New laws that may affect you across VIC in 2021

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Austrump Commercial

New laws that may affect you across VIC in 2021

new law


Here are some of the new measures that take effect across Victoria in the first three months of the year:


New protections for renters

Permanent reforms designed to improve the standard of living for renters will come in on March 29, pushed back from January 1 due to the pandemic. Landlords will need to ensure their property meets a series of minimum standards, including a functioning deadlock on external doors, a vermin proof rubbish bin, functioning kitchen, mould and damp-free rooms and hot water connections.

They will also need to organise safety-related maintenance on items such as electrical appliances. Fines of up to almost $10,000 and "other punitive action" can be dished out to "those who cut corners or who do not prioritise compliance with their obligations", according to the new laws.

Rent relief curtailed

Special laws compelling landlords to negotiate rent reductions with tenants due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic was due to change on January 1, but the moratorium has now been extended to March 28, 2021. The new will rules restore more power to landlords, who will no longer be legally required to offer relief.


Cheaper electricity

Power bills will drop by between about $20 and $40 for Victorian households and up to $158 for small businesses from January 1. The five main electricity providers – AusNet, CitiPower, Jemena, Powercor and United Energy – have dropped their network tariffs for six months, until new Victorian legislation requires them to resubmit their prices on July 1. It's worth noting average power bills went up this time last year by about $50 for residences and as much as $200 for businesses.

Public transport fares

The government has held prices for trains, buses and trams at the same price for 2021 "in recognition of the difficult year Victorians have had". Last year daily fares increased by 20¢, or 1.7 per cent, following several annual rises.


Coronavirus support payments cut

The temporary JobSeeker coronavirus supplement will be cut from $250 to $150 a fortnight on Friday, with the bonus payment ending on March 31, 2021, after it was extended at the reduced rate.

Those on JobKeeper will see their payments lowered on January 4 to $1000 a fortnight for employees working 20 hours or more a week and $650 for those working less.


JobKeeper payments will come to a halt on March 28, 2021.

Foreign investment


Changes to Australia’s foreign investment review framework, the "FIRB regime", will come into effect at the start of the year, addressing national security, compliance and approval processes.

Among the changes, all investments in land or businesses related to sensitive national security must be approved, and the Treasurer will have strengthened monitoring, investigation and enforcement powers.


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