should seek professional IT advice to ensure that you are secured properly.

If you are transferring large amounts of money (or really any amount of money you don’t want to lose) requested from an invoice that has been sent to you electronically then you should always confirm it is legitimate and has not been intercepted. Make sure you telephone the person/business that you are transferring the money to, and make sure you phone them on a telephone number that you know to be theirs/have used previously (not one that is included in the email that the invoice was sent from). You should check the amounts, account number and account details with them verbally.

We have heard of a case recently where an agent sent a client a contract via email as a pdf attachment. This email was intercepted, the bank account details for the deposit was changed on the contract attachment itself and it was then sent on to the client without anyone knowing. The client (the buyer) had not been diligent and phoned the agent to check the account details and accordingly transferred the money to the bogus account instead of the agents, at last we’d heard on the matter the deposit paid by the client/buyer was gone.

Practice good password management – make your passwords something that has upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation, avoid using easy to guess passwords such as birthdays or your children’s names.

Be wary of opening attachments or clicking through to attachments if you are not expecting them (be cautious even if you are expecting something), especially if they are from someone you do not know. If in doubt, contact them directly to ask if they sent something and whether it is safe to open.

Cyber fraud can happen to anyone and cyber security is everyone’s responsibility.

Consequences for making comments on social media /Facebook – did you know.

Could your adverse, lewd, sexual, racist comment about fellow employees or your business on Facebook constitute workplace or sexual harassment even if it is done outside of work hours? The answer is yes it could, and it could lead to dismissal.

In a recent case (Stutsel v Linfox) the employee who was dismissed was reinstated after he used Facebook to make allegedly derogatory remarks and comments (some related to racial matters) and some of a sexual nature about two of his managers. It was found, among other things, that there was no known company policy about the use of social media. However, in another case (O’Keefe v Williams Muir’s P/L) the employee’s termination stood when he made comments on Facebook, outside of work hours directed at a fellow employee which was found to amount to serious misconduct warranting termination.  Here the employer had detailed polices in place about the use of social media. Although the company’s policy was a factor in both these decision the failure of a company to have a policy doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences.

Overall, your workplace can extend beyond the four walls at work, you’d be surprised who can access your social media and who is friends with whom. Be very careful ‘venting’ or making any ‘dubious’ or ‘adverse’ comments, they can have ramifications at work.

Bankruptcy/Insolvency quick info.

  1. Does the ATO get priority over creditors – no, not since 1993. Unpaid super for staff does have priority though.
  2. If my company goes into liquidation do I go bankrupt – no
  3. A person can’t apply to put you into bankruptcy unless they are owed at least $5,000.00
  4. If I go bankrupt what happens:
    1. You can earn up to $48,839.70 after this you have to contribute part of your income to the bankruptcy. This increases with the number of dependants (e.g. 1 x dependant $57,630.85; 2 x dependants $62,026.42; 3 x dependants $64,468.40 etc)
    2. A dependant can earn $3,245.00 and still be classified as a dependant
    3. does the trustee get everything – no you can keep
      1. Normal household and personal stuff
      2. Your tools of trade up to $3,550.00
      3. Motor vehicle up to $7,200.00 (if motor vehicle is jointly owned this figure is doubled)
      4. Your superannuation
    4. You can apply for credit of up to $5,145.00 without advising that you are bankrupt
    5. You could lose (i.e. the property is sold) your interest in any asset that you own (e.g. your house) but not any part of that asset owned by someone else (e.g. your spouse/partner).
    6. Bankruptcy doesn’t affect your right to work but bankruptcy can affect your ability to work in a particular job/profession/employer
    7. You cannot be involved in the management of a company (i.e. director) without permission from the court.
    8. You cannot go overseas without permission
    9. If you receive a benefit from someone’s Will this will be taken by the trustee in bankruptcy for your creditors.
  5. The trustee can void asset transfers up to 5 years before the bankruptcy if transferred for less than the market value
  6. Bankruptcy ends 3 years & 1 day after the filing of the statement of affairs.
  7. The 3 year bankruptcy can be extended up to 8 years if the ITSA lodges an objection to your discharge.
  8. Your name will appear on the bankruptcy register for 7 years from the commencement of your bankruptcy but will note that you are discharged when this happens.
  9. If you continue trading with an ABN after bankruptcy the ATO has to separate your pre and post bankruptcy liability and obligations.

Relationships Act 2011 (Qld).

This new legislation allows people to have their relationship legally recognised in Queensland, no matter what their sex. This has flow on effects that by entering into or terminating a registered relationship can have an effect on both Wills and Powers of Attorney. Entering into a registered relationship can revoke a Will and Power of Attorney and terminating a registered relationship can take the partner out of Wills and Powers of Attorney.

In Queensland we now have three types of relationships married spouses, de facto spouses and persons in registered relationships.

A registered relationship can only be terminated by an application to the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages, not a court like a marriage.

Did you know?

The penalties for traffic infringments?

Please be safe on the roads this easter.

