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Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 | Author:

For the past few weeks i was monitoring the petrol prices go up and down from au$1.49  to 1.40.. then noticed last few days went down to 1.35 so i fueled up the gas tank of my car on tuesday around 2am but I usually fill it up on wednesday because every wednesday of the week petrol prices is always the cheapest I dont know the reason why but it’s a proven observation.. the next day which is wednesday it went down to 1.34 haha.. so I will really stick to my weekly schedule to fuel up every wednesday because it really makes a difference if we are going to fuel up 40-50 litres of petrol every cents counts.. theres news that petrol will go lower to 1.20 and maybe lower.. see below the details of the news.

Petrol prices set to fall: RACV
Tuesday October 28, 2008, 3:08 pm

The RACV is predicting petrol prices will fall to as low as $1.20 per litre over the next few weeks.The price of crude oil has fallen sharply since the start of the global financial crisis.The RACV’s David Cumming says he expects petrol station operators to pass on their savings to motorists soon.
He said the Singapore wholesale price has fallen 15 cents in the last nine days.
“This week will be reasonable, but next week will be far better, we’ll definitely be down into the dollar thirty range, and the week after I’m hopeful we might be into the dollar twenty range, so prices are on their way down.”

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008 | Author:

Australian banks recently lowered their interest rates to lure and attract home buyers or investors to loan.. before the crisis.. home loan rate was roughly around 9.25% if i remembered it correctly and now the rate is 8.5% average which will go down further… possibly into 6% to 7% but its still just a hunch or hearsay/prediction… so some people are waiting for the interest rates to go down then buy and invest on a home+land package.. to be honest it is really a tempting offer to buy/invest.. low interest rates plus a first home grant from the government of au$21k but need to consider some factors like are we capable enough to pay the loan which means must have a stable job or have other self generating income/passive income aand like which banks gives a better offer with no hidden charges whatsoever so must do our homework before jumping to the bandwagon.. I have plans to do that but i am still analyzing the situation thorougly before doing so :)

Here are some news details published on October 20, 2008 to give you an insight on what is presently happening…
More cuts in lending rates are expected as the big banks switch their focus from the hard-pressed housing market to the wider business sector.
National Australia Bank yesterday became the second of the Big Four banks in three days to announce another 0.2 of a percentage point drop in its interest rates following the move by ANZ on Friday.
ANZ cut its rates by 0.25%, taking the total of its most recent reductions to slightly more than the surprise economy-boosting 1 percentage point fall announced by the Reserve Bank of Australia two weeks ago.
But in a move that reflects growing concern among political, economic and business leaders, NAB said its lower interest rate would apply not only to its mortgages but also to businesses and farming — two sectors the bank counts as its major customers.
For hard-pressed home owners, the mortgage rate will drop to 8.36% from next Monday in a move that will take the savings on the repayments on an average $250,000 loan to more than $200 a month since the RBA’s reduction.
However, NAB head of Australian operations, Ahmed Fahour, underlined the need to extend the impact of the lower rates to the wider community to try to prevent the slowdown becoming worse.
“We will do everything we can, while still acting responsibly, to help our customers get through these current challenges,” Mr Fahour said yesterday.
The decisions by NAB and ANZ will put increasing pressure on the other two big banks, Commonwealth and Westpac, which are expected to push through matching reductions in the next few days.
The move comes as ANZ and NAB are this week expected each to report disappointing full-year earnings after being hit with hefty write-downs.
NAB, which has suffered an $830 million hit caused by its exposure to complex investments in US subprime housing loans, has already flagged that its profit will be no higher than $3.9 billion. The bank has brought forward its results to tomorrow, in a decision that may be linked to plans to raise up to $2.5 billion to bolster its balance sheet.
The write-downs suffered on various investment portfolios detailed to date are likely to translate to an 11% fall in full-year earnings to the end of September.
ANZ chief executive Michael Smith, will mark his first anniversary at the bank by reporting an even larger drop in profits.
ANZ’s high-profile problems with two failed broking firms, Opes Prime and Primebroker, and the $1.6 billion it has set aside to cover bad debts in its corporate loan book will result in the bottom line taking an $800 million hit.
According to Credit Suisse analysts, the bank should unveil $3.14 billion profit on Thursday compared with last year’s $3.92 billion.
The profit slide will squeeze Mr Smith’s ambitious target to double profit by 2012.
Mr Smith set this deadline last December, when the bank was headed for a $4 billion-plus outcome.
Westpac is expected to round off the big bank reporting season next week, with analysts anticipating an annual profit of $3.74 billion.

