The Landlord Advisory Service has called upon ACT landlords to speak up for their rights at the a public meeting being held by the ACT Community Law Reform Committee.

The meeting is at Phillip College from 4pm to 7pm next Monday.

The service has placed an advertisement in The Canberra Times tomorrow saying landlord rights to chose a tenant, to be paid rent and to retain vacant possession of their properties are under threat.

It says tenant groups have many ideas for change.
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From today employers of more than half the Australian workforce with have to pay extra superannuation and spend more on training.

Employers groups says the changes will result in major job losses or increased prices.

The Confederation of Australian Industry says the superannuation increases will cost between 45,000 and 60,000 jobs.

From today employers with a payroll of more than $1 million will have to pay each employee 4 per cent of salary in vested superannuation to all employees earning more than $450 a month, up from 3 per cent.
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From today the ACT Supreme Court comes under the province of the ACT Legislative Assembly and Executive.

A formal ceremony will be held at the court to mark the occasion this morning.

The significance of today’s change is that the Assembly and its Executive (for practical purposes, the Attorney-General) become responsible for the administration of the courts as well as appointments to the Bench.
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Land tax is expected to rise by as much as 40 per cent in some suburbs and by an average of 25 per cent next financial year.

This is despite the announcement this week that the Follectt Government would not increase the land tax rate of 1 per cent.

Landlords were initially relieved by the announcement. They had expected it to rise to 1.25 per cent or 1.5 per cent. However, the increase in property valuations have ensured land tax would rise anyway.
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A member of the National Crime Authority misled the parliamentary watchdog on the authority, according to the Senate Privileges Committee.

The privileges committee found also that the authority’s then chairman and other members of the authority tried to prevent an officer from giving evidence to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority.

The joint committee was set up as a watchdog to the authority, which has wide powers and extensive secrecy provisions, after concern about who watches the watchers.
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The Opposition spokesman on industry and commerce, Ian McLachlan, has won a large defamation settlement from Rural Press Limited.

Mr McLachlan began action in the ACT Supreme Court after the now-defunct Australian Rural Times asserted in August, 1990, he had shown a confidential letter on Liberal party policy to the then Labor Minister for Primary Industry, John Kerin, and that Mr McLachlan was known as the Labor Member for Barker.

It is understood the case has cost Rural Press about $250,000 in legal fees and the settlement, leaving Mr McLachlan around $80,000. These figures, however, would not be confirmed because the settlement was not to be disclosed.
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The states have not won an ingenious legal-financial trick since Geoffrey Sawer told them how to raise tobacco taxes in the 1970s.

The Commonwealth, on the other hand, has been flush with new tricks. The latest is the Superannuation Guarantee Levy, which passed into law this week.

While most have rightly concentrated on the three most important things in politics these days (jobs, jobs and jobs), the super levy has some longer term implications for Australia, not only ensuring that the soon-to-be retirement-boomers pay their own way.
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Public officials often incur legal costs in the course of their public duty. When that happens the public must pay. It is in the public interest that public officials not expose their own pockets to defend actions taken against them over the execution of their duty. Otherwise, good people will be reluctant to take public positions. This is not cant. The threat of being sued in these days of astronomic legal fees can damp the most public-spirited of people.

That said, there is a limit. Public provision of legal costs should be a shield, not a sword. Two illustrations were revealed this week. One of the first announcements by the new NSW Premier, John Fahey, was that the Government would pay the legal costs of Nick Greiner and Tim Moore to challenge the findings of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. The other was the decision by the board of the Civil Aviation Authority to help with legal costs of two senior managers who had allegedly been defamed.

The latter is clearly bad in principle. Public administration would not be affected one iota if they did not sue. The public purse should not provide for first-instance plaintiffs. However, if they were being sued, if they were defendants, it would be different. The public purse (within reason) should be opened to them to defend a defamation action arising out of their public duty.
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There was a tide in the affairs of NSW that if taken at the flood in 1988, would have led on to fortune, but for Nick Greiner now is bound in shallows and miseries, for Ian Temby has said there is something rotten in the state of NSW.

At least Mr Greiner stood upon the order of his going rather than going at once, last Friday. That gave time for much reflection upon whether he had suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in being denied his day in court, or whether things without remedy should be without regard. What’s done is done.

Nicholas Frank Greiner was certainly not born great. He was born in Budapest in Hungary on April 27, 1947. He came to Australia with his parents shortly before his fourth birthday. He achieved his Bachelor of Economics from Sydney University and then a Master of Business Administration from Harvard. And had the Premiership thrust upon him by the people of NSW on March 19, 1988.
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Caligula, the rule of law and Australia

The Roman Emperor Caligula (born 12AD, murdered 41AD) has had some bad press in the past, say, 1900 years.

And I am about to give him some more, not for all his personal torture, rape, murder and incest, but for his more general undermining of the rule of law.

It is an opportune time for doing so because in Australia in the past couple of weeks we have seen the rule of law gradually triumph over rule by persona, despite the cries of banana republic, political bankruptcy and economic doom and gloom.
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