Australia: Queensland Government Bulletin: Recent reports in the media, in practice and in the courts, cases and legislation

Last Updated: 11 March 2019
Article by Paul Venus, Stephen Burton, Suzy Cairney and Trent Taylor

Most Read Contributor in Australia, February 2019

In the media

No corruption or police misconduct in traffic infringement withdrawal
The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has completed its assessment of the circumstances relating to the withdrawal of a traffic infringement notice involving the wife of the Commissioner of Police. The CCC is satisfied there is no evidence to raise any reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct or police misconduct (01 March 2019).  More... 

IBAC's Operation Gloucester public hearings conclude and identify significant issues with police practices
IBAC's public hearings into Victoria Police practices when taking witness statements has heard testimony concerning improper practices that have occurred and continue to occur IBAC's hearings (01 March 2019).  More...  

We need a better system to prevent sexual harassment at work
A diverse coalition of health professionals, legal experts, unions, sexual assault and community organisations have submitted a joint statement to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s national inquiry into sexual harassment at work (28 February 2019).  More... 

QLS: Human Rights Bill for Queensland
Queensland Law Society has joined much of the state in welcoming the historic passing of the Human Rights Bill 2018 in Queensland Parliament. This Bill adds to already existing rights, and will lead to the creation of a Queensland Human Rights Commission (28 February 2019).  More... 

Historic day for Queenslanders as Human Rights Bill passes
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the primary aim of the legislation is to ensure that respect for human rights is embedded in the culture of the public sector, and that public functions are exercised in a principled way that is compatible with human rights (27 February 2019).  More... 

Man charged for allegedly breaching bail
The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has issued a Notice to Appear in court to a 47-year-old Tarragindi man for allegedly breaching the conditions of bail. The man will face one charge of breaching bail contrary to section 29 of the Bail Act 1980. He is expected to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 22 March 2019 (22 February 2019).  More... 

Attack on State's Judiciary concerning
The Law Society of NSW, which represents the interests of the state’s 34,000 solicitors, has voiced its concerns about media criticism of the Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of NSW, including media claims of ‘judicial overreach’ in relation to a recent and extensive judgment by the Honourable Chief Judge Brian Preston SC (19 February 2019).  More...  

Commissioner welcomes COAG endorsement of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
The National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, welcomes the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) endorsement of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations (19 February 2019).  More... 

LCA: Report highlights why ‘catastrophic’ Family Court merger must be rejected by Senate
A Senate report into the proposed merger of the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court has exposed deep flaws and overwhelming opposition with the plan, says the Law Council of Australia. The dissenting report also recommended no reform take place until results from an Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) inquiry are released in April – a position strongly advocated by the Law Council (19 February 2019).  More... 

First stage of suppression order overhaul begins
New reforms by the Andrews Labor Government will help victims of sexual or family violence offences who want to speak publicly about their experiences, as part of changes introduced into Parliament. The Open Courts and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2019, will amend existing laws to reinforce the presumption in favour of open justice and the disclosure of information in Victorian courts. (19 February 2019).  More... 

In practice and courts

LSC: Our Annual Reports 2017-2018 now available
Following tabling in both the NSW and Victorian Parliaments, 2017-2018 Annual Reports for the Legal Services Council and the Commissioner for Uniform Legal Services Regulation are now available (19 February 2019) Inside, you will find progress reports and comparative data regarding the Uniform Law. Highlights are outlined here

ABA Arbitration Inquiry Submission: New deadline 15 March 2019
The Australian Bar Association (ABA) has asked the Hon Roger Gyles AO QC to inquire into and report on actions that the ABA can take to enhance opportunities for Australian Barristers to practice in International Disputes, with a focus on Arbitration in the Asia-Pacific region. Practitioners are encouraged to provide their views to Mr Gyles by 15 March 2019. For details of the Terms of Reference and submission details, click here

COAG endorses National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
"The National Principles for Child Safe Organisations form a national benchmark for organisations working with children and young people across sectors and the country to develop and maintain a child safe culture.
To support organisations to implement the National Principles, the Australian Human Rights Commission has developed practical tools and resources, which, along with the National Principles, are available here  (19 February 2019).

OAIC: Commissioner’s opening statement — Senate Estimates 19 February 2019
In the six months from July 2018 to December 2018 OAIC received over 10,000 enquiries about privacy, freedom of information and related matters. We received 524 requests to review freedom of information decisions of Australian government agencies, up 42 per cent on the same period the previous year.  More... 

High Court of Australia Bulletins
High Court of Australia Bulletin [2019] HCAB 01 (26 February 2019).  More... 

New victims and witnesses’ website
The CDPP has launched a new website to provide information about the prosecution process to victims, witnesses, their carers and support people (26 February 2019).  More... 