Commonwealth Bank drops mortgage rates
Monday October 20, 2008, 6:41 pm
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has dropped its interest rates on both variable and fixed home loans after its rivals National Australia Bank, ANZ Banking Group and Aussie Home Loans all reduced their rates over the weekend.
CBA will reduce its standard variable rate home loan by 21 basis points to 8.32 per cent, and its basic variable home loan to 7.81 per cent, the bank said in a statement.
The new rates apply to both new and existing customers and will take effect from Thursday October 30.
CBA also dropped interest rates on fixed home loans by up to 40 basis points for new customers, also effective from October 30.
No change has been made to a one-year fixed rate home loan.
Reductions apply for terms from three years, with the three-year fixed home loan reduced by 40 basis points to 7.29 per cent.
The changes are the result of a reduction in the bank’s cost of funding over the past week, group executive of Retail Banking Services Ross McEwan said.
“We have seen some reduction in our cost of funding over the past week and as Australia’s biggest lender, the Commonwealth Bank is committed to remaining extremely competitive in the mortgage market,” he said.
CBA’s one-year guaranteed fixed home loan rate remains at 7.09 per cent.
This product operates like a variable loan but includes the benefits of an offset option and mortgage interest saver (redraw) option.
CBA said the move was made to remain competitive with its rivals.
Australia’s big banks have entered into a price war on mortgages over the past three days after the ANZ Banking Group Ltd on Friday announced the first move on rates independently of the Reserve Bank of Australia in a decade.
ANZ dropped its interest rates on variable home loans by 25 basis points to 8.32 per cent for new and existing customers, effective from October 27.
National Australia Bank (NAB) announced on Sunday it was dropping its standard variable home loan rate by 20 basis points to 8.36 per cent.
The 0.2 percentage point cut would apply also to business loans, and some rates on fixed mortgages would be reduced by 0.3 percentage points, NAB said in a statement.
NAB’s one-year fixed home loan was cut by 30 basis points to 6.99 per cent.
NAB’s announcement came hot on the heels of Aussie Home Loan’s decision on Saturday to drop its rate on variable home loans for first home buyers by 30 basis points to 7.79 per cent.
Aussie Home Loans reduced interest rates for fixed home loans and will review its loan rates for new and existing customers, in line with its funding requirements, managing director John Symond told AAP.
The move by CBA matches ANZ’s standard variable rate as the lowest on offer among lenders in the banking sector.
Rates on standard variable mortgages from Australia’s major lenders now stand at 8.32 per cent at CBA and ANZ, 8.36 per cent at National Australia Bank, 8.56 per cent at Westpac, 8.57 per cent at St George Bank, and 8.6 per cent at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.

Saturday, October 18th, 2008 | Author:

Right now… its a reccession time in America which affected all over the world.. what i like about the Australian government is they find ways to help  their economy and boost the morale of their citizens and businessmen like the real estate industry unlike other countries which they dont give a crap about it they just want to cash in… hehe.. you know what i mean hehe :)  now, back in oz.. during time of crisis they give additional cash bonuses to their citizens on december.. the rudd government which is “kevin rudd” australias’s prime minister will be giving cash bonus of au$1k per child below 18 years of age… cool huh? Where can you hear or read in a newspaper giving that amount to families? here are some details of the latest news and benefits that they have released to boost the real estate biz this october 2008 and other topics…

Latest Taxes & Duties News
Read the latest Taxes and Duties news.

