COVID-19 | COVIDSafe update: legislation and source code

The Commonwealth Parliament has now passed legislation to regulate the collection and use of COVID app data. In addition, the Commonwealth Digital Transformation Agency has now released the source code for the app, which has allowed independent analysis of how the app operates. This update discusses the legislation and the commentary in relation to the […]

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‘Black Summer’ Royal Commission could redefine Commonwealth, State and local government roles, responsibilities and powers around natural disasters

After close to four months of battling bushfires in New South Wales and Victoria and confronting devastating loss of life, property, livelihood and wildlife, as well as two months of speculation, a Royal Commission arising from the ‘Black Summer’ bushfires has been announced. The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements will, however, inquire more […]

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Victorian Government issues funding guidelines for the combustible cladding ‘rescue package’

On 19 December 2019, Cladding Safety Victoria (CSV) issued guidelines on the Victorian Government’s cladding rectification funding program (Program) for the rectification of combustible cladding of residential apartment buildings (Guidelines). Importantly, the Guidelines set out which owners are eligible for the funding, namely that you must be an owners corporation responsible for a residential building […]

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The Brexit case – implications for Australia

Amidst the Brexit debacle, the UK Supreme Court[1] has invented a brand-new rule limiting executive power. Yet, the core legal principles supporting this politically controversial development are thoroughly orthodox and, despite different constitutional arrangements, may strongly influence how executive power is exercised under Australian law. Context The Supreme Court was asked to determine whether the […]

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Hunting together – time to refresh memorandums of understanding?

For many years, both State and Federal agencies have formally co-operated under MOUs as an important means of performing their regulatory mandates. In the post-Hayne environment, agencies should consider refreshing their existing MOUs or establishing new arrangements for information sharing and co-ordination with other regulators. Agencies can take guidance from Commissioner Hayne’s comments and the […]

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Development Agreements, the devil may be in the detail

The New South Wales Supreme Court decision of Crown Sydney Property v Barangaroo Delivery Authority; Lendlease (Millers Point) v Barangaroo Delivery Authority[1] highlights the need for government entities entering commercial agreements, such as development agreements, to judiciously choose the language used and to carefully comply with the terms, or face the potentially costly implications of failing […]

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Federal Government and Cadbury seek leave to appeal Federal Court decision that left bad taste in employers’ mouths

The Federal Government and major employer Mondelez, who operates a Cadbury plant in Tasmania, will seek leave to appeal last month’s landmark Full Federal Court decision regarding paid personal/carers’ leave, to the High Court. The decision concerned the meaning of the word “day” for the purpose of the entitlement to 10 days paid personal/carer’s leave […]

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Doing Business in Australia

The Australian Government welcomes foreign investment. With well-developed infrastructure, a stable political environment, robust economy and easy access to Asia Pacific, Australia is an ideal investment location for foreign companies looking to grow internationally. There are important considerations for foreign investors to make when deciding on how to enter the Australian market. Whether it’s the […]

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Class Action against Local Government

In a class action proceeding against a local government for a claim in debt, the plaintiff made an application to strike out parts of the local government’s defence and counter claim that sought to rely on the principles of ‘change of position’, a defence associated with restitution. The application by the plaintiff was dismissed and […]

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Cultural Heritage – obligations on Qld entities

Images of the world famous Notre Dame cathedral on fire clearly raised many emotional responses for Australians. The images no doubt causing many to lament so much history and culture being destroyed in an instant. Yet few appreciate the parallels between a tragedy in a European cathedral and the regular destruction of indigenous cultural heritage […]

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Modern Slavery Act

The Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) (‘Act’) commenced on 1 January 2019 and requires organisations with an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million to report annually on the risks of modern slavery within their supply chain. The Act is similar to the UK legislation. Organisations will be required to submit their first report after the […]

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Public servants can be liable for social media posts

In the landmark case of Comcare v Michaela Banerji[1] handed down on Wednesday, the High Court unanimously overturned a ruling that the Department of Immigration and Citizenship imposed an unjustified burden on the implied freedom of political communication when dismissing Banerji because of her contentious political tweets.   Background While employed at the Department of […]

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