Friday, 19th of February 2016


Issue #2 February



Australia population reaches 24 million


Australia’s population surpasses 24 million with almost 30% born overseas


Stealing: The case of the missing laptop


Reasons to start a business and Pathways to Business Migration in Australia


Processing times for partner visas are taking longer with many being refused


Australia announces consultation over new entrepreneur visa


Australia’s population surpasses 24 million with almost 30% born overseas

Australia’s population has reached a milestone 24 million with migration contributing significantly to the rise, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The population clock is an indication of the current population, based on a projection calculated using births and deaths data from the ABS and migration figures from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

The ABS gave details of how the country’s population has changed over the years and how newcomers have added to the diversity of the Australian population.

When Australia became a Federation in 1901 its population was 3.7 million. From then, it took Australia 58 years to reach a population of 10 million and by 1964, the population was increasing by a million every four to five years.

“Since reaching 20 million in late 2003, there have been around three years between each million person increase, with the population reaching 21 million in 2007, 22 million in 2010 and 23 million in 2013,” said ABS director of demography, Beidar Cho.

“Since 2006, net overseas migration has been the driver of Australia’s annual population growth. This peaked in 2009, with 66% of our growth being attributed to migration. Our most recent data from June 2015 indicates net overseas migration contributing 53% to Australia’s total growth, with the remaining 47% due to natural increase,” he explained.

The data release also gives an indication of where people live and how this has changed. In 1901 only two states had a population of over one million people with New South Wales having a population of 1.4 million and Victoria 1.2 million people.

By 1968 Queensland and South Australia also had over a million people at 1.7 million and 1.1 million respectively, whilst New South Wales and Victoria had reached 4.4 million and 3.3 million respectively.

Western Australia experienced high growth from the 1970s, overtaking South Australia’s population in 1982 and reaching a population of 2 million in 2005.

In 2015, New South Wales remained the state with the largest population at 7.6 million, followed by Victoria at 5.9 million. Greater Sydney made up 64% of New South Wales’ population and Melbourne 76% of Victoria’s.

The structure of Australia’s population has changed significantly between the 1970s and today. In 1971 some 28.7% of the population were children aged up to 14 years, 63% were 15 to 64 years and 8.3% of the population were aged 65 and over.

There were 2.9 children born per woman, the median age of the population was 27.5 years and life expectancy was 68.3 years for males and 74.8 years for females. Some 20.2% of the population was born overseas.

By In 2015 some 18.8% of the population were children, 66.2% aged 15 to 64 and 15% aged over 65. There were 1.8 children born per woman, the median age of the population was 37.4 years and life expectancy was 80.3 years for males and 84.4 years for females while 28.1% of the population was born overseas.

Looking at Australia’s close neighbours, New Zealand’s population was 4.5 million in 2015, while Indonesia had a population of over 250 million. While Taiwan’s land size is smaller than Tasmania’s, they had a similar population to Australia with 23.5 million in 2014.

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Stealing: The case of the missing laptop

Stealing case of missing laptop

Stealing is largely considered serious misconduct and therefore grounds for summary (instant) dismissal.

However, the case law has been quite clear in the past, that evidence or at least some factual basis is required to terminate the employment of an employee on the basis of theft. What may seem obvious to an employer may not be so clear cut for the Fair Work Commission (Commission).

In the decision of Peter Mulhall v Direct Freight Pty Ltd t/a Direct Freight Express [2016] FWC 58 (Mulhall Case) the spotlight was turned on the evidence provided by the employer to evidence that a laptop had been stolen. The Commission confirmed that there is a requirement for “clear or cogent evidence” to prove theft which can then lead to grounds for summary dismissal.

In the Mulhall Case, a driver was alleged to have stolen a computer bound for Harvey Norman, the employer based this decision on the following:

  • CCTV footage showing the employee loading other boxes on top of the computer which he did not scan;
  • Acting suspiciously while loading the packages including the computer onto his truck;
  • The computer never actually making the designated destination (and still missing).

Two main issues cost the employer $25,468.13 in compensation:

CCTV Footage

The CCTV footage was “flimsy” and unfortunately did not categorically show the following:

  • That the employee was actually stealing the computer;
  • The dimensions of the box purportedly stolen were different to the one shown in the footage;
  • The suspicious behaviour shown in the footage was speculative.

The Commission found that the footage relied upon to terminate the employee’s employment was frankly unreliable.

Footage not shown to employee

The employee was not given an opportunity to view the footage and respond to the footage. As such, not surprisingly the claim of theft was consistently denied by the employee. Without viewing the footage and actually being given a reasonable opportunity to respond to the evidence supporting the allegation, the Commission had a firm view that the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness were not applied. Breaches of these principles are usually fatal to an unfair dismissal defence.

Simple tips:

  • Do not rush into a decision to terminate the employee’s employment, in some instances a thorough investigation should be conducted (an employee could even be stood down during this process) for others giving an employee an opportunity to respond to the allegations should be best practice;
  • Consider the evidence at hand and make a decision based on balance, it is important to view them through independent eyes – independent advice should be sought.

