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NSW Government Bulletin

27 March 2024

16 min read


Published by:

Christine Jones (Editor), Vishwa Shah, Faith Zalm

NSW Government Bulletin

In the media

Two new appointments to the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW
Elena Katrakis and Associate Professor Derya Iner have been appointed to the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW. Ms Katrakis and Associate Professor Iner will help set the strategic direction of Anti-Discrimination NSW, carry out investigations, research and inquiries relating to discrimination, and promote understanding and awareness of the issue (25 March 2024). Read more here.

New ‘Performance and Wellbeing Framework’ to improve budget transparency and social outcomes
The NSW Labor Government will introduce a new Performance and Wellbeing Framework as part of its budget papers to improve transparency and accountability along with driving positive social outcomes. The Government will refer the new framework to Parliament’s Public Accountability Committee for a full inquiry as the framework is developed. They will also engage in direct consultations with community and industry stakeholders (18 March 2024). Read more here.

Artificial Intelligence at the centre of World Consumer Rights Day
NSW Fair Trading is urging statewide consumers to protect themselves in the fast-evolving digital world this World Consumer Rights Day. NSW consumers already face serious challenges to their safety online with the risks of mismanagement and misuse of their personal data, unfair contract terms, and scammers who target victims on the internet. This year’s theme, ‘Fair and Responsible AI for Consumers’, warns consumers of the rise in generative artificial intelligence (AI) (15 March 2024). Read more here.

Companies vying for government contracts could soon have to meet gender targets. Will we finally see real progress?
The Australian government wants to make sure its contracts don’t just deliver taxpayers value for money, but also promote gender equity. Under proposed procurement policy changes announced earlier this month, large companies that wish to bid for government contracts will first have to meet some gender equality conditions. The idea is for the government to use its “purchasing power” to incentivise companies to take bolder steps toward achieving gender equality (21 March 2024). Read more here.

Expert panel meets to reform emergency services funding
A newly formed Stakeholder Reference Group held its first meeting today to advise the government on reforming the way emergency services are funded. Chaired by Treasurer Daniel Mookhey, the expert panel discussed a broad range of perspectives on a new model to replace the existing Emergency Services Levy (ESL) which is paid through insurance premiums. The Reference Group is made up of leaders from the insurance and property industries, business and council representatives and emergency service experts (22 March 2024). Read more here.


NSW councils see a sharp rise in climate impact and action, survey finds
Almost 95% of councils that took part in the 2023 Climate Change Action Survey are feeling the impacts of climate change, and a record number are prioritising action to reduce their emissions and help their communities adapt. The 2023 survey, undertaken by Taverner Research, collected 75 fully completed questionnaires, from a possible 128 councils across the state. This represents 59% of all councils (13 March 2024). Read the results here.

March 2024 IPC Bulletin
The IPC Bulletin is produced to support agencies and organisations with compliance of the IPC’s administered legislation. It includes updates on the IPC’s recent activities, resources and guidance, links to new case notes, information about upcoming events, and other relevant issues and developments in information access and privacy (20 March 2024). Read the bulletin here.

Practice and Courts

New bail and performance crime laws passed to prevent youth crime
The NSW Government has strengthened bail laws to help prevent repeat youth crime and a new performance crime offence. Parliament passed legislative changes last night to amend the Bail Act 2013 to include a temporary additional bail test for young people between 14 and 18 charged with committing certain serious break and enter offences or motor vehicle theft offences while on bail for similar offences. The government has also created a ‘performance crime’ offence in the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) imposing an additional penalty of two years’ imprisonment for people who commit motor vehicle theft or break and enter offences and share material to advertise their involvement in the criminal behaviour (22 March 2024). Read more here.

Landmark environmental reforms pass NSW Parliament
A new bill containing the most significant amendments to environment protection rules since the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) was established in 1991, has just been passed through parliament. This bill means NSW now has the strongest environmental regulations of any state or territory in Australia. The reforms tackle critical loopholes, introduce recall powers, and ensure the EPA has stronger powers to deter environmental crimes and respond faster to pollution incidents (21 March 2024). Read more here.

Prosecutors weigh up Australia’s first case under government secrecy laws
Federal prosecutors are considering Australia’s first prosecution under broad-ranging general secrecy laws that can send someone revealing classified government information to jail for up to 10 years. Nobody has ever been prosecuted under part 5.6 of the Criminal Code Act, which was introduced in December 2018 as a catch-all, general secrecy law designed to protect high-level commonwealth information, the release of which would be “inherently harmful”. The office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has revealed it has received seven agency referrals recommending prosecutions under part 5.6 (25 March 2024). Read more here.

AAT Bulletin Issue No. 06/2024
The AAT Bulletin is a fortnightly publication containing information about recently published decisions and appeals against decisions in the AAT’s General, Freedom of Information, National Disability Insurance Scheme, Security, Small Business Taxation, Taxation & Commercial and Veterans’ Appeals Divisions (25 March 2024). Read more here.


