Australia: NSW Government Bulletin - 6 May 2015

Last Updated: 11 May 2015
Article by Sylvia Fernandez, Christine Jones and Kim Nguyen

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

Following the High Court's ICAC v Cunneen decision, Premier Mike Baird announced on 5 May 2015 that the New South Wales Government will introduce legislation to retrospectively validate the ICAC's past actions. This proposed legislation would have the effect of overruling the High Court's decision which restricted the ICAC's powers to investigate private individuals.

Mr Baird's media statement stated that:

"All previous findings of corruption by ICAC should, and will, stand -- and we will introduce a Bill to that effect immediately.

While the High Court's recent decision raises important questions about the ICAC's jurisdiction for the future, it should not provide those who have done the wrong thing in the past with a loophole. We need a strong ICAC, and we will have one."

Mr Baird also announced a legal panel including the Honourable Murray Gleeson AC QC and Mr Bruce McClintock SC to review the ICAC's powers and to report back by 10 July 2015, so that a second bill can be introduced into Parliament in the latter half of the year, if necessary.

The Premier's full statement can be accessed here....

In related news, in light of the ICAC v Cunneen decision, the ICAC stated it would consent to orders sought by Travers Duncan, John McGuigan, Richard Poole and John Atkinson setting aside corrupt conduct findings against them from Operation Jasper. The ICAC did not consider that the ICAC v Cunneen decision was relevant to proceedings involving Cascade Coal which it expects to proceed to hearing on 15 June 2015.

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

Former Secretary of the Department of Parliamentary Services Carol Mills to face another Senate hearing
The Committee's interim report into the department raised a number of serious allegations and branded the department under Ms Mills' management as "deeply dysfunctional". A recent damning report by the ANAO highlighted deficiencies with the management of assets and contracts (02 May 2015) More...

Doyles Creek businessmen seek to have ICAC findings overturned
The ICAC has been hit with a fresh wave of litigation in the wake of a High Court ruling on its powers, with three more businessmen seeking to have corruption findings against them overturned. The High Court ruling in the commission and Crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen, SC, gave a more restrictive interpretation to the watchdog's powers than it had believed applied (02 May 2015) More...

Appointment to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Attorney-General, George Brandis, announces the reappointment of Ms Elizabeth Anne Shanahan as a part-time Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a period of three years (30 April 2015) 30 April 2015—Appointment to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Privacy Act's first year fosters new openness and promotes new levels of accountability.
It may have been over a year since a major overhaul of Australia's privacy laws pressured organisations to manage sensitive information better, but professional security service providers are still helping customers come to grips with the new laws (29 April 2015) More...

Privacy Commission rejects application for documents relating to Hunter steel mill project
The information and privacy commission has rejected an application for access to several documents relating to Clive Palmer's collapsed Hunter steel mill project, saying it required an unreasonable diversion of its resources The Information Commissioner says it's satisfied with that decision (29 April 2015) More...

Federal ICAC case strong, despite anti-bribery measures
Anti-corruption processes across key federal entities, led by the Australian Federal Police, have been enhanced in recent years in response to major foreign bribery cases. But no matter how good these measures are, they do little to weaken the case for a federal ICAC (27 April 2015) More...

Regional corruption prevention program to visit south coast
The ICAC will visit the state's south coast next week, as part of the Commission's program to bring anti-corruption initiatives and training to regional NSW (24 April 2015) Regional corruption prevention program to visit south coast

Court of Appeal proceedings in Duncan and others
The NSW ICAC will consent to orders sought by Travis Duncan, John McGuigan, Richard Poole and John Atkinson in the NSW Court of Appeal to set aside corrupt conduct findings made against them in Operation Jasper (23 April 2015) Court of Appeal proceedings in Duncan and others

ACMA publishes 'Royal Prank Call' investigation report
The ACMA's investigation found that Today FM breached clause 6.1 of the Commercial Radio Australia Codes of Practice and Guidelines 2011 (the Code) which prohibits the broadcast of statements by identifiable persons without their consent (22 April 2015) More...

ICAC: Public statement regarding ICAC v Cunneen - section 8(2) of the ICAC Act 1988
HCA adopted a construction of the section that had never previously been argued or accepted since the ICAC's inception. The narrow construction given to section 8(2) by the Court will substantially damage the Commission's ability to carry out its corruption investigation and corruption prevention functions (20 April 2015) Public statement regarding Cunneen v ICAC

High Court Ruling could have retrospective effect on ICAC Decisions
The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports that, based on its analysis, at least 50 findings of the ICAC in the last ten years could potentially be overturned after the High Court's ruling in Independent Commission Against Corruption v Margaret Cunneen [2015] HCA 14 (15 April 2015) SMH: At least 50 ICAC findings in doubt following High Court Cunneen ruling (26 April 2015)

In practice and courts

14 April 2015: Supplementary Submission on redress and civil litigation issues
Supplementary submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse More...

