Australia: Queensland Government bulletin - 22 August 2017

In the media

Report on Justice System released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Commission) released its report on 14 August 2017, titled 'Criminal Justice'. The report focuses on recommendations to improve the criminal justice system and responses to victims by the police and courts (16 August 2017). More...

Modern slavery consultation
The first step is an extensive consultation period with industry on the Government's Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement discussion paper. This consultation, in conjunction with the inquiry, will help determine the final content of the proposed legislation to combat modern slavery, something which should no longer exist in today's world (16 August 2017). More...

Crackdown on money laundering and terrorism financing
The Coalition Government has today announced the first stage of reforms to strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act and increase the powers of the AUSTRAC. The reforms implement the first phase of the recommendations of the Statutory Review of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act (17 August 2017). More...

Requiring business to report on anti-slavery efforts a historic step in addressing modern scourge
Plans for a new legal requirement for large Australian companies to report on measures they are taking to combat slavery is a momentous step along the path to an appropriately comprehensive anti-slavery regime, according to the Law Council of Australia (16 August 2017). More...

Watchdog points finger at Border Force
The Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) has warned members of the Australian Border Force (ABF) to be vigilant in their work, which it says is of interest to organised crime gangs and other criminals (15 August 2017). More...

Taxpayers warned to cover their assets
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is warning that personal information such as tax file numbers, bank account numbers and dates of birth should be kept secure. Assistant Taxation Commissioner Kath Anderson said more than 1,000 taxpayers reported their personal information had been compromised in June, up by 26 per cent from May (15 August 2017). More...

Anti-social salute for social media guide
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has raised what it terms are 'strong objections' against measures in the Australian Public Service Commission's (APSC) updated guide for dealing with social media. According to APSC Commissioner, John Lloyd, the consultation indicated that the policy settings did not need to change, but that current obligations were not well understood by employees. According to the CPSU however, the guide imposes severe restrictions on PS workers' personal use of social media (15 August 2017). More...

ABS ties knot on same-sex marriage
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has been directed by the Treasurer to survey all Australians on the electoral roll for their views on proposed changes to the law to allow same-sex marriage (15 August 2017). More...

Police join Post in digital ID scheme
Australia Post has announced the Queensland Police Service as the first public sector Agency to adopt its new personal identity verification system, Digital iD (15 August 2017). More...

Councils' telco planning regimes under scrutiny
As people have complained about lack of access to telecommunications in their new homes, the federal government will investigate why. The Department wants to ascertain how many councils have provisions for telecommunications in their planning laws and what the current requirements may be. The Department says that whilst most developers are doing the right thing, a small number continue to develop land without considerations for telecommunications (August 2017). More...

Interstate waste transport under investigation
The Queensland government has announced that it will launch a three-month independent investigation into the transport of waste into the state, in a bid to send a message out to waste management operators in other states that Queensland is not a "free for all", the government's renewed campaign against interstate dumpers follows a controversial report from the ABC's Four Corners program (August 2017). More...

Federal corruption a dog's breakfast: TAI
There are significant gaps in federal anti-corruption measures, a Federal ICAC is needed to fill the gaps (14 August 2017). More...

Helping vulnerable families through family law disputes
Vulnerable families, including those experiencing violence, will now have access to new and enhanced services to help them through family relationship breakdowns, with an additional $9.87 million in funding from the Turnbull Government (11 August 2017). More...

Key community safety reforms pass Parliament
Two more major community safety reforms passed Parliament this week under the Andrews Labor Government. The Sentencing Amendment (Sentencing Standards) Bill 2017 will introduce a new sentencing regime to increase the jail terms for 12 of the most serious crimes, and the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Public Order) Bill 2017 which includes new statutory offences of affray and violent disorder, and additional police powers to keep the community safe. (11 August 2017). More...

Marriage equality campaign launches High Court challenge against postal plebiscite
The Human Rights Law Centre has filed a legal action against the Australian Government on behalf of Australian Marriage Equality and Senator Janet Rice. The action challenges the constitutional validity of the postal plebiscite on marriage equality (10 August 2017). More... More...

