NSW to get its own Productivity Commission

New South Wales is set to get its own Productivity Commission. The advisory body will parallel the role played by the Commonwealth Productivity Commission, but focus on New South Wales-specific issues. Lowering living costs and housing prices and improving the ease with which businesses can operate in New South Wales are set to be areas of focus.

The current Commonwealth Productivity Commission is an independent research and advisory body which advises the Commonwealth Government on economic, social and environmental issues affecting the welfare of Australians. Its four core functions are public inquiries and research studies requested by government; self-initiated research and reporting on productivity; industry assistance and regulation, performance monitoring and benchmarking; and processing competitive neutrality complaints.

The NSW Commission will focus on reform to improve the state’s economy. Specifically, one of its main functions will be to “drive micro-economic reform and tackle burdensome regulation” in order to improve the functionality of businesses across the state. 

The topical issue of housing affordability will also feature, with the NSW Commission set to focus on four core themes:

  • lowering the cost of living in NSW
  • improving housing affordability
  • making it easier to do business, and;
  • making NSW the easiest state for businesses to move to.

The Commission will be led by a yet-to-be-appointed NSW Productivity Commissioner. Former head of the Commonwealth Productivity Commission Professor Gary Banks will assist with the establishment of the NSW Commission, and a chief economist will also be appointed. The state’s first chief economist will advise on economic issues, analysis and trends with the NSW Treasurer and liaise with the Productivity Commissioner, as well as government agencies, public and private policy leaders, academics and the business community.

The NSW Commission is also set to prioritise public consultation, with an online portal planned to be set up following the announcement of the Productivity Commissioner. The portal will allow individuals and businesses alike to submit feedback on what they identify as crucial regulatory roadblocks and ideas to combat regulatory burden, which is estimated to cost businesses $10bn annually.

Editorial: Eleanor Grounds & Christine Jones 

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In the media

Implementing the criminal justice reforms
The new community safety test for parole was introduced in November and in December we strengthened the management of high risk offenders. Today, we welcome more changes to enable smarter management of parolees. Supervision by Community Corrections officers is now a mandatory parole condition (26 February 2018).  More...

ICAC recommends NSW public sector tighten screening practices to combat employment application fraud and corruption
An Independent Commission Against Corruption report released today recommends that the NSW public sector adopt stronger employment screening practices to help combat employment application fraud, which if left undetected can ultimately allow other corrupt conduct to occur (26 February 2018).  More...

The Roundtable - The complexities of ageing parents, children and financial abuse
Financial advisers, bankers and lawyers are all calling for new measures to address financial elder abuse. The Attorney General, Christian Porter, has flagged a 'National Plan' to address 'elder abuse' to be released later in the year (25 February 2018).  More...

Australia becoming more corrupt, shows international index
Australia rates comparatively well on international corruption scales, but it is getting worse, according to the latest annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) from Transparency International (22 February 2018).  More...

Evaluation of the Bail Assessment Officer (BAO) intervention
A new program designed to reduce the number of prisoners on remand through additional court support has had little effect according to a new report released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) (21 February 2018).  More... 

NSW to get its own Productivity Commission
NSW will establish its own state-based Productivity Commission to “drive micro-economic reform and tackle burdensome regulation.” (19 February 2018).  More...

Commencement of the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme
New rules around mandatory reporting of serious data breaches come into effect from today. Entities subject to the Privacy Act 1988 – including most Australian Government agencies, businesses with an annual turnover of more than $3 million, and specific categories of smaller businesses, such as health providers – are now required to notify individuals if their personal data has been involved in a serious breach (22 February 2018).  More...

New domestic violence service for NSW Central Coast
Vulnerable people on the New South Wales Central Coast now have access to greater support services through a new, dedicated Domestic Violence Unit. Twelve existing units across the country have already helped 4,000 clients providing more than 9,000 discrete services since they were first established by the Turnbull Government in early 2016 (21 February 2018).  More...

Retirement of the Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner
Mr Timothy Pilgrim PSM will retire as Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner on 24 March 2018. The Government will soon be undertaking a merit-based selection process to identify Mr Pilgrim's replacement (20 February 2018).  More...

