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Dino's Corner

Dino's Corner

E Conveyancing and Stamp Duty Changes

Posted by ddemarchi44 on 9 May, 2017 at 2:55 Comments comments (1188)

Newsdesk: e-conveyancing, and stamp duty changes—what they may mean for you

Changes to e-conveyancing and stamp duty are now in force. e-conveyancing is now the norm for most property conveyances. Everything from settlement, signature of transfer documents, stamping, and payment of duty will now be online. 

Be aware that sales over $750,000 will require a clearance certificate from the ATO.

We sincerely hope that following initial teething problems these changes will lead to a speedier conveyancing process and prove more helpful to first home buyers.

Reid v Repatriation Commission

Posted by ddemarchi44 on 31 July, 2014 at 21:25 Comments comments (616)

Favourable Special rate decisions are now rare but Reid v Repatriation Commission is one:

We are pleased with our successes in this area of law.

You can download the official document from the AustLII website by clicking the link below:

Summers v Repatriation Commission is a more recent one; we will post the decision shortly.

Has the Federal Court Jurisdiction in Honours and Awards Decisions ?

Posted by ddemarchi44 on 9 December, 2013 at 19:40 Comments comments (96)




1. We submit that  there are (at least) two bases for the Federal Court’s jurisdiction in these matters: (1) the ADJR Act and (2) the Judiciary Act. The Applicant invokes both avenues, in that order of preference.




2. The Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal (DHAAT) Fact Sheet 05 explains three important matters:


a. The DHAAT is established under the Defence Act 1903 ...


b. There are strict rules governing eligibility for awards ...


c. An applicant is able to seek review by the Federal Court on questions of law, but not on the merits ...


Administrative Decisions Judicial Review Act


3. The ADJR Act provides for judicial review jurisdiction in respect of decisions of an administrative character made under an enactment.


4. The determination of the DHAAT is a “decision”, namely a decision as to eligibility for an honour or award.


5. The determination is of an “administrative character”, being the consideration of relevant facts and their relationship to fixed criteria, namely “strict rules” governing eligibility.


6. The determination is made “under an enactment”, namely the Defence Act 1903, which establishes the DHAAT.


7. As a result, the Federal Court has jurisdiction to review the legality of the DHAAT determination.


Judiciary Act 1903 s 39B(1)


8. The above sub-section of the Judiciary Act provides for review jurisdiction, inter alia, where certiorari is sought against an “officer of the Commonwealth”.


9. Tribunal members occupy an “office”, namely the office of Members by way of appointment, with the provision of salary, to a Tribunal established under a Commonwealth Act.


10. Tribunal members are therefore “officers of the Commonwealth”.


11. Alternatively, the original determination by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs was made by an employee of the Department, being an “officer of the Commonwealth”.


12. As a result, the Federal Court has jurisdiction to review the legality of the DHAAT determination !




RSL State Conference

Posted by ddemarchi44 on 5 July, 2013 at 16:15 Comments comments (929)

 by Dino De Marchi

It was a pleasure to attend with veteran Fred Cullen OAM, President of the Ivanhoe sub branch, the recently concluded State Conference of the RSL.

Four important motions in particular were passed which increased potential benefits for entitled veterans:


  1. The Payment of all hearing aids for entitled veterans. In the past the department of veteran's affairs only approved more economical aids for entitled veterans. The gap between more proficient hearing aids had to be met by individual veterans.

  2. The generous standard of proof of a reasonable hypothesis has over the years been watered down by Federal court decisions. A motion to ensure that traumatic events and the relationship to operations service are dealt with by the generous standard of section 120 (1) of the Veteran's entitlement's act was passed by the conference.

  3. Section 24 of the Veteran's entitlement's act deals with special rate pensions. These are various substantial pensions. The 100% general rate pension amounts to $440.00 per fortnight. The special rate pension is in excess of $1200.00 per fortnight.   Previously the difference between a veteran who is entitled to a special pension and a veteran who is not entitled depended on chance events, making the law unfair in the case of some veterans. The remit would  replaced the requirement of being prevented from working by war-caused injuries or diseases 'alone' with 'substantially', and clarifying under what circumstances one must seek work and under what circumstances one does not have to seek work due to their war-caused incapacity to work.
  4. The question of matters being determined on a substantial merits of the case without regard to legal technicalities was also discussed and passed by the conference.



If the above motions are taken up by the National executive of the RSL later in the year and pushed as important issues for legislative amendment, veterans should see an improvement in their entitlement determinations.

It is again a pleasure to advance the cause of veterans and I look forward to your comments.

Dino De Marchi