Palaszczuk Government delivers on commitment to re-establish Drug Court
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath has today introduced legislation that outlines how the re-established Drug Court will work in Queensland (10 August 2017). More...

Queensland leading Australia on No Body, No Parole
Queensland Parliament has passed 'No Body No Parole' laws, including an Australian-first provision to broaden the laws to include anyone convicted of being an accessory after the fact to manslaughter (10 August 2017). More...

Former principal sentenced for 'bizarre' role in Education Department fraud
An ex-school principal receives a good behaviour bond over a scheme to defraud Victoria's Education Department, after he agrees to give evidence against a former department official accused of pocketing taxpayer dollars (10 August 2017). More...

'Massage parlours and junkets': New dirt file exposes claims against Queensland councils
Allegations of overseas junkets, mistresses and visits to massage parlours are examples of further claims of widespread corruption in several Queensland councils, levelled under parliamentary privilege by maverick MP Rob Pyne (09 August 2017). More...

Parliamentary inquiry into family law system 'weakened by lack of judicial input'
Federal Labor accuses the Government of continually delaying calling senior judges to give evidence before a parliamentary inquiry into the state of the family law system (09 August 2017). More...

Government accepts all PJCIS recommendations on Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016
Today the Government announced the Government has accepted all recommendations of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security in its advisory report of 30 June on the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 (09 August 2017). More...

Time to rethink ASIO's compulsory questioning and detention powers
The Law Council today told a Parliamentary Committee that ASIO's current questioning and detention powers appear unnecessary to prevent or disrupt a terrorist act, given other powers already in operation. The President of the Law Council, Fiona McLeod SC, said that the current ASIO questioning and detention powers fail to strike the right balance between protecting the community while upholding the rule of law (09 August 2017). More...

IBAC: Former primary school principal sentenced following IBAC's 'banker school' investigation
A former primary school principal has been convicted and placed on a two-year good behaviour bond following a major IBAC investigation into allegations of corrupt conduct by senior officers of the Department of Education and Training (DET) (09 August 2017). More...

Child protection reforms introduced to Parliament
Some of Queensland's most vulnerable children are a step closer to forever homes with the introduction of new legislation into Parliament (09 August 2017). More...

Pretend "Gumtree" lawyer's bark muzzled by court to the tune of $20,000
Queensland's peak legal body has fired a warning shot at uncertified "Gumtree'' gun advisers after one was fined $20,000 for advertising to give legal advice under the guise he was legally permitted to do so (08 August 2017). More...

Federal Government's changes to welfare laws will give too much power over remote communities to an unelected bureaucrat
The Federal Government's Welfare Reform Bill contains unfair and needlessly punishing measures, while giving too much power over the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote communities to an unelected bureaucrat, the Human Rights Law Centre has told a Senate inquiry (08 August 2017). More...

Legal experts speak up for future prospect of online courts
The nation's legal system has been described as too expensive and out of the reach of many people by former High Court judge Michael Kirby, who is advocating for the introduction of online civil courts as a way to improve the affordability of justice in Australia (07 August 2017). More...

Public servants not liking new social media restrictions
A simple click or tap of Facebook's 'like' button can land you in hot water if it's content that doesn't fall within approved speech of the state. That is if you're a public servant within the Australian government, as all are now on notice for the slightest deviation from the permitted script (07 August 2017). More...

In practice and courts

Modern Slavery Consultation
The first step is an extensive consultation period with industry on the Government's Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement discussion paper. The consultation paper is available online at the modern slavery consultation page on the Attorney-General's Department website. The deadline for submissions is 20 October 2017 (16 August 2017). More...

OAIC: Australian Red Cross Blood Service data breach
(07 August 2017) Australian Red Cross Blood Service data breach

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. 33/2017, 14 August 2017
Issue No. 32/2017, 7 August 2017


QLS: Invitation to provide comments
Practitioners are invited to provide their opinions and feedback as Queensland Law Society policy committees prepare submissions on legal topics for government inquiries (09 August 2017). More...

