Australia: NSW Government Bulletin - 15 July 2015

Last Updated: 21 July 2015
Article by Sylvia Fernandez, Christine Jones and Kim Nguyen

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

On 1 July 2015, the NSW Information Commissioner and CEO of the NSW Information and Privacy Commission (IPC), Elizabeth Tydd launched a new IPC GIPA Tool. The media release can be accessed here.

The new GIPA Tool is a free cloud based tool, which assists agencies and organisations regulated by the GIPA Act with their case management and reporting obligations. An agency is defined within the GIPA Act to include public service agencies, Ministers, public authorities (including the NSW Police Force, teaching service and a state owned corporation), public offices, local councils and courts.

Section 125 of the GIPA Act provides that:

  • each agency must within 4 months after each reporting year, prepare an annual report on the agency's obligations under the GIPA Act, for submission to the Minister responsible for the agency
  • each Minister must on or before 31 August annually, provide the Minister administering the Act with information concerning the Minister's obligations as an agency under the Act
  • the Minister administering the GIPA Act must, on or before 31 December each year, prepare an annual report on the obligations of each Minister as an agency under the GIPA Act. The Information Commissioner is to be provided with a copy of this report.

Users of the pre existing GIPA Tool (managed by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS)) will need to use the new GIPA Tool for new cases from 1 July 2015. The pre existing GIPA Tool will continue to operate until 30 September 2015, after which it will not be accessible.

The new GIPA Tool is promoted as an important step in streamlining and simplifying case management and reporting obligations of agencies.

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

Public losing faith in laws meant to ensure access to government information
Most prominently, Baird oversaw new rules for lobbyists and the periodic publication of ministerial diary extracts. Yet there remains a glaring transparency issue ripe for reform in NSW (10 July 2015). More...

NSW to revisit legal protection for personal privacy
The NSW parliament's law and justice committee has begun a fresh inquiry into the long-debated need for legal measures that would let Australians sue over serious breaches of their privacy (06 July 2015). More...

Opinion: The trouble with 'independence' in statutory authorities and other government bodies
'Independence' in parliamentary government is rarely the simple matter it is often presented to be. The law is an important, indeed essential, foundation for any statutory official working out, usually iteratively, a framework for relations with the responsible minister, the government, the Parliament and its numerous committees (06 July 2015). More...

Strengthening Legal Advice to the Commonwealth
Today the Australian Government completed the consolidation of the Australian Government Solicitor into the Attorney-General's Department. The Judiciary Amendment Act 2015 supports the consolidation by ensuring that there is minimal disruption to the operations of AGS and that it maintains its independent functional identity and name. (01 July 2015). More...

New era for legal services in NSW and Victoria
NSW Attorney General Gabrielle Upton today welcomed the start of reform which harmonise regulation and create a seamless legal services market across NSW and Victoria. This will deliver benefits to lawyers, law firms, businesses and most importantly consumers (01 July 2015). More...

Victoria And NSW Take First Step Towards A National Legal Scheme
With 70 per cent of Australia's lawyers operating in Victoria and New South Wales, the alignment will make it simpler for lawyers to do business across state borders, make Australia more accessible to international legal services markets, and improve protections for clients (01 July 2015). More...

New National Partnership on legal assistance services
Attorney-General, George Brandis, said a new five year national partnership agreement on legal assistance services delivers $1.3 billion of Commonwealth funding for legal aid commissions and community legal centres. This is the first time Commonwealth funding for community legal centres has been included in a national partnership agreement (01 July 2015). More...

Milestone Amalgamation of key Commonwealth merits review tribunals
Attorney-General, George Brandis welcomes the most significant reform to Commonwealth administrative law in 40 years; the amalgamation of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and the Migration Review Tribunal Refugee Review Tribunal into a single body, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (01 July 2015). More...

NSW Information Commissioner launches new approach to improving efficiency in information access for citizens
NSW Information Commissioner and CEO of the NSW IPC have launched the new IPC GIPA Tool, a new case management and reporting system developed for agencies and other organisations that are regulated by NSW's Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) (01 July 2015). More...

