Australia: NSW Government Bulletin - 20 August 2014

Last Updated: 22 August 2014
Article by Sylvia Fernandez and Christine Jones

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In July 2014, the former Attorney General John Hatzistergos issued a report following his review (Review) of the Bail Act 2013 (NSW) (the Act), commissioned by the government. The Review's main objective was to determine whether the Act was appropriately framed to achieve its objectives. It should be noted that the Act only commenced on 20 May 2014.

Following the Review, on 5 August 2014, the New South Wales government introduced the Bail Amendment Bill 2014 (the Bill) into Parliament, seeking to give effect to the Review's recommendations. The key parts of the Bill are described below.

Show cause requirement

A show cause requirement has been introduced for certain offences and provides that bail must be refused unless the accused shows that his or her detention is not justified.

The listed offences subject to the show cause requirement include; an offence punishable by life imprisonment, or a serious personal violence offence, or an offence involving wounding or the infliction of grievous bodily harm, if the accused has previously been convicted of a serious personal violence offence.

If the accused has demonstrated why their detention is not justified, then the unacceptable risk test is applied.

Unacceptable risk test

The unacceptable risk test in the Act is currently a two stage test, where the bail authority must first decide whether the accused presents an unacceptable risk and then must decide whether the risk can be mitigated by bail conditions.

The Bill reduces this to considering whether the accused presents an unacceptable risk, considering any bail concerns. This will apply to all offences, not just those subject to the show cause requirement.

A bail concern is a concern that the accused, if released will fail to appear at any proceedings for the offence, will commit a serious offence, endanger the safety of victims, individuals or the community or interfere with witnesses or evidence. In assessing bail concerns, the bail authority must consider the sixteen factors listed in section 18 of the Act including whether the accused person has person has a history of compliance or non-compliance with bail acknowledgements, bail conditions, apprehended violence orders, parole orders or good behaviour bonds and whether the accused person has any criminal associations.

The views on the Bill are divergent. The Attorney General has stated that the Bill increases stringency on bail decisions for people who pose significant risks to the community. Others including the NSW Law Society and the NSW Bar Association have expressed concerns that the Bill undermines the presumption of innocence, that the Bill is a reactive approach to media pressure and the Bill disregards the NSW Law Reform Commission and its stakeholder's process and recommendations which brought about the Act.

The Bill has been adjourned for debate on a date to be determined.

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

Victims speak up on parole
The latest NSW State Parole Authority annual report reveals that victims are having a greater say in parole matters, the NSW Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Brad Hazzard said. The State Parole Authority makes decisions relating to the supervised, conditional release of offenders from custody, the conditions of release and the revoking of parole orders for non-compliance (14 August 2014) [ PDF, 201kb]

New laws to resolve rural hedge disputes
The NSW Government has accepted the recommendation of a statutory review of the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 to enable the court to deal with hedge disputes in rural-residential areas. The Land and Environment Court will only adjudicate in cases where the aggrieved resident has made reasonable efforts to resolve the dispute with the hedge owner (11 August 2014) [ PDF, 199kb]

NSW first in the country to issue electronic warrants
Attorney General Brad Hazzard announces NSW is the first state to introduce electronic arrest warrants, ensuring better protection of victims and the community. It also means any orders to revoke arrest warrants can happen instantly reducing any risk of unlawful arrest (11 August 2014) [ PDF, 79.8kb]

Federal Court upholds validity of examination notices issued to Paul and Moses Obeid
The Federal Court has found that compulsory examination notices issued by the ACCC to Paul and Moses Obeid are valid. The notices were issued under Section 155 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) and require Paul and Moses Obeid to attend the ACCC offices, give evidence and produce documents in private examinations (08 August 2014) Federal Court upholds validity of examination notices issued to Paul and Moses Obeid

NSW roads minister says he may have to look at "even harsher" measures to improve compliance
The NSW Government has threatened to bring in harsher penalties for those caught breaching travel restrictions on over height trucks, to stop people putting other motorists at risk causing significant damage to our state's infrastructure. A year since NSW increased fines to more than $2,000 and six demerit points for breaches, 41 truck drivers have still been caught breaking the law (06 August 2014) More...

Government tightens bail laws
The NSW Government will introduce changes to the Bail Act, ensuring that those who pose an unacceptable risk to the community will no longer be eligible for bail. The changes also include a new onus on those accused of the most serious offences to show why their detention in custody is not justified. The enhancements to the State's bail laws follow the completion of an independent review by former NSW Attorney General John Hatzistergos (05 August 2014) [Accessible PDF, 95kb] The Hatzistergos review can be found here.

