Promoting privacy and information access rights through the pandemic
The work of the OAIC to uphold privacy and information access rights and strengthen online privacy protections is highlighted in its 2020–21 annual report published today (21 October 2021). More...
OAIC publishes annual report on digital health
The independent privacy regulator for the My Health Record system and Healthcare Identifiers Service has detailed its compliance and monitoring activity in its 2020–21 digital health annual report. The annual report highlights the OAIC’s work to ensure privacy measures for Australia’s digital health systems are upheld (21 October 2021). More...
More illegal gambling sites blocked
The ACMA has requested that Australian internet service providers block more illegal offshore gambling websites. Following numerous complaints about these services, the ACMA investigated and found them to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (21 October 2021). More...
ACMA penalises financial services telemarketer $100,000 for unlawful calls
Information Support Australia Pty Ltd (trading as Super Information Team) has paid an infringement notice of $102,120 and will be subject to an independent review after the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found it breached telemarketing rules. It was responsible for 880 calls to phone numbers on the Do Not Call Register in October 2020 (20 October 2021). More...
NSW government told to polish data sharing laws
The NSW government must strengthen data sharing laws to make them easier for agencies to navigate, enabling the creation of “high value” datasets, a review has found. The review of the Data Sharing (Government Sector) Act 2015, tabled in state parliament last week, found that amendments were needed to maximise use of the legislation as a tool for data sharing (20 October 2021). More...
Victoria's privacy commission orders release of secret COVID lockdown briefings
The health department is ordered to release the details of confidential lockdown briefings in a ruling from the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (20 October 2021). More...
Appointments to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1) 15 October 2021
Appointments to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) 15 October 2021
Increased Resources for the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Newcastle Registry 15 October 2021
Draft legislation for Australian Government Digital Identity System
The proposed legislation will enshrine in law, privacy and consumer safeguards for greater trust in the System as it expands. This includes more services and sectors, accelerating an economy-wide rollout. Submissions are open until 27 October 2021. More...
Review of PBR Act and IPEA Act
The statutory review will consider how the current legislative framework provides appropriate levels of accountability and transparency to the use of taxpayers’ money. The Review will report by 31 December 2021. More...
APS pay rates in line for a change
The Australian Public Service Commission has issued a Circular setting out changes to APS pay rates to apply between 1 September this year and 31 August 2022. The full Circular 2021/04 can be accessed on the APSC website here.
Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications: Draft Online Safety (Basic Online Safety Expectations) Determination 2021 consultation
We are seeking submissions on an exposure draft of the Online Safety (Basic Online Safety Expectations) Determination 2021. The draft determination sets out the government’s demands for providers that offer a social media service, “relevant electronic service” or “designated internet service”, including the nine principle-based “core expectations” included in the Act. View the consultation and consultation paper. Submissions to the consultation close on 12 November 2021.
Law Council submissions
18 October 2021— Business Law Section
Second round of miscellaneous amendments to Treasury portfolio laws 2021
18 October 2021— Law Council
Independent Panel Review request for consultation on the insolvent trading safe harbour
16 October 2021— Business Law Section
Exposure Draft Customs Amendments (Controlled Trials) Bill 2021
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 (15 October 2021). More...
AAT: In-person hearings in our Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney registries
Until further notice, in-person hearings in our Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney registries will only proceed when all parties, representatives and other participants are willing to show evidence that they have been fully vaccinated (18 October 2021). More...
The AAT Bulletin is a weekly publication containing a list of recent AAT decisions and information relating to appeals against AAT decisions
Issue No. 21/2021, 18 October 2021
Australian Human Rights Commission Consultation
Have your say in a National Anti-Racism Framework 20 October 2021
Submissions are open from 21 October to 15 December 2021.
Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee
The performance and integrity of Australia’s administrative review system
Crimes Amendment (Remissions of Sentences) Bill 2021
On 6 October 2021 the committee's reporting date was extended to 5 November 2021.
The adequacy and efficacy of Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regime Report by 2 December 2021.
Constitution Alteration (Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press) 2019
Status: Accepting Submissions Date Referred: 17 June 2021 Submissions Closed: 20 August 2021
Reporting Date: 31 December 2021
Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media
Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media to inquire into and report on the risk posed to Australia’s democracy by foreign interference through social media. The committee is to present its final report on or before the second sitting day of May 2022 The closing date for submissions is 31 October 2021.
Consultation on review of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency has invited feedback on a review of the law covering workplace gender equality in Australia, on an issued a consultation paper which covers the current legislation, enshrined in the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, as well as gender indicators and continuing employer reporting obligations. Submissions close on 24 November and further information can be accessed on the PM&C website here.
