The New Year is approaching, and the first day of 2019 has brought many changes, including new laws and regulations, fees, taxes and benefits.
Here are the changes you need to know on January 2019, 1:
Train fare rise
According to the Consumer Price Index, Victoria's train, tram and public bus fares will rise 1% from January 1, which is the lowest increase since 2.2.
For people in rural Victoria, the cost of transportation in towns and cities will remain unchanged, and the cost of transportation in the same area will be limited to $4 for the fourth consecutive year.
At the same time, students will no longer need to pay for transportation on the concession route, nor will they need to carry a Public Transport Victoria School Student ID (Public Transport Victoria School Student ID), but can use the approved school student ID on the concession route In travel.
Commuters in Brisbane will notice an increase in transportation fees on January 1. TransLink announced that adult fares and discounted fares will increase by 7%.
NSW introduced annual fare adjustments in July, with Opal card fares increased by 7%, and the average commuter’s spending increased by 2.2 cents per week.
Tampon tax is abolished
Treasury Secretary Josh Frydenberg obtained an agreement in October from state and territory finance officials to reduce the so-called "tampon tax", and feminine hygiene products will become cheaper from January 10. Sanitary products, such as tampons, sanitary napkins and pads, will eventually be exempt from the 1% goods and services tax.
Electricity price cut
Following AGL’s significant price increase of 2017% in 20, electricity prices in NSW, Queensland and South Australia also fell in July.
Origin Energy’s electricity prices in Victoria will remain unchanged, and will continue to provide a 26% discount to concession card customers and a 17% discount to other residential and non-discount customers in Victoria.
In NSW, the Territory, Queensland and South Australia, from January 1st, an estimated 1 long-term quotation contract or non-concessional contract concession card holders will automatically enjoy a 23% discount on electricity charges, saving an average of 10 Australian dollars.
EnergyAustralia will also keep Victoria’s electricity prices unchanged from January 1. Earlier this year, EnergyAustralia announced that the electricity prices in NSW, South Australia and the Territory will remain unchanged, and the electricity prices in Queensland will be reduced in the new year. The company said it received more than A$1 million in additional expenses in Victoria, which is equivalent to an increase of 1500% per household and an average annual bill increase of A$1.9.
Natural gas prices will rise by 4.2%, which means that each household will pay approximately A$69 more per year, but EnergyAustralia said consumers can avoid price increases by switching to a safe savings plan, locking the price in 2018 for two years.
Credit card crackdown
Australia’s top 10 credit card issuers, American Express, ANZ Bank, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Citibank, CommBank, HSBC, Latitude, Macquarie Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac have agreed to sort out their handling of debt customers the way.
Earlier this year, an ASIC report found that more than one-sixth of consumers, nearly 200 million people, are struggling with credit card debt. According to data from the Reserve Bank of Australia, the amount of debt is nearly A$520 billion.
In response, some card issuers are now trying some proactive measures, such as tailor-made communications or structured payment arrangements, to help consumers with potentially problematic debts or unable to repay balance transfers.
Other measures include limiting the amount that consumers can exceed their credit limit to 10%, adopting fairer methods to balance transfers, such as allowing interest-free periods for new purchases, and strengthening disclosures about the cancellation of old credit cards.
Each card issuer is at a different stage in implementing voluntary changes.
Some mandatory legal reforms also took effect from January 1, including a three-year responsible loan evaluation. This means that banks must not provide credit cards with a limit that consumers cannot repay within 1 years.
They will also be prohibited from providing unsolicited credit limit increases, retroactive balance transfer interest charges, and must provide the ability to apply for credit limit reduction or credit card cancellation online.
Plastic ban punishment
The Western Australia plastic bag ban will take effect on January 1, and retailers will face potential prosecution and fines of up to 1 Australian dollars.
Plastic bag suppliers and manufacturers who provide misleading information to retailers also risk prosecution and fines. This ban applies to all retailers, not just supermarkets, but also to all bags with a thickness of 35 microns or less, even if they are biodegradable or compostable.
