The WA penalties will be the harshest in Australia alongside Queensland. Picture: iStock
The WA penalties will be the harshest in Australia alongside Queensland. Picture: iStock

Big changes in Australia on July 1

The new financial year is almost here.

It's an important mid-year milestone with the introduction of many big rule changes such as new laws and regulations, fees and charges and taxes and benefits.

Here's what you need to know for July 1, 2020.

SPORT KICKS OFF

From that date, all community sports teams will be able to start up again in NSW as the state continues to wind back coronavirus restrictions.

The rule change means all full-contact sport can resume from that date and food stalls at sport facilities will also reopen.

Children's sports will also get underway again.

Kids' sport is back on the table in NSW. Picture: iStock
Kids' sport is back on the table in NSW. Picture: iStock

PHONE CRACKDOWN

WA drivers busted using their phones behind the wheel will cop a maximum $1000 on-the-spot fine and four demerit points from July 1.

The tough new measures will apply to motorists found to be texting, using social media, watching film clips, emailing or using the internet on their mobiles while driving.

It will more than double the previous, $400 penalty for the offence, and brings the state in line with Queensland, which also imposes the harsh penalty.

Those who touch their phone while their vehicle is stopped at traffic lights or who make calls while holding the device could also receive a $500 fine and three demerit points.

CHILDCARE SHAKE UP

Parents will no longer be able to enjoy free childcare, with the government scrapping the emergency free childcare package introduced at the height of the coronavirus outbreak from July 13.

From July 20, the JobKeeper wage subsidy will no longer be available to the industry.

Instead, the $1500-a-fortnight payments, which were paid to around 120,000 childcare employees, will be replaced with a $708 million transition package - which might represent less cash than JobKeeper.

Labor and the Greens have slammed the childcare shake up as a “broken promise”. Picture: iStock
Labor and the Greens have slammed the childcare shake up as a “broken promise”. Picture: iStock

WORKING FROM HOME EXPENSES

The ATO's temporary, shortcut method that applies to working from home expenses between March 1 and June 30, 2020 will come to an end in the new financial year.

It was previously announced in a bid to make it easier for the millions of Aussies who suddenly found themselves barred form the office at the peak of the outbreak, by allowing people to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour for all their running expenses, instead of calculating costs for specific running expenses as taxpayers would under normal circumstances.

If you're still working from home, from July 1, the claiming of expenses will revert back to the previous methods.

NEW CHEMICALS LAW

The Industrial Chemicals Act 2019 will come into effect on July 1, and will provide a new regulatory scheme for the importation and manufacture of industrial chemicals in Australia.

The law also gives effect to the ban on the use of new animal test data for ingredients solely used in cosmetics.

WORKERS' COMP

The Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 was passed by the Queensland parliament last October, but a few new rules will commence from July 1.

From that date, self-insured employers will be required to report injuries and any payments made to workers to their insurer.

Workers' compensation coverage will also be extended to unpaid interns and employers will need to provide the details of their rehabilitation and return to work co-ordinators to their insurer.

WORKPLACE MANSLAUGHTER

Victoria's new workplace manslaughter offences will also come into effect after the Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Manslaughter and other matters) Bill 2019 passed parliament last November 2019.

As a result there will be harsher penalties for negligently causing a fatality in the workplace, including fines of up to $16.5 million for duty holders and up to 20 years in jail for individuals.

There will be harsher penalties for those who fail to protect workers in Victoria. Picture: iStock
There will be harsher penalties for those who fail to protect workers in Victoria. Picture: iStock

FLEXIBILITY FOR OLDER AUSSIES

In the 2019-20 budget, the government announced they would further relax the work tests for super contributions. This will mean that from July 1, those aged 65 and 66 will be allowed to make voluntary concessional and non-concessional superannuation contributions without meeting the work test.

The bring forward of up to three years of non-concessional contributions rule will also be lifted to 67 on that date and those up to the age of 75 will be able to make spouse contributions.

It will allow older Aussies more scope to make contributions to their superannuation, even if they are already retired, and give older Australians greater flexibility to save for retirement.

EARLY SUPER

From July 1 2020, the temporary COVID-19 early release of superannuation will not be available to temporary residents.

Eligible Australian and New Zealand citizens and permanent residents can apply for up to $10,000 from July 1, 2020 until September 24, 2020).

Click here for more information.

DELAY FOR NEW RENTAL LAWS

A raft of new tenancy rules that were due to start in Victoria on July 1 will now be pushed back to January 1, 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As a result, the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2018 will be delayed until the new year.

Click here for more information.

WELFARE RECIPIENTS GET DISCOUNT ON FINES

The NSW government announced anyone on government benefit payments could apply to have fines collected by Revenue NSW to be cut in half.

The discount applies to anyone on Centrelink, including Aussies on JobKeeper or Jobseeker.

The NSW government announced on Sunday that anyone on government benefit payments could apply to have fines collected by Revenue NSW to be reduced.

This covers road-related offences such as speeding and parking and the discount also covers police-related infringements.

The changes will come into effect on July 1. Click here for more information.

Originally published as Big changes in Australia on July 1


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