Latest Marriage and Divorce Statistics

Registered marriages, 2012 (annual change):
Queensland …………………………………………….. (up)  2.8%
Australia ………………………………………………….. (up)  1.2%

Registered divorces, 2012 (annual change):
Queensland …………………… ……………………(down) 0.7%
Australia …………………………………………………..  (up) 2.0%

Source: ABS, ABS 3310.0, released 27 November 2013.

Marriage and Divorce Stats 2012






If you have a family matter, please contact our friend Family Law team today.

New Legislation for Queensland Real Estate & Property

New Legislation for Property & Real EstateOn Tuesday, The Property Agents and Motor Dealers Acts was passed by Queensland Parliament which should see a more streamlined purchase process when buying property in Queensland.  This is what REIQ Chairman, Rob Honeycombed had to say “The new laws will also empower consumers as never before, making it easier than ever for them to navigate the entire spectrum of real estate transactions.”

There are also changes to ‘cooling off’ periods coming soon, so buyers are urged to take care when finalising contracts. Ian Brown, president of the Queensland Law Society has said “Under the new laws, a buyer personally can waive their cooling off rights simply through written notice to the seller.”  “Previously, waiving or shortening the cooling off period required a certificate from an independent lawyer which demonstrated that the lawyer has explained to the buyer the effect of the contract, the certificate and the effect of waiving your cooling off rights.”

Read more on the Fraser Coast Chronicle website

If you are looking at buying or selling property contact our team of solicitors who can make this process even easier for you.

Seppelt Chalambar Shiraz 2012

Wine Review Seppelt Chalambar ShirazIt was the 1850s that gold was first discovered in the Grampians region of Central Victoria and, if the Seppelt Chalambar Shiraz is any guide, it might just have been rediscovered  in 2012!

Typically, the Grampains region produces Shiraz that has an attractive African Violet bouquet, is medium bodied and oozes classy dark, spicy fruit that doesn’t overexpose itself on the palate.  And the 2012 release of the Chalambar does all that but, perhaps courtesy of a blending with fruit from the nearby Bendigo region, somehow manages to harness a subtle sweetness through the middle of the palate and boasts a smoky toasted oakiness at the back.

But the real beauty of this vintage is the elegance of the fruit, its exemplary structure and the gentle nutmeg spiciness that titillates, without dominating the tastebuds.  Throw in a lingering graceful finish and a $20 price point and it’s gold Jerry, it’s gold!

I’m told that Seppelt are a major sponsor of next weekend’s Noosa Food and Wine Festival, so if you get the chance, hunt down the Seppelt stand and ask for the Chalambar – you won’t be disappointed. Chances are that you’ll find me there!

Our wine reviewer, Travis Schultz, is managing partner of Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers and lover of fine food and wine

Restraints of Trade and Artificial Insemination

Restraints of Trade and Artifical InseminationIt is a well established rule of law that in order for a restraint of trade to be valid it must be reasonable and the “reasonableness” of restraint is to be judged when it is first imposed.  Against that background, the recent decision of the Full Federal Court which found that there was no unreasonable restraint of trade in prohibiting thoroughbred horses from racing if they were conceived by means of artificial insemination, makes interesting reading.

In McHugh v. Australian Jockey Club Limited, a thoroughbred breeder sought to challenge rules that were established in 1947 which declared that only thoroughbred (race) horses that were registered in the Stud Book were eligible to race in thoroughbred events and that in order to be eligible to be entered in the Stud Book a horse must be conceived by natural means.  The thoroughbred breeder who brought the proceeding argued that it was an unreasonable restraint of trade given that it so severely limited breeding options and increased the costs of doing so.

In determining whether this restraint was reasonable, the Court thought that you had to look at the circumstances that existed when the restraint was first introduced. When this particular rule was introduced in 1947, there were no means of DNA or blood testing to verify the pedigree of a particular horse and consequently, the restraint at that time, was considered to be reasonable because it protected legitimate interests, namely, the need to prevent fraud or deceit in the genetic heritage of a thoroughbred.  The fact that since that time, DNA testing and blood testing had got to the point where they could detect any fraud and could verify a thoroughbred’s bloodlines was irrelevant, because the test was applied at the time that the restraint was created.

At a practical level, the decision does emphasise that restraints will be struck down if they are found to do more than is reasonable in the circumstances and if you are looking to put a restraint in place in a business situation, caution is required to ensure that it does no more than protect legitimate business interests in a reasonable way.

Travis Schultz Managing Partner Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers Ph: (07) 5413 8900 Fax: (07) 5413 8958

PHI Lusatia Park Pinot Noir 2011

PHI Pinot NoirHaving a bottle of the PHI Lusatia Park Pinot Noir 2011 fall into my hands courtesy of winning a bet with a mate (thanks Bloodlines), it was always going to have a certain sweetness on the palate.  But who could have guessed that such a highly perfumed nose could have carried such rose petal prettiness from the first sip through to a luxurious finale.

The PHI is the result of a partnership between the De Bertoli and Shelmerdine families who have hand cultivated single vineyards in Victoria’s Yarra Valley and allowed the aromatic Pinot Noir grapes to weave their unadulterated magic.  I happened to crack the PHI on a Sunday night when I had coincidentally concocted an Indian spiced lamb and spinach stirfry and it’s hard to imagine a better match – potpourian scents at the front and an aromatic cherry lusciousness across the middle.  The exposure to French Oak is understated to allow the gracefulness of the cool climate wine to carry the finish without a hint of self indulgence.

