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Victorian Government Bulletin

23 July 2019


Victorian Government Bulletin

In the media

LCA: Put children first, abandon flawed family court merger
A coalition of domestic violence service providers, specialist family law and child protection legal assistance providers, academics and legal practitioners are urging the Federal Government not to reintroduce the flawed family court merger bills in the 46th Parliament, warning the merger would hurt – not help – children and families (18 July 2019).  More...

V4 Telecom warned for inadequate complaints handling
V4 Telecom failed to tell customers who made contact what it was doing to restore their services and did not keep complete records of the complaints. The ACMA may issue infringement notices or commence civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court for non-compliance with the Standard (18 July 2019).  More...

LCA: Artificial Intelligence: Australia’s Ethics Framework
The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science discussion paper proposed eight 'core principles' for the ethical use of AI in non-military contexts, and suggested a supporting 'toolkit' of associated resources and processes. The Law Council has called for clarity regarding accountability and liability, and careful consideration implications for public and private sector applications of AI (16 July 2019).  More...

 LCA: Justice for All report
The Taskforce recently delivered its Justice For All report, identifying global strategies to spearhead progress on achieving SDG 16.3 (access to justice for all). The report substantially drew upon the Law Council’s own Justice Project final report amongst other relevant worldwide research and findings (16 July 2019).  More...

AFP was not attempting to intimidate journalists, Commissioner says
Outgoing Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin rejects the claim his officers were attempting to "intimidate" journalists when they carried out two raids — one on the headquarters of the ABC and the other on the home of a News Corp reporter (16 July 2019).  More...

Our scientists just want to do their job': CSIRO concerned Adani is alleging bias
Emails obtained under freedom of information reveal Adani demanded the names of all federal agency scientists reviewing its contentious groundwater plans so it could check if they were "anti-coal" activists (16 July 2019).  More...

AFP wanted fingerprints of journalists behind ABC special forces investigation Analysis
The raid on the ABC appears to be part of a new climate in which journalists and their sources of information are targeted and receive the sort of treatment previously reserved for criminals, writes John Lyons (15 July 2019).  More...

Medicare fraud detection program pays dividends
A new sophisticated Medicare fraud detection program incorporating advanced fraud risk and data analytics capabilities is already yielding strong results (13 July 2019).  More...

Prosecution for NDIS fraud
The Victorian County Court has sentenced Mohamed Osman Omar (36), to four years imprisonment, after he pleaded guilty to defrauding the National Insurance Disability Scheme of more than $370,000 (11 July 2019).  More...

Drone squad assembled in Victoria
Victoria Police has announced that it will create a new drone unit by the end of August. The unit will have up to 50 drones to help police with activities such as tracking offenders, conducting surveillance and assisting with emergency management (10 July 2019).  More...

ACMA reveals telco complaints
The ACMA released its first Telecommunications complaints handling report. The high level of complaints reported for voice-only services delivered by telcos over the NBN is of real concern as they are critical to the most vulnerable in our community (10 July 2019).  More...

OWP: Israel Folau and the future of free speech
This controversial case has highlighted the conflict between freedom of religion and freedom of speech in Australia, and points to some systemic flaws in Australia’s constitution to protect fundamental human rights. Australia is the sole democracy in the western world who has not enshrined any form of federal charter of human rights- freedoms enjoyed by citizens are those dictated by the constitution (05 July 2019).  More...

Encryption laws are creating an exodus of data from Australia: Vault
We are currently seeing an exodus of data from Australia including physical, operational, and legal sovereignty. The cloud provider Vault has called upon the government to create a Data Sovereignty Policy that mandates all sensitive data hosted in the cloud be sovereign and for all staff to undergo Australian clearance vetting, where needed (05 July 2019).  More...

Data Standards Body welcomes initial live use of banking Product Reference Data standards
The Federal Government’s Consumer Data Right (CDR) regime, which will give Australians greater control over their own data, is one step closer with the API-based publication of banking Product Reference Data on 1 July 2019, developed using CDR standards (04 July 2019).  More...

Individuals who encourage trespass, property damage or theft on farm land could soon face up to five years jail.
The new criminal offence comes with penalties of up to five years imprisonment, and follows an earlier move by the Government to prescribe activist group Aussie Farms under the Privacy Act – exposing it to potential penalties of up to $2.1 million if found to be in breach of the Act (05 July 2019).  More...