OIC Queensland: Have your say on the development of uniform metrics on the use of FOI laws in Australia
Australian Information Commissioners and Ombudsmen, within the remit of each of their jurisdictions and led by NSW, have agreed on six proposed metrics on Public Use of Freedom of Information Access Rights: Type of applicant, Application rates per capita, Release rates, Timeliness and Review rates. Access more information about the metrics here.

QAO: Use of confidentiality provisions in government contracts
The objective of this audit is to determine the extent and appropriateness of the use of confidentiality provisions in Queensland Government contracts. Table date December 2017. More...

QAO: Fraud risk management
The objective of the audit is to assess whether agencies appropriately identify and assess fraud risks, and apply appropriate risk treatments and control activities to adequately manage their exposure to fraud risks. Tabling date October 2017. Contribute now. More...

QAO: Use of confidentiality provisions in government contracts
The objective of this audit is to determine the extent and appropriateness of the use of confidentiality provisions in Queensland Government contracts. Tabling date December 2017. Contribute now. More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

The Management of Risk by Public Sector Entities
ANAO: 15 August 2017
The audit objective was to assess how effectively the selected public sector entities manage risk. More...

Criminal justice report
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: 14 August 2017
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released these 85 recommendations aimed at reforming the Australian criminal justice system, in order to provide a fairer response to victims of institutional child sexual abuse.
Criminal justice report: executive summary and parts I - II
Criminal justice report: parts III - VI
Criminal justice report: parts VII - X and appendices

Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee: Report No. 58, 55th Parliament - Corrective Services (No Body, No Parole) Amendment Bill 2017
This report presents a summary of the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee's examination of the Corrective Services (No Body, No Parole) Amendment Bill 2017. The committee's task was to consider the policy outcomes to be achieved by the legislation, as well as the application of fundamental legislative principles. More...

Commission of Inquiry into Ararat Rural City Council – report
Commission of Inquiry into Ararat Rural City Council; Frances O'Brien, John Tanner, Mark Davies: 09 August 2017
This report outlines the Ararat Commission of Inquiry's findings into Ararat Rural City Council's rating strategy and administrative capacity. The Ararat Rural City Council failed comprehensively to act in the interest of the Municipality on some of the most important functions of any council. More...

Australia's criminal justice costs: an international comparison
Andrew Bushnell; Institute of Public Affairs: 08 August 2017
Incarceration in Australia is growing rapidly. The 2016 adult incarceration rate was 208 per 100,000 adults, up 28 percent from 2006. There are now more than 36,000 prisoners, up 39 percent from a decade ago. More...


Port of Newcastle Operations Pty Ltd v Australian Competition Tribunal [2017] FCAFC 124
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – consideration of an application for judicial review of a decision made by the Australian Competition Tribunal – where the Tribunal made an order setting aside a decision of the Minister not to declare a service under s 44H of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and made an order declaring a service pursuant to s 44K(8) of the Act.
COMPETITION – consideration of the decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia in Sydney Airport Corporation Ltd v Australian Competition Tribunal and Others [2006] FCAFC 146; (2006) 155 FCR 124 – where declaration relates to services provided by coal port infrastructure facilities – scope of s 44H(4)(a) and of s 44H(4)(f) – where ordinary meaning of "access" in the context of access to a service is a right or ability to use a service – where the exercise of power under s 44H calls for a comparison between the future state of competition in a dependent market with access and no access to the service or with increased access and restricted access to the service.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – consideration of the second respondent's use of a Notice of Contention pursuant to r 36.24 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) – where the Tribunal is not a "court appealed from" and the applicant has not served a "notice of appeal" within r 36.24 – where no judicially reviewable error is made out.

Onus v Registrar of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations (No 2)[2017] FCA 922
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – costs – where decision to appoint special administrator under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) set aside – whether applicants entitled to an order that all, or only some, of their costs be paid by the first respondent.