Good Pinot is seldom cheap and the PHI is no exception.  At close to $50 a bottle it’s not an everyday drinking proposition, but if you plan to have a wager with a mate over a game of football, this is as good as stake as you’ll find!

Our wine reviewer, Travis Schultz, is managing partner of Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers and lover of fine food and wine

Billy Goat Hill Estate 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Billy Goat Hill Estate 2012 Cab SavI’d never heard of Billy Goat Hill let alone their wines until I recently acquiesced to a glass of red with my lunch on a domestic Virgin flight to Sydney.  The name may sound like something out of a Norwegian fairytale, but the lesson I received in geography was well worth the adventure!

The Billy Goat Hill Estate is apparently located in the Geographe region of Western Australia and is only about 150 kms south of Perth.  Situated on the Darling Ranges in Western Australia’s far south west, the terrier is gravelly loam soils on a granite bed and the apparently sub-optimal growing conditions (rather ironically) result in their vines producing an intensity of fruit that is as unruly as it is enticing.

On the nose, there’s a somewhat mineralic herbaceousness, but on the palate, the Billy Goat Hill is a dancing troupe of red berries, nettle characters and a support act of gentle French Oak.  There’s an attractive savoury edge at the back which shows none of the leather or “forest floor” that you sometimes see in Australian Cabernet.

I was also surprised by the value – the Billy Goat Hill Cabernet is available at around $17 a bottle from the Harvey River Estate website and I’d have to say that it’s one of the better airline wines I’ve stumbled across during my domestic travels.

Our wine reviewer, Travis Schultz, is managing partner of Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers and lover of fine food and wine

Sevenhill “St Ignatius” 2010

Sevenhill St Ignatius 2010It may just be a conversation starter, but if I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked, “So, what’s your favourite wine”, I’d almost be able to give up my day job!  And while it’s a little unfair to compare premium and pricy collectible wines to their commercially produced cousins which sell at a fraction of the cost, the Sevenhill “St Ignatius”  is probably my current top pick for a “drink now” proposition.

The wine is a Bordeaux blend which comprises Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc all of which hails from the Sevenhill Vineyards in South Australia’s Clare Valley.  The winery is an interesting story in itself as it is owned by the Jesuits who established the vineyards in 1951 to produce wines for sacramental religious purposes, but who later began producing commercial wines to support their charitable missionary work.

Winemaker, Liz Heidenreich, is the first non-Jesuit winemaker to ever craft their wines and she’s been doing a stellar job since taking the helm in 2005.

Her work with the St Ignatius is outstanding, as the 2010 vintage in particular shows all the bold red berry fruits that you’d expect of a South Aussie red, but the impeccable finesse and balance of a Bordeaux blend with perhaps a touch of lingering spiciness on the finish.  It’s obviously had decent French Oak exposure and will undoubtedly stand the test of time (if, unlike me, you can stop yourself from ripping the cap off a bottle every Friday night)!

At around $40 a bottle, it’s not aimed at the budget end of the wine market, but neither should it be – it’s a ripper!

Our wine reviewer, Travis Schultz, is managing partner of Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers and lover of fine food and wine

Permits Required for Training in Local Parks

Are you a fitness instructor on the Sunshine Coast and train your clients in the local parks? Then make sure you have permission to do so. The Sunshine Coast Council has revealed 69 fitness instructors have permits and others are not complying with local laws. If you do not have a permit then you are at risk of being fine $550. Visit the Sunshine Coast Council website for details on how to obtain a permit.

Traning in Local Parks

Helping Law Students

Peta Yujnovich of Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers and Vice-President of Suncoast Community Legal Services, will be helping train Law students of the University of the Sunshine Coast when students commence legal work at the legal services. Students will assist staff and lawyers provide advice and case work services to disadvantaged people.

Peta Yujnovich

Lindeman’s Regional Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Lindeman's Regional Series Cab SauvI am not sure whether it’s for the preservation of a wine’s integrity, its marketability or just plain elitism, but in the Australian wine industry, it’s relatively rare for a winemaker to blend grapes of the same style from different territories.  But the aversion to regional blending might be a thing of the past, given the bold step taken by Lindeman’s to recently launch their “Regional Series” which blends grapes from different, but complimentary regions.

There’s a Pinot Noir Chardonnay bubbly from the Yarra Valley and Adelaide Hills and a Chardonnay blended from Hunter Valley and Adelaide Hills fruit, but it was the Cabernet crafted from the harvest of the Padthaway and Clare Valleys that really caught my attention.

I’ve always been fond of the Clare Valley Cabernet, but never really developed a taste for its Padthaway cousin, but apparently, they work very well as a team.

The 2012 “Regional Series” will settle with time and for now, it probably needs to sit for half an hour after opening.  There’s a savoury earthiness on the nose that becomes fragrant brambly fruit and liquorice across the palate (although with perhaps a slight olive, cedar and aniseed edge that will probably become less evident with time).

The real strength of the latest edition to the Lindeman’s stable is its finish which is balanced, well supported by tannin and lusciously lingering.

At around $20 a bottle, it’s sure to be a popular edition to the Lindeman’s range.

Our wine reviewer, Travis Schultz, is managing partner of Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers and lover of fine food and wine