Duty and the Beast



Long ago and far away the State Government in it’s wisdom created a Beast called “The First Home Owners Grant”.

This was designed to stimulate investment in domestic housing and drive the State economy forward.

We have a new version and a new threshold and if you or a family member meet the eligibility criteria, now might be a good time to take advantage of the payment.


As announced in the State Budget 2016-17, additional duty of 3% will apply to acquisitions of residential land by foreign persons (including companies and trusts) from 1 October 2016.

This additional transfer duty is imposed to fund additional payments under the State Government First Home Owner’s Grant.

The Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant is a state government initiative to help first home owners to get their new first home sooner. Depending on the date of your contract, you’ll get $15,000 or $20,000 towards buying or building your new house, unit or townhouse (valued at less than $750,000). You can even buy off the plan or choose to build yourself.

Note: The $20,000 Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant is not available to contracts that replace previous contracts entered into before 1 July 2016.

To be eligible for the grant:

  • You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or applying with someone who is).
  • You or your spousemust not have previously owned property in Australia.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must be buying or building a brand new home, valued under $750,000.


This means a significant opportunity for young people trying to purchase their first home and we recommend that you take advantage of it while you can.


Remember, the payment must be considered as only one part of the equation. Careful planning, research and valuation evidence must be obtained before jumping into a contract. You must have a reasonable due diligence process for the Contract including Building and pest reports and conducting adequate searches of the property. Ask us how we can help with a fixed fee solution today!

The Business Spectator

I was fascinated to read about the journey by Alan Kohler in National Australia Bank Business View about his rise and rise to ultimate exit point of his capital in the business known as “The Eureka Report”.

What struck me were the core themes running through his business success alongside his other stakeholders:

  1. They targeted a specific market and attacked it in a very strategic way.
  2. They worked every day according to a fundamental principle: “the customer is right and you must deliver quality first”.
  3. They only sought and retained the best people for their business including cultural fit.
  4. They had an absolute focus on costs to deliver their end product at all times.
  5. By careful management they ensured loyalty and engagement with their customers, including the pricing policy.
  6. They exercised management discipline around each aspect of the business to keep it on track.

As a result they achieved a capital exit by the stakeholders by sale to a large public company which gave them access to greater opportunities and achieved their goals.

They also joined in a strategic alliance with a boutique service provider to enhance the customer offering and technology base.

These are the key points for any business with a plan.

As advisors to business owners in similar journeys we see many different outcomes and they are largely due to these fundamental principles either done well or done poorly. We are constantly helping out clients with planning, with the end in mind, and regularly review their internal strategy.

Our role is far more powerful when we act as a strategic partner to facilitate change in a business to build value for the owner over time.

This might be securing a trademark to build goodwill, rigorously checking terms and conditions to ensure recovery of sales or checklist by due diligence the legal strengths and weakness of a business.

Ultimately these things will determine if stakeholders achieve their goal of sale of a business and ensure that if they do their exit price is multiplied.

This is really the fun part of what we do as it means our clients are more aware of the risks and connected to the end goal from an earlier time.

While we won’t be here forever, good planning means great outcomes.

I love reading about business success stories like Alan Kohler as they inspire me to make changes and to refine the plan my own business.

Although our personal ambitions may be modest it is the satisfaction in achieving even small goals that makes life fulfilling as a business owner.

Giving back by Pro Bono

We are very proud of our community support program which ranges from the new Life Trust orphanage in Myanmar to The Womens’ Legal Service Queensland.

We also support the Cancer Council and here  are some interesting comments from a referrer:

Referrer Q&A

Across the country we work with wonderful referrers including social workers and oncology nurses at cancer treatment centres and hospitals who refer individuals to the program who need assistance with legal, financial, workplace and small business issues. We spoke with Victorian referrer Jessica Valentine who has referred many clients to the Pro Bono Program over the past 2 years about her experience with the program. Here’s what Jessica had to say…

I work at… Western Health- Sunshine Hospital in St Albans in Victoria.

I refer patients to the Pro Bono Program because… I have had positive feedback from patients who have utilised the financial planning and legal service. A cancer diagnosis can often cause financial disruption that can cause additional distress for patients and their families. These patients often feel pressured to continue working despite feeling unwell during their treatment. They are sometimes unaware of insurances that may be attached to their superannuation, mortgage, credit cards etc. The pro bono financial planning service can assist patients to navigate their best financial options and advocate on their behalf.

A cancer diagnosis can also alert people to legal issues that can cause them to feel overwhelmed in their already stressful circumstances.  Patients are often relieved to learn of the legal service available when they are experiencing financial hardship.


We have achieved successful outcomes for patients in these difficult circumstances and can be proud that we helped someone in a time of need.

If you or any of your friends are affected by cancer please let us know as we are able to work pro bono through the cancer Council to provide legal solutions.