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Victorian Government Bulletin

24 May 2021

#Government

Victorian Government Bulletin

In the media

Strengthening the Victorian Criminal Justice System
The Andrews Labor Government will strengthen Victoria’s criminal justice system with a Special Investigator, Implementation Monitor and significant investment in the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission and the courts (07 May 2021).  More...

Auditor-general slams rollout of Victorian infringements system while highlighting pressures on public servants
The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office has released a scathing report on the state justice department’s new infringements system, highlighting failures in governance and risk management. VAGO’s report has encouraged Victorian Public Service leaders to facilitate conversations about public servants’ role in providing advice to the government (05 May 2021).  More...

Australian government ban on overseas travel during pandemic violates rights, Federal Court hears
The Commonwealth government's ban on citizens travelling overseas infringes on the fundamental rights of Australians, the Federal Court has heard. The Australian government has used the Biosecurity Act to prevent citizens from travelling overseas without an exemption (06 May 2021).  More...

Victorian government bill would give principals the power to ban abusive parents from school grounds
Schools will have the power to ban aggressive and violent parents from entering school grounds under a Victorian government bill introduced to parliament. The new laws will also target parents who are threatening or abusive on social media (04 May 2021).  More...

New Victorian Solicitor-General Appointed
The Victorian Government announced the appointment of Rowena Orr QC as the next Solicitor-General, the state’s most senior legal adviser and advocate. Ms Orr will commence on 10 May (04 May 2021).  More...

Privacy warning on COVID health data
The Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner, Angelene Falk has signed a world-wide statement confirming the importance of people’s privacy being maintained in the sharing of health data when people travel during the COVID-19 pandemic (03 May 2021).  More...

Telcos warned for failing to protect customers against identity theft
Telstra, Medion Mobile and Optus have been issued formal warnings after the ACMA found they failed to adequately verify people’s identities prior to transferring their mobile phone numbers from other telcos. The ACMA found that in mid-2020, Telstra breached identity verification rules on at least 52 occasions, Medion Mobile on 53 occasions, and Optus on one occasion (21 May 2021).  More...

Factsheets address abuse in the workplace
Safe Work Australia and eSafety have produced fact sheets warning employers and employees of the dangers of online abuse in the workplace, and outlining measures to prevent it. The fact sheets define online abuse as “behaviour that uses technology to threaten, intimidate, bully, harass or humiliate someone” (20 May 2021).  More...

ACSC lifts efforts to protect infrastructure
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has announced its new Critical Infrastructure Uplift Program aimed at raising the security levels of critical infrastructure organisations. It noted the Government was assisting in this effort through proposed amendments to the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 (20 May 2021).  More...

Attorneys seek joint approach to violence laws
Attorney-General, Senator Michaelia Cash said the new multi-jurisdictional initiative, aimed at ensuring victims and survivors of sexual violence and coercive control, had similar protections and legal avenues throughout Australia (20 May 2021).  More...

HRLC: Dozens of submissions made public after AGs refuse to act on raising the age of criminal responsibility
In an unusual move, 48 organisations have publicly released their submissions to the Council of Attorneys-General working group on raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility in Australia from 10 years old (19 May 2021).  More...

Governments paying too much for infrastructure
Australian governments are paying too much for major infrastructure contracts because of a lack of competition and undue haste in pushing projects through, a report says. Transport projects are very politicised and goverments put a lot of emphasis on getting them started in their term of government so they can claim it as their own (17 May 2021).  More...

Legal Aid Vic: New investment to improve access to justice
The government has announced $210 million in funding, including investment to expand online court services, successful case management programs and additional court staff and systems to help meet demand across Victoria’s courts and tribunals caused by the COVID-19 backlog (13 May 2021).  More...

In practice and courts

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. 9/2021, 3 May 2021
Issue No. 10/2021, 17 May 2021

AHRC: Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces
The Commission will not be investigating nor making findings about individual allegations of bullying, sexual harassment or sexual assault as part of the Review. The Commission will report on its findings and recommendations in a report to be tabled in Parliament in November 2021. The Terms of Reference outline the scope of the Review in more detail.  More...

OAIC: The importance of privacy by design in the sharing of health data for domestic or international travel requirements
The Global Privacy Assembly Executive Committee has published a joint statement on the importance of privacy by design in the sharing of health data for domestic or international travel requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic (29 April 2021).  More...

Victoria

Statutory declarations
Recent changes to the law enable statutory declarations to be made using electronic signatures and for the witness to be 'present' by audio visual link (28 April 2021).  More...

Consultations

New resources: How to work with vulnerable witnesses
The Judicial College has released a suite of resources to help you work with vulnerable witnesses in the courtroom (16 April 2021).  More...

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 1 June 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.

Review of the Terrorism (Community Protection) Act 2003
Public consultation closes on 4 June 2021
Have your say on the effectiveness of the Terrorism (Community Protection) Act 2003 and whether the safeguards and oversights are sufficient. The review of the Terrorism (Community Protection) Act 2003 (the Act) is taking place to meet the Act’s statutory review requirement and address the Act’s expiry on 1 December 2021.  More...

NSW

Latest edition of the Court of Appeal’s Decisions of Interest bulletin
The Decisions of Interest bulletin is a regular publication produced by the Court of Appeal, summarising appellate decisions from Australia and internationally. Read the latest bulletin here.

Published – articles, papers, reports

Investigation into the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions’ administration of the Business Support Fund
Victorian Ombudsman: 26 April 2021
A Victorian Ombudsman investigation has found that almost 12,000 businesses may be asked to reapply for grants after their applications to the Business Support Fund were denied for minor errors.  More...

Implementing a new infringements management system
VAGO: Tabled: 5 May 2021
Did the Department of Justice and Community Safety roll out its new infringements system in an effective and cost-efficient way.  More...

The factsheet – How to deliver an effective apology
Ombudsman: May 2021
The Ombudsman’s Office advised entities to avoid apologies that were inaccurate; misguided; generalised; avoidant; conditional; or partial.  More...

Investigation into how local councils respond to ratepayers in financial hardship
Victorian Ombudsman: 17 May 2021
In recent years, the Victorian Ombudsman has heard concerns from ratepayers, financial counsellors and community lawyers about the way local councils treat people who cannot afford their council rates. This investigation focused on council hardship relief for homeowners (ratepayers who cannot pay rates.  More...

Legislation

Victoria

Acts
Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Arbitration) Act 2021 (Vic)
Act Number: 15/2021 Date of assent: 11 May 2021

Victorian legislation can be accessed here.

Disclaimer
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