In the media

'Get a VPN' as metadata retention scheme deadline arrives, experts say
Today was the deadline for internet providers to be compliant with Australia's metadata retention scheme. If you don't want the Government to be able to see your online activity, then you better get a virtual private network, digital rights advocates say (13 April 2017).  More...

Queensland leads the way to tackle domestic & family violence
Queensland’s Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services has been recognised as a national leader in preventing and responding to violence against women in the workplace (13 April 2017).  More...

Queensland 2011 flood victims to mediate with Government
The Queensland Government and managers of the state's dams are ordered by the New South Wales Supreme Court to meet with lawyers for 2011 flood victims to try and settle a class action and avoid a lengthy trial (13 April 2017).  More...

Productivity Commission report: Consumer Law Enforcement and Administration
The Government has today welcomed the Productivity Commission’s report into Consumer Law Enforcement and Administration.  The report makes four recommendations and 12 findings, and notes the complexities and challenges of having 10 regulators administer and enforce one law across the country” (12 April 2017).  More...

Victorian Ombudsman calls for apology law reform
The Victorian Government should consider amending the law to allow public agencies to apologise for mistakes without fear of legal repercussions, according to a new report by the Victorian Ombudsman. Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass said that simply saying sorry was often the most effective way councils, government departments or similar bodies can resolve a dispute with a member of the public (10 April 2017).  More...

IBAC investigation uncovers corruption of procurement processes at women’s prison
An investigation by Victoria’s anti-corruption commission, IBAC, reveals a former public sector manager abused his position at a Victorian women’s prison by helping his son win $1.56 million in contracts over a five year period (10 April 2017).  More...

'Devious' bureaucrat sentenced to jail over sophisticated scam
A former public servant has been sentenced to eight years' jail over a sophisticated fraud ring in Victoria's public transport sector (06 April 2017).  More...

New rules streamline researchers’ access to anonymised phone number information
From April 2017, the changes are intended to allow more efficient access to limited IPND information by researchers, subject to requirements such as completing a privacy impact statement (05 April 2017).  More...

In practice and courts – Queensland

OAIC:  Independent review of the Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014
In April 2017, the Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner will tender for an independent review of the Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014 (the CR Code). This review is an opportunity to explore how the CR Code, which commenced on 12 March 2014, is operating in practice (07 April 2017).  More...

OAIC: Mandatory data breach notification
To support businesses and agencies in getting ready for the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, the OAIC is developing guidance and organising events to help organisations understand their obligations and be prepared for commencement in 2018. The OAIC’s Notifiable Data Breaches webpage provides more details, including how to keep informed of future consultation events (07 April 2017).  More...

Inquiry into the New Bill for Protecting Vulnerable Employees
An inquiry into the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 (Cth) (the Bill) was presented to the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee (the Committee) on 12 April 2017.  More...

Commonwealth Consultations
13 April 2017 -   Closing date for submission to the AGD for its review of the Statutory Declarations Regulations 1993 (Cth).
October 2017 - Closing date for comments to the FCA on the General Practice Notes.  More...

In practice and courts – Victoria

Review of the state’s suppression order laws
The review will consider what might be an appropriate balance between preserving the privacy of a person on a post-sentence supervision order and the public’s right to know the details of those proceedings. Submissions to the review will close on 10 May 2017. Members of the public, media organisations and interested parties are invited to make submissions by visiting: Open courts act review.

Coronial Council Appeals Review
The Coronial Council of Victoria is conducting a review of the provisions under the Coroners Act 2008 that allow for appeals and the re-opening of investigations, to ensure laws are working appropriately. Submissions close 26 May 2017. The Coronial Council will consider whether any changes are needed and will report back to the Attorney-General by 1 November 2017.  More...

In practice and courts – New South Wales

NSW IPC Bulletin April 2017
In this issue: Access to audio visual information under the GIPA Act; Development of national metrics under the Open Government Partnership National Action Plan; Quick Guide to Your GIPA Act Responsibilities.  More...

Local Court Bench Book Update 123 published
Update 123 to the Local Court Bench Book has amended the Mental Health chapter (04 April 2017).  More...

In practice and courts – Queensland

Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry - State Penalties Enforcement Amendment Bill 2017
The Bill has been referred to the Parliamentary Finance and Administration Committee for inquiry and report by 28 April 2017.  More...

Queensland Sentencing Council: Classification of child exploitation material for sentencing purposes
Consultation into the review of the classification of child exploitation material for sentencing purposes has now closed. The final report is due to the Attorney-General on 31 May 2017 (11 April 2017).  More...

CCC: Corruption prevention advisories
This advice highlights the risks and offences connected with lobbying within a public authority. It covers legislative requirements, risk factors, corruption offences and strategies to prevent corruption (05 April 2017).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Access to telecommunications data in civil proceedings
On 13 April 2017, the Government tabled a report in Parliament outlining the outcomes of a review of the restriction on civil litigant access to telecommunications data retained under the data retention scheme. The review concluded that sufficient evidence had not been received to sustain a recommendation that regulations be made to allow civil litigants to access the data.  More...

