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Victorian Government Bulletin

29 March 2021

#Government

Victorian Government Bulletin

In the media

News Media Bargaining Code passes Parliament
Australia’s News Media and Digital Platforms Bargaining Code has officially passed through the Senate a day after the Government confirmed last-minute amendments made as part of the Morrison Government’s negotiations with Facebook over the past week. The Code aims to provide a framework for good faith negotiations between the parties and a fair and balanced arbitration process to resolve outstanding disputes (25 February 2021).  More...

Dangerous new surveillance law must be scaled back
The Human Rights Law Centre has expressed alarm about an expansive new law proposed by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton that would give federal police invasive powers to takeover people’s online accounts and monitor online activity (24 February 2021).  More...

Public drunkenness to be decriminalised following historic vote
Historic and long overdue public drunkenness reforms have passed the Victorian Parliament (19 February 2021).  More...

Guidance released for vaccine rollout in Australian workplaces
The Fair Work Ombudsman and Safe Work Australia have released updated guidance for employers and employees about the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in the workplace (19 February 2021).  More...

DTA shows way on digital identity laws
The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has released a report on the feedback it received during consultation on Digital Identity legislation (15 February 2021).  More...

DTA hosts framework to protect data
The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has announced the release of a Hosting Certification Framework, offering Departments and Agencies the assurance that the whole-of-Government Hosting Strategy principles are in place and Government systems and data are secure (11 March 2021).  More...

Law Council questions need for broad surveillance powers
If passed, the three new warrant-based powers proposed in the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identity and Disrupt) Bill 2020, will fundamentally alter Australia’s criminal intelligence framework, and potentially reach into and disrupt the lives of innocent bystanders (11 March 2021).  More...

Legal Aid: We welcome stronger protections against hate speech in Victoria
The Victorian Parliament’s inquiry into anti-vilification protection has made recommendations that recognise the harm caused by racial and other kinds of vilification and suggested useful improvements to current laws and systems (03 March 2021).  More...

Strengthening protections for domestic violence victims
The Family Law Amendment (Federal Family Violence Orders) Bill 2021, introduced in the House of Representatives, will establish criminally enforceable federal family violence orders, with breaches carrying a maximum penalty of up to two years in prison. The orders will operate in the same way as state and territory domestic violence orders (24 March 2021).  More...

IBAC to resume public hearings into allegations of serious corrupt conduct in Victoria’s public transport sector
The IBAC will resume public hearings for Operation Esperance into allegations of serious corrupt conduct within Victoria's public transport sector on 29 March (19 March 2021).  More...

New laws give Victorians hope to turn their lives around
Victorians who have carried the unfair burden of a minor historical offence will have a better chance to turn their lives around, thanks to new laws (The Spent Convictions Bill 2020) passed by Parliament (18 March 2021).  More...

Cybercrime prompts warning to consumers
The Australian Cyber Security Centre has issued a warning to consumers and businesses to change their usernames and passwords following a data dump of stolen credentials on the dark web (18 March 2021).  More...

Anti-Racism Framework in the picture
Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner, Chin Tan said his Concept Paper for a National Anti-Racism Framework detailed key components that needed to be included in the Framework and he would soon commence a series of roundtables with peak anti-racism organisations to progress the plan (18 March 2021).  More...

ATO awards $11m contract for face scanning technology
A UK-based biometrics company will provide face scanning technology for the government’s myGovID program. The technology means users will be able to confirm their myGovID digital identity by scanning their face on a mobile device in order to access digital government services. The government says facial scanning will prevent digital identity fraud (17 March 2021).  More...

In practice and courts

ABA the National Brief #1 - 17 February 2021
In the first of the ABA’s national communications, President Matthew Howard SC writes about the ABA’s priorities in 2021 and the important issues affecting the profession it will be addressing.  More...

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 and is available for public access.
08 February 2021 - FOI request - A copy of NobleOak’s Notifiable Data Breach Form.  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, including immigration and citizenship.
Issue No. 4/2021, 22 February 2021
Issue No. 5/2021, 8 March 2021
Issue No. 6/2021, 22 March 2021

Commonwealth Integrity Commission: Consultation draft
The Australian Government has released an exposure draft of legislation to establish the new Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC) and make other consequences legislative amendments. A fact sheet about the key features of the CIC has also been released.  The consultation page includes links to the draft legislation and further information about other issues under consideration. Closing date 12 February 2021.

AustLII cyber law on the map
AustLII has announced the upcoming launch of the Cyber Law Map, an annotated guide to Australian cyber-related legislation and case law which is intended to be an evolving wiki categorising cyber law and case information. The non-commercial venture is to be launched on 25 March and will be freely available.  More...

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...

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.
Law Library Bulletin No 3 (fortnight ending 26 February 2021)
Law Library Bulletin No 4 (fortnight ending 12 March 2021)
Law Library Bulletin No 5 (fortnight ending 26 March 2021)

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.

