Victoria Park cenotaph

DP O’Keefe Macquarie Law is a legal office in Dubbo NSW Australia.

Dan O’Keefe is an experienced solicitor, accredited business law specialist, mediator and notary public.

Blue tick      Providing practical, cost-effective & confidential advice.

Blue tick      Come to us for a high level of service in a friendly & personal manner.

We are OPEN & propose to remain open & available as much as possible despite COVID

Some of the legal services we provide are essential. For instance, sales and purchases still need to go ahead. You should not put off signing a will. If stay at home rules apply we will be available for critical legal work.Covid safe logo

We are fully vaccinated and follow recommended health protocols. Please telephone or email us first if you have any concerns. If you are unwell with flu-like symptoms; if you have travelled overseas recently; or if you have been in contact with anyone at risk of having contracted Covid-19, we ask that you call us before coming into our office. Entry to our office is conditional on compliance with government health orders.

We need to behave and think differently in these extraordinary times. While maintaining social distance and good hygiene we should try to stay connected, reach out to those isolated and work together as a community.

Notary public or public notary - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Notary public seal exampleDan O'Keefe is a notary public. You will need to make an appointment to see a notary public. You will need identification, for example, a passport or driver's licence.

Copies of individual documents can be certified by a notary public for which there is a fee payable. Multiple documents are often collated and bound with a notarial certificate. If a power of attorney is required it should be prepared in the country in which it will be used before signing it in front of the notary public in Australia.

A notary public cannot advise you about the visa, immigration or legal requirements of other countries. You must obtain this information from the embassy, consulate or visa/migration agent. Our resources page has more information about:-

Law full news items

New guide to resolving business disputes & mediationMeeting for mediation

The NSW Small Business Commission has released a new guide on its mediation service and how it can help resolve business disputes, potentially avoiding the time and expense of going to a court or tribunal.

(Download a copy of Resolving Business Disputes: A Guide to Mediation)

Child at poolNearly 300 people drowned in 2020-2021 - We need to learn to swim

Submersion injuries can also have long-term effects. Australia is an island surrounded by water. It has rivers, creeks, dams and pools. Swimming is usually safe when the risks are managed. Search "learn to swim" in your area and there will be a number of places where adults and children can learn.

It takes time to learn to swim. A crucial thing is that we know how to swim at least enough to stay afloat and make our way to safety. Floaties on children should only be used with supervision that can save the child when they get into difficulty.

(Research into drowning in Australian waterways)

COVID-19 vaccination mandates - article & recent casesProtest

The NSW Law Society Employment Law Committe has published an article about four recent decisions, which have received significant publicity regarding the requirements for people to be vaccinated.

In addition, a recent decision of the Fair Work Commission has emphasised the importance of consultation prior to mandating vaccination where there are enterprise agreements even when the employers direction appears reasonable and lawful.

(Article: Mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations & public health order challenges)

There have been numerous recent unfair dismissal cases relating to vaccination. Most (if not all) applications so far appear to have been unsuccessful. To search the decisions in recent cases go to: Fair Work Commission. Enter "vaccination" as the search term where it says "Find decisions and orders" click on Search or press Enter or Return and the links to cases should then be listed. The links to some earlier cases are listed below:-

(Stevens v Epworth Foundation (2022) FWC 593 - Victorian directions a valid reason for dismissal, no medical exemption)

(Aucamp v Association for Christian Senior Citizens Homes Inc. [2021] FWC 6669 - Victorian directions - a valid reason for dismissal: the worker is not vaccinated against COVID-19; does not have a valid medical exemption; and cannot perform their role as a result of a public health direction related to their vaccination status.)

(Case: CFMMEU & Matthew Howard v Mt Arthur Coal Pty Ltd T/A Mt Arthur Coal [2021] FWCFB 6059 - summary .pdf - sumary .htm - full decission)

Rewarding staff for getting vaccinated - Taxation reminder

Some employers reward staff for getting vaccinated e.g. cash payments, paid leave, transport to and from the vaccination and non-cash gifts, such as vouchers and gift cards.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) reminds employers that if they have provided employees with a cash payment they must: include the payment in your employee's salary and wages; withhold tax from the payment amount under pay as you go withholding; include the amount in your employee's ordinary time earnings (this is for the purpose of determining super contributions for your employees).

If an employer has provided non-cash benefits, they may have to pay fringe benefits tax on the benefits unless an exemption applies.

See COVID-19 vaccination incentives and rewards for employees & COVID-19 and fringe benefits tax

Virus blueCOVID-19 vaccine indemnity

The Australian Government is reducing the claim threshold of the no fault COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme to enable more people access to compensation for costs associated with a vaccine injury.

Australians will now have access to compensation from $1,000 for COVID-19 claims related to the administration of a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved COVID-19 vaccine delivered through a Commonwealth Government approved program.

(COVID-19 claim scheme)(See Australian Department of Health) (COVID-19 (Coronavirus) statistics)

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Older news items from 2019 to 2021

Older news items from 2016 to 2018

Older news items to 2015