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No Increases Justified

No Increases Justified

By Nerida Wallace

Practising Certificate 


The red-tape burden is not expected to be reduced. Increases in practising certificate fees are still on the agenda. The formal Regulatory Impact Statement should be available as you read this. Find it on the LIV website under Staying Informed. You will soon be asked for your feedback. The LIV maintains its position based on its own economist’s views. The cost- effectiveness of the current regime has not been tested; regulatory costs are far cheaper in other states where regulation is not run by the state government although in Victoria it is subsidised by the Public Purpose Fund (PPF). This fund continues due to your privately funded arrangements to transfer monies into the central trust account, now over $2 billion strong, since 1983. The PPF has had surpluses of some $13 million per annum over the past four years. Cuts to LIV services funded from the PPF this year and for the past eight years have averaged $500,000 per year. No increases above CPI are justified. More worryingly, the red-tape burden is not expected to be reduced. Term licences of three, five or 10 years have been rejected by the Victorian Legal Services Board. Our members are still very concerned about Uniform Law – another regulatory layer. Ongoing difficulties getting expert overseas lawyers into Victoria, costs disclosure issues and backdated renewals are reportedly impacting on the Victorian economy. Members have raised these issues and the problems with the proposed 100 to 200 per cent PC fee increases with state government representatives. The PC fee outcome will be an Attorney-General decision. We anticipate welcoming a new Legal Services Commissioner later this month and I expect a constructive approach to regulation in Victoria. Changes to Uniform Law will be necessary. The LIV is embarking on a new era following the decision to sell 470 Bourke Street. I look forward to better facilities for members. Feel free to contact me any time. Nerida Wallace, LIV CEO Email: ceo@liv.asn.au

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