In practice and courts

[Draft] report: review of the Code of Conduct for Copyright Collecting Societies
The review found that the plethora of instruments regulating collecting societies, licensees and members gave rise to confusion as to the Code’s role and recommended ways to increase transparency. The review has proposed changes to standardise annual reporting arrangements and to increase public awareness of Code compliance. Submissions on the draft review must be made by 14 March. The Bureau's draft report can be accessed here

Law Council consults on Review of Australian Solicitors' Conduct Rules
The Law Council is undertaking a review of the Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules. This is the first comprehensive review of the Rules since they were first promulgated in June 2011. The Law Council’s Professional Ethics Committee has developed a Consultation Discussion Paper for the Review and invites comments and submissions on the issues raised and discussed. The closing date for Submissions is 31 May 2018, which may be lodged hereMore...

OAIC: Statement from the Privacy Commissioner
I am aware of media reports today alleging that staff in gambling venues are sharing personal information on patrons. My office is making inquiries to determine whether personal information of individuals is being managed in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) (28 February 2018).  More...

OAIC Reminder: Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme
Data breach notification became mandatory as of February 2018 for all Australian entities required to comply with the Privacy Act 1988. All entities covered by the Australian Privacy Principles will have clear obligations to report eligible data breaches within 30 days.  More...

OAIC: IC review procedure direction
The Australian Information Commissioner has issued a written direction under s55(2)(e)(i) of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 as to certain procedures to be followed in Information Commissioner (IC) reviews. The Direction applies to agencies and ministers during IC reviews and preliminary inquiries prior to the commencement of an IC review. The Direction has been published on the OAIC’s website is effective from 26 February 2018.

OAIC: Individuals affected by DIBP’s February 2014 data breach invited to provide evidence of loss or damage
The OAIC is seeking to contact individuals who were in immigration detention on 31 January 2014 and were affected by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) data breach, which occurred in February 2014. Submissions close on 9 April 2018.  More...  More... 

OAIC Key dates
Immigration Data Breach Privacy Complaint
Closes 4pm, 19 April 2018.
Australian Government Agencies Privacy Code
Commences 1 July 2018.

AAT’s new monthly newsletter - The Review
Subscribe to learn more about the AAT’s decision making processes (27 February 2018).
The AAT’s new monthly newsletter - The Review

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. 7/2018,   26 February 2018 

High Court of Australia Bulletins
High Court of Australia Bulletin [2018] HCAB 01 - published on 28 February 2018.

Judiciary Amendment (Commonwealth Model Litigant Obligations) Bill 2017
The Senate referred the Judiciary Amendment (Commonwealth Model Litigant Obligations) Bill 2017 to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 8 May 2018. Submissions closed on 28 February 2018.  More...

The adequacy of existing offences in the Commonwealth Criminal Code and of state and territory criminal laws to capture cyberbullying
On 7 September 2017 the Senate referred the below matter to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 29 November 2017. On 19 October 2017 the Senate extended the committee's reporting date to the last sitting day in March 2018.  More...

Forces of Change – Defining Future Justice Conference 2018
The Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration is pleased to announce the Forces of Change – Defining Future Justice Conference will be held at the Stamford Plaza Brisbane, Queensland from 24 – 26 May 2018.  More...

NCAT: Updated procedural direction on expert evidence
The President has revised NCAT Procedural Direction 3 - Expert Evidence which sets out how expert witnesses are to provide evidence in Tribunal proceedings (02 March 2018).  More...  More...

Community to have its say on ancient mercy law
Attorney General Mark Speakman has called for public submissions on whether petitions for mercy and their outcomes should be made publicly available. The review will deliver its recommendations to the NSW Government by 6 April 2018.  More...

ICAC: Prosecution briefs with the DPP and outcomes
Tables of prosecution briefs with the DPP and outcomes. Last updated 1 March 2018.  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Composition of Australian parliaments by party and gender: a quick guide - February 2018 update
Anna Hough; Parliamentary Library (Australia): 22 February 2018
This quick guide contains the most recent tables showing the composition of Australian parliaments by party and gender. It takes into account changes to the Commonwealth, state and territory parliaments since the last update was published on 14 December 2017.  More...

