Australia: NSW Government Bulletin – 17 May 2017

Last Updated: 19 May 2017
Article by Christine Jones and Kim Nguyen
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is currently investigating allegations of fraud and corruption against Eman Sharobeem in 'Operation Tarlo'. The ICAC's public inquiry commenced on 1 May 2017.

The allegations relate to Ms Sharobeem's roles as CEO of the Immigrant Women's Health Service (IWHS), a not-for profit government organisation primarily funded by NSW Heath and Non-English Speaking Women's Housing Scheme (NESH), a not-for profit government organisation funded by the Department of Family and Community Services.

The allegations include that Ms Sharobeem:

  • Using false academic qualifications, obtained appointments as board member of the Community Relations Commission (now Multicultural NSW) and the Anti-Discrimination Board (now part of the Department of Justice);
  • Submitted invoices for reimbursements where she was not entitled to at IWHS and used an IWHS credit card for personal expenses;
  • Submitted and approved false invoices for payment at IWHS including for renovations over a property she owned in Fairfield and for services e.g. facilitation fees;
  • Authorised payments from NESH to be made to her, where she was not entitled to; and
  • Falsified IWHS statistics.

Recap of public inquiry on 15 May 2017

During the public inquiry on 15 May 2017, evidence was given by Ms Sharobeem that she used the name "Emma Adly" on forms to collect facilitator fees so as not to be identified by staff and used the names "Rachie Kakel" and "Rachel Kamol" on forms as an alias for her son Richard Sharobeem. In relation to her sons, Ms Sharobeem provided evidence that "I just didn't want the staff to know that my kids were employed at that time or doing any paid work for the organisation, but the work was delivered."

Ms Sharobeem was also questioned about her practice of cutting up receipts so that the bookkeeper could not see what the receipts related to and her submitting receipts for personal items/services for reimbursement including a dishwasher, fridge, dryer, multiple eye glasses and services obtained at a cosmetic clinic.

Following the lunch break, Mr Sharobeem's barrister sought an adjournment of the inquiry based on Ms Sharobeem's health and condition and stated that Ms Sharobeem was not in a position to continue to give evidence in the afternoon.

The Commissioner therefore adjourned the public inquiry and the inquiry will recommence on 13 June 2017.

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In the media

Ex-Labor boss found guilty of inappropriately using electoral roll
Former NSW secretary Jamie Clements may be fined up to $22,000 after being found guilty of using electoral roll information for an unauthorised purpose (12 May 2017). More...

Law Review to Review Trust Beneficiary Liability
Attorney General Mark Speakman has asked the NSW Law Reform Commission to review important aspects of the state's laws relating to the liability of beneficiaries of trusts. The NSW Law Reform Commission is due to report to the State Government by 30 April 2018 (11 May 2017). More... More...

New Judge for the District Court and Dust Diseases Tribunal
Attorney General Mark Speakman today announced the appointment of barrister David Russell SC as a judge of the District Court and the Dust Diseases Tribunal of NSW. Mr Russell will be sworn in as a judge of the District Court and the Dust Diseases Tribunal on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 (11 May 2017). More...

NSW Announces Big Justices Reform Measures
In a joint Media Release headed "Tough and Smart Justice Reforms Delivering Safer Communities" dated 9 May 2017, the Attorney General, Mark Speakman, the Minister for Police, Troy Grant, and the Minister for Corrections, David Elliott, promised a series of tougher and smarter justice reforms that will according to the NSW Government: (11 May 2017) More... More...

Broadcast and Content Reform Package
The Government will introduce a comprehensive package of reforms that will support Australia's broadcast sector. This will reduce the exposure of children to gambling advertising and ensure the creation of high quality Australian and children's content (May 2017). More...

Wind farm company sued over bushfire caused by electrocuted crow
The owners of a wind farm near Canberra are being sued for sparking a catastrophic bushfire in January, in what is believed to be the first class action of its type in Australia. Both wind farms, the power line and substation are owned and operated by Infigen Energy (04 May 2017). More...

New CEO for Legal Aid NSW
Legal Aid NSW has welcomed its first Aboriginal Chief Executive Officer with the appointment of Brendan Thomas, the current Deputy Secretary of the Department of Justice (04 May 2017). More...

Appointment of the Commonwealth Ombudsman
The Government has today announced the appointment of Mr Michael Manthorpe PSM as the Commonwealth Ombudsman. Mr Manthorpe's appointment is for a period of five years commencing on 8 May 2017 (03 May 2017). More...

Identity of NSW council's code of conduct complainant to remain undisclosed
An attempt to reveal the identity of a councillor who cost Orange City Council $26,460 to investigate code of conduct complaints through statutory declarations has hit a roadblock (01 May 2017). More...

Highest NSW prison population in 20 years
The latest Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research statistics show a 13 per cent increase in NSW's jails over the past two years, with 12,995 prisoners recorded as of March this year - and that doesn't include those held in police cells (01 May 2017). More...

In practice and courts

OAIC: Updated guidance on 'personal information'
The OAIC has developed a more detailed resource on applying the definition of personal information, to complement existing APP Guidelines. While in many cases, whether or not information is personal information is a straightforward question, in some cases the answer will depend on context and circumstances at hand. The new What is personal information? guide is an important resource for privacy professionals, and one that reflects the most up-to-date decisions of Australian courts (05 May 2017). More...

OAIC Independent review: Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is currently tendering for the following aspects of the independent review of the Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014. The consultation strategy does not necessarily need to take a two stage approach to consultation. The closing date is May 2017. More...

OAIC: Data + Privacy Asia Pacific Conference 2017
Privacy and data protection regulators from across the Asia Pacific region will join Australian industry leaders and data experts for the Data + Privacy Asia Pacific Conference in Sydney on 12 July this year. More...

