Legal Insights: New Laws Impacting NSW in 2024

February 1, 2024

New laws in 2024

As we embark on the second month of the new year, we look into new laws coming into effect in 2024. Several significant changes to federal and state laws will come into effect, shaping the legal landscape in Sydney, NSW, and beyond. Here are some of the new laws impacting NSW in 2024.

Toll Cap for Sydney’s Motorways:

    • Starting in January 2024, Sydney motorists can expect relief on their cost-of-living expenses as weekly tolls will be capped at $60. This initiative, part of a state government endeavour costing over half a billion dollars, aims to alleviate the financial burden on road users.
    • As Transurban motorways implement a quarterly toll price increase on January 1, a promise by the Minns government allows those spending over $60 a week to claim back the difference through a quarterly refund via Service NSW.

Vape Law Changes:

    • Federal laws taking effect include the first phase of Australia’s groundbreaking move to become the first country in the world to restrict vaping to individuals with a prescription.
    • The import ban on single-use vape products and the expansion of the access scheme for medical use mark the initial steps in this ambitious plan, commencing from the start of 2024.
    • The ban covers disposable vapes regardless of nicotine content or therapeutic claims, and even orders placed before New Year’s Day will be prohibited.
    • Vapes ordered but not delivered to Australia by January 1, 2024, will also be subject to the ban.

Section 93Z Amendments:

    • In response to rising antisemitism and Islamophobia linked to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, the government invoked section 93Z of the Crimes Act 1900.
    • Section 93Z now makes it an offence for a person to intentionally or recklessly threaten or incite violence towards others based on race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics.
    • Reforms have removed the requirement for prosecutions under 93Z to be first referred to the director of public prosecutions.

Global Minimum Tax Implementation:

wooden blocks with the word tax and one that says 2024

    • Major multinational companies in Australia will face a minimum tax rate of 15% for their domestic subsidiaries, in line with the OECD’s global business taxation system modernisation campaign.
    • This domestic minimum tax applies to income years starting on or after January 1, as part of the federal government’s measures targeting multinational companies.

Medicare Safety Net Thresholds Rise:

    • The thresholds for the Medicare Safety Net, both Original and Extended, have increased to align with inflation.
    • The Original threshold has gone up by $28.70, and the Extended threshold has increased for concession card holders by $41.50 and for non-concessional individuals and families by $130.30.

PBS Medication Costs Increase Slightly:

    • The cost of most general prescriptions under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) has increased by $1.60 for general patients and 40 cents for concession card holders.
    • This adjustment is due to inflation, with PBS patient co-payment amounts updated annually on January 1.

Welfare Boost for Youth, Students, and Carers:

    • A six percent increase in payments for youth, student, and carer support recipients will provide financial relief for over 936,000 people.
    • Youth allowance payments for students and young jobseekers will see an increase between $22.40 and $45.60 a fortnight, while Austudy recipients will receive a boost of between $36.20 and $45.60 a fortnight.
    • Disability support pension recipients aged under 21 will receive increases of $31.10 to $44.90 a fortnight, and carer allowance rises to $153.50 a fortnight for over 600,000 carers.

50% Pass Rule for Uni Students Abolished:

uni students gathering in a field

    • The 50% pass rule for university students to qualify for Commonwealth assistance, including loans, has been abolished.
    • This change is part of the government’s new “support for students” policy, emphasizing support for students to successfully complete their degrees.

Expansion of Apprenticeships Priority List:

    • Nineteen occupations have been added to the Apprenticeships Priority List, indicating high demand for skilled workers.
    • Eligible apprentices may receive financial support, with full-time apprentices eligible for up to $10,000 over the apprenticeship duration, and employers may receive up to $15,000 in support.

Australian Apprenticeship Support Loans Introduced:

    • Formerly known as Trade Support Loans, the program now includes non-trade apprentices and trainees in areas such as early childhood education, aged care, and disability care.
    • These loans, subject to indexation, provide financial assistance for apprentices to purchase tools and supplies.

As 2024 unfolds, both NSW and Australia as a whole are taking significant steps to address contemporary challenges and shape a more sustainable, inclusive, and just future.

CM Lawyers is here to help; whether you find yourself navigating new laws or well-established ones, our team is here to advise, support, and fight for your rights in 2024.  Contact Us Today for more information.

Follow Us On Facebook For More Great Content



Speak to a Lawyer
Complete confidentiality 100% guaranteed. Take a look at our privacy policy.