Australia: Government Bulletin - 11 June 2014

Last Updated: 16 June 2014
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

On 5 June 2014, the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) made findings of corrupt conduct against Edward Obeid Senior, Joseph Tripodi and Steve Dunn in relation to retail leases at Circular Quay.

Following the ICAC investigation in Operation Cyrus, Mr Obeid was found to have misused his position as a Member of Parliament to influence other public officials exercising their functions in relation to retail leases at Circular Quay, without disclosing that he, his family or a related entity had an interest in some of the leases. Mr Tripodi was found to have acted corruptly by failing to disclose to Cabinet that he was aware of Mr Obeid's interest in the retail leases of Circular Quay. Mr Dunn, who was the Maritime Authority of NSW's executive officer, was found to have acted corruptly by changing the Maritime Authority's Commercial Lease Policy knowing that the Obeids would benefit from the change in the policy.

Each of Messrs Obeid, Tripodi and Dunn's conduct was also found to be able to constitute dishonest or partial exercise of their functions and a breach of public trust, for the purposes of section 8 of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 (NSW).

In relation to Operation Cyrus, ICAC has recommended that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) considers prosecution against Mr Obeid. ICAC has not recommended that the DPP consider the prosecution of Mr Dunn or Mr Tripodi in relation to Operation Cyrus due to insufficient admissible evidence to form the basis of a prosecution.

On the same day, ICAC made corrupt conduct findings against Mr Obeid in relation to the granting of water licences and the engagement of Direct Health Solutions Pty Ltd, without disclosing his interests in them. These corrupt conduct findings were the result of the investigations in Operation Cabot and Operation Meeka respectively. ICAC has recommended that the DPP consider prosecuting Mr Obeid in relation the use of his position to influence public servants in Operation Cabot but has noted there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution in Operation Meeka.

The DPP will now investigate whether it will proceed with any prosecution of Mr Obeid.

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In the media

Victims await compensation decision over Canberra firestorm
An appeal over compensation for damages from Canberra's 2003 firestorm has come to an end. The current appeal was prompted by a Supreme Court ruling that the New South Wales firefighters had been negligent in not putting out the fires at an earlier stage, but that they had acted in good faith (05 June 2014) More...

Councils to keep GFC compensation after Federal Court ruling
The full bench of the Federal Court has upheld a ruling that the councils are entitled to compensation The ruling comes after ABN Amro Bank, Standard & Poors' and Local Government Financial Services (LGFS) appealed a judgment by a single judge of the Federal Court which awarded NSW councils around $30 million in compensation for their financial losses (06 June 2014) More...

Moses and Paul Obeid to challenge ACCC action in Federal Court
Paul Obeid is joining his brother Moses in challenging ACCC orders that they provide evidence, with lawyers challenging the notices, seeking a Federal Court declaration that they are invalid. The ACCC's investigation comes on the back of a report on the tender by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (06 June 2014) More...

ICAC finds Edward Obeid Sr corrupt after misusing position as MP over Cherrydale Park water licences and Direct Health Solutions Pty Ltd
The ICAC has found that former member of the Legislative Council Edward Obeid Sr engaged in corrupt conduct through misusing his position as a member of Parliament to benefit his family's interests (05 June 2014) More...

ICAC finds the Hon Edward Obeid and the Hon Joseph Tripodi corrupt over Circular Quay retail lease policy
The ICAC has found that former member of the NSW Legislative Council the Hon Edward Obeid and former minister the Hon Joseph Tripodi engaged in corrupt conduct concerning retail leases at Circular Quay in which the Obeid family had financial interests (05 June 2014) More...

Metgasco 'cleared' by ICAC
The mining company that had its controversial coal seam drilling licence suspended by the NSW government says it has had its name cleared by the state's corruption watchdog. In a letter sent to Metgasco's lawyers ICAC deputy commissioner said there was "no information currently before the commission that Metgasco's shareholder arrangements fall within the ICAC's jurisdiction" (02 June 2014) More...

Minister praises police following quarterly crime statistics - NSW
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has released its quarterly update of NSW crime statistics for the 24 months to March 2014. Minister for Police and Emergency Services Stuart Ayres is pleased to see most major crime categories are either stable or falling (02 June 2014) More...

Commissioner Scipione welcomes Special Commission of Inquiry report - NSW
The NSW Police Force has welcomed the report and notes the findings of the Special Commission of Inquiry into matters relating to the Police investigation of certain child abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle (02 June 2014) More...

Certifiers must report disciplinary action in other jurisdictions
A recent investigation reinforces the obligation for certifiers to report disciplinary action taken against them in other jurisdictions, when a recent investigation also uncovered past misconduct in another State that the certifier had not disclosed to the Board ( Section 61 of the Building Professionals Act 2005) (27 May 2014) More...