AAT: Time limit – Applications for review of protection (refugee) visa decisions
The Federal Circuit Court recently decided that the first day of the time period for lodging an application for review of a protection (refugee) visa decision in the Migration & Refugee Division is the day the applicant was notified of the decision: DZAFH v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2017] FCCA 387. This means the time period of 28 days (or 7 working days for applicants in immigration detention) includes the day the applicant was notified of the decision (02 May 2017).

AAT Bulletin
The AAT Bulletin is a weekly publication containing a list of recent AAT decisions and information relating to appeals against AAT decisions. Issue No. 19/2017, 08 May 2017 | Issue No. 18/2017, 01 May 2017

Law Council of Australia Submissions

08 May 2017 Amendments to the foreign bribery offence

03 May 2017 Criminal Code Amendment (Protecting Minors Online) Bill 2017

COAT National Conference, 8 - 9 June 2017
COAT National conference will be held in conjunction with the COAT NSW Conference in Sydney on 8 & 9 June 2017. More...

New South Wales

NSW IPC: Information Commissioner releases UNSW Law research report on global Open Data enablers

NSW Justice: Privacy Month How Healthy is Your Privacy
This year, Acting NSW Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Coombs marked the start of Privacy Awareness Month by releasing new animations and posters to help people understand their rights under NSW privacy legislation (01 May 2017). More...

BOSCAR Publications
NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly update March 2017 (released 01 May 2017).

NSW Law Society Submissions
Deferred Prosecution Agreement Scheme Consultation Paper (May 2017).

ICAC: Operation Tarlo witness list
Witness list for the Operation Tarlo public inquiry, last updated 11 May 2017. Please note that witness lists are subject to change. This public inquiry is expected to adjourn on 15 May 2017, and recommence on Tuesday 13 June 2017. Please note that witness lists are subject to change. More...

ICAC: Prosecution briefs with the DPP and outcomes
Tables showing outcomes of ICAC-related prosecutions and briefs with the Director of Public Prosecutions. Updated 12 May 2017. More...

ICAC: public inquiry into corruption allegations concerning former Immigrant Women's Health Service CEO (Operation Tarlo)
The ICAC will hold a public inquiry commencing on Monday 1 May 2017 as part of an investigation it is conducting into corruption allegations concerning Eman Sharobeem, the former chief executive officer (CEO) of the Immigrant Women's Health Service (IWHS) and the Non-English Speaking Housing Women's Scheme Inc (NESH). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

The NSW prison population simulation model: a policy analysis tool
Nick Halloran, Ewan Watson, Don Weatherburn; NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research: 8 May 2017
This study finds that it is feasible to build a simple model of the prison system which is easy to maintain, but nonetheless useful, in analysing the likely consequences of changes in arrest, bail and sentencing policy. More...

Data availability and use: inquiry report
Productivity Commission: 8 May 2017
This report offers guidance on where the benefits of greater data use may be most evident, and ways that governments might engage with the public to generate community understanding of the costs, risks, and benefits associated with data sharing and use. More...

Cyber information sharing: lessons for Australia
Liam Nevill; Australian Strategic Policy Institute: 4 May 2017
This paper offers recommendations for the development of Australia's national cyber information sharing system. More...

Forecasting trial delay in the NSW District Criminal Court: an update
Wai-Yin Wan, Don Weatherburn; NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research: 1 May 2017
This study finds that changes in the number of pending trial cases can be used to forecast changes in the time taken to finalise criminal cases in the NSW District Criminal Court. More...

Cases

EK Constructions Pty Ltd v Zhu [2017] NSWCATAP 102

STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION – Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) s 18D(1A) – residential building work - right of non-contracting owner to claim for breach of statutory warranty. EVIDENCE – expert evidence – Tribunal gave expert evidence little or no weight – whether breach of procedural fairness.

Barron v Ban [2017] NSWCATAP 103

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal – appeal – no error of law –leave to appeal – whether serious miscarriage of justice because decision not fair and equitable – no miscarriage of justice from the way case conducted or decided. AUSTRALIAN CONSUMER LAW – consumer guarantees – acceptable quality.

Campbell v AAI Limited t/as GIO [2017] NSWSC 560

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – judicial review – reasons for grant of orders – decision of proper officer of Motor Accidents Authority/State Insurance Regulatory Authority – additional relevant information – refusal to address statement – denial of procedural fairness – decision based on no probative material – error of law.

Shahin Enterprises Pty Ltd and Ors and Department of Education and Training (Freedom of information) [2017] AICmr 38

Freedom of Information — Access grant — Whether disclosure would disclose trade secrets or commercially valuable information — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect an organisation in respect of its lawful business affairs — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 47(1), 47G.

'LG' and Department of Human Services (Freedom of information) [2017] AICmr 37

Freedom of Information — Whether disclosure would disclose the existence or identity of a confidential source of information — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 s 37(1)(b).

Neary v Commissioner of Police, NSW Police force [2017] NSWCATAD 142

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – application for access to documents concerning a controlled operation conducted by police under the Law Enforcement (Controlled Operations) Act 1997 – whether public interest against disclosure outweighs public interest in favour of disclosure.

Legislation

New South Wales

Bills introduced Government – week ending 05 May 2017

Civil Liability (Third Party Claims Against Insurers) Bill 2017

Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017

Bills - introduced Government – week ending 12 May 2017

Liquor Amendment (Reviews) Bill 2017

Bills - introduced Non-Government – week ending 12 May 2017

Local Government Amendment (Amalgamation Referendums) Bill 2017

Bills assented to

Tattoo Parlours Amendment Act 2017 No 14 — Assented to 09 May 2017

Security Industry Amendment Act 2017 No 16 — Assented to 09 May 2017

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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Authors
Christine Jones
Kim Nguyen
 
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