Australia: Government Bulletin - 15 October 2014

Last Updated: 19 October 2014
Article by Sylvia Fernandez, Christine Jones and Kim Nguyen

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

Operation Spector Report

On Monday 13 October 2014, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) handed down its Operation Spector report (Report) following its investigation into the conduct of Joseph Camilleri, a former Railcorp manager and Mr Camilleri's sister, Carmen Attard, an employee of Housing NSW.

Operation Spector concerned allegations that Mr Camilleri corruptly received approximately $1.6 million from RailCorp contractors and employees and that Ms Attard, corruptly received $180,000 from Housing NSW employees. The money received by Mr Camilleri and Ms Attard was said to be for the benefit of Mr Camilleri's daughter.

The Report recommended that consideration be given to obtaining the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the prosecution of Mr Camilleri, Ms Attard, Ms Camilleri and the general manager of Projects and Tendering of a contractor to RailCorp who made payments of $428,000 to Mr Camilleri. In addition, the Report also made corrupt conduct findings against 3 other contractors to/employees of RailCorp.

Furthermore, the Report noted that all "organisations need to consider the broader applicability of their codes of conduct when faced with questions of staff conduct and not purely rely on the specific examples given" of unacceptable conduct given within the codes. This was in the context of the RailCorp Code of Conduct (Code) addressing the risks of external parties seeking to influence a public official and the staff understanding the Code to be focussed on the risks of external influence.

The Report noted that Transport for NSW has begun drafting a code of conduct for all of its agencies which encompasses a broader conflicts of interest policy.

Vexatious litigants

A recent decision of the Supreme Court of New South Wales looked at a novel situation that the NSW Attorney General encountered in its application under the Vexatious Proceedings Act 2008 (NSW). In a previous hearing, the Registrar made case management directions in the absence of the defendant, Mr Mahmoud, who did not appear due to a problem with his printer. On the next occasion Mr Mahmoud sought to set aside the Registrar's orders and brought a disqualification application.

Mr Mahmoud sought to disqualify Justice Schmidt, the Judge hearing the application to set aside the Registrar's orders, on the basis that as a female Judge, she would be "a feminist with leftist leanings, who would not give him a fair hearing". The Court in its decision noted that Mr Mahmoud based his argument on mere suspicion as to the views which female Judges might hold and an assumption that male Judges would not hold similar views.

The decision noted that Judges all hold personal views on a range of matters, but are under their oath of office to determine the underlying issues fairly and impartially. The underlying issues in this case included whether the Registrar's orders should be vacated and whether the matter should be listed for further directions. Mr Mahmoud could not show that a female Judge would not bring an impartial and unprejudiced mind to these issues.

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

ICAC finds RailCorp senior manager corrupt
RailCorp's former head of train maintenance Joseph Camilleri could face prosecution for breaching the Crimes Act, the Independent Commission Against Corruption said on Monday, after it found he corruptly solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars from other rail employees and contractors. More...

Female judge asked to disqualify herself due to suspected 'feminist' and 'leftist' views
A Sydney man has tried to have a female Supreme Court judge disqualify herself from hearing a matter because he suspected she was a "feminist with leftist leanings" (12 October 2014) More...

High Court Green light to consorting laws
Attorney General Brad Hazzard and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Stuart Ayres welcomed the High Court's finding that NSW's anti-consorting laws are valid. The anti-consorting laws give police the powers they need to disrupt and dismantle criminal organisations, including outlaw motorcycle gangs (08 October 2014) High Court Green Light to Consorting Laws [PDF, 105KB]

NSW bikie consorting laws upheld: High Court
The High Court in Canberra has upheld the New South Wales anti-consorting laws, which make it an offence for convicted criminals to repeatedly associate with each other. Today the court found the laws are valid and there is no such right to freedom of association (08 October 2014) More...

NSW Law Society comments on Criminal Records Amendment (Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill 2014
In NSW, discrimination against a person based on their sexual orientation' is now prohibited.
The Committee notes that in NSW there exists legislation which permits the non-disclosure or annulment of old convictions (spent convictions) if that person has not reoffended for a period of 10 years (08 October 2014) More...

Hunter Health appeals negligence ruling relating to mental health patient
Hunter New England Health begins a High Court appeal today, stemming from a negligence ruling relating to a mental health patient, turned killer. The Health Service is appealing that decision, arguing that the appeal court erred in concluding it owed a duty of care to Mr Rose and his family (08 October 2014) More...

Time to disorganise crime: NSW push
NSW is pushing for national measures to combat organised crime including tough new laws to cut off financing and a nationwide register of firearms from cradle to grave. Criminal groups exist primarily for profit and law-enforcement agencies have been increasingly targeting the flow of money, confiscating assets and disrupting opportunities for criminal enterprise (03 October 2014) More...