In practice and courts

NSW IPA: GIPA Tool July 2015
The IPC GIPA Tool is a free cloud based and fully supported internet based application. It assists all agencies and organisations regulated by the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) to comply with the legislation when processing and reporting on government information access applications (01 July 2015). More...

NSWS Land and Environment Court - Court Announcements
The Land and Environment Court (LEC) has made announcements on the following dates: 29 June 2015 - Timothy Moore has been sworn in as an acting Judge of the LEC for the period 24 June - 18 December 2015; and Graham Brown has been appointed as acting Senior Commissioner for the LEC for the period 24 June - 18 December 2015. 3 July 2015 - From 1 July 2015, local councils will be charged a corporation fee when lodging documents. More...

ICAC: Public inquiry into corruption allegations concerning Department of Justice courthouse refurbishment contracts
The public inquiry held as part of the Commission's investigation into corruption allegations concerning the abuse of procurement processes by a Department of Justice Asset Management Branch senior officer in awarding contracts to refurbish NSW courthouses in 2013 is adjourned (03 July 2015). More...

NSW Parliament: in Committees July 2015

What's new

Research Paper - Right to farm laws

Research Paper - Uber and Airbnb: the legal and policy debate in NSW

Inquiries receiving submissions

Inquiry into the 2015 NSW state election , closes 24 August.

Inquiry into Remedies for the serious invasion of privacy in New South Wales, closes 4 September.

Inquiry into Reparations for the Stolen Generations in New South Wales, closes 27 September.

NSW NCAT release

NCAT Legal Bulletin Issue 2 of 2015 now available (30 June 2015)

COAT NSW Annual Conference

Friday 28 August 2015 - Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney, to cover improving your ability to question witnesses. More...

JUDCOM July Publications

Equality before the Law Bench Book: Update 9 Jul 06, 2015

Sexual Assault Trials Handbook: Update 16 Jul 08, 2015

Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference: APSACC 2015
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...

Judicial Independence in Australia Conference - 10-11 July, Brisbane
Mr Fryberg will chair a session at UQ's TC Beirne School of Law that will cover issues such as judicial independence, criticism of judges, and law in the era of social media and debate controversies and challenges to the principle at federal, state and territory levels. More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Government at a glance 2015: OECD iLibrary Provides a dashboard of key indicators assembled with the goal of contributing to the analysis and international comparison of public sector performance (07 July 2015). More...


Huntley v State of NSW, Department of Police and Justice (Corrective Services NSW) [2015] FCCA 1827
HUMAN RIGHTS – Disability discrimination – whether respondent failed to provide reasonable adjustments – whether applicant was unable to perform inherent requirements of the employment position – whether respondent breached terms of employment contract. Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth), ss.46PH, 46PO. More...

Environment Protection Authority v Riverina Australia Pty Ltd [2015] NSWCCA 165
CRIMINAL LAW – Appeal - Questions of law referred to Court of Criminal Appeal from Land and Environment Court of New South Wales – LEC proceedings stayed pending outcome - Appellant commenced prosecution of respondent in LEC for water pollution under Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 – Summons identified 'manner of contravention' as either specified instance of pollution or arising from s 257(1) of the Act – Whether summons bad for duplicity – Whether s 257(1) negated need to provide particulars of pollution by occupier of premises – CRIMINAL PLEADING – Held that summons was bad for duplicity – Unclear whether prosecutor relied upon contravention specified or some other contravention in relation to s 257(1) – s 257(1) relates to proving liability for contravention – s 257(1) is evidentiary – the section only obviates need to prove identity of offender and facilitates proof of causation – the occupier of premises at and from which pollution occurs is taken to have caused the pollution unless matters specified in s 257(1)(a), (b) and (c) are proved – particulars as to act of pollution alleged to have occurred still required - Prosecutor relying on s 257(1) must prove that pollution occurred and how – Appeal dismissed. More...

Housing NSW v Hamilton [2015] NSWCATAP 136
CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL — scope of Tribunal's power to make orders under Residential Tenancies Act 2010 — parameters of "ancillary orders" under s 188(c) of Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW) WORDS AND PHRASES — meaning of word "compensation" in s 187(1)(d) of Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW) PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE — remittal of proceedings — whether Tribunal should be differently constituted. More...