New hacker threat to email servers
Microsoft has announced that it has detected an overseas hacking group exploiting vulnerabilities in its Exchange Server email product. The issue is a new form of attack which allows criminals to access the server and data on the network. Since then, evidence has emerged that tens of thousands of businesses worldwide have been affected. View the Microsoft announced earlier this week (02 March 2021).

DTA: Hosting Certification Framework
Will assist Government Agencies to mitigate against supply chain and ownership risks and enable them to identify and source appropriate hosting and related services. The framework worked in conjunction with a suite of other policies and frameworks, such as the Foreign Investment Policy and the Protective Security Policy Framework (11 March 2021).  More...

Legal Aid Victoria: Interim active case management system for County Court
From 20 March the County Court is introducing an Interim Active Case Management model system for new initiations.  More...

COVID: Magistrates’ Court of Victoria - Practice Direction 9 – Diversion on the Papers
The updated Practice Direction is available on the Court’s website here. Also, the Chief Magistrate has extended the Modified Access and Procedure Order (MAP) until 25 April 2021 pursuant to section 33D of the Open Courts Act 2013 (Vic). A copy of the MAP is available on the Court’s website here.

IBAC Insights Issue 27, 16 March 2021
Issue 27 of IBAC Insights includes a message from our Commissioner and features on prevent corruption in public administration, the role of the Victorian Public Sector Commission, Emerging public sector corruption risks in Victoria, new resources and more.  More...

Legal Aid Victoria: More inclusive juries
We have made a submission to the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s review into inclusive juries, supporting change to reduce barriers that prevent people with disabilities participating in juries (17 March 2021).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Commonwealth Ombudsman Publications

Better practice Complaint Handling guide
This Better Practice Guide is a resource to help your agency ensure it has an effective and customer focused complaint handling system. It will tell you what your agency stands to gain from a good complaint handling system, what a good system looks like and practical steps for handling complaints well (23 February 2021).  More...

Results of 2019–20 Audits: State–controlled Entities
VAGO: Tabled 17 March 2021
This report details the audit outcomes of the 286 state-controlled entities that were granted that relief. It brings together the results of the financial audits of the entities and provides Parliament assurance regarding their overall financial management and accountability.  More...

Outsourcing of parking fine internal reviews – a follow-up report
Victorian Ombudsman: 17 March 2021
This report provides an update on the use of private contractors to review parking fines in Victoria.  More...

Cases

Commissioner of State Revenue v Tucker (Review and Regulation) [2021] VCAT 238
Review and Regulation List – Freedom of Information Act 1982 – application for review following decisions of Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) regarding two separate requests; whether documents exempt under ss 30, 32, 34(1) and/or 34(4) – consideration of public interest override under s 50(4) – OVIC’s decisions set aside – exemptions claimed by the Applicant confirmed – no public interest proven requiring release of exempt documents – applicant’s decisions to deny access to disputed documents affirmed.

Legislation

Commonwealth

Bills

Treasury Laws Amendment (News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code) Bill 2021
Passed both Houses 25/02/2021 - Amends the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 to establish a mandatory code of conduct that applies to news media businesses and digital platform corporations when bargaining in relation to news content made available by digital platform services.

Online Safety (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2021
House of Representatives 24/02/2021 - Schedule 1 to the Bill repeals the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015 because, when passed, the Online Safety Bill will provide for much of the framework currently under the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015, as well as provide additional powers to the Commissioner to keep Australians safe online.
Schedule 2 contains consequential amendments to other Acts arising from the enactment of the Online Safety Bill.
Schedule 3 contains transitional provisions for matters relating to the Commissioner.

Online Safety Bill 2021
House of Representatives 24/02/2021 - The Bill, together with the Online Safety (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2021,willcreate a modern, fit for purpose regulatory framework that builds on the strengths of the existing legislative scheme for online safety.

Online Safety Bill 2021
Senate 17/03/2021 - Introduced with the Online Safety (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2021, the bill: Retains and replicates certain provisions in the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015, including the non-consensual sharing of intimate images scheme; specifies basic online safety expectations; establishes an online content scheme for the removal of certain material; creates a complaints-based removal notice scheme for cyber-abuse being perpetrated against an Australian adult; broadens the cyber-bullying scheme to capture harms occurring on services other than social media; reduces the timeframe for service providers to respond to a removal notice from the eSafety Commissioner; brings providers of app distribution services and internet search engine services into the remit of the new online content scheme; and establishes a power for the eSafety Commissioner to request or require internet service providers to disable access to material depicting, promoting, inciting or instructing in abhorrent violent conduct for time-limited periods in crisis situations.

Victoria

Acts

Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act 2021 (Vic)
Act Number: 3/2021 Date of assent: 16 February 2021
Includes: (d)to amend the definitions of sexual orientation and gender identity in the Equal Opportunity Act 2010; and(e)to include sex characteristics as a protected attribute under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010
Date of assent: 10 March 2021

Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (State of Emergency Extension) Act 2021 (Vic)
Act Number: 7/2021
Date of assent: 2 March 2021

Summary Offences Amendment (Decriminalisation of Public Drunkenness) Act 2021 (Vic)
Act Number: 6/2021Victorian legislation can be accessed here www.legislation.vic.gov.au

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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