Channel Seven News Brisbane breaches privacy and impartiality rules
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found Channel Seven News Brisbane breached privacy and impartiality rules during two news programs which related to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), broadcast on 30 and 31 July 2019 (05 June 2020). More...
Optus ordered to hand over information about author of negative Google review
Optus has been ordered to hand over the details of a customer accused of defaming a Melbourne dentist through a Google review, which he says has had a profound impact on his teeth-whitening business (05 June 2020). More...
Legislation to Increase Manslaughter sentences passes
Legislation to increase the maximum penalty for manslaughter, child homicide and workplace manslaughter has passed Victorian Parliament (04 June 2020). More...
Public sector wage freeze will ‘cost jobs, hurt regions’
The NSW government’s public sector wage freeze could indirectly cost 1,100 jobs across the state, according to an economic analysis by a public policy think tank. The move would see non-executive frontline staff including nurses, police, paramedics and teachers get a one-off payment of $1,000 (01 June 2020). More...
Health leaders warn over ‘failing’ environmental laws
More than 180 health professionals have signed an open letter to environment minister, Sussan Ley, warning the government to strengthen Australia’s weak environment laws, or risk the future health of the nation (25 May 2020). More...
Nine appeals $3.6m Queensland flood defamation case
A wealthy Queensland family defamed in a Nine Network report about the fatal Grantham floods in 2011 were doubly compensated when a court awarded them $3.6 million in damages. A 60 Minutes report from May 2015 incorrectly insinuated they were responsible for the destruction of the town and deaths of 12 people (25 May 2020). More...
We have developed advice and guidance on privacy and freedom of information in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak for individuals, Australian Government agencies and organisations covered by the Privacy Act 1988 (01 June 2020). More...
Commonwealth Modern slavery statement paper
This would report on modern slavery risks in the Government’s procurement and investment activities and explain the steps taken to identify and respond to those risks, and link with Australia’s Modern Slavery Act 2018, the only legislation in the world requiring a Government to report on modern slavery risks in its procurement activities (04 June 2020). More...
Current APH Inquiries and consultations
Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation committee
Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2020 [Provisions]
Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2019 [Provisions] and Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2019 [Provisions]
Native Title Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 [Provisions] Report by 20 November 2020
Legal and Constitutional affairs references committee
Inquiry into domestic violence with particular regard to violence against women and their children
Nationhood, national identity and democracy
On 23 March 2020 the committee's reporting date was extended to 9 September 2020
Inquiry into the exemption of delegated legislation from parliamentary oversight
The Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation raised significant concerns about the increasing exemption of delegated legislation from parliamentary oversight in the 2019 report. Such concerns are also relevant to the exemption of delegated legislation made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic from parliamentary oversight. The closing date for submissions is 25 June 2020. Further details are here.
Intelligence and Security Legislation Amendment (Implementing Independent Intelligence Review) Bill 2020
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security is calling for submissions on the Intelligence and Security Legislation Amendment (Implementing Independent Intelligence Review) Bill 2020. Further information on the bill can be found here. On 23 March 2020 the Senate extended the committee’s reporting date to 14 October 2020. The closing date for submissions is 25 June 2020.
QLS: Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020
The Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 was made and notified on 28 May 2020. The Explanatory Notes are available here. The purpose of the regulation is to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 and also specifically to give effect to the good faith leasing principles in the ‘National Cabinet mandatory code of conduct—SME commercial leasing principles during COVID-19’ (03 June 2020).
Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council: Sentencing Spotlight on stalking
This examined sentencing outcomes data between July 2005 and June 2019 with a total of 1,698 cases sentenced where stalking was the most serious offence heard at the sentencing event. Contravention of a domestic violence order is the most common associated offence with stalking (28 May 2020). More...
Inquiry into the Queensland Government's economic response to COVID-19
The Queensland Economics and Governance Parliamentary Committee is calling for submissions on their inquiry into the Queensland Government's economic response to COVID-19. Further information and details on the terms of reference can be found on the Inquiry Homepage. Feedback is welcomed by 3 June.
Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council Issues paper: Penalties for Assaults on Public Officers
The Council has published an Issues Paper that explores the themes raised in preliminary submissions and is supported by the Council’s analysis of sentencing trends and reforms introduced in other Australian and overseas jurisdictions. Further information about the review is available on the QSAC website. Submissions close on 25 June 2020 Penalties for assaults of public officers.
Department of the Premier and Cabinet Consultation: Annual report 2018-19
Feedback survey open until 26 June 2020 - help us improve our annual reports so readers can use them more effectively. More...
Vindication of Professional Reputation Arising from Defamatory online publications
Beijing Law Review ,Ian Freckelton QC.
This article identifies the growing phenomenon of professionals suing their clients/patients for online defamation of their professional status and reputation. It reviews the phenomenon of ratings websites and scrutinises the growing popularity of such forms of feedback, identifying benefits but also detriments of such sites. More...
