$1 -  one dollar
$1 - one dollar Tony Martin

JULY 1 CHANGES: Everything you need to know

CHANGES from July 1 will affect almost everyone - retail and hospitality workers, superannuation contributors, first home buyers and even patrons to bars and clubs with sweeping changes at the new financial year.

What's changing on July 1:

Cuts to penalty rates

The Fair Work Commission made a decision in February to reduce penalty rates with the first cuts coming on July 1.

The cuts are for retail and hospitality workers.

Retail full time workers will have penalty rates reduced from 200% to 150%, while part time workers will have penalty rates reduced from 200% to 175%.

Hospitality workers will have Sunday penalty rates reduced from 175% to 150%.


Tourists enjoying the hospitality on Hastings Street, Noosa Heads. Aromas.
Hospitality workers will be getting less in their pay packets from July 1. John McCutcheon

Also public holiday penalty rates will be reduced from 250% to 225% in the retail, hospitality, fast food and pharmacy industries.

The penalty rate changes are not across the board so will affect employees differently.

This is only the start with more reductions expected in 2018.

New visa charges

Some visa charges will be going up from July 1.

The tourist visa will increase from $135 to $140.

International students will be stung and extra $10 with the student visa increasing from $550 to $560.

Particularly relevant for Mackay and the region is the increase of the skilled visa with 189 and 190 increasing from $3600 to $3670. Anyone travelling with the skilled visa application will pay $1835 (increased from $1800) for adult applicants and dependent children fees increase from $900 to $920.

The visa fees could be indexed to the CPI with the new initiative in the Federal Budget expected to bring in an additional $35 million next financial year increasing annually to $180 million in the 2020-21 financial year.

There are also some major changes planned to visas next year with the abolishment of the 457 visas.

You can find all the new fees and charges at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.


Changes to superannuation

These are some of the biggest changes to super in almost a decade and has an impact on all workers.

Under the new rules people contributing more to super as they approach retirement will not have that money tax exempt.

It will be taxed at 15%, and if you earn more than $250,000 then the contribution tax rate is 30%.

Superannuation funds will also be capped at $1.6 million.

People can still contribute to super once they have reached the $1.6 million threshold, but it will remain in accumulation except is special circumstances.

Annual contribution limits will also be reduced from $30,000 to $25,000 for people under 50 years old, and from $35,000 to $25,000 for people over 50 years olds.

People can find out more about the super changes on July 1 at the Australian Taxation Office


ID scans at pubs and clubs

From July 1 all licenced venues that are opened past midnight in Safe Night Precincts are required to take ID scans of patrons entering the premises. That's about 240 venues across the state.


McGuire's CBD Hotel owner Paul Baxter says it's always difficult when prices are increased.
McGuire's CBD Hotel owner Paul Baxter says his ID scanners will be arriving in June and supports the initiative to combat alcohol-fuelled violence. Jacob Miley

This was an initiative that was implemented after the state government backed down on proposed lock out laws that were to come into effect July 1.

The dumped laws would have required clubs and pubs that were opened until 3am to lock out patrons from entering premises at 1am.

Instead patrons entering a premise after 10pm will have their ID recorded. This information, managed by the Queensland Government, is shared with other licenced venues so if a person is banned from one club for anti-social behaviour, then they can be banned from every licenced venue in the state within minutes.


First home buyers scheme cut

The Queensland Government is reducing its first home buyer grant from $20,000 to $15,000.

The grant applies to only new homes. The future of these sorts of grants is uncertain with significant changes over the last five years.


Sold Home For Sale Sign in Front of Beautiful New House.
Sold Home For Sale Sign in Front of Beautiful New House. Andy Dean Photography

With only weeks to go before the changes, the Queensland Government has launched an ad campaign to remind people of the July 1 deadline.


Bulk billing freeze lifted

The Federal Government is lifting the freeze on indexation of bulk billing from July 1. However it will be done slowly over the next few years.

According to budget papers released last week, the changes will commence with General Practitioner (GP) bulk billing incentives from 1 July 2017, to ensure that GPs are incentivised to bulk bill children under the age of 16 and concession card holders.

From 1 July 2018, GP and specialist consultation items will be indexed, increasing the government's contribution to the cost of important health care services.

From 1 July 2019, specialist procedure and allied health items will be indexed and from 1 July 2020 certain diagnostic imaging items will be indexed for the first time since 2004.

The Federal Government announced last year that it was going to extend the freeze until 2020, but came under increasing pressure from the AMA and health industry experts to cut the freeze.