Boost for First Home Buyers

The Federal Government has announced significant increases to the Grant available to first home buyers. The new measures now bring the total available to those buying a newly constructed home to $26,000 increasing to $29,000 in regional Victoria (subject to certain requirements).

First home buyers purchasing an established home will now be entitled to $14,000 increasing to $17,000 (subject to certain requirements).

First home buyers will be eligible for the new additional assistance for contracts entered into from 14 October 2008 to 30 June 2009.

More than 150,000 first home buyers are estimated to benefit from the time-limited scheme.

Under the First Home Owner Boost:

  • First home buyers who purchase established homes will receive an extra $7,000 to take their total grant to $14,000; and
  • First home buyers who purchase a newly constructed home will receive an extra $14,000 to take their total grant to $21,000.

The Rudd Government will invest around $1.5 billion in the housing market over 2008-09 and 2009-10 through this initiative.

In addition to these amounts, first home buyers may also be eligible for a further bonus (subject to certain requirements). Please refer to the table below for further information.

Contract Date Conditions First Home Owner Grant New First Home Owner Boost First Home Bonus # First Home Owner
Regional Bonus #
From 14 October 2008 to 30 June 2009*This information has been taken from the Prime Minister’s Media Release dated 14 Oct 2008. This information is subject to formal approval. Established homes only $7,000 $7,000 $3,000 $0.00
Newly constructed homes in Metropolitan Victoria only $7,000 $14,000 $5,000 $0.00
Newly constructed homes in Regional Victoria only $7,000 $14,000 $5,000 $3,000
From 6 May 2008 to
13 October 2008
Established homes only $7,000 $0.00 $3,000 $0.00
New homes in Metropolitan Victoria only $7,000 $0.00 $5,000 $0.00
New homes in Regional Victoria only $7,000 $0.00 $5,000 $3,000
From 1 January 2007
to 5 May 2008
Established homes only $7,000 $0.00 $3,000 $0.00
New homes only $7,000 $0.00 $5,000 $0.00
From 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2006 Established and New homes $7,000 $0.00 $3,000 $0.00
From 1 May 2004 to 31 December 2005 Established and New homes $7,000 $0.00 $5,000 $0.00

# Additional Condition: To be eligible to receive the Bonus and Regional Bonus, the value of the property must not exceed $500,000.

Comment: The information provided in the above table is to be used as a guide only.

A Media Release was issued on October 14 2008.

Changes to the off the plan duty concession for contracts entered into on or after 1 October 2008

As a consequence of recent changes to the off the plan provisions in the Duties Act, a simpler method for calculating the concession is available for contracts entered into on or after 1 October 2008. For further information, please refer to ‘Duty concession for off the plan sales‘ and Revenue Ruling DA.048.

The SRO has also published new Duties Form 4A ‘Off the plan sales statutory declaration’, which is to be used for off the plan contracts relating to both land and building packages and refurbished lots, where the contract is entered into on or after 1 October 2008.

Review of the Administration of the Congestion Levy – Implementation of Review Recommendations September 2008

A review of the congestion levy was undertaken in 2007 and a number of recommendations have now been implemented. For further information, please refer to Review of Administration of the Congestion Levy – Implementation of Review Recommendations.

Changes to Unclaimed Money August 2008

The Unclaimed Money Act 2008, which received Royal Assent on 26 August 2008, rewrites the Unclaimed Moneys Act 1962 to modernise the language and provide a clear regime for the administration of unclaimed money. It comes into effect on 1 January 2009. For more information, please refer to the General Information Bulletin GEN 02/08.

