15 May 2016
The Aboriginal Governance and Leadership Program is open for applications
The State Government has this month announced funding of $2.3 million for an Aboriginal Governance and Leadership Program for regional Western Australia.
The Program delivers grants to eligible Aboriginal businesses in WA's regional and remote locations to assist with improving their governance practices. It provides access to professional assistance to support businesses to strengthen their financial management and strategic decision making.
$60,000 is available to Aboriginal businesses to engage qualified service providers. Jackson McDonald is a qualified service provider.
We encourage Aboriginal businesses to contact us on 9426 6871 (Alana Bernstein) or 9426 6739 (Emma Chinnery) to discuss how we might assist with the Program.
Applications close on Thursday 9 June 2016.
6 May 2016
A recent WorkaSafe media release has advised that their recent inspection blitz aimed at construction sites in the Perth CBD has reported a high level of compliance with workplace safety laws.
The main goal in carrying out this program was to ensure construction sites were adequately prepared to protect the public in the immediate vicinity of the activity
The findings showed that a total of 44 construction sites were inspected, resulting in 20 improvement notices and 195 verbal directions being issued to improve site safety.
2 May 2016
Criminal activity and your employees: why you should exercise caution before hiring or firing employees based on criminal conduct
While it may appear obvious that an employer is entitled to hire and fire employees with reference to serious criminal conduct, both the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) (AHRC Act) and recent unfair dismissal cases make clear that employers should proceed with caution before making any prejudicial decision based on these factors.
Author: Shannon Walker
12 April 2016
In various industries, decision-makers significantly affect the rights and interests of others. Despite the fact that they may have regularly encountered aggressive and disgruntled people in the course of their roles, they frequently downplay the personal security risks that arise, reassuring themselves that they are “only doing their job” and that all affected people “will understand”. Further, people often assume that there is nothing they can do to overcome a requirement for their address to be publicly available information e.g. ASIC keeps a register of director addresses.
This alert examines the options available for suppressing personal information from publication, highlights the importance of applying for suppression as soon as a security risk develops, and considers the inherent security risks in using social media.
Author: Eva Lin
11 April 2016
On 6 April 2016 the ATO released a Practical Compliance Guideline (PCG 2016/5) which helpfully sets out ‘safe harbour’ features of a limited recourse borrowing arrangement (LRBA) that are acceptable to the Commissioner. Super fund trustees with related party LRBAs need to read the Guideline and review the terms and features of their LRBAs as soon as possible and take any necessary remedial action by 30 June 2016 to ensure they are compliant and do not trigger adverse income tax consequences for the fund under the non-arm’s length income (NALI) provisions.
18 March 2016
From 1 July 2016, if you buy Australian property from a foreign resident you may have to withhold some of the purchase price and remit it to the Australian Taxation Office as part of a new regime designed to assist in the collection of the seller’s capital gains tax (CGT) liability.
The withholding tax rate will be 10% of the total purchase price.
16 March 2016
Last week, the Supreme Court of WA handed down its judgment in the case of Sandy v Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC [No 2]  WASC 75 (YAC Case).
The YAC Case raises a number of crucial points that all Aboriginal Corporations should be aware of. Most importantly, the YAC Case should serve as a reminder of why corporations need to follow their Rulebook and the provisions of the CATSI Act.
This article features the five key messages we took from the YAC Case.
Author: Adam Levin
11 March 2016
The recent WA Supreme Court of Appeal decision in City of Swan v Bayblue Holdings Pty Ltd  WASCA 227 is a timely reminder to local governments of the difficulties in determining whether or not a charge is tainted by duplicity and the potential consequences of getting it wrong.
Duplicity occurs where there is a single charge which on its face or on the evidence adduced at trial gives rise to more than one offence. A charge tainted by duplicity may at best result in a costly adjournment of the trial and at worst may result in a conviction being overturned on appeal.
The above risks are particularly acute in the prosecution of offences involving a failure to comply with a direction issued under s. 214 of the Planning Development Act 2005 or a building order issued under s. 110 of the Building Act 2011 (where these notices are directed to more than one set of works).
11 March 2016
It’s Not About the Height! – an overview of Nairn v Metro Central Joint Development Assessment Panel  WASC 56
On 25 February 2016, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Nairn v Metro-Central Joint Development Assessment Panel  WASC 56.
The decision by Justice Chaney quashed an approval by the Metro-Central Joint Development Assessment Panel for a 29 storey mixed use development on Mill Point Road, South Perth.
The decision has caused a great deal of consternation within the property development sector and attracted a lot of press about the ramifications for other approvals of high rise developments in South Perth.
The decision highlights the difficulties of interpreting and applying the provisions of a planning scheme which may have multiple, overlapping and, in some cases, disparate provisions applying to a particular subject site.
However, the decision should not be construed as precluding or limiting a decision-maker’s discretion to vary development requirements (such as height and plot ratio) under a planning scheme in appropriate circumstances.
4 February 2016
No doubt you have started thinking about the preparation of budgets for the next financial year.
We remind you that the new accounting and financial reporting requirements are effective for the financial year commencing 1 July 2016. This article sets out some factors for you to keep in mind.