If you accumulate 12 demerit points over 3 years you will then have to choose between losing your licence for the requisite period (depending upon the accumulation) or agreeing to continue driving for 12 months under a good behaviour agreement (i.e. only have 1 point).

The points accumulate from the date of the offence.

Accumulation 12 but not more than 15 points – 3 month suspension

Accumulation 16 but not more than 19 points – 4 month suspension

Accumulaiton 20 or more – 5 month suspension

Speeding penalites:

  1. Less than13km/h over 1 point + $133
  2. 13-20km/h 3 points +$200

If you get caught a second time within 12 months the demit points double:

  1. 21-30km/h over 4 points + $333 fine second time within 12 months 8 point + $333
  2. 31-40km/h over 6 points + $466 fine second time within 12 months 12 points + $466
  3. 41km/h over 8 points + 6 months suspension + $933 second time within 12months 16 points + 6 months  suspension + $933

Also if you:

  • Fail to wear seat belt 3 points double if caught again within 12 months
  • Drive with an unrestrained passenger 3 points double if caught again within 12 months
  • Fail to wear helmet 3 points double if caught again within 12 months
  • Ride with a passenger without a helmet 3 points double if caught again within 12 months
  • Do an unauthorised U-turn – 3 points

Drink Driving – what are the allowed BAC levels?:

Under 25 years and not holding an open licence – 0.00%

Driving a truck, taxi, limo, driver training vehicle etc – 0.00%

Otherwise driving or in charge of a vehicle/vessel/horse/bike – 0.05%
(remember that this includes bikes, boats, tinnies, jet ski etc & not just driving but ‘being in charge’ of it – this could include being in the thing)

Drink driving Penalties:

  1. Over the no alcohol limit – max fine $1,400 and/or 3 months prison + mandatory 3-9 months disqualification
  2. Over general limit (0.05% – 0.15%) – max fine $1,400.00 and/or 3 months prison + mandatory 1 – 9 month disqualification
  3. Over high limit (0.15% = major offence) – max fine $2,100.00 and/or 9 months prison + mandatory 9 month disqualification
  4. 2nd + offences in a 5 year period will result in higher penalties.
  5. 3rd + offences in a 5 year period over 0.15% or other major offence a term of prison is mandatory.
  6. Refusing to supply = max penalty $4,000.00 or 6 months prison + dealt with as a major offence inclduing loss of licence penalty.

Did you know?

Recently (20 Feb 2012) the Supreme Court handed down a judgment against a buyer in the Oracle in Broadbeach. The unit was bought ‘off the plan’ for $1,010,000.00 with a $101,000.00 deposit paid. The buyer couldn’t settle, lost their deposit plus the Court ordered that they also pay the developer (receivers & managers appointed) $428,483.50 plus costs and the developer keeps the unit. A warning … always make sure that you can do what you contract to do and remember over time circumstances change which can affect your ability to honour a long term contract, be aware of this and try to factor this into any decision that you make.

(South Sky Investments Pty Ltd v Luppi [2012] QSC 27)

WP Lawyers newsletter:  Newsletter-of-the-Law_December_2011
Including:

  • Reintroduction of student union fees
  • Overhaul of Queensland’s domestic and family violence legislation
  • Queensland cummunity urged to ‘get ready’
  • Unaccompanied learner drivers to lose
  • combatting crime inthe community
  • new animal laws introduced
  • review of games censorship and classification

WP Lawyers newsletter:  Newsletter-of-the-Law_WP-Lawyers_June_2011
Including:

  • Release of three final issues papers on family law reforms
  • Pool registration extended
  • New body corporate law
  • Protecting the disabled
  • Drink driving reform
  • Gift card review
  • Changes to Weapons Act
  • Neighbourhood Disputes Resolutions Bill

WP Lawyers newsletter:  Newsletter-of-the-Law-December-2010
Including:

  • Changes to pool fencing laws,
  • Don’t feed the native animals: dingoes on Fraser Island,
  • Neighbourhood Dispute Resolution Bill 2010,
  • Social networking: to ‘tweet’ or not to ‘tweet’,
  • Check that you have a valid Will,
  • Proposed changes to the Body Corproate and Community Management Act 1997,
  • Voluntary Administration: what about the employee?

WP Lawyers newsletter:  Newsletter-August-2010
Including:

  • changes to the “do not call registry”,
  • injured workers need rehabilitation as well as compensation,
  • car crash: what to do about property damage,
  • Buying a house,
  • House and Land contracts changed,
  • Superannuation reforms: What do they mean for you?
  • making an Enduring Power of Attorney,
  • What is a Queensland workplace agreement?
Body Corporate prevented from banning environmentally friendly design

WP Lawyers newsletter:  Newsletter-of-the-Law-February-2010
Including:

  • Victim assistance scheme
  • Review of Family Law
  • Internet Providers off  the hook for allowing sharing & downloading movies & other media
  • Contract – are you considering buying a used car
  • refund & warranty obligations
  • Court decides that there’s no copyright in the White & Yellow Pages.