Payroll Tax Annual Reconciliation 2007-08

As a consequence of payroll tax harmonisation between Victoria and NSW, employers will see some changes when completing their 2007-08 Annual Reconciliation return (previously known as the Annual Adjustment return). For more details, please refer to the Payroll Tax Bulletin PTX 01/08.

2008 Victorian Budget

The Treasurer John Lenders announced cuts to business and property taxes, extended benefits for first home buyers and a regional first home bonus for newly constructed homes, as part of the 2008 Victorian State Budget.

The Victorian Government has announced significant changes to land tax, duties on land transfers, Payroll Tax and the First Home Bonus.

First Home Bonus

The First Home Bonus will be extended to offer an additional $3000 grant to purchasers of newly constructed homes for those eligible for the First Home Bonus in regional Victoria.

Currently, a Bonus of $3000 for existing homes, or $5000 for new homes, is available across Victoria in addition to the $7000 First Home Owner Grant. The new $3000 regional bonus is additional to the existing $12,000 available for newly constructed homes valued under $500,000.

The regional Bonus is available for eligible contracts entered into on or after 6 May 2008.

DTF Fact Sheet – Assistance for homebuyers

Land Tax

Four significant changes to Land Tax were included in the Budget, effective from the 2009 Land Tax year. The changes are:

  • The tax free threshold is increased to $250,000.
  • Other thresholds will be adjusted by around 10%.
  • The top rate of Land Tax will be reduced from 2.5% to 2.25%.
  • A new exemption will be introduced for land occupied as long term residential accommodation for disabled persons.

DTF Fact Sheets – Land tax cuts | Cutting the cost of doing business


The Victorian Government’s changes will result in savings on duties on land transfers, and provide further concessions for first home buyers across the State. Budget initiatives include:

  • Duties thresholds will be adjusted by around 10% (for duty on land transfers, Principal Place of Residence (PPR) concession, and Pensioner and Concession cardholder’s concession thresholds).
  • For the first time those eligible for the First Home Bonus will also receive the benefits of the PPR duty concession.
  • A new exemption will be introduced for declarations of trust establishing special disability trusts, and for transfers of land into existing special disability trusts.
  • For business, the existing corporate reconstruction duty exemption has been extended to apply to restructures of stapled entities in specified circumstances.

All duty on land transfer and Bonus related measures will take effect for contracts entered into on or after 6 May 2008. The exemption for special disability trusts applies to a declaration of trust made on or after 6 May 2008, or in the case of a transfer of dutiable property, to a contract entered into on or after 6 May 2008. The corporate reconstruction exemption will apply from 1 July 2008.

DTF Fact Sheets – Cutting the cost of doing business | Assistance for homebuyers

Payroll Tax

From July 1 this year, the Payroll Tax rate which was scheduled to drop from 5.05% to 5.00% will be reduced by a further 0.05% to be 4.95%.

DTF Fact Sheet – Cutting the cost of doing business

Media Release

A Media Release from the Office of the Treasurer was issued on May 6, 2008.

For copies of the Budget Papers, visit the State Budget website at

Congestion levy and land tax changes

The State Taxation and Accident Compensation Acts Amendment Act 2007 which received Royal Assent on 11 December 2007, made a number of changes to the Congestion Levy Act 2005 and the Land Tax Act 2005 among other things.

For more information on these changes, please refer to our General Information Bulletin GEN 04/07 ‘Changes to State Taxes – December 2007’

What’s New at the SRO
Keep up to date with the latest SRO news and events.

2007-08 Payroll Tax electronic Annual Reconciliation (e-AR) is now available

The 2007–08 Annual Reconciliation is now available online and is due to be lodged and paid by Monday 21 July 2008.

Please note the following changes for 2007-08

  • The estimated payment option to gain an extension has been replaced with a standardised due date of 21 July 2008 for all customers.
  • Declaration of FBT has been simplified.
  • There is a new taxable wage component ‘Shares/Options’.
  • There is no wage split, the tax rate is 5.05% for the full year.