In Friends of King Edward Park Inc v Newcastle City Council (No 2)  NSWLEC 76 (Friends of KE), the NSW Land and Environment Court (LEC), found that a development consent granted for a function centre on land reserved for public recreation was invalid. The LEC has also confirmed that land reserved for "public recreation" must not be developed for a purpose which generally excludes the public.
Key lessons for government
The case highlights for decision makers the importance of ensuring that there is sufficient documentary evidence to demonstrate that all mandatory considerations have been taken into account when exercising functions and making decisions. This is particularly important where the decision is contentious and likely to be the subject of judicial review proceedings.
Click here... to read more in our case note on Friends of KE.
In other news, the NSW government's legislative response to the decision of the High Court in ICAC v Cunneen has passed both houses. The Independent Commission Against Corruption Amendment (Validation) Act 2015 (NSW), which validates findings and activities of the Commission of the type the High Court has found to be outside the Commission's powers, is subject of a challenge by Travers Duncan.
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In the media
Travers Duncan asks High Court to strike down ICAC
The High Court has been asked to strike down retrospective laws passed by the NSW Parliament to validate a swath of corruption findings, in the latest front in a legal battle against the Independent Commission Against Corruption (18 May 2015) More...
Baird's plan to decide future of ICAC
The Coalition government passed a bill to review theIndependent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and determine its jurisdiction following a high court ruling that the commission would not be allowed to investigate Crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen. The panel will report on ICAC's jurisdiction, its appropriate powers, and consider whether any limits or extra powers should be applied to the Commission (14 May 2015) More...
James Packer's Crown could face legal challenge over
Barangaroo, Echo Entertainment says
Echo said a social impact assessment would help to gain an overall environmental view of Crown's proposal and included a legal assessment that said the modifications "would be open to judicial review proceedings in Class 4 of the Land and Environment Court's jurisdiction" (12 May 2015) More...
NSW contaminated in comparison to Victoria, says
minister on corruption
Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings says it is important to balance the pursuit of corruption against the protection of individual rights and privacy, describing NSW politics and government as more "contaminated". Mr Jennings is reviewing the entire integrity system, including IBAC, the Ombudsman and Auditor-General, freedom of information, and political donations (12 May 2015) More...
Commissioner seeks change to privacy act
The Privacy Commissioner, Elizabeth Coombs has called for amendments to the State's privacy laws to provide better protections for individuals and assist public sector Agencies in applying the laws (13 May 2015) More...
The Privacy Commissioner's full report can be found at this PS News link.
Hunter businessmen take legal action against the
Several Hunter Valley businessmen are the latest to challenge corruption findings, at a time when the Government's moving to ensure the Independent Commission Against Corruption's previous findings stand (11 May 2015) More...
NSW uses Open Data to name and shame shonky
The state's Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Victor Dominello, is now compelling the consumer watchdog to finally publish its full complaints statistics as part of the Baird government's concerted open data push (07 May 2015) More... See NSW to release consumer complaints data
NSW ICAC findings to stand after Parliament passes
New laws that validate past findings of the New South Wales ICAC have come into effect after a swift passage through Parliament overnight. The legislation protects the corruption watchdog's actions to date in current inquiries, including the Australian Water Holdings and Liberal political donations scandals (07 May 2015) More...
New South Wales joins Commonwealth-State efforts to
tackle child exploitation
Child protection officers from New South Wales Police Force and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) will join together to target those who prey on the youngest and most vulnerable members of our society with the establishment of a Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET) and an education program about keeping children safe online (06 May 2015) 6 May 2015—New South Wales joins Commonwealth-State efforts to tackle child exploitation
Baird promises laws to protect old ICAC findings, orders
The Mike Baird government in NSW has vowed to rush through special new legislation to protect previous findings of corruption made by the state's ICAC to head off legal action by targets named and shamed by the watchdog. The recent High Court decision questions the extent of what ICAC could probe and the legal definition of corrupt conduct (05 May 2015) More...
In practice and courts
NCAT Communications Strategy 2015-2018
To raise awareness and understanding about NCAT and to promote and maintain confidence in its role in the NSW civil justice system (04 May 2015)
NCAT Communications Strategy 2015-2018
ICAC: Public inquiry into allegations concerning NSW
Rural Fire Service catering supply and other matters
The ICAC will hold a public inquiry starting on 1 June 2015 as part of an investigation it is conducting into allegations concerning alleged corrupt payments related to the supply of catering and other products to the NSW Rural Fire Service(Operation Vika) (11 May 2015)
Public inquiry into allegations concerning NSW Rural Fire Service catering supply and other matters
Commonwealth High Court: Public Lecture
The High Court has announced that it will hold a public lecture titled Magna Carta and the Development of the Common Law to be held on 13 May 2015 in Canberra. Registrations for the event can be made by using the online form by 4 May 2015.
Further information from the High Court
Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference:
The fifth Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference (APSACC) will be held 17 to 19 November 2015 at the Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre, South Bank. More...