Bail reforms premature, reactionary and arbitrary
The Law Society of NSW has criticised the government's bail reform proposal which does away with the presumption of innocence for some crimes. The NSW Government's proposal is not simply a tweaking of the current law of bail, it undermines the system by focusing on the types of offences rather than the circumstances of the particular case (06 August 2014) More...

Bail changes threaten basic legal rights - NSW
The government's proposed changes to the Bail Act, which only commenced on 20 May this year, are a retrograde step which have the potential to threaten fundamental legal rights, according to the president of the NSW Bar Association. The government proposals, based on the recommendations of the Hatzistergos Bail report, bring back special categories of case where a different bail test for serious offences is to be applied (05 August 2014). More...

Government tightens bail laws
Changes will be made to the Bail Act to ensure those posing an unacceptable risk to the community will not be eligible for bail. The amended Act will define "serious offences" by a range of features of the alleged offence. The changes are modelled on Victorian and Queensland Acts, both of which have risk assessment models (05 August 2014) Government tightens Bail Act

In practice and courts

ICAC: Operation Spicer public inquiry witness list - week beginning 18 August 2014
Operation Spicer public inquiry witness list - week beginning 18 August 2014 was updated on 15 August 2014 Please note that this list is subject to change. Operation Spicer public inquiry witness list - week beginning 18 August 2014

ICAC: Prosecutions information webpage updated
The ICAC's webpage on prosecution activity relating to Commission investigations was updated on 15 August 2014 Prosecutions information webpage updated

NSW Supreme Court (Amendment No 425) Rules
The Supreme Court Rules (Amendment No 425) 2014 No. 500 (NSW) amend the Supreme Court Rules 1970 No. 1 (NSW) and the Criminal Appeal Rules 1952 No. 2 (NSW). The purpose of the amending Rules is to make amendments consequent on the enactment of the Bail Act 2013 No. 26 (NSW) by removing certain rules and forms that are no longer necessary and updating references to the repealed Bail Act 1978 No. 161 (NSW).
The amending Rules commenced on 8 August 2014.

NSW Updated Practice Note - Representative Proceedings
The Supreme Court has released Practice Note No. SC Gen 17 - Supreme Court Representative Proceedings (12 August 2014), which is designed to facilitate the management of representative proceedings and, in particular, to assist in their prompt and efficient resolution. The updated Practice Note commenced on 12 August 2014 Further information from the Supreme Court

Published – articles, papers, reports

The impact of special commissions of inquiry/crime commissions on criminal trials
A speech by Justice Weinberg, presented at the Supreme Court of New South Wales Annual Conference in Wollongong, 01 August 2014 The impact of special commissions of inquiry/crime commissions on criminal trials


Fire Brigade Employees' Union v Fire and Rescue NSW [2014] NSWCATAD 113
The decision of the respondent is affirmed.
Administrative review - government information - public access - conclusive overriding public interest against disclosure - Cabinet information
Administrative review - government information - public access - public interest test - whether public interest
considerations against disclosure on balance outweigh the public interest considerations in favour of disclosure
Administrative review - government information - public access - prescribed public interest considerations against disclosure - reveal a deliberation in such a way as to prejudice a deliberative process of the agency - prejudice the effective exercise by agency of its functions - expose a person to an unfair advantage as a result of the premature disclosure of information concerning proposed action of the agency More...


New South Wales

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Children (Protection and Parental Responsibility) Regulation 2014 (2014-496) — published LW 8 August 2014
The object of this Regulation is to remake with minor changes, the provisions of the Children (Protection and Parental Responsibility) Regulation 2008 with respect to undertakings given under the Children (Protection and Parental Responsibility) Act 1997, counselling services, protocols relating to the way functions conferred on police officers and other persons under the Act are to be exercised and records to be made by police officers who remove children from public places and escort them to other places.

Supreme Court Rules (Amendment No 425) 2014 (2014-500) — published LW 8 August 2014
The object of these Rules is to amend the Supreme Court Rules 1970 and the Criminal Appeal Rules consequent on the enactment of the Bail Act 2013 by removing certain rules and forms that are no longer necessary and updating references to the repealed Act.

Uniform Civil Procedure Rules (Amendment No 67) 2014 (2014-501) — published LW 8 August 2014
The object of these Rules are to correct a cross-referencing error, provide that the pages of exhibits to affidavits must be (where practicable) be consecutively numbered and extend from 4 to 7 days, the period during which an execution creditor on whom a notice of claim is served is given the opportunity to serve a notice of admission on the Sheriff, and after which the court may make an order granting relief by way of interpleader (if no notice is served and the claim is not withdrawn).

