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Victorian Government Bulletin

19 July 2021

#Government

Victorian Government Bulletin

In the media

Australian unions reject ‘unacceptable’ proposal allowing employers access to staff vaccination data
An industry proposal to allow employers to access vaccination data on their staff has been rejected as “unacceptable” by the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The federal government currently indemnifies GPs and other commonwealth providers of the vaccine but no indemnity exists for any employers (02 July 2021).  More...

Former High Court judge appointed as special investigator
The Andrews Labor Government is continuing to deliver on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants with the appointment of a Special Investigator (30 June 2021).  More...

New procurement council to set PS standards
The Australasian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC) has launched a campaign to professionalise public sector procurement. The Chair of the APCC, said the Council’s Public Sector Procurement Profession Role Statement and Procurement Capability Framework aimed to establish baseline procurement proficiencies in every public sector jurisdiction. The APCC’s Statement can be accessed at this PS News link and Framework at this link (29 June 2021).  More...

LCA: Time for consultation on Respect @ Work
The introduction of the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill 2021 into Parliament, is a positive step forward towards the reconsideration of federal discrimination laws. The Law Council is pleased that this Bill is being referred to committee for a thorough consultation with key experts (25 June 2021).  More...

Australian Lawyers Alliance: Misuse of COVID-19 tracing data must be punishable with sanctions and liability
Heavy penalties are needed for leaders in police, law enforcement and security agencies when they facilitate, or turn a blind eye to, the unlawful gathering and use of COVID-19 tracing data. In occupational health and safety laws there is direct liability for leaders of organisations and this should be the same in cases involving breaches of privacy (25 June 2021).  More...

Government introduces legislation to prevent and address sexual harassment in Australian workplaces
The Morrison Government is strengthening national laws to better prevent and respond to sexual harassment and discrimination in Australian workplaces (24 June 2021).  More...

New Court appointments to ease backlog
The Victorian Government has appointed four judges to the County Court of Victoria, while also appointing a new Coroner in a move that will finalise more cases and ease pressure on the justice system (22 June 2021).  More...

Law Council calls for more clarity about proposed family violence regimes
While the Law Council of Australia strongly supports the intent of the Family Law Amendment (Federal Family Violence Orders) Bill 2021, there are several issues within the legislation that need clarification, n how the proposed scheme will actually work and how it would interact with existing state and territory Family Violence Order regimes (14 July 2021).  More...

Strengthening Australia’s cyber security regulations and incentives
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On 13 July 2021, the Australian Government opened consultation on options for regulatory reforms and voluntary incentives to strengthen the cyber security of Australia’s digital economy. This work forms part of Au​stralia’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020 and also responds to recommendations of the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy Industry Advisory Panel (13 July 2021).  More...

Privacy Act review delayed as reforms stall
A significant review of the Privacy Act has been delayed, with a discussion paper still yet to be released 18 months after it was launched, while draft legislation introducing a new penalty scheme for data breaches announced well over two years ago still hasn’t been produced (08 July 2021).  More...

New appointments to anti-corruption watchdog
The Andrews Labor Government has appointed two new Deputy Commissioners to the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission – further strengthening the agency’s vital oversight role (07 July 2021).  More...

HRLC: Lack of oversight and transparency in prison disciplinary processes: Ombudsman finds
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, legal, human rights and civil liberties organisations have called on the Andrews government to take urgent steps to increase transparency and prevent mistreatment behind bars after a new report has highlighted serious weaknesses in disciplinary processes in Victorian prisons (07 July 2021).  More...

LCA: Call for tighter reins on powers in an emergency
While on one hand the Act could provide benefit in a time of crisis, it could if not revised, potentially remove or compromise important provisions in the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth), Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) and Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 (Cth) impacting on the broader rights of individuals (05 July 2021).  More...

In practice and courts

Law Council update
The Law Council produces a fortnightly newsletter which highlights the Law Council's important activities and advocacy, along with any relevant media and events stakeholders would be interested in.
24 June 2021
9 July 2021

High Court Bulletin
High Court of Australia Bulletin [2021] HCAB 05 (25 June 2021).  More...

AAT: Changes to our application fees on 1 July 2021
Application fees in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal will increase on 1 July 2021 (28 June 2021).  More...

AAT Bulletin
The AAT Bulletin is a weekly publication containing a list of recent AAT decisions and information relating to appeals against AAT decisions.
Issue No. 13/2021, 28 June 2021
Issue No. 14/2021, 12 July 2021

OAIC: Our FOI disclosure log
The information described in our disclosure log has been released by the OAIC under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act): Updated May 2021.  More...

Commonwealth Parliamentary Review now open for submissions and interviews: Sex discrimination
The AHRC is inviting contributions for its Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces, accepting written contributions from groups covered by the Review’s Terms of Reference.
The Review aim is to ensure all Commonwealth Parliamentary workplaces are safe and respectful and that our national Parliament reflects best practice. Make a written submission via humanrights.gov.au/cpwreview. Submissions on the Consultation Paper closed on 9 July. View the Consultation Paper at this PS News link.

Consumer vulnerability: Expectations for the telco industry – consultation 27/2021
We want to create a statement of expectations for the telco industry to improve outcomes for vulnerable consumers. Closing date 08 September 2021.  More...

Have your say on national child protection framework
People can now contribute to the development of a five-year plan that will help deliver the next National Framework for Protecting Children by ‘having their say’ online. People can get involved in the online consultation by providing feedback through the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services Engage website. The public consultation closes on 26 July. To have your say visit engage.dss.gov.au.

