QLS Roadshow: Law in the Tropics – Opening Remarks

Friday 18 August 2017, Port Douglas

President’s opening remarks

Good morning and welcome to day two of our Law in the Tropics Roadshow.

I would like to formally acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of this reputable part of Queensland that we are all meeting on, the beautiful country where rainforest meets the sea. I am advised that Port Douglas is the northern most part the Yirganydji saltwater Djubaki people would traverse. It was also a shared area between them and the Kuku-Yalanji people. I would like to respectfully recognise them as the original Nations from these lands, the keepers of culture and strong traditional practices of law and governance to these areas.

We pay our respects to the elders past present and future and ask the Ancestors of this area for safe passage for all of us who are visitors to these lands as we conduct our business over the coming days.   

Today we will launch into a full day of professional development on some timely topics such as insolvency law, risk management, domestic and family violence and property law.

I trust that you will find today’s sessions both informative and engaging, and I thank our presenters in advance for their time in preparation and being with us today. 

Region stats

Visiting our north Queensland profession is always a joy for both our QLS staff and myself, as we are able to touch base with an important segment of our profession, as well as enjoy the relaxed vibe of beautiful Port Douglas.

Our far north Queensland region has an interesting make-up, with the majority of our members hailing from Cairns.

With the general trend of more females in the profession across most the regions, there are no token boys in far north Queensland!

Also, if you’re looking for more experienced men – far north Queensland is where you will find them.

The majority of solicitors in this region have 20 years’ or more experience which is very inspiring for our younger lawyers making their way into the profession.

But the sisters are doing for themselves with 69% of early career lawyers being female.

The regions also have a significant social justice conscience, with a larger portion of community legal centres in far north Queensland than the rest of the state.

Firms in this region also face special challenges in areas such as resourcing and support, with high levels of sole practitioners and micro-sized firms.

REIQ Contract Update

Before we kick off the day, I would like to give you an update on an advantageous outcome of relevance to all of us.

I am sure most you are aware by now that the REIQ updated standard joint contracts  took effect on 1 July 2017.

The Society worked closely with the Real Estate Institute of Queensland to update the contracts following amendments to the Federal Government’s foreign resident CGT withholding framework.

You can find the contracts in the members’ section of the QLS website.

You will also find a comparison table showing the difference between the previous and updated editions.

The new editions of these contracts may be used for contracts entered into before and after 1 July 2017.  Lexon will shortly be releasing updated letters for use from 1 July.  If you receive a House and Land Contract 14th Edition or Contract for Residential Lots 10th Edition, please adapt version references numbers in the existing Lexon First Letters and Tools.


Before I hand over to Spencer, I would like to thank our sponsors. Thank you to Bupa, PEXA, ESS, LEAP, GlobalX, Herron Todd White, AlliedLaw and Bupa for joining us on our Roadshow journey. In particular – Legalsuper – for continuing to support our regional initiatives.

And of course – thank you all for being with us.

I look forward to speaking with you all throughout the day.

I would now like to invite this morning’s chair – Spencer Browne, president of the Far North Queensland Law Association and Corporate Compliance Solicitor at Wuchopperen Health.

Thank you.