Industrial reforms introduced into Parliament
The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Ensuring Integrity) Bill 2019 and the Fair Work Laws Amendment (Proper Use of Worker Benefits) Bill 2019 have been introduced into the House of Representatives. The Ensuring Integrity Bill implements recommendations giving more power and greater flexibility to the Federal Courts to de-register lawbreaking unions and take action against certain militant parts of unions and their officials (04 July 2019).  More...

Govt agencies use data mining to root out corruption
Data analytics and data mining are helping Victorian government agencies prevent corruption, a report by the state’s anti-corruption watchdog has found. It found an increasing use of innovative data analytics to identify anomalies in expenses, pinpoint suspect gift-giving patterns and even identify potential links with criminal figures (03 July 2019).  More...

Stronger protections for telecommunications consumers
Telco consumers will be better protected from financially over committing themselves and poor sales practices under new consumer protection rules approved. ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the impact of this is serious, particularly for those in vulnerable circumstances, leading to financial hardship and denial of access to critical services (01 July 2019).  More...

Statement On the Progress of the Royal Commission Progress Report
The Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants has provided its Progress Report to the Governor of Victoria. The report highlights the significance and complexity of the Commission’s task (01 July 2019).  More...

Backing our police to keep the community sa
The new platforms are part of the Labor Government’s Community Safety Statements, and form part of a record $3 billion investment in Victoria Police and community safety, which is delivering 3135 new police, stronger laws, better police facilities and resources (01 July 2019).  More...

APRA publishes guidance on cyber security
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has released updated guidance on managing cyber crime and other information security risks (01 July 2019).  More...

LCA: Proposed citizenship stripping laws undermine national security, go ‘against grain of our justice system’
Law Council President, Arthur Moses SC, told the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor’s public review hearing yesterday the proposed amendments to the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth) were not necessary or proportionate, may leave individuals stateless and inadvertently weaken national security (28 June 2019).  More...

IBAC: Victorian state government agencies exploring new ways to detect and prevent corruption
A review released by the state's anti-corruption commission, IBAC, has found Victorian state government agencies are increasingly aware of corruption risks and exploring new ways to detect and prevent corrupt conduct, such as use of data analytics and the appointment of risk champions (27 June 2019).  More...

APS slides on information publishing
Agencies across the Australian Public Service are going backwards in their rate of compliance with the open-Government requirements of the Information Publication Scheme (27 June 2019).  More...

State Trustees failed some of Victoria’s most vulnerable people: Ombudsman
Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass found State Trustees had failed some of the most vulnerable people in Victoria. The agency manages the finances of around 10,000 Victorians who are unable to look after their own affairs due to disability, illness or injury (27 June 2019).  More... 

LCA: Commonwealth, states and territories must lift minimum age of criminal responsibility to 14 years, remove doli incapax
Every Australian jurisdiction should lift the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 14 years to improve justice outcomes for vulnerable children and remove the need for the fraught doli incapax presumption, according to the Law Council (26 June 2019).  More...

In practice and courts

High Court of Australia
High Court of Australia Bulletin [2019] HCAB 5 (8 July 2019)

Commonwealth Ombudsman: Private Health Insurance Ombudsman’s statement about pre-existing conditions complaints
Although the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman investigates in private and does not comment on individual matters, the Office notes the recent media coverage about private health insurers and pre-existing condition complaints, and provide some background information about their role (11 July 2019).  More...

AAT Bulletin
Issue No. 28/2019
The AAT Bulletin is a weekly publication containing a list of recent AAT decisions and information relating to appeals against AAT decisions, including immigration and citizenship (15 July 2019).  More...

ANAO Performance audit in-progress: Defence’s management of its public communications and media activities
Due to table: December, 2019: The objective of this audit is to assess the effectiveness and appropriateness of the Department of Defence’s management of its public communications and media activities.  More...

Current Senate Inquiries - Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee

Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019 [Provisions]
The bill would amend the Criminal Code Act 1995 to introduce two new offences relating to the use of a carriage service to incite trespass, property offences, or other offences on agricultural land. On 4 July 2019 the Senate referred the provisions of the Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019 to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 6 September 2019. The deadline for submission to the inquiry is 31 July 2019.  More...

Current Senate Inquiries - Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee

Ministers of State (Checks for Security Purposes) Bill 2019
On 4 July 2019, the Senate referred the Ministers of State (Checks for Security Purposes) Bill 2019 for inquiry and report by 11 November 2019. The closing date for submissions is 23 August 2019.  More...