Court Appointments - 14 October 2021
Two new judges, Ms Deborah Holliday QC and Ms Amanda McDonnell, have been appointed to the District Court. More...
Magistrates Court of Queensland - COVID-19 Information Guide
The Magistrates Court of Queensland has released an information guide that outlines COVID-19 arrangements for courthouses and courtrooms (01 October 2021).
OIC Qld Decisions
14/10/2021 Z32 and Queensland Building and Construction Commission; J26 (Third Party)  QICmr 52 (14 October 2021) | Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland
13/10/2021 Y39 and Brisbane City Council  QICmr 51 (13 October 2021) | Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland
12/10/2021 E33 and Metro South Hospital and Health Service  QICmr 50 (12 October 2021) | Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland
Supreme Court protocol for judicial review of Parole Board Queensland applications
The protocol, which will come into effect from 5 October, applies to any application made by a prisoner under s22(2) of the Judicial Review Act 1991 for a statutory order of review of a failure by the Parole Board Queensland to decide a prisoner’s parole application within the period fixed by s193(3) of the Corrective Services Act 2006.
The protocol applies to applications filed in the Brisbane Registry only. See the protocol for full details.
Community Support and Services Committee – QPS - Criminal Law (Raising the Age of Responsibility) Amendment Bill 2021 (Bill) Consultation
The objective of the Bill is to ensure children under 14 years of age are not incarcerated or otherwise punished under the criminal legal system, consistent with current medical understanding of child development and contemporary human rights standards. The closing date for submissions is 30 November 2021. An information sheet can be found here.
Public Consultation: QLS Professional Standards (Limitation of Liability) Scheme 2022-2027
The Society has applied to the Professional Standards Council of Queensland for approval of a new Professional Standards Scheme to commence on 1 July 2022 and as part of the process of that approval the Scheme is now out for Public Consultation until 06 October 2021. More...
Department of the Premier and Cabinet Consultation - Annual report 2020-21
Feedback survey open until 31 July 2022. By taking a minute to complete this survey, you will help us improve our annual reports so readers can use them more effectively.
Department of Justice and Attorney-General - Recording & Transcription Services
The Department of Justice and Attorney-General is moving to a new way of delivering recording and transcription services across Queensland Courts and Tribunals. For information on the changes, due to be implemented by the end of 2021, please refer here.
2020–21 annual report
Australian Information Commissioner: Released 18 October 2021
The OAIC made 17 privacy complaint determinations and issued 54 Information Commissioner review decisions that set precedents and provide guidance to other regulated entities, read the 2020–21 annual report here.
2020–21 digital health annual report
Australian Information Commissioner: Released 21 October 2021
The OAIC received and finalised seven complaints in relation to the My Health Records system, and received and finalised one complaint relating to the Healthcare Identifier Service. The OAIC was notified of two data breaches involving the My Health Record system. More...
Australian Government Grants Reporting
ANAO Report No 7: 19 October 2021
The objectives of this information report are to provide transparency of, and insights on, government grants expense and Commonwealth entities’ self-reporting of grants on GrantConnect. By value, most grants (42 per cent) were awarded through a closed non-competitive selection process. However, ad hoc/one-off grants were the most numerous (24 per cent). More...
Annual telco complaints report 2020/21
ACMA: Released 19 October 2021
Telcos received just over one million complaints in the 2020-21 financial year. The report also found that the average time taken for telcos to resolve customer complaints was 12.2 days. More...
Grattan on Friday: Morrison government faces battle over integrity commission it doesn’t really want
Centre for Public Integrity: 20 October 2021
Those critiquing the dramatic fall of Gladys Berejiklian, who resigned when the Independent Commission Against Corruption announced it was investigating the probity of her conduct, have divided into two camps. More...