Fulton v Chief of the Defence Force [2017] FCA 913
DEFENCE AND WAR – defence members – defence force personnel – termination of service – redress of grievance complaint in respect of termination of service in Australian Defence Force – power exercised by commanding officer – Defence Regulation 2016 (Cth), regs 24, 42, 43, 45.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Chief of the Defence Force – review of termination decision – review of redress of grievance decision – redress of grievance complaint in respect of termination of service in the Australian Defence Force – whether procedural unfairness where applicant not given opportunity to be reheard in investigation conducted on the papers – whether procedural unfairness where applicant denied access to personal documents work account – consideration relevant to judicial review of decision based on opinion as to suitability to continue as a member of the Australian Defence Force.

Agius v Repatriation Commission [2017] FCA 935
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – appeal from Administrative Appeals Tribunal – where claim for payment at Special Rate under s 24(2)(b) of the Veterans' Entitlement Act 1986 (Cth) refused by delegate of the respondent – where Administrative Appeals Tribunal affirmed delegate's decision on the basis of a misunderstanding of the Full Court's decision in Leane v Repatriation Commission [2004] FCAFC 83; 81 ALD 625 – where parties agree that the Tribunal erred and that the appeal should be allowed – whether Court should finally resolve the matter rather than remit it back to the Tribunal for rehearing according to law.

Attia v Health Care Complaints Commission [2017] NSWSC 1066
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – appeal – decision of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal that the plaintiff's registration as a pharmacist be cancelled – regulatory system for registered pharmacists – regulatory system for pharmaceutical wholesalers – interaction of regulatory schemes – protective legislation and statutory objects – whether the finding of unsatisfactory professional conduct under s 139B(1)(a) constituted an error of law because the impugned conduct was undertaken by the plaintiff as the office holder of a licenced pharmaceutical wholesaler corporation and not in the practice of a pharmacy – whether impugned conduct in practice of practitioner's profession – procedural fairness – hearing rule – whether the determination by the Tribunal to take into account matters not within the particulars of the complaints breach of procedural fairness – notice and litigation of non-particularised issues – a single stage process – relevant principles – orders – leave partially refused – appeal dismissed.

Lather v Roads and Maritime Services [2017] NSWCATOD 124
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Merits Review – authority to drive private hire vehicle – criminal convictions – good behaviour bonds – reputation – fit and proper.

DBU v Secretary, Department of Education [2017] NSWCATAD 257
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW – Education and Care Services National Law – family day care - service approval – breach of condition of approval – failure to commence ongoing operation within 6 months – meaning of commence ongoing operation – whether approval should be cancelled.
JURISDICTION – basis of Tribunal's jurisdiction to review decision – administrative review jurisdiction – general jurisdiction – meaning of administrative review in the Education and Care Services National Law.

McIvor v Commissioner for Fair Trading [2017] NSWCATAD 258
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW - Home Building Act 1989 - individual contractor licence – fit and proper – convicted of criminal offences – currently on parole – no evidence of rehabilitation – community standards.

Barns v Commissioner, Queensland Fire & Emergency Services [2017] QCAT 263
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where Commissioner decided not to accept late application for compensation – whether Tribunal has jurisdiction to review decision.

Kang v Secretary, Department of Social Services [2017] FCA 895
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - On appeal from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal – decision to revoke disability support pension – where applicant held to be an attributable stakeholder pursuant to s 1207X of the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth) – where 100% of Trust assets attributed to the applicant personally pursuant to s 1207X of the Act – whether Tribunal failed to carry out a merits review – whether Tribunal failed to take into account mandatory relevant considerations – whether the matter should be remitted to the Tribunal – whether there is still discretion yet to be exercised by the Tribunal.

Stirling v Minister for Finance [2017] FCA 874
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – application for judicial review of a decision of a delegate of the Minister for Finance to refuse to waive a debt owed to the Commonwealth – whether failure to take into account relevant considerations – whether irrelevant considerations taken into account – whether the decision was legally unreasonable. Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) ss 5(1)(e), 5(2)(a), 5(2)(b), 5(2)(g), 13, 13(1); Migration Act 1958 (Cth) s 430; Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Cth) ss 5(c)(iii), 6, 63(1), 63(1)(a).