ICAC finds NSW SES Commissioner corrupt, recommends dismissal
The ICAC has found that NSW State Emergency Service (SES) Commissioner Murray Kear engaged in corrupt conduct through failing to properly investigate allegations against Deputy Commissioner Steven Pearce, and by dismissing Deputy Commissioner Tara McCarthy from her employment with the SES substantially in reprisal for her making allegations against Mr Pearce (28 May 2014) More...

In practice and courts

NCAT Legal Bulletin
The Legal Bulletin is an e-newsletter highlighting interesting case law from NCAT's jurisdiction, and other useful information and updates that are of significance to the Tribunal's work (30 May 2014) More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

NSW recorded crime statistics: quarterly update March 2014
NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research; 2 June 2014
In the 24 months to March 2014, domestic violence, indecent assault and fraud increased in New South Wales, while other types of major offences decreased or remained stable. More...


Warren v NSW Trustee and Guardian [2014] NSWCATAP 20
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW -Access to Government Information - Application for review of agency decisions relating to two separate documents - Tribunal set aside agency decisions, and remitted the application, with findings allowing a greater degree of disclosure of each of the two documents - Applicant dissatisfied - Appeal - Extent of Tribunal's examination of relevant considerations favouring disclosure - Adequacy of reasons - Appeal dismissed. More...

Lend Lease (Millers Point) Pty Limited v Council of the City of Sydney [2014] NSWLEC 64
Lend Lease (Millers Point) Pty Limited's summons dated 14 February 2013 is dismissed. JUDICIAL REVIEW - Crown land in part of Barangaroo occupied under various licences rateable under Local Government Act 1993 - statutory construction of rating provisions of Local Government Act - whether land held under a lease for private purpose Allocation of the Administration of Acts Barangaroo Delivery Authority Act 2009 s 3, s 6, s 7, s 8, s 14, s 17, s 18, s 36 More...



Proclamations commencing Acts

Child Protection Legislation Amendment Act 2014 No 8 (2014-322) — published LW 6 June 2014 This Proclamation appoints 29 October 2014 as the day the Child Protection Amendment Act 2014 commences.

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Amendment Regulation 2014 (2014-323) — published LW 6 June 2014
This Regulation prescribes the form and manner of the consent to be given by a child or young person who is 12 or more years of age to the making of a guardianship order and makes provisions with respect to assessment of suitability of persons to make applications to be
allocated parental responsibility under section 79A of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.

Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules (Amendment No 1) 2014 (2014-324) — published LW 6 June 2014 - The object of these Rules is to amend the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2014 to make further provision with respect to the granting of access (third party access) to Registry documents to persons who are not parties to proceedings.

Uniform Civil Procedure Rules (Amendment No 66) 2014 (2014-339) — published LW 6 June 2014
The object of these Rules is to provide that a garnishee order does not operate to attach to a debt if the debt is in an amount of less than $20 standing to the credit of the judgment debtor in a financial institution.

State Records Amendment (Destruction of Prints) Regulation 2014 (2014-352) — published LW 6 June 2014 - The object of this Regulation is to exclude fingerprints or palm prints taken in connection with an application for a licence under the Tattoo Parlours Act 2012 from the protection measures of the State Records

Bills introduced Government

Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Amendment (Information Sharing) Bill 2014
The objects of this Bill include to permit dealings with information about a primary person (a person alleged to be threatened by or subject to domestic violence) and any associated respondent (an alleged perpetrator of violence or the threat), without the consent of the primary person or associated respondent. The Bill also sets out circumstances where an agency can deal with information about a person without their consent, where the agency believes domestic violence poses a serious threat to life, health or safety of any person.

Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014
This Act makes minor amendments to various Acts and regulations to effect the purpose of statute law revision.

Bills revised following amendment in Committee

Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Consequential Amendment Bill 2014
The objects of this Bill are to remove and replace invalid provisions and consequential amendments made to the Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Act 1981, following the High Court decision of Unions NSW & Ors v State of New South Wales [2013] HCA 58.

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament

Community Services (Complaints, Reviews and Monitoring) Amendment Bill 2014
The objects of this Bill include authorising the Ombudsman to review the systems of service providers of community services and to make reports and recommendations in relation to them and to clarify that persons advocating on behalf of persons provided with community services are included in the complaints resolution process.

Bills assented to

Community Services (Complaints, Reviews and Monitoring) Amendment Act 2014 No 20 — Assented to 5 June 2014
For the full text of Bills, and details on the passage of Bills, see Bills.

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