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insites (web)

Every Issue

Cite as: (2005) 79(7) LIJ, p. 78

This month we look at the ATO superannuation site, rural law, common rule awards, government publications and the European Union.

ATO – superannuation

The Australian Tax Office super pages provide access to a wide range of information about superannuation. Given recent changes to superannuation law, practitioners may feel that it is time to pay the site a visit. Click on SuperSeeker to locate any lost superannuation accounts. You will be asked to enter your name, tax file number and date of birth. Individuals may wish to read about the federal government’s co-contribution scheme and use the calculator provided to work out contribution scales. There is also a section on choice of funds. Under the Businesses and Superannuation Professionals tabs, employers will find information regarding self-managed super funds, salary sacrificing and eligible termination payments. The site contains downloadable fact sheets and other publications.

Rural Law Online

Rural Law Online was developed by the Victoria Law Foundation in conjunction with the Legal Practice Board, Deakin University and the University of Ballarat. It is aimed at regional and rural Victorians; however, solicitors may also find it useful. Rural Law Online addresses a variety of legal topics of interest to the target audience – e.g. farm succession planning, “common rule awards”, agistment, inland water/water rights. All information is written in plain language. Other features include news updates, links to relevant websites and a directory of services. For the country practitioner, Rural Law Online is worth investigating.

WageNet – common rule awards

Victorian common rule awards, as mentioned in the “Rural Law Online” review, are not exclusively of interest to rural and regional Victorians. More than 160 federal awards have been declared to operate as common rule in Victoria from 1 January 2005 – covering employers and employees, in applicable industries, where the employer is not already covered by a federal award or agreement. The Law Institute of Victoria has alerted practitioners to the appropriate award for the legal industry – the Victorian Legal Professional, Clerical and Administrative Employees Award 2004 (the Legal Industry Award). For information about other awards visit the WageNet site. Fact sheets and FAQs are available. From the WageNet homepage click on the map of Victoria.

Australian government publications allows users to search for documents across Australian government websites. All government websites have been included, from to Ministers’ websites. It is, therefore, not surprising that the search results tend to be overwhelming. A search on “common rule awards”, for example, produced more than 14,000 hits. It pays to be a little more specific, e.g. “common rule awards” + electrolux reduced the results to 62. Click on “simple search help” for guidance on search syntax and refining your search. A handy feature is the “Find an Australian government website” by search or browse. Browsing is available by subject and alphabetically.

European Union

It can be daunting searching for EU material; however, the aim of EUROPA is to act as a gateway to information about all of the institutions of the European Union and their activities. On this site you will be able to access more than one million EU documents. The site is easy to navigate. It is organised under six main headings: “Official documents”, “Information sources” (which is a gateway to various databases, information services and official publications about the European Union), “News, latest press releases, agenda of upcoming events”, “Activities of the EU”, “Institutions of the EU” and “The EU at a glance”.

General legal information

This part of the Law Institute of Victoria website provides general legal information on a broad range of topics, written in plain English. The information gives members of the public some insight into different legal issues that they may encounter and what they need to do if they arise. They are encouraged to use this information to help them identify the issues involved with a given legal problem so they will be better prepared if they engage the services of a solicitor. Each section provides an overview of the topic, information on how a solicitor can help and links to further information on that subject.

Website reviews are provided by the Law Institute library. For more information on legal websites, see the Guide to Legal Internet Sites at


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