NuCoal Resources Ltd v Department of Premier and Cabinet [2017] NSWCATAD 245
GOVERNMENT INFORMATION - conclusive presumption of overriding public interest against disclosure – information that would be privileged from production on the ground of client legal privilege – in-house lawyers - secondary material also privileged if that material discloses the privileged communication.

CTH v The University of New South Wales [2017] NSWCATAD 244
PRIVACY – Personal Information – Use for purpose collected – Whether use consistent with purpose collected – Disclosure within agency – Whether circumstances amount to disclosure.



New Bills

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017 – 17 August 2017
Defence Amendment (Fair Pay for Members of the ADF) Bill 2017 – 16 August 2017
Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Ensuring Integrity) Bill 2017 – 16 August 2017
Electoral Amendment (Banning Foreign Political Donations) Bill 2017 – 14 August 2017

Australian Bill of Rights Bill 2017
HR 14 August 2017 - It is modelled very closely on the Australian Bill of Rights Bill 2001 and is intended to give effect to certain provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The bill also allows the Australian Human Rights Commission to inquire into any act or practice that may infringe a right or freedom in the Bill of Rights and allows for complaints to be made to the Commission. Australian Bill of Rights Bill 2017

Bills Progress

Statute Update (Winter 2017) Bill 2017
Senate Third reading agreed to 17 August 2017 - Amends: 18 Acts to modernise language and correct technical errors; six Acts to make amendments consequential on the Acts and Instruments (Framework Reform) Act 2015; and five Acts to repeal spent and obsolete provisions. Also repeals the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment (Township Leasing) Act 2007, Governor-General Amendment Act 2003, Stevedoring Industry Act 1961 and Stevedoring Industry (Temporary Provisions) Act 1968.

Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017
Senate: Committee of the Whole debate Amendment details: 6 Opposition agreed to 16 August 2017; Committee of the Whole debate 17 August 2017. Amends the Fair Work Act 2009 to: increase maximum civil penalties for certain serious contraventions of the Act; hold franchisors and holding companies responsible for certain contraventions of the Act by their franchisees or subsidiaries where they knew or ought reasonably to have known of the contraventions and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent them; clarify the prohibition on employers unreasonably requiring their employees to make payments in relation to the performance of work.

Productivity Commission Amendment (Addressing Inequality) Bill 2017
Senate Second reading debate 10 August 2017 - Amends the Productivity Commission Act 1998 to: expand the functions of the Productivity Commission to include the undertaking of research on inequality and its effects on the Australian economy and community; require the commission to have regard in the exercise of its functions to the need to mitigate the negative effects of inequality; and provide for reporting requirements.

Australian Border Force Amendment (Protected Information) Bill 2017
Registered 09 August 2017 Introduced HR 09 August 2017 - The Australian Border Force Amendment (Protected Information) Bill 2017 (the Bill) amends the Australian Border Force Act 2015 (the ABF Act) to: 1) repeal the definition of protected information in subsection 4(1) of the ABF Act, that includes any information obtained in a person's capacity as an entrusted person, and substitute a definition of Immigration and Border Protection information, so that only specific kinds of information are covered by the secrecy and disclosure provisions in Part 6 of the ABF Act.


Census and Statistics (Statistical Information) Direction 2017
09/08/2017 - This direction by the Treasurer to the Australian Statistician is to collect certain statistical information on same-sex marriage.


Bills Updated in the last week

Corrective Services (No Body, No Parole) Amendment Bill 2017
Introduced by: Hon Y D'Ath MP on 23/05/2017 Stage reached: Consideration in detail on 9/08/2017.

Child Protection Reform Amendment Bill 2017
Introduced by: Hon S Fentiman MP on 9/08/2017 Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 9/08/2017.

Subordinate legislation as made

No 134 Evidence Regulation 2017 - Evidence Act 1977 – 11 August 2017.

No 140 Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2017 - Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Offender Prohibition Order) Act 2004 – 11 August 2017.

No 146 Statutory Instruments (Exemptions from Expiry) Amendment Regulation 2017 - Statutory Instruments Act 1992 – 18 August 2017.

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