Secretary, Department of Communities and Justice v Stewart [2024] NSWCA 59
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – meaning of “unpaid leave” – whether a period of absence from work due to incapacity from an injury for which a worker was paid workers compensation constitutes a “period of unpaid leave” – cl 2(3)(a) of Sch 3 to the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW) – reg 8E of the Workers Compensation Regulation 2016 (NSW).
Annual Holidays Act 1944 (NSW), ss 4A, 14A(6); Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), Pt 2-2 Divs 5-10, ss 130, 525; Interpretation Act 1987 (NSW), ss 32-33; Long Service Leave Act 1987 (SA), ss 3, 8; Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 (Cth); Return to Work Act 2014 (SA), s 5; Subordinate Legislation Act 1989 (NSW); Workers’ Compensation Act 1926 (NSW), s 9(1)(a); Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW), ss 2A, 4, 9, 32A, 33, 36-40, 49, 50, 147, Pt 10 Sch 3; Workers Compensation Amendment (Pre-injury Average Weekly Earnings) Regulation 2019 (NSW); Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2012 (NSW); Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2018 (NSW); Workers Compensation Regulation 2016 (NSW), regs 8B-8E; Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1986 (SA), s 40; Workmen’s Compensation Act 1910 (NSW), Sch 2, cl 2(d); Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 (NSW), ss 3, 352-353.

AB (a pseudonym) v Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission [2024] HCA 10
Statutes – construction – procedural fairness – reasonable opportunity to respond – where Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission ("IBAC") conducted investigation into allegations of unauthorised access to and disclosure of internal email accounts – where IBAC provided redacted draft special report containing proposed adverse findings against appellants – where IBAC refused to provide evidentiary material for proposed adverse findings – where s 162(3) of Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011 (Vic) relevantly provided that, if IBAC intends to include in report "a comment or an opinion which is adverse to any person", then IBAC must first provide person reasonable opportunity to respond to adverse material – whether "adverse material" in s 162(3) referred to proposed adverse comments or opinions in report, or evidentiary material upon which proposed adverse comments or opinions based – whether provision of substance or gravamen of adverse material sufficient to comply with obligation under s 162(3) – whether substantive relief warranted where findings unaffected by misconstruction of s 162(3).
Words and phrases – "adverse comment or opinion", "adverse finding", "adverse material", "evidentiary material", "reasonable opportunity", "reasonable opportunity to respond", "special report", "substance or gravamen".
Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011 (VIC), s 162(3).

Redland City Council v Kozik [2024] HCA 7
Statutes – construction – statutory debt – local government – special rates and charges – where appellant empowered by Local Government Act 2009 (Qld) ("Act") to levy special rates and charges in respect of rateable land – Where appellant purported to levy special charges on respondents' land – where special charges levied pursuant to invalid resolutions – where respondents paid special charges contained in rate notices – where regulations made pursuant to Act provided for return of special rates or charges levied on land to which special rates or charges did not apply – whether provision in regulations providing for return of special charges applicable where resolution levying special rates invalid.
Restitution – unjust enrichment – defence of good consideration – where respondents paid special charges to appellant under mistake of law – where appellant spent funds levied on works conducted on waterways adjacent to respondents' land – where appellant statutorily obliged to conduct relevant works – whether appellant had defence to respondents' claim for restitution.
Words and phrases – "benefit", "failure of consideration", "good consideration", "local government", "mistake of law", "money had and received", "recipient not unjustly enriched", "regulations", "restitution", "special rates and charges", "statutory construction", "statutory debt", "unjust enrichment".
Local Government Act 2009 (QLD), ss 91929394; Local Government (Finance, Plans and Reporting) Regulation 2010 (Qld), ss 2832; Local Government Regulation 2012 (Qld), ss 9498.

PC Infrastructure Pty Ltd v Wentworth Shire Council [2024] NSWLEC 1139
DEVELOPMENT APPEAL – service station – frontage on classified road – whether a right of way is a road – jurisdictional prerequisite as opposed to merit assessment – whether a deferred commencement condition can satisfy a jurisdictional prerequisite – orders.
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, ss; Conveyancing Act 1919, s 88B; Land and Environment Court Act 1979, ss 34AA3956A; Roads Act 1993, s 138.

Chopra v NSW Health Service – South Western Sydney Local Health District [2024] NSWDC 76
TORT – workplace injury – system of work – “special” nurse allocated to dementia patient and other staff leave Emergency Department ward nurse by herself while the patient is agitated – nurse assaulted by dementia patient  breach of duty of care – damages.
Evidence Act 1995 (NSW), ss 69135; Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW), ss 1927(1)(b); Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW), ss 151E(1)151F151M; Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 (NSW), ss 318318I.