For further information please contact Jonathan Mamaril, Principal on 07 3876 5111 or email or our website

Written by:
Jonathan Mamaril, Principal, NB Lawyers
07 3876 5111


Reasons to start a business and Pathways to Business Migration in Australia

Australian business Visa

There are certain dynamics of the Australian market that make it an ideal place to start a business. The chances of an innovative business idea working in Australia are high. Some of the reasons you should invest in Australia are:

  • The availability of knowledgeable and skilled workers – Australia has one of the highest literacy rates and therefore finding someone with the skills you require to run your business will be easy. If you want to hire workers from abroad, you can do so via the general skilled migration visa scheme.
  • The affordability – Australia has one of the richest middle class in the world and they are enthusiastic about trying new things. So if your business brings them something they think is unique, then it is likely that your business will flourish.
  • The Convenience – Ecommerce has already become popular in most Australian cities and so you don’t even have to invest too much in an office or commercial property, you can simply start a business online.

When considering starting a business in Australia, or to migrate to the country as the owner of a business or investor, knowing which immigration route suits you best is important. Once you know which immigration strategy you need to use to apply for a business visa, the process of planning the start of your business in the country will be a lot easier.

There are two main categories of visas which people can opt for themselves or for the people they employ. They are:

  • Residence Visa Categories
  • Temporary Visa categories

Residence Visa Categories

  • Business Talent (Migrant) Visa: Business Talent visas are permanent visas granted to people with a history of successfully owning a business or people who have venture capital funding in the country.
  • Business Innovation and Investment (residence) subclass 888 Visa: After the subclass 188 Provisional Business Innovation and investment, this is the next and the permanent stage. In order to apply for the subclass 888, one must have an established and operative business in Australia or a maintained investment in bonds.

Temporary Visa Categories

  • Significant Investor Subclass 188 Visa: The investor visa is for people who are willing to make an investment of 5 million dollars in Australia
  • Business Visitor Visas: This may interest people who want to visit Australia for short term business purposes such as meetings, or to look into the market for business related opportunities. Valid for up to 3 months.
  • Business innovation and investment (provisional) subclass 188 visa: Both business owners and investors can avail this provisional visa. Valid for four years.

Before making a decision of starting a business in Australia, it is necessary to think of the reasons why you may think doing so is a good idea. It is also important that you consult a registered migration agent to know which route is best for you and what you need to do to be eligible to migrate to Australia on a business visa.


Processing times for partner visas are taking longer with many being refused

Processing time for Australian Partner Visa

About 40% of the migration Tribunal’s caseload consist of dealing with Partner Visa refusals by the department of immigration, according to the latest figures from the AAT. Has the hike in the partner visa application charge resulted in applicants attempting this complex application on their own?

RMAs have also recently reported that processing times for Partner Visas are going well beyond DIBPs promised standards even with the department announcing that its currently taking up to 15 months to decide on the first stage of a partner visa application.

There have been suggestions that DIBP is “intentionally staggering visa grants across the program year, so as not to exhaust their entire allocation within the first few months. There are also suggestions that staff cutbacks and an increase in the number of low quality applications is increasing processing times.

According to the statistics from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) its current caseload consists of 10,626 cases related to migration review (excluding refugee reviews). While it is deciding about a 1000 cases a month, there is an average 1165 new cases being lodge each month.

Partner visa category cases currently on hand with AAT number some 4,270 or about 40% of the tribunal’s caseload. Most of the AAT review applications are generally being lodged in Sydney (40%) and Melbourne (36%).

Of the total cases decided, just under half are being affirmed and over a third being set aside. The others are either withdrawn or discontinued.

Cases are generally taking about a year to finalise.

Days from lodgement to decision


Case category




75th percentile











Student refusal





Temporary work





Permanent business





Skill linked















Student cancellation





Nomination/Sponsor approval















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Australia announces consultation over new entrepreneur visa

Consultation for New Australian Entrepreneur Visa

The consultation process for a new entrepreneur visa in Australia has opened with the government seeking feedback to ensure the new visa stream matches expectations.

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne, said the aim of the new visa is to attract the best and brightest entrepreneurial talent and skills to Australia.

“It is critical for Australia’s prosperity and growth, that we not only tap into the best entrepreneurial minds in Australia, but we also make it easier for talent from overseas to contribute to this country’s innovative future,” he explained.

“We are also keen to retain those educated and talented people, who have come to Australia and developed their knowledge base during their time in this country,” he added.

According to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, the visa would help promote innovation and he wants to encourage individuals to take part in the consultation process.

The consultation process will go on until Friday 18 March 2016 and the date for the new visa being launched has been set at November 2016. There will be no cap on the number of visas being granted.

There are also calls for the new entrepreneur visa to be linked to a 20% tax offset and capital gains tax exemptions along the lines of the UK’s Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the country needs an “ideas boom” as two decades of economic growth based on a mining boom cannot go on forever.

“Australia needs to wake up and see that mining is stalling and that if we want the economy to carry on growing, we need new ideas, new companies and people who can make them work,” he said.


We hope that you have found the information in this issue of our newsletter to be enriching and useful. Stay tuned for our next publication and if you would like to talk to us directly, please do not hesitate to email In addition, if you would like your contact details updated or removed from this distribution list or you know someone who would like to be added, please email us on the same address.

"The only limits to being the person you truly want to be are your own self-limiting beliefs and thoughts. In every moment, you have the power to choose your life"


No Borders Group

Phone: (+61) 07 3876 4000


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