Australia: NSW Government Bulletin - 25 June 2014

Last Updated: 27 June 2014
Article by Harold Werksman

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

On 18 June 2014, both Houses of Parliament passed the Electoral and Lobbying Legislation Amendment (Electoral Commission) Act 2014 (NSW) (the Act). The Act has two main features.

Electoral Commission

Firstly, the Act creates a corporation called the Electoral Commission which will be constituted by a former Judge, the Electoral Commissioner and a person appointed by the NSW Governor with the relevant financial or auditing skills.

The Electoral Commission's functions include the administration of election funding, the provision of assistance for the conduct of elections and commencement of proceedings into election related offences. The Electoral Commission also has the power to conduct and publish research relating to electoral matters.

The Electoral Commission has a duty to exercise its functions in a way that does not bias a particular group, candidate or person and it is not subject to the control or direction of the relevant Minister.

Lobbying Amendments

Secondly, the Act creates a series of amendments to provisions dealing with the lobbying of government officials including the creation of a 'Lobbyists Code of Conduct', a 'Register of Third-Party Lobbyists' and a 'Lobbyists Watch List'.

The Lobbyists Code of Conduct sets out the standards which should be observed by lobbyists when lobbying Government officials.

The Act also requires the Electoral Commission to establish (and publish on its website) a Register of Third-Party Lobbyists (Lobbyists Register).

Third-party lobbyists, defined as individuals or bodies carrying on the business of lobbying government on behalf of another individual or body, are required to be registered on the Lobbyists Register.

The information required to be given by the third-party lobbyists for the Lobbyists Register are: the name and business contact details of the lobbyist, the names of the individuals engaged to undertake the lobbying of the government, the names of persons having a management, financial or other interest in the lobbyist and the names of the third parties who have retained the lobbyist.

The Electoral Commission must also maintain (and publish on its website) a Lobbyists Watch List for those lobbyists who have contravened the Lobbyists Code or the Act.

The Electoral Commission may, at a lobbyist's request, exclude information from being publicly available if there is a public interest against disclosure under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW).

The Act will commence on a day to be appointed by proclamation.

The Act comes amid a period of intense scrutiny of political donations and the activities of lobbyists in NSW, including most recently in Operation Spicer and in the Unions NSW case decided by the High Court in December in which Holding Redlich acted for Unions NSW and certain member unions.

Upcoming events

Research Training for Government Lawyers: Government Lawyers are invited to join us for a research training session designed specifically for Government Lawyers, to be held in Sydney on 22 July and presented by Keren Smith, Holding Redlich's National Knowledge Manager. Use this link for more information and to register.

To start a conversation about Government Bulletin or issues of interest to NSW government lawyers, join the LinkedIn group NSW Government Lawyers by clicking on this link. Membership is open to lawyers employed in the public sector.

In the media

From pen and paper to prime time
Attorney General announces new legislation to make it easier to film and broadcast judgments and sentences in major criminal trials in the Supreme Court. The Courts Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Judgments) Bill paves the way for cameras to be used in the Supreme and District Courts and the NSW Government is looking at including other courts. There will be no filming of Children's Court matters (18 June 2014) From pen and paper to prime time

New police laws - simpler, clearer and more effective
The NSW Parliament has passed new laws giving frontline police clearer and more effective powers to protect the public. The Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Amendment Act 2014 clarifies and simplifies complex police powers, helping police get on with the job of keeping the community safe (18 June 2014) New police laws - simpler, clearer and more effective

Tougher Laws to Protect the Community
Attorney General and Minister for Justice Brad Hazzard said funds in the 2014-15 NSW Budget support new laws which would strengthen supervision of offenders on Extended Supervision Orders (ESOs) and more than double jail sentences for breaches of ESOs (17 June 2014) Tougher laws to protect the community

ID Scanners go live in Kings Cross in NSW
ID scanners will be fully operational at up to 35 high risk licensed venues at Kings Cross from this Friday 13 June), Minister for Hospitality, Troy Grant, said today. "The new ID scanner system will make Kings Cross high risk venues even safer by stopping troublemakers at the door and ensuring patrons who break the law inside premises can be identified and held responsible for their actions (11 June 2014) More...

In practice and courts

Statement regarding the ICAC and prosecutions – 20 June 2014
A number of recent media reports and editorial comments may have created an incorrect public perception in relation to prosecutions resulting from investigations conducted by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). The ICAC does not conduct prosecutions, but refers matters to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for consideration of prosecution action More...