ALZ v WorkCover NSW [2015] NSWCATAP 138
PRIVACY – Health Information – Complaint by employee to regulatory agency alleging bullying - agency obtained medical report about complainant from complainant's employer without notice to complainant –whether that conduct and subsequent use and other action compliant with Health Privacy Principles – Appeal by review applicant against Tribunal findings of non-contravention – Tribunal finding set aside in relation to compliance with Health Privacy Principle 6 – Finding of contravention entered – otherwise appeal dismissed. Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002, Health Privacy Principles 1, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11. More...

APV and APW v Department of Family and Community Services [2015] NSWCATAD 140
Privacy – DRIVES database – suspicion of fraud Damages – nexus with conduct required. More...

A J Holdings (NSW) Pty Ltd v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue [2015] NSWCATAD 143
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW), s 60 – application for costs – whether special circumstances warrant an order for costs - TAXES & DUTIES – Gaming Machine Tax Act 2001 (NSW). More...

Nicolaou v State of New South Wales (NSW Police Force) [2015] NSWCATAD 142
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION –complaints of race discrimination and victimisation declined as lacking in substance – whether fair and just for complaints to proceed. More...

Murphy v Broken Hill City Council [2015] NSWCATAD 135
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW- access to information- whether overriding public interest against disclosure- competitive neutrality- whether an agency function-competitive commercial value-commercial-in-confidence-supply of confidential information-ability to manage the economy- reveal a deliberation of agency. More...

BDK v Department of Education and Communities [2015] NSWCATAP 129
PRIVACY – Application to Amend Personal Information held by Agency – Respondents application for summary dismissal granted because the proceedings were vexatious – Interlocutory appeal - Leave granted - Whether Tribunal's decision to hear application on the papers denied procedural fairness – whether Tribunal complied with pre-condition in relation to giving parties the opportunity to make submissions in relation to that decision - Whether reasons for decision adequate if there is a lack of reference to appellants submissions – Meaning of 'vexatious' – exercise of an available legal right - predominant purpose that is ulterior – Appeal dismissed. Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998, s 15; Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013, s 50(2), s 50(3); s 55(1)(b). More...



Notice of assent to legislation – NSW
The following NSW Bills received Royal Assent on 29 June 2015: Appropriation Bill 2015 - Act No 9 of 2015; Appropriation (Parliament) Bill 2015 - Act No 10 of 2015; Appropriation (Budget Variations) Bill 2015 - Act No 11 of 2015. Crimes Legislation Amendment (Child Sex Offences) Bill 2015 - Act No 13 of 2015; Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 No. 15 (NSW) According to the explanatory note, the objectives of the Act are to: amend certain other Acts and instruments for the purpose of effecting statute law revision; amend certain Acts to enable the repeal of certain regulations, by transferring into those Acts provisions of the regulations to be repealed that are of possible ongoing effect including:
Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 No. 2 (NSW); Council of Law Reporting Act 1969 No. 59 (NSW); Crown Advocate Act 1979 No. 59 (NSW); Crown Prosecutions Act 1986 No. 208 (NSW); District Court Rules 1973 No. 1 (NSW); Land and Environment Court Act 1979 No. 204 (NSW); Law and Justice Foundation Act 2000 No. 97 (NSW); Public Defenders Act 1995 No. 28 (NSW); Solicitor General Act 1969 No. 80 (NSW);Supreme Court (Corporations) Rules 1999 No. 703 (NSW); Supreme Court Act 1970 No. 52 (NSW); and Supreme Court Rules 1970 No. 1 (NSW). The Public Health (Tobacco) Amendment (E-cigarettes) Bill 2015 received Royal Assent on 30 June 2015 - Act No 16 of 2015. More...

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Uniform Civil Procedure (Amendment No 73) Rule 2015 (2015-371) — published LW 10 July 2015

Uniform Civil Procedure (Amendment No 74) Rule 2015 (2015-372) — published LW 10 July 2015

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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