This fortnight, the controversial case of Comcare v PVYW  HCA 41 concluded after a decision was handed down by the High Court of Australia. This brings certainty to the boundaries between private and business activities when employees travel for work purposes, whether they be employed in the public sector or the private sector. In a majority decision, the High Court allowed Comcare's appeal and held that there needed to be a connection between an injury sustained during a work trip and an activity encouraged or induced by the employer. To make this connection, the inducement had to be more than simply encouraging an employee to be at the place where the injury occurred. The inducement needed to be in relation to the specific activity, which resulted in the injury. Employment Minister Eric Abetz has subsequently issued a statement welcoming the High Court decision as common sense, and stating that it serves to protect the currency of workplace safety.
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In the media
ICAC public inquiry into allegations concerning the NSW State Emergency Service Commissioner
ICAC will hold a public inquiry commencing on 3 December 2013 as part of an investigation it is conducting into allegations that the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) Commissioner, Murray Kear, took detrimental action against Deputy Commissioner Tara McCarthy, including dismissal from her position on 14 May 2013 (07 November 2013) More...
High Court judge Stephen Gageler withdraws from Unions NSW challenge
A High Court judge has excused himself from hearing a challenge by Unions NSW to the state's electoral funding laws on the grounds of a perceived conflict, alleging that "amendments made to political donation laws [in 2012], restricting the funds unions and other entities can provide political parties, infringe on the constitutional rights of free speech and political expression" (05 November 2013) More...
ICAC recommends tighter controls to minimise coal mining corruption
ICAC has made a series of sweeping recommendations to tighten up the process for managing the state's coal resources and reduce the likelihood of corrupt conduct, including by improving the accountability and scrutiny of ministers and members of Parliament (30 October 2013) More...
High Court decision handed down in Comcare v. PVYW
Comcare has been successful in its appeal to the High Court of Australia in Comcare v. PVYW. Today's High Court decision means Comcare is not liable to pay compensation to the respondent. Comcare appealed the 2012 ruling of the Full Court of the Federal Court to clarify the boundaries between private and business activities when employees travel for work purposes (30 October 2013) High Court decision handed down in Comcare v. PVYW
Victory for Commonsense
Employment Minister Eric Abetz has welcomed the Comcare decision, stating the decision protects the currency of workplace safety which was in serious danger of being trivialised by this claim. Instances such as this where an employee seeks to stretch the boundaries of entitlements are of great concern and the High Court's intervention is welcome (30 October 2013) Employment Minister's media release
NSW Sexual Assault Victim
Protection to Be Broadened
Attorney General Greg Smith has announced that laws preventing sexual assault victims from having to give evidence in the presence of the accused will be developed further, via an amendment to the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 No. 209 (NSW) so that even if the victim is not the complainant but another witness in a separate trial, they will be able to testify from other locations (30 October 2013) Attorney General's media release
In practice and courts
IPC annual report
The IPC's Annual report for 2012 – 2013 has been tabled in Parliament on 31 October 2013
NSW Law Reform Commission: Encouraging appropriate early guilty pleas
The Commission has released a Consultation Paper that canvasses approaches taken in similar jurisdictions to encourage early guilty pleas and asks which models are appropriate to NSW Submissions are due December 13, 2013 (November 2013)
2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference (APSACC)
The 4th APSACC will be held in Sydney from 26 to 28 November 2013. The conference is held every two years to increase the knowledge and skill levels of public sector leaders and managers in the areas of ethics and anti-corruptionMore...
Published – articles, papers, reports
The Commission's report, Reducing the opportunities and incentives for corruption in the state's management of coal resources
Author: NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)
Makes 26 corruption prevention recommendations to minimise the recurrence of the corruption that was found in the ICAC's operations Jasper and Acacia investigations (30 October 2013) Full report
Annual Report 2012-2013
Author: NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)
Outlines major investigations into corruption (30 October 2013) More...
Comcare v PVYW  HCA 41
Appeal allowed. Industrial law (Cth) – Workers' compensation – Employee injured during overnight stay at motel booked by employer – Employee injured whilst engaged in activity – Employee claimed compensation for injuries under Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth) – Whether employee's injuries arose in course of employment – Whether employee's injuries sustained during interval or interlude within overall period of work.
Words and phrases – "connection or association with employment", "injury ... at and by reference to a place", "in the course of employment", "interval or interlude within an overall period or episode of work".Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth), ss 5A(1), 6, 14(1). More...
Wecker v Delegate to the President of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board  FCA 1167 ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – competency of application for judicial review – review of decision of NSW Anti-Discrimination Board – application dismissed. More...
Cameron v Western Sydney Local Health District  NSWSC 1539
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - application to summarily dismiss proceedings - plaintiff failure to adhere to orders for service of expert evidence - plaintiff failure to follow Practice Note SC CL 7 - plaintiff failure to acknowledge overriding purpose of the Civil Procedure Act - application stood over in the interests of justice. More...
