FMCG Express | March 2024 Edition

In this edition of FMCG Express we consider the regulatory landscape of AI, what to do when you receive a (potentially) defamatory online review, recent Fair Work Act changes (particularly how these changes affect casual workers), and we consider specifics around ESG reporting. Partner Breanna Davies and the Gadens team have prepared this edition to […]

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Unfair contract terms and your franchise agreement

As of 9 November 2023, changes to the unfair contract terms (UCT) regime have come into effect. Franchisors should be aware that unfair terms under the previous regime are void, while unfair terms under the new regime will be unlawful and significant penalties may apply (for companies, up to $50 million or even more). Unfair […]

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Fake news? – ACMA to receive new powers to hold digital platforms to account

The Australian Government has set its sights on combatting the growing trend of misinformation and disinformation on digital platforms, including social media channels, with the release of the draft Communications Legislation Amendment (Combatting Misinformation and Disinformation) Bill 2023 (Draft Bill) last Sunday. If implemented as proposed, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) would be […]

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Our Top 10 Unfair Contract Terms (infographic)

From 9 November 2023 the Unfair Contract Terms regime will have real teeth and apply to more contracts. From then, large penalties can apply for use of unfair contract terms. The regime applies to consumer contracts and small business contracts. Standard form business contracts will generally be covered if one party has fewer than 100 […]

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FMCG Express | March 2023 Edition

The latest edition of FMCG Express goes straight to the heart of legal issues affecting corporate Australia in 2023; reforms to unfair contracts legislation; changes to the Fair Work Act; privacy law amendments; and cyber and data security. Partner Breanna Davies and the Gadens team of contributors are at the forefront of the analysis of […]

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Good news for consumers? New Digital Platform laws to combat fake reviews, scams and unfair practices proposed

Last Friday the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its 5th report of the Digital Platform Services Inquiry. The much anticipated report deals with the competition and consumer issues raised in the Digital Platform Services Inquiry, the Digital Advertising Services Inquiry (2020-2021) and the Digital Platform Inquiry (2017-2019). Digital platforms are online spaces for […]

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Increased competition and consumer law penalties now take effect

The maximum penalties for contraventions of competition law prohibitions in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and offence and civil penalty provisions in the Australian Consumer Law have now markedly increased following the Treasury Laws Amendment (More Competition, Better Prices) Act 2022 (Cth) having received the Royal Assent. Of particular note, the maximum penalty for […]

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Date set for ‘unfair contract terms’ to be rendered unlawful: Time to act

Businesses now have less than 12 months to cease using unfair contract terms in their standard form consumer contracts and small business contracts, now that the Treasury Laws Amendment (More Competition, Better Prices) Act 2022 (Cth) has received the Royal Assent. Whereas unfair contract terms can presently be rendered void and unenforceable, the use of unfair […]

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Unfair contract terms – Commonwealth government driving major reforms

On 28 September 2022 the Commonwealth government introduced to Parliament a bill that will, if passed, make major changes to the unfair contract terms regime in Australia.  The bill is called the Treasury Laws Amendment (More Competition, Better Prices) Bill 2022. The unfair contract terms provisions in the Bill are virtually identical to the provisions […]

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Significant increases to Competition and Consumer Law penalties proposed

Last Friday afternoon, Treasury released exposure draft legislation proposing significant increases to the maximum penalties that apply to various contraventions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by companies and individuals. Interested parties will have to be quick with any comments on the proposed changes, because public consultation […]

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Embedded networks live on as Victorian reform for residential embedded networks slowly takes shape

New embedded networks in residential apartment buildings will be banned from January 2023 unless 100% of electricity is sourced from renewable energy, with at least 5% being sourced from on-site generation. Existing embedded networks in residential sites, including apartment buildings, retirement villages, social housing and residential/caravan parks, will transition to a new regulatory regime, moving through […]

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Direct ‘.au’ domain names are coming. Threat or opportunity?

After being on the cards for several years, the administrator of the .au country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), au Domain Administration Limited (auDA), has recently announced the launch of .au direct registrations in the ‘second level’ (e.g. gadens.au) effective from 24 March 2022. Separately, the Australian Government is currently reviewing the terms on which it […]

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