Oversight and regulatory mechanisms aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse: understanding current evidence of efficacy
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse; Ben Mathews: 10 April 2017
This report assesses the efficacy of oversight bodies in protecting children from sexual abuse, focusing on institutional contexts.  More...

Apologies report
Victorian Ombudsman: tabled in Parliament 11 April 2017
The report recommends that the Victorian Government consider amending Part IIC of the Wrongs Act 1958.  More...


'LE' and Department of the Environment and Energy (Freedom of information) [2017] AICmr 36
Freedom of Information — Access grant — Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 47F.  

William Yabsley and Australia Post (Freedom of information) [2017] AICmr 35
Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 s 24A.  

John Mullen and Aged Care Complaints Commissioner (Freedom of information) [2017] AICmr 34
Freedom of Information —Documents to which secrecy provisions of enactments apply — Whether reasonable steps taken to find document — Form of access — Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 20, 24A, 38. 

Community and Public Sector Union and Department of Health (Freedom of information) [2017] AICmr 33
Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure of documents would prejudice lawful investigative methods or procedures — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 37(2)(b), 47C.  

'LD' and Department of Defence (Freedom of information) [2017] AICmr 32
Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would cause damage to the security of the Commonwealth — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 s 33(a)(i). 

'LC' and Australia Post (Freedom of information) [2017] AICmr 31
Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on management or assessment of personnel — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 47E(c). 

Chalker v Murrays Australia Pty Ltd [2017] NSWCATAD 112
HUMAN RIGHTS – DIRECT DISCRIMINATION complaint of disability discrimination in employment – where applicant for position of bus driver disclosed that he has borderline personality disorder –prospective employer refuses to employ applicant when the recommendation from an independent medical practitioner was to undertake further evaluation by an independent psychiatrist – where no further investigation undertaken – where applicant was said to be argumentative and difficult –consideration of circumstances for purposes of comparison with an applicant without that disability.  

Turner v NSW Health Pathology, Forensic & Analytical Science Service [2017] NSWCATAD 114
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW - Government Information – validity of access application - reasonableness of searches – access to personal information - public interest considerations in favour of disclosure – public interest considerations against disclosure – personal information – balancing exercise – inconsistencies - allegations of impropriety and unlawfulness - request for referral to Minister – jurisdiction.  

Monastirski v Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority [2017] NSWCATAD 115
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW – long-term banning orders from attending high risk venues in the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD Entertainment precincts – interpretation of sections 116AE and 116G of the Liquor Act 2007 (NSW)– protective and punitive purposes - considerations to be taken into account – – period of banning.  

Victorian WorkCover Authority v Roska Nedelkovska [2017] VSC 186
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — Judicial review — Decision of magistrate to refuse to refer certain documents to a medical panel pursuant to s 304(b) of the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 — Whether certiorari should be granted — Certiorari granted and the decision of the magistrate quashed.  

Re Day [No 2] [2017] HCA 14
Constitutional law – Parliamentary elections (Cth) – Senate – Reference to Court of Disputed Returns – Where person elected and re-elected as senator – Where person stood to gain financially from Commonwealth paying rent under lease of person's electorate office – Where person's bank account nominated by lessor as bank account for payment of rent by Commonwealth – Where payment of rent reduced person's contingent liability as guarantor under loan facilities – Where person had prospect of receiving distribution of rent proceeds as beneficiary of discretionary trust – Whether person had indirect pecuniary interest in lease agreement with Commonwealth – Whether person incapable of being chosen or of sitting as senator under s 44(v) of Constitution – Whether vacancy should be filled by special count of ballot papers – Whether special count would distort voters' real intention.  

Rus v Comcare (No 2) [2017] FCA 356
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – scope of remittal – where the Tribunal was found to have erred in law in relation to the only issue it was required to determine – whether redetermination by the Tribunal of that issue be made on evidence already adduced, without further evidence – where the Tribunal’s error of law did not impact on the material findings of fact it made, remittal made on the basis of no further evidence unless proper cause be shown. Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth) s 5. 

SZVBT v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2017] FCA 355
MIGRATION – challenge to decision of Refugee Review Tribunal – adverse findings as to credit – findings not irrational.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – adequacy of reasons – the value of properly reasoned decisions – need for reasons to be intelligible – intelligible to the persons to whom they are directed – inadequacy of confused and confusing reasons – absence of an interpreter at final hearing when otherwise represented.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – jurisdictional error – confused and confusing reasons. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – alleged denial of procedural fairness by Federal Circuit Court – failure to provide interpreter.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – leave refused to raise new ground of appeal – prejudice to opposing party.  