Clothing, religious beliefs and racial vilification: NSW Bar Association
Comments which purport to link the wearing of clothing based on religious beliefs to risks relating to terrorism and particular races, nationalities or ethnicities may constitute racial vilification under s 20C of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 – NSW. It is self-evident that such ill-informed comment may have the tendency to incite hatred or violence towards women wearing the niqab or 'burqa' (03 October 2014) More...

In practice and courts

Case: Tajjour, Hawthorne, Forster V State Of New South Wales
Today the High Court by majority upheld the validity of s 93X of the Crimes Act 1900 - NSW which makes it an offence habitually to consort with convicted offenders. Section 93X provides that any person who habitually consorts with convicted offenders, after having been given an official warning in relation to each of those offenders, is guilty of an offence, punishable by imprisonment, fine, or both. Section 93Y provides that certain forms of consorting are to be disregarded if the person accused of consorting satisfies the court that the consorting was reasonable in the circumstances (08 October 2014) More...

ICAC: Operation Spector report furnished on 13 October 2014
The ICAC investigated allegations that Joseph Camilleri, former RailCorp general manager, maintenance contracts, and his sister, Carmen Attard, an employee at Housing NSW, used their positions as public officials to corruptly solicit funds from other people including public officials and government contractors. The ICAC is of the opinion that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) should be obtained with respect to the prosecution of Mr Camilleri, Mr McCarthy, Mr Cassar, Mrs Attard and Ms Camilleri for offences under the Crimes Act 1900.
The ICAC is also of the opinion that consideration should be given to the taking of action against Mrs Attard for breaches of the Housing NSW code of conduct with a view to terminating her services with that authority. More...

NSW LEC: Judicial Newsletter, September 2014
The Land and Environment Court (LEC) has made available the latest edition of its LEC Judicial Newsletter - September 2014 (undated).

NSW: Bail - Additional show cause offences: submissions The Council is seeking submissions from interested parties addressing the Terms of Reference.
Submissions should be sent to, 31 October 2014. The Bail Amendment Bill 2014 can be found here. The Review of the Bail Act 2013 undertaken by Mr John Hatzistergos can be found here.


Attorney General in and for the State of New South Wales v Mahmoud [2014] NSWSC 1378

PROCEDURE - case management orders - application to vacate Registrar's orders - orders vacated - new orders made
PROCEDURE - costs - security for costs - no order made
PROCEDURE - orders sought against a party not party to proceedings - no order made
PROCEDURE - adjournment application sought - refused
PROCEDURE - courts and judges generally - disqualification - apprehended bias - actual bias - application refused - reasons More...

Tajjour v New South Wales; Hawthorne v New South Wales; Forster v New South Wales [2014] HCA 35
Constitutional law – Implied freedom of political communication – Section 93X of Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) made it offence habitually to consort with convicted offenders after receiving official warning in relation to each convicted offender – Plaintiffs charged with offence
against s 93X – Whether s 93X infringes implied freedom of political communication.
Constitutional law – Implied freedom of association – Whether Constitution contains an implied freedom of association independent of implied freedom of political communication.
Constitutional law – Powers of State Parliaments – Provisions of international convention ratified by Australia but not incorporated by statute in Australian domestic law – Whether capable of limiting power of State Parliaments to enact inconsistent legislation.
Words and phrases – "effectively burden", "habitually consort", "proportionality", "reasonably appropriate and adapted". Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), ss 93W, 93X, 93Y. More...

B.S Fisher & E.A Fisher v Roads and Maritime Services [2014] NSWSC 858
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - cancellation of plaintiff's accreditation - jurisdictional error - failure to take into account a relevant consideration
Transport Administration Act 1988 (NSW); Passenger Transport Act 1990 (NSW) More...

Troskie v NSW Department of Education & Communities [2014] NSWCATAD 155
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - administrative review - access to government information - request for access to information in an internal investigation report of a complaint - refusal to grant access to information that is personal information about a person other than the access applicant and which was supplied in confidence - whether there was an overriding public interest against the disclosure of this information. Administrative Decisions Review Act 1997; Administrative and Civil Tribunal Act 2013;
Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 More...

Health Care Complaints Commission v Harley [2014] NSWCATOD 110
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW -Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Professional disciplinary proceedings against a nurse Where nurse has surrendered registration and undertaken not to reapply - Whether or not in the interests of the public for complaint to be heard. Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) More...



Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Parole Orders (Transfer) (Corresponding Laws) Notice 2014 (2014-663) — published Gazette No 86 of 10 October 2014, page 3386
The object of this Notice is to declare certain laws of other Australian jurisdictions to be corresponding laws to the Parole Orders (Transfer) Act 1983 of New South Wales. Under that Act, parole orders made under a law of New South Wales can be registered as corresponding laws and enforced in relevant jurisdictions.

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
Kim Nguyen
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.