Published – articles, papers, reports
Domestic and Family Violence
NSW Parliamentary Research Service May 2015 Briefing Paper No 5/2015
As shown by recent policy reform in NSW, and the completion or commencement of several inquiries into the issue, domestic and family violence is firmly on the agenda of policy formulation and public debate in Australia Domestic and Family Violence
ICAC v Cunneen: the power to investigate corrupt
NSW Parliamentary Research Service May 2015 e-brief 3 / 2015
The decision in ICAC v Cunneen presents an opportunity for a thorough reconsideration of the appropriate scope and nature of the Commission's powers
ICAC v Cunneen: the power to investigate corrupt conduct
Report of the Privacy Commissioner under Section 61B of
the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act
How well has the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 been operating and what challenges are posed to NSW's privacy regime? The Privacy Commissioner's full report can be found at this PS News link.
Tebbutt v Minister for Lands and Water  NSWCATAD
GOVERNMENT INFORMATION - Conclusive presumption of overriding public interest against disclosure – Information that would be privileged from production on the ground of client legal privilege – Meaning of "client" – Whether a Minister is the State for the purposes of the definition of "client" in the Evidence Act 1995 GOVERNMENT INFORMATION - Conclusive presumption of overriding public interest against disclosure – Information subject to parliamentary privilege – Scope of parliamentary privilege - Whether information in house notes prepared for a standing committee is subject to parliamentary privilege More...
Rumble v Liverpool Plains Shire Council  NSWCA
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – whether laws establishing local councils invalid – The Municipal Council of Sydney v The Commonwealth (1904) 1 CLR 208 applied JUDGMENTS AND ORDERS – effect of orders of superior court of record – contempt of court – whether variation of substantive order on appeal affects contempt of court – State of New South Wales v Kable  HCA 26; 252 CLR 118 applied LOCAL GOVERNMENT – powers of councils – whether council has power to constrain unlawful use of land More...
Adrenaline Pty Ltd v Bathurst Regional Council 
APPEALS - notice of contention - whether respondent permitted to raise defences not run at trial - Council not permitted to run defences of causation or change of position STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION - multiple sources of power - where some sources of power expressly qualified - Anthony Hordern principle - relevance of belief of Council officers - relevance of text and structure of Act More...
Tyson v Director-General, Department of Finance and
Services, NSW Fair Trading  NSWCATOD 45
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - administrative review of decision to refuse the applicant's application for a supervisor certificate – applicant an undischarged bankrupt – applicant a director of an externally-administered company that was voluntarily wound up - whether applicant took all reasonable steps to avoid bankruptcy – whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to be issued with a supervisor certificate – application of relevant home building legislation. More...
Minister for Resources and Energy v Gold and Copper
Resources Pty Ltd  NSWCA 113
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – judicial review sought by the Minister of an order made by the Land and Environment Court under UCPR r 59.9(4) requiring the Minister provide reasons for a decision – the order was made despite the Court striking out the sole ground of review of the Minister's decision – effect of striking out a ground as an abuse of process – whether the Land and Environment Court had power to order the Minister to provide reasons – whether, assuming power, the Court's discretion miscarried – whether the proceedings in the Land and Environment Court should have been dismissed More...
Independent Commission Against Corruption Amendment (Validation)
Assented 6 May 2015 - Act No 1 of 2015. Second reading speech on 6 May 2015. An Act to amend the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 to validate certain previous actions of the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Courts and Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2015
Assented 15 May 2015 - Act No 2 of 2015. Second reading speech on 6 May 2015. According to the explanatory note, the objectives of the Bill are to:
amend the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 No. 2 (NSW) to make further provision with respect to the powers of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) with respect to the representation of parties to proceedings;
amend the Guardianship Act 1987 No. 257 (NSW) to confer additional powers on the Tribunal in connection with the determination of proceedings under that Act; and
amend the Oaths Act 1900 No. 20 (NSW), to enable justices of the peace to witness certain interstate and Commonwealth oaths, affidavits and statutory declarations; and
amend the NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009 No. 49 (NSW), to enable the Mental Health Review Tribunal to revoke financial management orders made under the Act in respect of certain current or former patients admitted to mental health facilities.
Crimes Legislation Amendment (Child Sex Offences) Bill
Amends penalties and Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 to establish standard non-parole periods for various child sex offences under the Crimes Act 1900
Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal Amendment (Accredited State Water Regulator) Bill 2015 Legislative Council 12/5/2015 Introduced and read a first time. This Bill is for an Act to amend the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal Act 1992 to enable the Tribunal to approve or determine charges for the provision of certain water infrastructure services
Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Supreme Court (Amendment No 428) Rule 2015 (2015-193) — published LW 8 May 2015 The objects of this Rule are to clarify the documents that must accompany an application for the resealing of a foreign grant and to correct certain terminology.
Uniform Civil Procedure (Amendment No 71) Rule 2015 (2015-194) — published LW 8 May 2015 The object of this Rule is to provide that a defendant to an appeal who objects to the competency of the appeal is required to file a notice of motion for an order dismissing the appeal as incompetent.
Uniform Civil Procedure (Amendment No 72) Rule 2015 (2015-195) — published LW 8 May 2015 The object of this Rule is to allow a notice of proposed dismissal of proceedings in the Supreme Court or the Land and Environment Court to be served by email, instead of by post only, following 5 months in which no party has taken any step in the proceedings.
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.