Alpert and Secretary, Department of Defence (Freedom of information)  AATA 1632
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION – Confidentiality Order – Legal Professional Privilege – Claim of Legal Professional Privilege – Whether Legal Professional Privileged Waived –– Confidentiality Order Granted
Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth); Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth)
BP Refinery (Kwinana) Pty Ltd v Tracey  FCAFC 89
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – application for judicial review – where writ of certiorari sought – jurisdictional error – Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission alleged to have misconceived its appellate function – could only set aside decision of Deputy President if satisfied there was an error as identified in House v The King – Deputy President’s conclusion that meme constituted valid basis for dismissal not reasonably open as conclusion was outside the legally permissible range of conclusions – no error by Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission – where alleged failure to consider question of fact – s 400(2) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) is a basal pre-condition to an exercise of power – no error by Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission – application dismissed.Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) ss 385, 385(b), 387, 396, 400(2), 604, 607(3)
Roadshow Films Pty Limited v Telstra Corporation Limited (No 2)  FCA 769
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – site blocking application pursuant to s 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) – form of final orders. Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) s 115A
Brett Cattle Company Pty Ltd v Minister for Agriculture  FCA 732
In accordance with the practice of the Federal Court in some cases of public interest, importance or complexity, the following summary has been prepared to accompany the orders made today
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — validity of delegated legislation — test for validity — representative proceeding under Pt IVA of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) — livestock export industry — where public affairs broadcast revealed inhumane treatment of Australian cattle exported to Indonesian abattoirs — where broadcast resulted in public outcry and political pressure on Government — where the Minister made two control orders under s 7 of the Export Control Act 1982 (Cth) in short succession — where second control order prohibited the export of all livestock from Australia to the Republic of Indonesia for a period of 6 months — where first control order did, but second control order did not, provide power to grant exceptions — where purpose of second control order was to enable Australian Government to develop a regulatory and compliance regime to address concerns regarding slaughter of livestock in Indonesian abattoirs — where various exporters were already capable of ensuring livestock exported to the Republic of Indonesia would remain within a closed loop system and not be subject to inhumane conditions up to the time of slaughter — whether second control order was valid exercise of Minister’s power under s 7 of the Export Control Act — whether second control order invalid on basis of unreasonableness — application of proportionality tool of analysis to evaluate validity of delegated legislation — whether second control order was suitable, necessary and appropriate and adapted to achieve a legitimate end within power conferred on Minister by s 7 of the Export Control Act — second control order was unreasonable, capricious, unnecessary and inadequate in its balance — second control order invalid
TORTS — misfeasance in public office — whether Minister committed tort of misfeasance in public office by making second control order
DAMAGES — compensatory damages
EVIDENCE — where Minister did not give evidence — no direct evidence of Minister’s state of mind or of what he would have done had he exercised his power validly — where impugned decision made after Cabinet meeting — where Minister put no documents before Cabinet — whether inference open that any evidence the Minister would have given would not have assisted the respondents
Australian Meat and Live-Stock Industry Act 1997 (Cth), ss 3, 4, 10, 17
Evidence Act 1995 (Cth), s 140
Export Control Act 1982 (Cth), ss 3, 7, 25
Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth), Part IVA
Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth), s 39B
Legislative Instruments Act 2003 (Cth), ss 4, 17, 26, 38, 42
Taylor v The National Injury Insurance Agency Queensland  QSC 132
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS OF REVIEW – GENERALLY - where the Respondent is an agency under the National Injury Insurance Scheme (Queensland) Act 2016 (Qld) – where the Applicant is a participant in the scheme created by the National Injury Insurance Scheme (Queensland) Act 2016 (Qld) – where the Respondent denied the Applicants service request for external case management – where the Respondent sought to appoint itself as case manager - where the Applicant seeks review the decision under the Judicial Review Act 1991 (Qld) on the grounds that there was no evidence to justify the decision, the decision was an improper exercise of power conferred by statute, the decision was contrary to law, the Applicant was not afforded natural justice, and the Respondent was affected by bias – whether the Applicant’s grounds for review are founded
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – POWERS OF COURTS UNDER JUDICIAL REVIEW LEGISLATION – DIRECTION TO ACT OR REFRAIN FROM ACTING – where Respondent has improperly exercised power conferred by statute in seeking to appoint itself as case manager – where relevant facts uncontested - whether appropriate to give direction to respondent to act under s 30(1)(d) of the Judicial Review Act 1991 (Qld)
The Chief Executive, Office of Fair Trading, Department of Justice & Attorney-General v Power  QCAT 159
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – Claim Fund under Agents Financial Administration Act 2014 (Qld) – whether reimbursement order should be made – where property agent misused trust funds – where requirements for reimbursement order met – where Tribunal does not have discretion once requirements met
Agents Financial Administration Act 2014 Qld s 64, s 102, s 117, s 118, s 119; Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2009 Qld r 39
Harris v Queensland Building and Construction Commission & Anor  QCAT 155
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – application to review a decision to disallow a claim under the statutory insurance scheme – whether a homeowner should have the benefit of a legislative scheme
PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – BUILDERS – STATUTORY INSURANCE SCHEME - claim under statutory insurance scheme for residential construction work – where false representations made that a relevant licence was held – where claim is allowed
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 20
Rajagopal v Queensland Building and Construction Commission  QCAT 154
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – GENERALLY – review of a decision to disallow a claim under the statutory insurance scheme – whether the driveway and other defective work was primary building work under the scheme.Acts Interpretation Act 1954 QLD s 14A; Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 20, s 24
Privacy Act 1988
29/05/2020 - Act No. 119 of 1988 as amended
Subordinate legislation as made – 05 June 2020
No 83 Liquor (Fee Relief) and Other Legislation Amendment Regulation 2020
No 84 Corrective Services (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020
Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019
Stage reached: Passed with amendment on 20/05/2020
Assent Date: 25/05/2020 Act No: 15 of 2020 Commences: see Act for details
The principal purposes of the Bill are to amend legislation within the justice portfolio to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the courts and administrative agencies and clarify, strengthen and update that legislation
Justice and Other Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Amendment Bill 2020
Stage reached: Passed with amendment on 21/05/2020 Assent Date: 25/05/2020 Act No: 16 of 2020
Commences: see Act for details
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.