NSW Law reform Commission: Statutory provisions on dispute resolution
Consultation paper released 23 April 2014. Submissions received in response to CP16 can be viewed here. This Consultation Paper (CP16) was released on 23 April 2014 and provides an overview of the statutory provisions for dispute resolution. It asks what provisions are appropriate in the variety of contexts which the existing provisions cover

ICAC prosecution outcomes and updates
Tables featuring information on ICAC-related prosecutions and briefs with the DPP, last updated Friday 24 April 2015 ICAC prosecution outcomes and updates

New NCAT Online services URL
NCAT's online services URL has now changed to (25 April 2015) New NCAT Online services URL

Published – articles, papers, reports

Lockouts and last drinks: the impact of the January 2014 liquor licence reforms on assaults in NSW, Australia
NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research; Patricia Menendeza et al
This study finds that the January 2014 reforms appear to have reduced the incidence of assault in the Kings Cross and CBD entertainment precincts (16 April 2015) Lockouts and last drinks: the impact of the January 2014 liquor licence reforms on assaults in NSW, Australia

NSW Sentencing Bench Book: Release 30 (23 April 2015)


Timmins and Attorney-General's Department [2015] AICmr 32
Freedom of information — Scope of FOI request — Whether attachments to a requested document fall within the scope of the FOI request — Whether document contains deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt document — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 4, 11A(5), 15, 47C More...

'FM' and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade [2015] AICmr 31
Freedom of Information — Whether material in documents irrelevant to request – Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — Whether disclosure would cause damage to international relations of the Commonwealth — Whether disclosure would divulge information communicated in confidence by a foreign government — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 22, 24A, 33 More...

'FL' and Department of Human Services [2015] AICmr 30
Freedom of Information — Whether reasonable steps taken to locate documents — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative process — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A, 24A, 47C, 47E, 47F More...

'FJ' and Department of Immigration and Border Protection [2015] AICmr 29
Freedom of Information —Whether disclosure of document would prejudice lawful methods or procedures – Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable and contrary to the public interest – (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 37, 47F More...

Harbour Radio Pty Limited v Australian Communications and Media Authority [2015] FCA 371
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – application for judicial review – decisions by the Australian Communications and Media Authority ("ACMA") to investigate complaints under s 170 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth) ("the Act") – whether s 170 of the Act permitted ACMA to investigate a complaint under the Commercial Radio Australia Codes of Practice – whether a valid complaint made pursuant to s 148 of the Act More...

Forgall Pty Ltd v Greater Taree City Council [2015] NSWLEC 61
APPEAL – appeal against Commissioner's decision on a question of law – refusal of development application because development not consistent with zone objectives and prohibited – whether Commissioner denied appellant procedural fairness – failure by appellant to adduce sufficient evidence to establish development's consistency with zone objectives and permissibility – absence of a final landscaping plan – Commissioner did not determine matter on issues not raised by parties – Commissioner not obliged to give notice that absence of final landscaping plan amounted to insufficient evidence – failure by appellant to adduce further evidence did not give rise to failure by Commissioner to afford procedural fairness – finding by Commissioner that Aboriginal cultural heritage report inadequate not determinative of Commissioner's decision – failure to notify appellant that report inadequate did not give rise to failure by Commissioner to afford procedural fairness More...

Commissioner of Police, NSW Police Force v Barrett [2015] NSWCATAP 68
GOVERNMENT INFORMATION (PUBLIC ACCESS) – access application – substantially refused on various statutory grounds – review by Tribunal – agency decisions set aside as to part, remitted as to remainder – Appeal by agency – whether power to substitute a new decision after review application filed – decisions to refuse to confirm or deny existence of documents (s 58(1)(f)) - whether agency obliged to give reasons for such a refusal – approach to review of such decisions –review of refusal decisions (s 58(1)(d)) – appeal allowed. Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, s 58 (1)(b); s 58(1)(d); s 58(1)(f). More...

BKM v Sydney Local Health District [2015] NSWCATAD 87
Administrative Review – Privacy jurisdiction of Tribunal – powers of Tribunal upon review – nature of review – review of conduct – power of Tribunal to make orders to address systemic issues More...

Ward v NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages [2015] NSWCATAD 86
Administrative Review - Deaths Registration –- application to amend the register – power to amend – Tribunal not satisfied that proposed change is in conformity with the most reliable information about the registerable event – decision of Registrar affirmed More...

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.

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Christine Jones
Kim Nguyen
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