NSW Bill - Courts Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Judgments)
The Courts Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Judgments) Bill 2014 (NSW) proposes to amend the legislation listed below. The Bill was introduced into the Legislative Assembly and received its second reading speech on 18 June 2014. According to the explanatory note, the object of the Bill is to require the District Court and the Supreme Court to permit the recording and broadcast of certain judgments given by those Courts in open court, unless satisfied that one of a limited number of exclusionary grounds is present.

NSW Budget 2014-15 to Support Access to Justice
Premier Mike Baird and Treasurer Andrew Constance released the 2014-15 Budget on 17 June 2014. According to Budget Paper No. 2 - Budget Statement (undated), the state government will provide $10 million in recurrent grant support to the Legal Aid Commission (17 June 2014) Joint media release

Published – articles, papers, reports

NSW Criminal Courts Statistics 2013
NSW Government
The time taken to finalise trial cases in the District Criminal Court has increased significantly, according to the annual Criminal Court Statistics Report, released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. Released 11 June 2014 More...


Killick v The Commissioner of Police New South Wales [2014] NSWSC 781
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - judicial review - s 86(1) Service and Execution of Process Act 1992 (Cth) - decision of magistrate that warrant issued pursuant to s 189 Corrective Services Act 1988 (Qld) was valid - warrant directed the apprehension of the applicant and conveyance to Queensland prison - whether warrant valid - whether Court of NSW has jurisdiction to determine issue of warrant constituted an abuse of process - warrant valid - no jurisdiction to consider question of abuse of process - consequential orders made More...

Secretary of The Treasury v Public Service Association & Professional Officers' Association Amalgamated Union of NSW [2014] NSWCA 138
Remit the matter to a member of the Industrial Relations Commission to be dealt with according to law.
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION - principles - legislative intention - giving effect to express words - relationship between clauses - cl 6(1)(a) Industrial Relations (Public Sector Conditions of Employment) Regulation 2011 (NSW)
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION - principles - limited conferral of jurisdiction on a court - cl 6(1)(a) Industrial Relations (Public Sector Conditions of Employment) Regulation 2011 (NSW) ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - jurisdictional error - different considerations for administrative tribunal and inferior court - Industrial Commission - misconceive extent of powers More...



Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures (Adjustable Amounts) Amendment Notice 2014 (2014-371) — published LW 20 June 2014

Bills introduced Government

Courts Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Judgments) Bill 2014
The object of this Bill is to amend the District Court Act 1973 and Supreme Court Act 1970 to require the District Court and Supreme Court to permit the recording and broadcast of certain judgments given by those Courts, in open court, unless satisfied that one of a limited number of exclusionary grounds is present.

Electoral and Lobbying Legislation Amendment (Electoral Commission) Bill 2014
The objects of this bill are to reconstitute the New South Wales Electoral Commission, to abolish the Election Funding Authority of New South Wales and to confer its functions on the reconstituted New South Wales Electoral Commission and to provide for a Register of Third-Party Lobbyists, a Lobbyists Watch List and a Code of Conduct for third-party and other lobbyists.

Bills revised following amendment in Committee

Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014
The objects of this Bill are to make minor amendments to various Acts and regulations and make provisions of a consequential or ancillary nature.

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament

Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Amendment (Information Sharing) Bill 2014
This Bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament on 17 June 2014.

Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Consequential Amendment Bill 2014
This Bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament on 17 June 2014.

Electoral and Lobbying Legislation Amendment (Electoral Commission) Bill 2014
The objects of this Bill are to reconstitute the New South Wales Electoral Commission, to abolish the Election Funding Authority and to confer its functions on the reconstituted New South Wales Electoral Commission and to provide for a Register of Third-Party Lobbyists, a Lobbyists Watch List and a Code of Conduct for third party and other lobbyists. This Bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament on 18 June 2014.

Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014
This Bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament on 18 June 2014.

Proclamations commencing Acts

Crimes Amendment (Provocation) Act 2014 No 13 (2014-354) — published LW 13 June 2014
This Proclamation appoints 13 June 2014 as the day on which the Crimes Amendment (Provocation) Act 2014 commences.

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Civil Liability Regulation 2014 (2014-355) — published LW 13 June 2014
This act remakes the Civil Liability Regulation 2009 with minor amendments including prescribing certain non-government schools as authorities for the purposes of the Civil Liability Act 2002, the exclusion of certain civil liabilities from the operation of that Act and other saving provisions and formal matters.


Government Information (Public Access) Act No 52 of 2009
This Act may be affected by the Electoral and Lobbying Legislation Amendment (Electoral Commission) Bill 2014 to reconstitute the NSW Electoral Commission and provide for a Register of Third-Party Lobbyists, a Lobbyists Watch List and a Code of Conduct for third-party and other lobbyists

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.

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