Mineralogy Pty Ltd v Western Australia  HCA
4. By whom should the costs of this Special Case be paid? Answer: The plaintiffs.
Constitutional law – State Parliament – legislative power – where State of Western Australia entered into agreement concerning mining projects in Pilbara region with Mineralogy Pty Ltd and other parties (co-proponents) including International Minerals Pty Ltd – where agreement and 2008 variation set out in schedules to, and thereby formed part of, Iron Ore Processing (Mineralogy Pty Ltd) Agreement Act 2002 (WA) (State Act) – where agreement provided that Mineralogy Pty Ltd, alone or with co-proponent, could submit proposals to relevant Minister regarding projects – where two plaintiff companies submitted proposals to Minister in 2012 and 2013 – where disputes in relation to 2012 proposal referred to arbitration, resulting in arbitral awards in favour of plaintiffs in 2014 and 2019 – where in August 2020 Parliament of Western Australia passed Iron Ore Processing (Mineralogy Pty Ltd) Agreement Amendment Act 2020 (WA) (Amending Act) – where Amending Act purported to insert new Pt 3 into State Act, including provisions which would deprive 2012 and 2013 proposals of legal effect (s 9) and deprive 2014 and 2019 arbitral awards of legal effect (s 10) – where plaintiffs commenced proceedings in High Court's original jurisdiction seeking declarations that Amending Act wholly or partly invalid – whether manner of enactment of Amending Act contravened s 6 of Australia Act 1986 (Cth) – whether Amending Act exceeded limitation on legislative power of Parliament of Western Australia arising from rule of law or deeply rooted common law rights – whether ss 9(1), 9(2) and 10(4)-(7) of State Act incompatible with Ch III of Constitution – whether ss 9(1), 9(2) and 10(4)‑(7) of State Act incompatible with s 118 of Constitution.
High Court – practice – special case – where parties agreed to state questions of law for opinion of Full Court – where special case stated facts and identified documents said to be necessary to enable Court to answer questions of law – whether facts stated and documents identified sufficient to satisfy Court of necessity of answering questions of law stated in special case for determination of immediate right, duty or liability in controversy between parties.
Palmer v Western Australia  HCA 31
Constitutional law – state Parliament – legislative power – where State of Western Australia entered into agreement concerning mining projects in Pilbara region with Mineralogy Pty Ltd and other parties (co-proponents) including International Minerals Pty Ltd – where plaintiff controller and beneficial owner of Mineralogy Pty Ltd and director of both Mineralogy Pty Ltd and International Minerals Pty Ltd – where agreement and 2008 variation set out in schedules to, and thereby formed part of, Iron Ore Processing (Mineralogy Pty Ltd) Agreement Act 2002 (WA) (State Act) – where agreement provided that Mineralogy Pty Ltd, alone or with co-proponent, could submit proposals to relevant Minister regarding projects – where Mineralogy Pty Ltd and International Minerals Pty Ltd submitted proposals to Minister in 2012 and 2013 – where disputes in relation to 2012 proposal referred to arbitration, resulting in arbitral awards in favour of Mineralogy Pty Ltd and International Minerals Pty Ltd in 2014 and 2019 – where in August 2020 Parliament of Western Australia passed Iron Ore Processing (Mineralogy Pty Ltd) Agreement Amendment Act 2020 (WA) (Amending Act) – where Amending Act purported to insert new Pt 3 into State Act, including provisions which would deprive 2012 and 2013 proposals of legal effect (s 9) and deprive 2014 and 2019 arbitral awards of legal effect (s 10) – where plaintiff named in Pt 3 – where plaintiff commenced proceedings in High Court's original jurisdiction seeking declarations that Amending Act wholly or partly invalid – whether Amending Act singled out plaintiff for "disability" or "discrimination" in manner forbidden by s 117 of Constitution – whether ss 9(1), 9(2) and 10(4)-(7) of State Act invalid on basis they amounted to exercise of adjudicative authority regarding controversy within scope of s 75(iv) of Constitution – whether ss 9(1), 9(2) and 10(4)-(7) of State Act invalid on basis they constituted bill of pains and penalties – whether Amending Act exceeded limitation on legislative power of Parliament of Western Australia arising from rule of law.
Words and phrases – "adjudicative authority", "bill of pains and penalties", "disability", "discrimination", "exercise of judicial power", "legislative power", "rule of law", "text and structure of the Constitution".
