Legal News


Pine Rivers Community Legal Service very closely collaborates with Family Relationship Centres in Strathpine and Chermside. Please click on the link for more information.

2015 PRCLS – FRC Collaboration Report


laws for trees and fences

Every year, thousands of Queenslanders find themselves in the middle of a neighbourhood dispute about a tree or a fence. The Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011 commenced 1 November 2011 making it easier for neighbours to resolve disputes about trees and fences.

You can find out more information or direct enquiries by emailing NeighbourhoodDisputesResolution@justice.qld.gov.au

While no two queries or disputes will be the same, a step-by-step guide is available at the website to help people find the best solution for them and their neighbour. While the legislation does not cover disputes about issues including noise and animals, links to organisations and resources that do address these issues are also available at the website.

Tenancy Legislation

Factsheet

Unfair Dismissal under Fair Work Act 2009

An employee is considered to be unfairly dismissed if Fair Work Australia (the Commission) is satisfied that:

  • The worker has been dismissed and not resigned voluntarily; and
  • The action by an employer was harsh, unjust or unreasonable; and
  • The dismissal was not a genuine redundancy; and
  • The dismissal was not consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code, where the employee was employed by a small business employing fewer than 15 employees.

An employee is eligible to make an application for unfair dismissal if they have completed the minimum employment period of:

  • One year—where the employer employs fewer than 15 employees (a small business employer)
  • Six months—where the employer employs 15 or more employees.

Furthermore, an employee must also meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • The employee is covered by a modern award; or
  • The employee is part of an applicable enterprise agreement; or
  • The employee’s annual rate of earnings is less than the high income threshold that is $129,300.

If a person earns more than $129,300 per year, at least one of the following must apply:

  • An award covers the person; or
  • An enterprise agreement applies to the person.

Only employees covered by the national workplace relations system are covered by the unfair dismissal laws. The national workplace relations system in Queensland covers those employed by private enterprise but those employed by local government and Queensland state government are not covered. In addition, the following categories of workers are also NOT covered by the unfair dismissal laws:

  • Those employed under a contract of employment for a specified period of time, a specified task, or the duration of a specified season who are dismissed at the end of the period, task or season.
  • Trainees whose employment was for a specified period of time and who are dismissed at the end of the training arrangement;
  • Employees who have been demoted but have had no significant reduction in their remuneration or duties and who remain employed by the employer who demoted them.

If you believe that you have been unfairly dismissed and meet eligibility criteria discussed above, then you can lodge an unfair dismissal remedy application within 21 days of the dismissal coming into effect. The Commission may accept a late application but only in exceptional circumstances. You are required to pay an application fee of $65.50. This fee may be waived on the grounds that its payment would cause serious hardship.You can lodge your application by email or electronic lodgement (eFiling), by telephone or facsimile, by post or in person at Fair Work Australia office. Before lodging your application it is best to get legal advice.

Note that this is only general information on unfair dismissal and not specific legal adviceUnder the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), from 1 July 2009 unfair dismissal will apply to small business employers (those employing more than 15 full-time employees) caught by the Federal system. An application must be filed within 21 days. For State awards the time limit is still 21 days.Updated changes as of January 1, 2013. Please click here

YOUTH JUSTICE CHANGES

The Youth Justice Act has recently been amended. This came into effect on 31 March 2014 and includes the following changes:

  • Permit repeat offenders’ identifying information to be published, which means that repeat offenders can now be publicly named.
  • Permit childhood findings of guilt for which no conviction was recorded to be admissible when sentencing a person for an adult offence.
  • The sentencing principle that detention can only be considered as a last resort has been abolished. This provides that in sentencing any adult or child for an offence punishable by imprisonment, then imprisonment (in the case of an adult) or detention (in the case of a child) will be imposed.
  • Seventeen-year-olds who have six or more months remaining in detention will be transferred to an adult correctional facility. This means that there is an automatic transfer from detention to adult corrective services facilities for 17 year olds who have six months or more left to serve in detention.
  • Allow children who have absconded from sentenced Youth Boot Camps to be arrested and brought before the court without first being given a warning.
  • A breach of bail offence has been created for those offenders who commit offences while subject to a bail undertaking.

 

THE OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC GUARDIAN

In July 2012 the Carmody enquiry was established to conduct a review of Queensland’s child protection system.

The result of this enquiry was a published in a report- Taking Responsibility- which was released in July 2013.The Report made a number of recommendations, one of which was that a statutory body be created to represent the interests of children. This was in part due to growing public concern relating to the increasing number of children and young people entering care

As a result of this recommendation, as from the 1 July 2014 the Office of the Public Guardian will be responsible for protecting rights of vulnerable adults with impaired capacity; as well as for protecting the rights of children and young people in out of home and residential care including youth detention. There will no longer be a separate Adult Guardian and Child Guardian- only one Public Guardian

The Office of the Public Guardian will be responsible for:

  • the current Adult Guardian’s responsibilities for protecting vulnerable adults.
  • supporting children and young people in the child protection system
  • the Community Visitor program for children in out of home care from the Commission for Children, Young People and Child Guardian (CCYPCG), which will cease operation from 30 June 2014.

More information is available on the web site www.publicguardian.qld.gov.au

The contact email will be adultguardian@publicguardian.qld.gov.au

For child visiting or advocacy matters an alternative email is childadvocate@publicguardian.qld.gov.au

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