National News

Mixed bag for Qld in July 1 changes

Car registrations are rising, power costs are falling and a major social injustice will finally be corrected amid changes to take effect in Queensland from July 1

All State Government fees and charges, including for licenses and motor vehicle registration, will rise by 3.5 per cent from Sunday.

That translates to a three-year licence renewal rising from $131.55 to $136.15, and registration for a standard four-cylinder car from $364.65 to $377.40.

The RACQ has hit out at the changes, saying the rises are hurting motorists.

However there's relief for households, with power bills in southeast Queensland set to fall by between 1.3 and 8.6 per cent

Three major providers - EnergyAustralia, Origin and AGL - have agreed to lower their rates by between 1.3 and 3.8 per cent, while smaller companies are also passing on cuts, with Powershop announcing an 8.6 per cent drop.

The Queensland government is taking credit for the drops, saying because they own the wholesale power providers they can directly influence the market to drive prices down.

Meanwhile Queenslanders who were previously charged under historical homosexual convictions can finally formally apply to have their convictions expunged.

Consensual adult gay sex was a crime in Queensland until January 1991, when it was decriminalised by the Goss government, but convictions before that date have remained on criminal records.

The state government passed laws in October last year setting aside the convictions, however these changes officially come into force from Sunday.

"We know this doesn't make up for previous prejudice and discrimination, but it is an important step we can and will take to right these past wrongs," Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said earlier this month.

Other changes to take place from Sunday include Queensland's much-discussed plastic bag ban in retail outlets, as well as the four taxes announced by the Labor government at last year's election - a tax on high-end vehicles, foreign property investors and online bets, plus a new land tax category for an estimated 850 large holdings that don't include farms.

© AAP 2018