OVIC: Agency reporting obligations - August 2019 Reporting
While OVIC analyses these submissions, your agency’s protective data security obligations under the Framework remain unchanged. This includes reporting obligations under Standard 12. Agencies must submit their 2019 attestation to OVIC by the 30th of August, 2019. For more information about the August 2019 reporting requirements, please see the letter from the Victorian Information Commissioner to agencies Option 1 – Single Organisation 2019 Attestation Template and Option 2 – Multiple Organisation 2019 Attestation Template.

VICBAR: Equitable Briefing Policy Reporting 2018-19
The 2018-2019 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 2019. The Equitable Briefing Policy Reporting Template and Guidelines provide information on the reporting requirements and the reporting template (12 July 2019).

VLRC: Reform of committals system: VLRC calls for submissions
The Victorian Law Reform Commission is calling for submissions to a review that could lead to important changes to the state’s committals system. Options under consideration include reforming the process or abolishing committals completely. Visit the website to download the issues paper and make a submission. The Commission is consulting widely during July and August, and submissions are open until 16 August 2019 (12 July 2019).

Victoria Parliament Consultations

Inquiry into the Conduct of the 2018 Victorian State Election 
The Committee is inviting people to submit their views on how the election was conducted and suggestions on how things could be improved. Issues to be examined include enrolling, being a candidate and voting. Submissions close on 30 August 2019.  More...

Inquiry into the Impact of Animal Rights Activism on Victorian Agriculture
The Legislative Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee has commenced a public inquiry into the impact of animal rights activism on Victorian agriculture. The Committee is inviting written submissions by 2 August 2019 and will then conduct public hearings.  More...

AHRC: Commission calls for public submissions
The AHRC has released an issues paper for ‘Free and Equal’: An Australian conversation on human rights and has called for public submissions. Submissions are open until 12 July 2019. See the terms of reference, and issues paper.  More...

Tabled Parliament Reports

Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants - Progress Report
Tabled 01 July 2019 – The Commission will deliver its final report on 1 July 2020, including recommendations to ensure that any future use of human sources bound by obligations of confidentiality or privilege is robust and effective, and supports the continued integrity of Victoria’s criminal justice system.  More...

Victoria Parliament Consultations

Inquiry into the Conduct of the 2018 Victorian State Election 
The Committee is inviting people to submit their views on how the election was conducted and suggestions on how things could be improved. Issues to be examined include enrolling, being a candidate and voting. Submissions close on 30 August 2019.  More...

Inquiry into the Impact of Animal Rights Activism on Victorian Agriculture
The Legislative Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee has commenced a public inquiry into the impact of animal rights activism on Victorian agriculture. The Committee is inviting written submissions by 2 August 2019 and will then conduct public hearings.  More...

Indexed Notice 2019-2020
With new Indexation Rule r 111A of the Uniform General Rules commencing from 1 July 2019 in Uniform Law States, the Legal Services Council has released the Indexed Amounts Notice advising the indexed amounts that will apply to $10,000 ($10,685), $100,000 ($106,835) and $25,000 ($26,710) referred to in the Uniform Law from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.  More...

VLRC- Contempt of Court - Release of Consultation Paper
The Commission's consultation paper on contempt of court was published online on the Commission's website together with a summary document.  More... 

Published – articles, papers, reports

Opinion Piece: Leaving our security threats offshore may not be smart: citizens suspected of terrorist activities abroad should face the full force of Australian law
Opinion Piece by Law Council of Australia President, Arthur Moses SC –The Australian, 16 July 2019
If Australian citizens break our laws, break their bond to this country, or threaten our safety or values, then they should feel the full force of our rules. Passing legislation that puts security risks outside of the reach of these rules — and serves as a get-out-of-jail-free card — is unwise, ill-considered and does not protect the public interest.  More...

Paper tsunami: how the move to digital medical records is leaving us drowning in old paper files
Gillian Oliver, Peter Bragge; The Conversation: 10 July 2019
What to do with our old paper medical files now that records are going digital? As a recent Brisbane case demonstrates, not all files are heading straight for destruction.  More...

Commonwealth fraud investigations 2016–17
Penny Jorna, Russell G. Smith; Australian Institute of Criminology: 05 July 2019
The Australian government is committed to tackling fraud against the Commonwealth by supporting research into the extent of the problem and promoting the development and use of fraud control practices to reduce risks and to detect and deal with fraud in a timely and effective manner.  More...