Woodhouse v City of Sydney Council  NSWLEC 182
JUDICIAL REVIEW - whether respondent council's works for the upgrading of a playground in Fitzroy Gardens, Kings Cross is exempt development - whether classification as exempt development requires compliance with cl 20A and Sch 1 as well as cl 66 of State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 - whether under cl 20A and Sch 1 proposed canopy is not exempt development because it does not comply with development standards specified in Sch 1 - whether by virtue of cl 20A and Sch1 demolition element of the works is not exempt development.
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 ss 36(1), 76, 76A, 76B, Part 5
State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 cll 5(1), 5(3)(g), 5(4), 8(1), 20, 20A, 65(3)(e), 66, Part 2 Division 4, Part 3, Sch 1
Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Order 2006 Dictionary More...
Tricare (Hastings) Limited v Tweed Shire Council  NSWLEC 183
JUDICIAL REVIEW - construction of a development consent for a large seniors living development - residential caravan park sites already on the land pursuant to long term site agreements under Residential Parks Act 1998 - termination notices served under s 102 on ground that sites are to be used for a purpose other than that of residential sites - proceedings to enforce termination notices in Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal - those proceedings stood over to enable applicant to seek declarations in Land and Environment Court as to the construction of the development consent. Residential Parks Act 1998 s 102(1); Local Government Act 1993 s 68 More...
Leda Developments Pty Ltd v Tweed Shire Council  NSWADTAP 50
Appeal allowed. GOVERNMENT INFORMATION (PUBLIC ACCESS) - Application for disclosure of communications with council officer - refusal to disclose name of correspondent, and name of correspondent's organisation - Upheld by Tribunal - Appeal - Appeal allowed in respect of name of organisation - Not shown that disclosure of name of organisation would be likely to reveal identity of correspondent: Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 More...
Reimers v Health Care Complaints Commission  NSWCA 366
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - judicial review - discretion to refuse relief - application by deregistered medical practitioner for declarations that decision and orders of the Medical Tribunal made in 2003 are invalid - earlier application by the same applicant for order quashing the decision dismissed - where new grounds advanced on the present application ought reasonably to have been advanced in support of the earlier application - whether the present application is an abuse of process More...
Manning v Bathurst Regional Council (No 2)  NSWLEC 186
JUDICIAL REVIEW: whether council under an obligation to notify adjoining property owner of proposed development - whether failure to notify was manifestly unreasonable - whether re-notification of the development an appropriate order under s 25B of the Land and Environment Court Act 1979 - whether demolition of the development appropriate.
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, ss 79A(2), 79C, 103, 104, 124 More...
Bills introduced etc Government
The objects of this Bill are to repeal the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal Act 2001 and the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal Regulation 2009 consequent on the abolition of that Tribunal and the establishment of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).
The objects of this Bill are to amend the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 to provide for the constitution and the practice and procedure of, and appeals from, the Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), and to rename the Administrative Decisions Tribunal Act 1997 as the Administrative Decisions
Review Act 1997.
Administrative Decisions Tribunal Act 1997
The Bill proposes to amend the Administrative Decisions Tribunal Act 1997 No. 76 (NSW) (the principal Act) to: rename the principal Act as the Administrative Decisions Review Act 1997; remove provisions relating to the establishment, membership, officers and functions of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal; and confine the operation of the Act to the process for the administrative review of certain decisions of administrators and confer the function of conducting such reviews on Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).
Administrative Decisions Tribunal Regulation 2009
The Bill proposes to amend the Administrative Decisions Tribunal Regulation 2009 No. 435 (NSW) (the principal Regulation) to rename the principal Regulation as the Administrative Decisions Review Regulation 2009; and make other minor referential amendments.
Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013
The Bill proposes to amend the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 No. 2 (NSW) (the principal Act). The objective of the Bill is to provide for the constitution and the practice and procedure of, and appeals from, the NCAT, and abolish the Vocational Training Appeal Panel and the transfer of its functions to NCAT. The Bill would also make other amendments to facilitate the establishment of NCAT.
The objects of this Bill are as follows to amend the Bail Act 1978 to clarify that a magistrate may review any decision made in relation to bail by the President of the Children's Court, exercising the jurisdiction of the Children's Court, to amend the Crimes Act 1900 to extend the period for review of certain provisions of that Act relating to consorting with convicted offenders.
The object of this Bill is to amend the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002
to extend police powers of arrest without warrant. The revised powers of arrest are modelled on
the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 of Queensland.
The objects of this Bill are to make minor amendments to various Acts and Regulations (Schedules 1 and 2), to amend certain other Acts and instruments for the purpose of effecting statute law revision
(Schedule 3), to repeal an Act and amend an Act to remove references to repealed provisions
(Schedule 4), and to make other provisions of a consequential or ancillary nature.
The object of this Bill is to allow for adults of the same sex to enter into a same-sex marriage.
Acts assented to
Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment (Standard Non-parole Periods) Act 2013 No 78 — Assented to 29 October 2013
Crimes and Courts Legislation Amendment Act 2013 No 80 — Assented to 29 October 2013
Fines Amendment Act 2013 No 82 — Assented to 29 October 2013
For the full text of Bills, and details on the passage of Bills, see Bills.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.