AAT: Translation of fact sheets
12/07/2021 – AAT has translated some fact sheets into selected languages.  More...

Victoria

Library bulletin
The Law Library of Victoria produces a fortnightly bulletin that summarises the latest legislation and cases for the Victorian jurisdiction, as well as High Court of Australia cases. Download the most recent Library Bulletin:
Law Library Bulletin No 12 (fortnight ending 2 July 2021)
Law Library Bulletin No 13 (fortnight ending 16 July 2021)

IBAC to resume Operation Esperance public hearings
5 July 2021 – IBAC will resume public hearings into allegations of serious corrupt conduct within Victoria's public transport sector on 8 July 2021.  More...

Equitable briefing policy reporting 2020-2021
The 2020-2021 financial year has recently ended, and annual reports of Briefing Entities who have adopted the Law Council’s Equitable Briefing Policy are due by 30 September 2021.If you have adopted the policy as counsel, please provide your annual report for the 2020-2021 financial year using the portal. The Equitable Briefing Policy Reporting Template and Guidelines provides detailed information on how to how to make a report and includes a reporting template to show the information required

Consultations

Inquiry into Victoria’s Criminal Justice System – have your say
The Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee is accepting submissions to its Inquiry into Victoria's criminal justice system. Submissions close on 1 September 2021.  More...

Inquiry into the Use of Cannabis in Victoria – have your say
The reporting date for this inquiry has been extended to 05 August 2021. Once the report is tabled in Parliament, an electronic copy will be available for download from the Report page.

Inquiry into Management of Child Sex Offender Information – have your say
The reporting date for this inquiry has been extended to 30 August 2021. Once the report is tabled in Parliament, an electronic copy will be available for download from the Report page.

Published – articles, papers, reports

Implementation of recommendations – update
ANAO Audit Insights: 30 June 2021
This edition of audit insights considers the approaches entities are taking to implement parliamentary and ANAO recommendations to improve public administration practices and outcomes. It updates the edition published in November 2019 and draws on audit reports released since then.  More...

IBAC Insights issue 28, June 2021
The June 2021 issue of IBAC Insights includes a message from our Commissioner and features an update on IBAC's new corruption prevention strategy, investigations news, research and special reports, resources, webinars and more.  More...

Working better
Wage Inspectorate Victoria: 08 July 2021
From July 2021, it becomes a crime for an employer in Victoria to dishonestly withhold wages or other employee entitlements. This kit provides a suite of resources in a variety of formats to communicate these new laws.  More...

Cases

VicForests v Kinglake Friends of the Forest [2021] VSCA 195
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – standing – proposed logging – whether respondent has standing to bring claim in relation to alleged unlawful logging operations – whether respondent has interest in the subject matter of the action such as to support standing – Australian Conservation Foundation v Commonwealth (1980) 146 CLR 493; [1980] HCA 53, applied – standing established – leave to appeal granted – appeal dismissed
Where the jurisdiction is the supervisory jurisdiction of a court, which in Australia has a constitutional dimension,[23] attention needs to be given to the relief that is sought. The constitutional writs have particular rules as to standing.

Foster v Department of Health (Review and Regulation) [2021] VCAT 742
Review and Regulation List – Australian Constitution, s 109 – Privacy Act 1998 (Cth) – Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) – Jurisdiction of Tribunal to hear application for review – whether exemption from disclosure under Victorian freedom of information legislation is inconsistent with right of access to information under the Commonwealth privacy legislation.

Legislation

Commonwealth

Bills

Online Safety (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2021
Finally passed both Houses 22 June 2021 – introduced with the Online Safety Bill 2021, the bill: Repeals the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015; makes consequential amendments to 10 Acts; amends the Crimes Act 1914, Export Market Development Grants Act 1997 and Online Safety Act 2021, when enacted, to make amendments contingent on the commencement of certain other Acts; and contains transitional and application provisions.

Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Amendment Bill 2021
Assent Act no: 73 Year: 2021 30 June 2021 – amends the: Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 to: implement Australia's obligations under the Basel Convention on the Control or Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal; apply the standard provisions of the Regulatory Powers (Standard Provisions) Act 2014 and insert new audit powers; update existing criminal offences and introduce new strict liability offences and civil penalties to cover non-compliance.

Ransomware Payments Bill 2021
HR 21 June 2021 – this is a stand-alone Bill to establish a mandatory reporting requirement for Commonwealth entities, State or Territory agencies, corporations, and partnerships who make ransomware payments in response to a ransomware attack. The Bill will require entities who make a ransomware payment to notify the ACSC of key details of the attack, the attacker, and the payment. This information will be held by the ACSC.

Regulations

Fair Work Amendment (Respect at Work) Regulations 2021
09/07/2021 – This instrument amends the Fair Work Regulations 2009 to give effect to recommendation 31 of the Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in the Workplace by adding sexual harassment to the list of conduct falling within the definition of ‘serious misconduct’ and supports amendments that would be made by the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill 2021 to include ‘sexual harassment’ in the existing stop-bullying jurisdiction.

Victoria

Acts Commencements

Justice Legislation Amendment (Supporting Victims and Other Matters) Act 2020 (Vic)
Date of commencement: 1 July 2021 - Sections 18-43 of this Act came in by forced commencement on 1 July 2021 (SG292 16.6.2021) Act Number: 35/2020.

Victorian legislation can be accessed here.

Disclaimer
The information contained in this document has been compiled and supplied by LegalBiz. The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this publication is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. We are not responsible for the information of any source to which a link is provided or reference is made and exclude all liability in connection with use of these sources.

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