Queensland and Western Australia began to implement plastic bag bans on July 7. The policy is consistent with South Australia, the Territory, the Northern Territory and Tasmania, but Western Australia retailers have 1 months to phase out existing inventory.
The Victorian government said it would ban plastic bags by the end of 2019, but NSW refused to follow suit. Most major retailers, including Coles and Woolworths, have begun implementing bans nationwide on July 7.
The Western Australian government is increasing the mandatory strength of vaccination and has introduced the "No Jab No Play" policy.
From January 1, childcare centers, kindergartens and schools will be required to collect and report the immunization status of all students. If a vaccine-preventable infectious disease breaks out, the state's chief health officer may close these institutions.
The Ministry of Health will use these data to track families for vaccination and expel children with outbreaks if necessary. If the person in charge allows banned children to enter the facility, they may be fined $1000.
According to the second phase of the plan, the state government will introduce a bill to prohibit undervaccinated children from entering childcare centers from 2019, and from 2020 on entering kindergartens.
Similar laws have been introduced in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, and South Australia plans to start implementing them in the near future. The federal government has refused to pay family subsidies for unvaccinated children under the policy of "no vaccination, no payment".
Western Australia's immunization rate is lower than the national average, and the state has the lowest immunization rate for two-year-old children at 89.1%. In order to achieve herd immunity, 95% of children must be fully immunized to effectively prevent the outbreak of highly infectious diseases such as measles.
Taxpayer "Baby Bag"
In NSW, new parents who are discharged from the hospital on January 1 will receive a taxpayer-sponsored "baby bag" of $1, which is filled with baby products and parenting information to help parents "welcome newborns." To this world". "Baby bags" include sleeping bags, games and changing mats, thermometers and first aid kits, which are part of the $300 million parent package announced by the government in the national budget.
This "baby bag" is described as "a great victory for NSW families", and it also includes sand wraps, baby toothbrushes, breast pads, cardboard books for toddlers, facial towels, baby wipes, hand sanitizer and barrier cream.
If your baby was born at home, you can get a "baby bag" through the NSW Birth, Death and Marriage Registry. If your child was born in another state or overseas, but you have a home address in NSW, you can apply for a "baby bag" by email, and it will be delivered to your designated NSW address for free.
Last year, fewer than 9.6 babies were born in NSW. The NSW Government expects that in the first six months of 2019, 6 public and private maternity hospitals in NSW will issue approximately 87 “baby bags”.
No Qantas Points will be awarded for restaurant reservations
From January 1, as the airline shuts down its Qantas restaurant program launched in 1, Qantas frequent flyer members will no longer be able to earn points by booking meals.
The cooperation project with the Dimmi.com.au platform owned by TripAdvisor allows members to earn points by booking at more than 4000 restaurants, and each member can earn 100 Qantas points.
It is understood that Qantas and Dimmi have jointly decided to end the partnership and the airline is discussing a new way for members to earn points for dining out.
Qantas frequent flyer members can still earn points at more than 60 restaurants in Rockpool Dining Group.
NAB ATM fees
(Photo source: Internet)
Starting from January 1, customers of National Australia Bank will be forced to pay a handling fee of A$1. Since 2, customers of National Australia Bank can use RediATM's more than 2009 ATMs for free.
But because the bank parted ways with RediATM, it is now required to pay. RediATM ATMs are usually located in convenience stores and bars.
A national spokesperson defended the move, saying that consumers can still withdraw cash for free from more than 7000 national banks' own ATMs across the country.
Disabled prisoners pension
Thousands of disabled people in prison support pensioners who will continue to receive pensions after release.
Prisoners cannot receive DSP subsidies (Disability Support Pension) while in custody and can "suspend" payment for up to two years. The federal government plans to reduce the maximum suspension period to 1 weeks from January 1 to bring it in line with other benefits including NewStart. This change was announced in the 13 Federal Budget. It is expected to save the government A$2018 million in five years. It is estimated that 5 people will be affected, including those who have pleaded guilty but are still awaiting trial, under stricter new requirements. They will be forced to reapply for DSP.