Uniform Civil Procedure Rules (Amendment No 68) 2014 (2014-502) — published LW 8 August 2014
The object of these Rules is to enable the Supreme Court to make an order dismissing proceedings entered in the Possession List (being proceedings in the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court in which a claim for possession of land is made) that have been inactive for over 9 months, without the parties to the proceedings having to be notified of the proposed order. (Currently, the Supreme Court may dismiss such proceedings with notice to the plaintiff and each other active party, if the proceedings have been inactive for over 5 months.)

Bills introduced Government

Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Amendment (Statutory Review) Bill 2014
The object of this Bill is to make various amendments to the Child Protection (Offenders) Registration Act 2000 as a result of a statutory review under section 26 of that Act. The proposed changes include expanding the classes of registrable offences to include manslaughter of a child, wounding or grievous bodily harm of a child under 10 years of age and abduction of a child and increasing the time in which child protection registration orders can be made.

Mining Amendment (Small-Scale Title Compensation) Bill 2014
A Bill for an Act to amend the Mining Act 1992 and other legislation to provide, in respect of small-scale titles, a system for the payment of compensation to landholders, mechanisms for resolving disputes and the imposition of levies; and for other purposes.
5/08/2014 Assembly: Notice of Motion (Roberts, Anthony)

Bills revised following amendment in Committee

Road Transport Amendment (Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program) Bill 2014
The object of this Bill is to amend the Road Transport Act 2013, to replace provisions of the Act giving a court the discretion to order the use of breath alcohol interlock devices fitted to motor vehicles as an alternative to disqualification for drivers convicted of certain alcohol-related driving offences, with provisions requiring the making of a mandatory interlock order imposing a mandatory period of disqualification together with such an interlock requirement.

The Bill also provides accreditation for persons installing or otherwise carrying out functions in relation to the interlock devices, for the Roads and Maritime Services (the Authority) to enter into agreements concerning the exercise of such functions and to enable the Authority to require holders of licences who repeatedly exceed specified demerit point thresholds to undertake driver education courses and driver knowledge test

Bills introduced Government

Bail Amendment Bill 2014

The objects of this Bill include to require bail for certain serious offences to be refused unless the accused person shows cause why his or her detention is not justified, to convert the current two-step unacceptable risk assessment process that applies to all bail decisions into a one-step risk assessment, so that the bail conditions that could reasonably be imposed to address bail concerns are considered as part of an unacceptable risk assessment, and bail must be refused if there are any unacceptable risks.
The Bill also sets out additional matters to be considered by a bail authority in applying the unacceptable risk test e.g. whether the accused has a history of compliance or non-compliance with bail acknowledgements, bail conditions and apprehended violence orders, whether the accused has any criminal associations and if it is a serious offence, the bail authority must consider the views of the victim or family of the victim to the offence, in relation to a concern about the safety of the victim, individuals or the community.

Constitution Amendment (Parliamentary Presiding Officers) Bill 2014
The object of this Bill is to amend the Constitution Act 1902 to ensure that both the President of the Legislative Council and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly (and deputies acting when they are unavailable) may exercise the functions of Parliamentary presiding officers relating to the administration of Parliament and the employment of Parliamentary staff during a State general election period when the Legislative Assembly is dissolved and the Legislative Council is suspended.
The Bill also makes a consequential amendment to the Parliamentary Remuneration Act 1989 to ensure that Parliamentary presiding officers (and their deputies) continue to receive their usual remuneration during that State general election period.


City of Sydney Amendment (Business Voting and Council Elections) Bill 2014
The objects of this Bill include amending the City of Sydney Act 1988 to require the Electoral Commissioner keep voluntary registers of non-resident owners and occupiers and rate paying lessees who are entitled to vote in the City of Sydney elections, to require the electoral rolls for those categories to be prepared on the basis of the registers (subject to confirmation of details) and to provide for non-resident owners, occupiers and rate paying lessees to be treated as postal voters, subject to the right to elect to vote instead in person.

City of Sydney Amendment (Elections) Bill 2014
The objects of this Bill include requiring the general manager of the Council of the City of Sydney to keep and maintain a register of all persons entitled to be enrolled on the roll of non-resident owners of rateable land or the roll of occupiers and rate paying lessees under the City of Sydney Act 1988.

Bills revised following amendment in Committee

Disability Inclusion Bill 2014

Mutual Recognition (Automatic Licensed Occupations Recognition) Bill 2014
The objects of this Bill include to provide for the automatic mutual recognition of certain occupation licences issued in other jurisdictions, so that a person who holds a recognised licence will be deemed to hold the equivalent licence in New South Wales.

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament

Disability Inclusion Bill 2014
This Bill relates to the accessibility of mainstream services and facilities, the promotion of community inclusion and the provision of funding, support and services for people with disability.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Christine Jones
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.