Cyber Resilience of Government Business Enterprises and Corporate Commonwealth Entities
ANAO: 04 July 2019
The objective of this audit was to assess the effectiveness of the management of cyber security risks by three government business enterprises or corporate Commonwealth entities. The entities selected for audit are ASC Pty Ltd, the Australian Postal Corporation and the Reserve Bank of Australia.  More...

Annual Plan 2019–20
VAGO: Tabled: 27 June 2019
The annual plan is a key accountability mechanism that gives Parliament, the public sector and the Victorian community the opportunity to assess our goals and understand our audit priorities.  More...

National Disability Insurance Scheme Fraud Control Program
ANAO: 25 June 2019
The objective of this audit was to examine the effectiveness of the National Disability Insurance Agency’s fraud control program and its compliance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework.  More...

Accountability, transparency and diversity – the importance of an independent tribunal appointment process
Arthur Moses, resident, Law Council of Australia: COAT Annual Conference 2019
The Rule of Law demands the independence of tribunals.  Yet maintaining the appearance of independence is equally crucial to promote public trust and confidence in tribunal members and their decision-making.  In an age of transparency, this presentation will consider three contemporary challenges to the appearance of independence of modern tribunals.  More...

ALRC:  Where next for law reform
In May and June 2019, the ALRC held four seminars on the future of law reform in conjunction with the Law Schools at UNSW, ANU and Melbourne University. To find out more about each seminar you can read a short summary (28 June 2019).  More...

Australian Bureau of Statistics
27 June 2019 Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2018 (cat no. 4510.0)


Decmil Group and Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (Freedom of information) [2019] AICmr 50
Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative purpose — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 24A, 47C, 47E

Dundar v Bas Brothers [2019] VSC 469
JUDICIAL REVIEW — Accident compensation — Medical Panel Review — Opinion on medical questions — Whether Panel’s reasons were adequate — Whether Panel failed to take into account relevant considerations — Whether Panel’s decision was irrational and/or illogical — Richter v Driscoll (2016) 51 VR 95 — Accident Compensation Act 1985 s 93C(1)(a) — Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 ss 3, 274, 302, and 313(3).

Tucker v State of Victoria [2019] VSC 420
EMPLOYMENT – Construction of employment contract – Whether letter of offer formed part of contract – Toll FGCT Pty Ltd v Alphapharm Pty Ltd [2004] HCA 52; (2004) 219 CLR 165 – Whether a term of an enterprise agreement was incorporated into contract by reference – Whether failure to provide materials and particulars concerning workplace investigations a breach of employment contract or Public Administration Act 2004 s 20(3) – Whether investigation framed allegations so as to shift the onus of proof onto employee.
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – Applicable principles – Construction of Publi Administration Act 2004 ss 8, 20(3) — Whether s 8 imposes an obligation to comply with processes established under it – Whether failure to follow a process established pursuant to s 8 is a breach of s 20(3) of that Act – Quinn v Overland [2010] FCA 799.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Pleadings – Amendment principles – Whether it is necessary to expressly plead a statutory provision pursuant to Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015 r 13.02(1)(b)

Chairperson of the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants v Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police [2019] VSCA 154
CRIMINAL LAW – Suppression orders – Application by chairperson of the Royal Commission into Management of Police Informants to vacate or vary suppression orders – Whether continuation of orders necessary – Whether without order risk to safety unacceptable – Revocation of suppression orders would increase risk – Suppression orders varied to permit disclosure to and by the Royal Commission in accordance with Inquiries Act 2014 and the Witness Protection Act 1991 – AB v CD [2019] VSCA 28, AB v CD; EF v CD [2019] HCA 6 applied – Open Courts Act 2013 (Vic) ss 15, 18 – Witness Protection Act 1991 (Vic) ss 10(5), 10(7), 10A – Inquiries Act 2014 (Vic) ss 12, 17, 18, 21, 24, 26, 34.
CRIMINAL LAW – Witness protection – Authorisation of disclosure – Applicable legislation should be applied – Authorisation as sought unwarranted – Witness Protection Act 1991 (Vic) ss 10(5), 10(7), 10A – Inquiries Act 2014 (Vic) ss 18, 34. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Declaration sought – No relevant controversy – Application dismissed.