Gazal v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation (No. 2) [2024] NSWSC 293
COSTS – specified gross sum costs order instead of assessed costs – Civil Procedure Act 2005, s 98(4)(c) – defendant, the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation, successfully opposes the plaintiff’s appeal against a Departure Prohibition Order issued under the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth), s 14S – plaintiff ordered to pay the defendant’s costs of the proceedings – plaintiff has few assets in his own name – plaintiff advanced evidence of doubtful provenance in support of his claim – whether the conduct of a costs assessment would be aggravating or oppressive to the defendant in the circumstances – what is the appropriate specified gross sum to be fixed instead of assessed costs – whether a discount should be applied from the costs claimed by the defendant – consideration of the effect of proceedings being brought in vacation reducing the cost efficiencies that might otherwise have been employed by the legal representatives of the defendant.|
Civil Procedure Act 2005, ss 56(1)57(1)(d)6098(4)(c); Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth), s 14S

Lensing v Snowy Valleys Council [2024] NSWCATAD 75
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – administrative review – government information – allegations of improper conduct – personal information not sought – irrelevant information not sought – legal professional privilege – waiver of privilege – conclusive presumption against disclosure.
Administrative Decisions Review Act 1997 (NSW); Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW); Evidence Act 1995 (NSW); Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW); Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2018 (NSW); State Records Act 1998 (NSW)

Mallegowda v Secretary of the Department of Transport [2024] NSWCATAD 77
HUMAN RIGHTS – equal opportunity – whether leave should be given – principles applying to grant of leave.
Anti-Discrimination Act 1977, ss 49A49B49C 49D, 50; Crimes (Sentencing Procedures) Act, 1999; Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act, 2013.

Young & Young v Attorney General of New South Wales [2024] NSWSC 282
EQUITY – equitable interests in property – nature of equitable interests – birth certificate does not evidence or create any type of property or interest in property.
Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW) Pt 13, r 13.4; Pt 14, r 14.28.

Environment Protection Authority v Dial-A-Dump (EC) Pty Ltd [2024] NSWLEC 21
SENTENCE: occupier of landfill charged with emission of offensive odour – plea of guilty – odour affected local residents over a three month period – substantial environmental harm caused – multiple victims – harm reasonably foreseeable – practical measures available to avoid or mitigate the harm – objectively serious – subjective factors – moiety ordered – environmental services order – publication order made – notice to residents ordered.
Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 2000, ss 3A21A(2)21A(3)2223; Criminal Procedure Act 1986, ss 257B257G; Fines Act 1996, s 122; Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, ss 364(1)91129129(1)132241241(1)241(2)248250(1)(a)250(1)(b)250(1)(e); Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014, cl 80(4)


Bills introduced – government;

Bail and Crimes Amendment Bill 2024 – introduced LA 12 March 2024, passed LA 19 March 2024

Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Amendment Bill 2024 – introduced LA 13 March 2024, passed LA 19 March 2024

Conversion Practices Ban Bill 2024 – introduced LA 13 March 2024, passed LA 20 March 2024

Emergency Services Levy Amendment Bill 2024 – introduced LA 14 March 2024

Environment Protection Legislation Amendment (Stronger Regulation and Penalties) Bill 2024 – introduced LA 14 March 2024, passed LA 20 March 2024

Bills introduced – non-government;
Electoral Amendment (Voter ID and Electronic Mark Off) Bill 2024 – introduced LA 14 March 2024

Independent Commission Against Corruption Amendment (Ministerial Diary Disclosure) Bill 2024 – introduced LA 14 March 2024

Rural Fires Amendment (Red Fleet) Bill 2024 – introduced LA 14 March 2024

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament

Animal Research Amendment (Prohibition of Forced Swim Tests and Forced Smoke Inhalation Experiments) Bill 2024 – passed by both Houses 14 March 2024

Electoral Funding Amendment (Local Government Electoral Expenditure Caps) Bill 2024 – passed by both Houses 13 March 2024

Environmental Legislation Amendment (Hazardous Chemicals) Bill 2024 – passed by both Houses 13 March 2024

Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Sea Bed Mining and Exploration) Bill 2024 – passed by
both Houses 14 March 2024

Human Tissue Amendment (Ante-mortem Interventions) Bill 2024 – passed by both Houses 14 March 2024

Regulation and other miscellaneous instruments; and

Liquor Amendment (Licence Fees) Regulation 2024 (2024 No 66) – Published LW 13 March 2024

Environmental Planning Instruments

Blacktown Local Environmental Plan (Precincts – Central River City) (Map Amendment No 3) (2024 No 68) – Published LW 15 March 2024

Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013 (Map Amendment No 10) (2024 No 69) – Published LW 15 March 2024

Conargo Local Environmental Plan 2013 (Map Amendment No 1) (2024 No 70) – Published LW 15 March 2024

Deniliquin Local Environmental Plan 2013 (Map Amendment No 1) (2024-71) – published LW 15 March 2024

Hawkesbury Local Environmental Plan 2012 (Map Amendment No 6) (2024 No 72) – Published LW 15 March 2024

Port Stephens Local Environmental Plan 2013 (Map Amendment No 7) (2024-67) – published LW 15 March 2024

State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Housing) 2024 (2024-74) – published LW 15 March 2024

Wollongong Local Environmental Plan 2009 (Amendment No 55) (2024-73) – published LW 15 March 2024

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.

Published by:

Christine Jones (Editor), Vishwa Shah, Faith Zalm

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