Robbie v Strasburger Enterprises Pty Ltd t/as Quix Food Stores & Ors [2017] NSWSC 363
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – judicial review – decision of a delegate of the Registrar of the Workers Compensation Commission – construction of the Workers Compensation Guidelines – proper use of the Combined Values Chart in AMA5 when combining whole person impairment value for spinal injury involving persisting radiculopathy with two modifiers for spinal surgeries.  

CVM v New South Wales Department of Education, Early Childhood Education & Care Directorate [2017] NSWCATAD 108
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – National Law - Education and care services – objects and principles of National Law – jurisdiction - service approval –- whether or not the service has commenced ongoing operation – breach of condition - cancellation or suspension.  

Zonnevylle v Department of Education [2017] NSWCATAD 101
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW - Government Information – reasonableness of searches – reasonable searches – public interest considerations in favour of disclosure – public interest considerations against disclosure - prejudice to effective exercise of agency functions - expose a person to a risk of harm or of serious harassment or serious intimidation – balancing exercise - allegations of misconduct - failed to exercise in good faith - function conferred on officer – request for referral to Minister – jurisdiction. PROCEDURAL FAIRNESS – application for disqualification - actual bias - apprehended bias.  

DAB v Byron Shire Council [2017] NSWCATAD 104
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – registration metered parking scheme operated by Council in Broken Bay – Council collected licence plate numbers at its parking meters – whether ‘personal information’ – whether collected for a lawful purpose directly related to an activity or function of the agency – whether reasonable necessary for a parking scheme - whether information collected by unlawful means – whether agency informed motorists that information was being collected, its purpose, or of the ‘intended recipients of the information’ – whether agency informed motorists that information was required by law or voluntary – whether agency informed motorists of its name and address – whether agency did everything reasonably within its power to prevent unauthorised disclosure. 

Legislation – Commonwealth


Telecommunications (Service Provider — Identity Checks for Prepaid Mobile Carriage Services) Determination 2017
07/04/2017 - This instrument sets out the regulatory framework for the supply of prepaid mobile services by carriage service providers and repeals the Telecommunications (Service Provider – Identity Checks for Prepaid Mobile Carriage Services) Determination 2013.

Legislation – Victoria

Proclamations and Commencements

No. 17: Racing and Other Acts Amendment (Greyhound Racing and Welfare Reform) Act 2016
Assent: 19/04/2016 SG (No. 101) 19/4/2016 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1-10(1), 11-14, 17-20 on 04/05/2016: SG (No. 131) 3/5/2016 p. 1 Ss 10(2), 15, 16 on 10/04/2017: SG (No. 111) 4/4/2017 p. 1. Not yet in operation: Ss 10(2), 15, 16: on 10/04/2017: SG (No. 111) 4/4/2017 p. 1.

No. 53: National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016
Commencement: Pts 1 (ss 1-3), 9 (ss 82-87) on 05/04/2017: SG (No. 111) 4/4/2017 p. 1. Not yet in operation: Ss 4-81, 88-128.

Statutory Rules made

No. 14: Supreme Court (Chapter I Recovery of Pro Bono Costs Amendment) Rules 2017
Commencement: 01/04/2017: rule 3. Not yet in operation: Rules 1-4: on 01/04/2017: rule 3. Sunset Date: 30/03/2027.

No. 15:  Supreme Court (E-Filing Amendments) Rules 2017
Commencement: 18/04/2017: rule 3 Not yet in operation: Rules 1-27: on 18/04/2017: rule 3. Sunset Date: 30/03/2027.

No. 17: Powers of Attorney Amendment Regulations 2017
Date of Making: 12/04/2017 Commencement: 01/05/2017: reg. 3
Not yet in operation: Regs 1-10: on 01/05/2017: reg. 3. Sunset Date: 12/04/2027

No. 20: Children, Youth and Families (Children's Court Family Division) Rules 2017
Date of Making: 12/04/2017 Commencement: 18/04/2017: rule 3. Not yet in operation: Rules 1-10: on 18/04/2017: rule 3. Sunset Date: 12/04/2027.

Access Victorian legislation here

Legislation – New South Wales

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Administrative Arrangements (Administration of Acts—Amendment No 2) Order 2017 (2017-141) — published LW 13 April 2017.

Criminal Records Amendment (Historical Homosexual Offences) Regulation 2017 (2017-149) — published LW 13 April 2017.

Administrative Arrangements (Administrative Changes—Public Service Agencies) Amendment Order 2017 (2017-128) — published LW 7 April 2017.

Uniform Civil Procedure (Amendment No 84) Rule 2017 (2017-130) — published LW 7 April 2017.

Legislation – Queensland

Regulations to 13 April 2017

No 52 Criminal Practice (Fees) and Other Legislation Amendment Regulation 2017
Coroners Act 2003; Justices Act 1886; Supreme Court of Queensland Act 1991.


Paul Venus, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0613

Stephen Burton, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0604

Suzy Cairney, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0684

Trent Taylor, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0668


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