Johnston v DHHS [2019] VSC 431
JUDICIAL REVIEW — Accident compensation — Medical Panel Review — Opinion on medical questions — Whether Panel exceeded its jurisdiction — Whether Panel failed to ask and answer the right question — Whether Panel failed to take into account relevant considerations — Whether Panel misunderstood the evidence before it — Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 ss 3, 284, 302, and 304.

Kheir v Robertson & Ors [2019] VSC 422
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Application for judicial review of a decision of the delegate of the Secretary to the Department of Justice and Regulation refusing an application for emergency management days – Whether plaintiff denied procedural fairness – Whether decision of delegate tainted by apprehended bias – Whether delegate gave inadequate reasons – Whether delegate failed to take relevant considerations into account – Whether delegate took irrelevant considerations into account – Whether decision unlawfully delayed – Whether rights under Charter breached – Application dismissed – Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 ss 21, 22, 39 – Corrections Act 1986 ss 6, 8, 58E – Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015 Order 56.

Singleton v Victorian Building Authority [2019] VSC 416
JUDICIAL REVIEW – Mandamus – Defective domestic building work certified by building surveyor – Allegations against builder and building surveyor referred by authority to Building Practitioners Board – Powers of authority as to disciplinary action against building surveyors – Whether court will grant mandamus against authority – Where power is discretionary – Where relevant building surveyor has been dealt with by the relevant authorities – Where disciplinary actions are pending appeal in VCAT – No proper basis to grant mandamus requiring authority to take further disciplinary action – Building Legislation Amendment (Consumer Protection) Act 2016 (Vic) pt 3 div 2 – Building Act 1993 (Vic) ss 76, 171(d), 179, 182, 183(1), 205M, 205N, 241(7).

Mailton Holdings Pty Ltd v Jussy [2019] VSC 421
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Judicial review – Opinion of a Medical Panel – Panel found that worker’s physical injuries had resolved, but that worker had somatic symptom disorder, a psychiatric injury – Whether Panel gave genuine consideration to worker’s credit – Whether Panel’s opinion grossly illogical or irrational – Whether Panel’s reasons adequate – No error established – Proceeding dismissed – Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic) ss 274, 302, 313.

Bazouni v State of Victoria & Ors [2019] VSC 407
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Judicial review – Medical panel – Whether panel misconstrued s 28LL(3) of the Wrongs Act 1958 – Whether decision of panel legally unreasonable – Whether plaintiff denied procedural fairness – Certiorari granted – Mandamus granted – Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015 Order 56 – Wrongs Act 1958 ss 28LE, 28LF, 28LI, 28LL, 28LZG.

Poulpack Pty Ltd v Noumouski [2019] VSC 395
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Application by an employer seeking to quash the determination of a medical panel in relation to a worker’s injury under the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic) – Where parties agreed that the medical panel’s opinion was affected by error on the face of the record, such that the relief of certiorari should be granted on the basis of inconsistencies between the opinion and the reasons – Whether the decision of the medical panel should be quashed in its entirety or only partially – Severance of answers to medical questions available – Calleja Nominees Pty Ltd & Anor v Dr Chris Grant & Ors [2008] VSC 597, referred to answers to questions concerning capacity bound up with inconsistent answers regarding injuries – Nothing in the medical panel’s findings indicate that the re-determination of medical questions should be remitted to a differently constituted panel – Vegco Pty Ltd v Gibbons [2008] VSC 363 applied – Morrison v Melbourne Pathology Pty Ltd [2018] VSC 477, referred to.

Mulder v Victorian Workcover Authority - WorkSafe Victoria (FOI) (Review and Regulation) [2019] VCAT 970
Review and Regulation List – Freedom of Information – request for access to applicant’s WorkCover file – one document in dispute – email in applicant’s file with a third party’s name in the subject line – email partially released with third party’s name redacted – third party a WorkCover claimant with an unrelated claim – disclosure of third party’s name an unreasonable disclosure of personal affairs information – Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) s 33(1).The decision of the respondent is affirmed.


Enhancing Online Safety (Protecting Australians from Terrorist or Violent Criminal Material) Legislative Rule 2019
15/07/2019 – This rule provides for the eSafety Commissioner to exercise powers under relevant legislation to take action, where required, to reduce Australian internet users’ exposure to material that promotes, instructs or incites in matters of terrorist acts or violent crimes.

Freedom of Information Act 1982
01/07/2019 - Act No. 3 of 1982 as amende

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