Digital identity: Helping users interact with government safely and securely
Digital Transformation Agency (Australia); Government of Australia: 21 February 2018
The Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF) provides a standard for digital identity in Australia. It aims to make sure all users have a safe and secure way to connect with online government services.  More...

Bills Digest: Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017
Damon Muller; Parliamentary Library (Australia): 20 February 2018
In announcing this Bill as part of a package of bills focusing on foreign interference in Australian politics, the Prime Minister specifically highlighted China, whilst noting that the reforms were not purely about China.  More... 

Data breach preparation and response
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner; Government of Australia: 19 February 2018
This guide aims to assist you in developing and implementing an effective data breach response. It outlines the requirements relating to data breaches in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act), including personal information security requirements and the mandatory data breach reporting obligations of the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme.  More...

Chronology of same-sex marriage bills introduced into the federal parliament: a quick guide
Deirdre McKeown; Parliamentary Library (Australia): 15 February 2018
This Quick Guide (February 2018 update) provides a chronological list of bills relating to marriage equality introduced into the federal parliament, including bills restored to the Notice Paper or reintroduced in a later parliament.  More... 


DFD v New South Wales Education Standards Authority [2018] NSWCATAD 48
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW – Education Act – home schooling – registration – whether registration restricted to children of compulsory school-age – significance of policy – whether policy is Government policy.

Svanda v Commissioner of Police, NSW Police Force [2018] NSWCATAD 50
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Government information – Application for review of implicit decision that respondent does not hold any information apart from that identified by the respondent – Whether the respondent holds further information – Where applicant conceded that respondent conducted reasonable searches for the information sought.  

Calarco and Anor v Liverpool City Council [2018] NSWSC 217
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - claim for declaratory and prerogative relief - Defendant accepts hardship application by Plaintiffs under Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 - Plaintiffs’ property partly zoned “public recreation” and partly zoned “infrastructure - local drainage” - Defendant decides that acquisition under hardship application will apply to “public recreation” land only - whether land zoned “infrastructure - local drainage” is land reserved for “any other purpose that is prescribed as a public purpose for the purpose” of s.26(1)(c) Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 - held that land is so prescribed by Appendix 8 to State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Region Growth Centres) 2006 - Plaintiffs entitled to relief - orders made.  

Bernard-Ross v State of NSW [2018] NSWSC 182
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – declaratory relief – applicant in custody – applicant involved in potential litigation – judicial review of decision affecting conditions of applicant’s incarceration – access to laptop with write and edit functionality in cell – application dismissed. 

Absalom v Greyhound Racing New South Wales ABN 61018166136 [2018] NSWSC 207
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – challenge to implementation of policy of Greyhound Racing NSW as inconsistent with Rules and not authorised by Act - duty to prevent harm to dog not inconsistent with procedure to provide water in kennel at racetrack.

DJH v Secretary, Department of Education; DJI v Secretary, Department of Education [2018] NSWCATAD 31
HUMAN RIGHTS - disability discrimination- educational authority - direct discrimination - indirect discrimination - victimisation - vicarious liability. 

Veall v Department of Planning and Environment [2018] NSWCATAD 47
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Access to government information – informant – personal information – opinion as personal information - correct application of public interest test – correct and preferable decision.  

Offner v Commissioner for Fair Trading, Department of Finance, Services and Innovation [2018] NSWCATOD 22
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Civil and Administrative Tribunal - certificate of registration - real estate salesperson - fit and proper person.  


New South Wales

Proclamations commencing Acts

Parole Legislation Amendment Act 2017 No 57
(2018-53) — published LW 23 February 2018.

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Children (Detention Centres) Amendment (Parole) Regulation 2018
(2018-54) — published LW 23 February 2018.
Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Amendment (Parole) Regulation 2018
(2018-55) — published LW 23 February 2018.
Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment (Parole Orders) Regulation 2018
(2018-56) — published LW 23 February 2018.
Liquor Amendment (Lock Out Exemption for Mardi Gras) Regulation 2018
(2018-57) — published LW 23 February 2018.

Bills assented to

Vexatious Proceedings Amendment (Statutory Review) Act 2018 No 1 — Assented to 20 February 2018.


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