Attorney General Department: Court appointments
22 February 2019 Appointment to the Family Court of Australia
22 February 2019 Appointments to the Federal Court of Australia


CCC: Changes to the Crime and Corruption Act 2001
The definition of corrupt conduct (section 15)
Record-keeping requirements for assessment decisions (section 40A)
These factsheets have been prepared to advise units of public administration (UPAs) about: the changes to the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 that are directly relevant to them and the actions they must take under the new legislation (February 2019). 

OIC Queensland: Current cases
20/02/2019 - G78QTW and Department of Education [2019] QICmr 5 (20 February 2019) | Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland
18/02/2019- DJ6G7Y and Queensland Police Service [2019] QICmr 4 (18 February 2019) | Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland
14/02/2019- XX5WZ9 and Queensland Police Service [2019] QICmr 3 (14 February 2019) | Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland
14/02/2019- Zacka and Fraser Coast Regional Council; BGM Projects Pty Ltd (Third Party) & Ors [2019] QICmr 2 (14 February 2019) | Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland

OIC Queensland: Audit of information management maturity
Queensland’s Office of the Information Commissioner’s audit report on departmental information management was tabled in Parliament (14 February 2019). This report presents Queensland Government departments’ reported targets for information management, and their self‑assessed information management maturity.  More... 

QAO: Queensland state government: 2017–18 results of financial audits(Report 14: 2018–19)
This report summarises the results of our financial audits for all entities that the Queensland Government owns or controls. Report tabled 28 February 2019.  More... 

QAO Advice: Effective management reporting
Our audits tell us that many executives lack access to the right information when making decisions.
For those charged with governance, good management reporting gives the right people the right information at the right time (8 February 2019).  More... 

Published - articles, papers, reports

Federal election 2016—Reissue #2
APH Research Paper: 25 February 2019
This paper provides a comprehensive set of statistical tables regarding the 2016 Federal election held on 2July 2016 and updates the Senate tables, previously published in the papers Federal election 2016 (initial results)and Federal election 2016—Reissue(showing the 2017 special counts in Western Australia and South Australia),affected by the 2017 special counts in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania, and the 2018 special counts in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.  More... 

Seven ways the government can make Australians safer – without compromising online privacy
Damien Manuel, The Conversation; 28 February 2019
If the next government is serious about protecting Australian businesses and families, here are seven concrete actions it should take immediately upon taking office, suggests Damien Manuel.  More... 

Cross-border justice: exploring ways to improve access to legal assistance along the NSW/Victorian border
Victoria Legal Aid, Legal Aid New South Wales; Victoria Legal Aid: 28 February 2019
Many border communities experience complex and unique challenges in accessing justice and have a proportionally higher demand for legal services than other parts of Victoria and New South Wales.  More... 

Review of Model Defamation Provisions: Discussion paper
Council of Attorneys-General; Department of Justice (NSW): 27 February 2019
This discussion paper invites public feedback on the Model Defamation Provisions to assess whether the existing laws are meeting their policy objectives, particularly in response to the rise of online publications and technological changes since the provisions were developed.  More... 

Laws designed to silence: The global crackdown on civil society organizations
Amnesty International: 21 February 2019
An alarming global trend has surfaced in which states are introducing and using laws to interfere with the right to freedom of association and to hamper the work of civil society organizations and individuals who participate in them.  More...  

Management of Smart Centres’ Centrelink Telephone Services — Follow-up
ANAO: 21 February 2019
The objective of the audit was to examine the extent to which the Department of Human Services (Human Services) has implemented the recommendations made by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) in Auditor-General Report No. 37 of 2014–15 Management of Smart Centres’ Centrelink Telephone Services; as well as Human Services’ performance against call wait time and call blocking metrics .  More... 

The impact of private versus public legal representation on criminal proceedings
BOSCAR: 15 February 2019
Legal Aid NSW indictable matters assigned to private defence lawyers are more likely to be finalised at a later stage in proceedings and are more likely to be finalised in the Higher Court.  More... 