Rock v Legal Aid NSW  NSWCATAD 308
Administrative Law –access to government information – access application – prejudice supply of confidential information - prejudice effective exercise of agency's functions - personal information - confidential material - false or unsubstantiated allegations about a person that are defamatory - applicant's personal factors - not be in the best interests of a child - contravention of any other Act or statutory rule that prohibits the disclosure of information - whether public interest considerations against disclosure, on balance, outweigh the public interest considerations in favour of disclosure
Crime and Corruption Commission v Andersen & Anor  QCA 222
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where the second respondent found the first respondent liable for misconduct which occurred while off-duty and imposed a sanction of two penalty units – where the applicant filed an application with the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) which sought to have QCAT set aside that sanction decision and impose what the applicant contended was the correct and preferable decision – where QCAT allowed the application and substituted a sanction which reduced the first respondent’s pay by 4 paypoints – where the first respondent subsequently filed an application for leave to appeal to the QCAT Appeal Tribunal – where the Appeal Tribunal ultimately allowed the appeal and reduced the extent of the pay reduction from 4 paypoints to 1 paypoint – where the applicant seeks leave to appeal from the Appeal Tribunal’s decision and, if granted, set aside the Appeal Tribunal’s orders and reinstate the sanction imposed by QCAT at first instance – whether the alleged errors are necessary to correct a substantial injustice or an important point of principle sufficient to warrant the grant of leave. Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 150
Chadwick v Brisbane City Council  QCAT 339
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where dog has attacked and caused injury on three occasions to persons and other dogs– where dog has been declared a regulated dangerous dog after first occasion– where allegedly the dog owner does not show acceptance of responsibility for the dogs actions – where there is ongoing non-compliance– where after the third occasion a destruction order has been made– where dog owner seeks review of the basis for the destruction order Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 QLD s 19, s 20, s 23
Asmar v Albanese (No 4)  VSC 672
ASSOCIATIONS – political parties – Australian Labor Party – National Executive – intervention in Victorian Branch – resolution taking over conduct of preselections for House of Representative seats – challenge to National executive’s resolutions by unions affiliated with the Victorian Branch – whether National Executive validly exercised power to take over conduct of preselections – whether power exercised irrationally, illogically, unreasonably or for improper purposes – structure of ALP – relationship between National Executive and Branch Rules – whether issues justiciable.
TRUSTS – whether beneficiaries can bring claim for unlawful interference with the administration of trusts by third party – Whether special circumstances existed.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - representative order – whether need for a common grievance - Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015 O 18 r2, 4.
Kairouz v Bracks (No 2)  VSC 671
ASSOCIATIONS – political Parties – Australian Labor Party – National Executive – media allegations of Branch stacking – intervention in Victorian Branch – administrators appointed – whether intervention valid – powers of the National Executive - ALP structure – relationship between the National Constitution and Branch Rules – Branch Rules – amendment by Administrators – whether amendments valid – disciplinary charges brought in respect of alleged branch stacking – whether charges valid – whether issues raised justiciable.
TRUSTS – whether beneficiaries can bring claim for unlawful interference with the administration of trusts by third party – whether special circumstances existed.
Telstra Corporation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021
22 October 2021 - The Bill proposes a number of amendments to provide certainty that important consumer safeguards, notably the universal service obligation and Telstra’s obligations in relation to emergency call services, will continue to be delivered in an equivalent manner to today.
Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill 2021
22 October 2021 - AFIC will have appropriate powers of assessment, investigation, and referral to enable clear, proportionate, and practical responses to allegations of serious and/or systemic corruption issues at the federal level in the public interest, with comprehensive procedural fairness and whistleblower safeguards.
Spam Amendment (Unsolicited Political Communications) Bill 2021
21 October 2021 - The Spam Amendment (Unsolicited Political Communications) Bill 2021 (the Bill) proposes to amend the Spam Act 2003 (Spam Act) and the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. The purpose of the Bill is to provide consumers with more control over the receiving of unsolicited electronic and telephone communication from political parties by addressing exemptions to laws that otherwise prohibit or limit spam communication.
Statute Law Amendment (Prescribed Forms) Bill 2021
21 October 2021 - The main purpose of this Bill is to reduce the number of provisions on the statute book that require the use of forms that are prescribed by regulations. The amendments will enhance administration and promote consistency across the Commonwealth statute book. The amendments are minor in nature.
Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Integrity of Elections) Bill 2021
Introduced and read a first time 18 October 2021 - Amends the: Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to: Provide for the routine independent auditing of authorised electronic technology used at federal elections; and require voter identification for electors to vote in federal elections; and Intelligence Services Act 2001 to make consequential amendments.
Courts and Tribunals Legislation Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Bill 2021
Introduced and read a first time 18 October 2021 - The purpose of this omnibus Bill is to make a number of administrative amendments to improve the operation and clarity of various legislation.
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Amendment (Improved Grants Reporting) Bill 2021
Senate 18 October 2021 – Amends the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 to provide for reporting and tabling requirements for certain grants which have been approved by a minister based on an application which an official has recommended should be rejected or does not meet relevant selection criteria or which have been approved by a minister, who is a member of the House of Representatives, for a grantee in their electorate.
Small Business Commissioner Bill 2021 (Qld)
Introduced 12/10/2021 - The policy objective of the Bill is to give effect to the Queensland Government’s commitments to permanently establish a Queensland Small Business Commissioner (commissioner) and a supporting office. The proposed legislation will provide a statutory basis for the commissioner’s dispute resolution functions relating to retail tenancy disputes and enable mediation for commercial leasing and small business franchise disputes on an opt-in basis only.
Housing Legislation Amendment Act 2021
No 19 – 20 October 2021 - Amends the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.
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 newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.