Maddens Lawyers

PUBLIC MEETING TO DISCUSS POTENTIAL COMPENSATION FOLLOWING COOLAROO RECYCLING PLANT FIRE

Maddens Lawyers have commenced investigations into SKM Industries Pty Ltd, the owner and operator of the Coolaroo Recycling Plant, as a result of a large fire at the plant.

A public meeting will be held this week on Thursday 20 July at 6.30pm at the Coolaroo Hotel, Cnr Barry Rd & Maffra St for local residents and businesses impacted by the fire to discuss their potential for compensation, and how this class action will work. Houses and business in and around Coolaroo were evacuated as a result of toxic fumes, smoke and ash emanating from the fire.

Mr Brendan Pendergast, Principal of Maddens Lawyers, said that the consequences of the Coolaroo Recycling Plant fire will be likely to give rise to a claim for compensation against the owner and operator of the plant.

Mr Pendergast said that it was particularly concerning that there had been numerous previous incidences of fire at the recycling plant, including in February and June this year. “The frequency of fires at the plant is a red flag. It indicates that fire risk management and control measures may not be adequate and that further investigation should be undertaken.”

For more information, contact Maddens Lawyers on 1800 815 228 or email coolaroofire@maddenslawyers.com.au to register your details. Registering is not a commitment to take legal action, but will ensure that those affected are kept informed of developments regarding the investigation and compensation opportunities.

Media Contacts
Brendan Pendergast, Partner, Maddens Lawyers 0419 538 142
Sarah Sheehan, Communications Manager, Maddens Lawyers 0401 904 570

STAMP DUTY AND FOREIGN RESIDENT CAPITAL GAINS WITHHOLDING PROVISIONS FROM 1 JULY 2017

The following changes apply to contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2017.

They do not apply to contracts entered into before 1 July 2017.

Stamp Duty Exemptions and Concessions for First Home Buyers

Eligible first home buyers purchasing a home with a dutiable value of less than $600,000.00 are exempt from paying stamp duty on the purchase of that home.

Eligible first home buyers purchasing a home with a value between $600,001.00 to $750,000.00 will be entitled to a concessional rate of duty. The concession will be greater where the value of the property is closer to $600,001.00.

First Home Owner Grant for Regional Victoria

A new increased First Home Owner Grant of $20,000.00 is available for first home-buyers who buy or build a new home valued up to $750,000.00 in regional Victoria.

Off-the-plan Concessions

From 1 July 2017, off-the-plan concessions (OTP Concessions) will only apply to buyers purchasing an off-the-plan property for the purpose of occupying the property as their home.

The OTP Concessions apply to purchasers who are eligible for:

1. a first home buyer stamp duty concession or exemption (available for purchases with a dutiable value of up to $750,000); or

2. a principal place of residence stamp duty concession (available for purchases with a dutiable value of up to $550,000).

The off-the-plan stamp duty concession deducts from the purchase price, the cost of any construction or refurbishment which occurs on or after the contract date.

Example:

Person A decides to buy a new apartment in an apartment block with a land value of $100,000.00 and a purchase price of $400,000.00. Construction on the apartment has not commenced. The value of the land plus improvements at the contract date (the dutiable amount) is $100,000.00. This is below the principal place of residence threshold for $550,000.00, meaning Person A is eligible for the off-the-plan stamp duty concession.

Foreign Resident Capital Gains Withholding

Where a foreign resident disposes of taxable Australian property, the purchaser is required to withhold a monetary amount being 12.5% of the purchase price. This is the Foreign Resident Capital Gains Withholding (FRCGW) tax. The purchaser must then remit the tax to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

From 1 July 2017, the FRCGW applies to Australian properties with a market value of $750,000.00 or more. Prior to 1 July 2017, FRCGW only applied to properties with a market value of $2,000,000.00 or more.

Unless a vendor provides the purchaser with a Clearance Certificate from the ATO, certifying that the vendor is not a foreign resident, the Purchaser must withhold 12.5% of the purchase price in transactions involving taxable Australian real property where that property has a market value of $750,000.00 or more.

Example One:

Person A is purchasing a property with market value of $650,400.00 from Person B. Person B is a foreign resident. The purchaser does not need to withhold any of the purchase price as the property has a value under $750,000.00.

Example Two:

Person A is purchasing a property with a market value of $800,000.00 from Person B. Person B has not provided a clearance certificate from the ATO and is deemed a foreign resident. Person A must withhold 12.5% of the purchase price being $100,000.00 and remit this amount to the ATO.

Example Three:

Person A is purchasing a property with a market value of $800,000.00 from Person B. Person B has provided a clearance certificate from the ATO. Person A does not need to withhold any of the purchase price as Person B is not a foreign resident.

MADDENS LAWYERS LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO THE COOLAROO RECYCLING PLANT FIRE

Maddens Lawyers have commenced an investigation into SKM Industries Pty Ltd, the owner and operator of the Coolaroo Recycling Plant, as a result of a large fire currently burning at the plant.

Approximately 100 houses and business in and around Coolaroo have been evacuated as a result of toxic fumes, smoke and ash emanating from the fire. At least four people, including a child, are reported to have been taken to hospital as a result of health concerns arising from the fire.

Mr Brendan Pendergast, Principal of Maddens Lawyers, said that the consequences of the Coolaroo Recycling Plant fire may give rise to a claim for compensation against the owner and operator of the plant.

Mr Pendergast said that it was particularly concerning that there had been numerous previous incidences of fire at the recycling plant, including in February and June this year. “The frequency of fires at the plant is a red flag. It indicates that fire risk management and control measures may not be adequate and that further investigation should be undertaken.”

Maddens Lawyers has significant experience in representing large groups of people impacted by fire having successfully represented many hundreds of victims of bushfires across Victoria and New South Wales since 1983. This includes people affected by the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires and, more recently, the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.

Mr Pendergast said that “Maddens Lawyers are acutely aware of the impact that fire can have on a person’s health as well as the significant inconvenience arising from displacement and smoke, soot and ash infiltration. Of course, each of these issues are likely to have financial consequences for victims as well.”

Anyone impacted should contact Maddens Lawyers on 1800 815 228 or via e-mail coolaroofire@maddenslawyers.com.au to register their details. Registering is not a commitment to take legal action but will ensure that those affected are kept informed of developments regarding the investigation and compensation opportunities.

Given the number of people impacted, any potential claim for compensation is likely to be advanced by way of a class action.

The fire is expected to continue to burn for a number of days.

 

Media Contact:

Brendan Pendergast, Partner, Maddens Lawyers: 0419 538 142
Sarah Sheehan, Communications Manager, Maddens Lawyers: 0401 904 570