Westpac Banking Corporation v Lenthall [2019] FCAFC 34
REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDINGS – Representative proceeding under Part IVA of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) – where primary judge determined making of common fund order appropriate to do justice in the proceedings – whether s 33ZF authorises the Court to make common fund order – relevant considerations – width and purpose of s 33ZF – nature and purpose of common fund order – principle of legality – construction of Part IVA.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – JUDICIAL POWER – Whether power to make common fund order part of or incidental to exercise of judicial power by the Court – conferral of power by Parliament – capacity of the Court to balance competing interests and rights – incidental resolution of legal rights.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – ACQUISITION ON JUST TERMS – Whether common fund order amounts to acquisition of property other than on just terms – nature of power – order directed toward appropriate reward for funder upon bearing of costs and risk – whether nature of benefit to group members proprietary.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Whether primary judge erred in exercise of discretion.
Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) s 15A; Australian Constitution s 51(xxxi), 71, 76, 77; Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) ss 5, 21, 22, 23, 33E, 33V, 33X, 33Z, 33ZA, 33ZB, 33ZF, 33ZJ

Chau v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd [2019] FCA
DEFAMATION – Whether article conveyed alleged defamatory imputations – whether business, personal and professional reputation of applicant had been brought into public disrepute, odium, ridicule and contempt as a result of publication of those defamatory imputations – where damages and aggravated damages sought – where alleged imputations denied – where defence of qualified privilege contended – publisher’s belief and intention in relation to the imputations – reasonableness of publisher’s conduct – malice.
Verdict and judgment be entered for the applicant in the sum of $280,000 inclusive of the sum of $55,000 in lieu of interest. The applicant’s application for orders in the nature of injunctions be dismissed.

Rutherford v Seachange (Land) Pty Ltd as trustee for Seachange (GC) Unit Trust [2019] QCAT 33
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – Where applicant is resident homeowner in a manufactured homes park – where there are circumstances where applicant wishes to install solar panels for hot water and power generation – whether there are further circumstance where park owners refuse to give necessary consent for the making of changes to the external appearance of the home – whether the validity of aesthetic considerations are a reason for refusal in light of sustainable development amendments to the Building Act 1975 (Qld). 

Lawless v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2019] QCAT 32
PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – BUILDERS – STATUTORY POWER TO REQUIRE RECTIFICATION OF DEFECTIVE OR INCOMPLETE BUILDING WORK – Whether evidence of defective building work – causes of cracking in dwelling – whether consequential damage occurred – whether fair to direct builder to rectify – where builder in liquidation.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – Where delay through no fault of the applicant – sufficient reason for extension of time for making a direction. 

Helicopter Resources Pty Ltd v Commonwealth of Australia [2019] FCAFC 25
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Coronial inquest by the Chief Coroner of the Australian Capital Territory – where summary criminal proceedings brought by Comcare in the Magistrates Court of the Australian Capital Territory against the appellant and the Commonwealth of Australia under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth) – where subpoena issued to an employee of the appellant, Captain Lomas, to give evidence at the hearing in the inquest – where overlap between the topics on which Commonwealth intends to cross-examine Captain Lomas and the subject matter of the criminal proceedings – where s 87(1)(b) of Evidence Act 1995 (ACT) provided that court must admit as an admission by a party a previous representation where it is reasonably open to find that when the representation was made the person making it was an employee of the party and the representation related to a matter within the scope of the person’s employment – whether requiring employee to give evidence at inquest on matters relating to the criminal charge against the employer offends the accusatorial principle by disadvantaging the employer or advantaging co-accused – whether enforcement of subpoena interference with the administration of justice in the criminal proceedings
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Australia to hear proceedings for judicial review of a decision of the Coroner’s Court of the Australian Capital Territory in an inquest into the death of a person in the Australian Antarctic Territory – whether jurisdiction conferred either by s 39B(1A)(c) of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) or by ss 5 and 8 of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) or by the Jurisdiction of Courts (Cross-vesting) Act 1987 (Cth) – whether any such jurisdiction excluded as “a matter in respect of which a criminal prosecution is instituted or any other criminal matter” or “a related criminal justice process decision”. 



Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment Regulations 2019
22/02/2019 - These regulations amend the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Regulations 2017 to update references to authorities to reflect the transfer of responsibilities from the Attorney-General’s Department to the Department of Home Affairs.
Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Form of Warrants) Regulations 2019
21/02/2019 - This instrument amends the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Regulations 2017 to prescribe the forms for control order warrants issued under the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979.


Electoral Legislation Amendment (Modernisation and Other Measures) Bill 2018
Assent Act no: 2 Year: 2019 01 Mar 2019 - Amends the: Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to: make completion of a qualification checklist compulsory in relation to candidate nominations; enable candidates to lodge their nominations and certain other documents electronically; and allow a senior Australian Electoral Commission staff member rather than a senior Divisional Returning Officer to be on the Redistribution Committee for the Australian Capital Territory; and Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 and Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984 to amend various aspects of voting and scrutiny processes.

Parliamentary Service Amendment (Post-election Report) Bill 2018
Assent Act no: 4 Year: 2019 01 March 2019 - Amends the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 to change the deadline for publishing the post-election report of election commitments, which is prepared and published by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), from before the end of 30 days after the end of the caretaker period for a general election to the later of either 30 days after the end of the caretaker period for the general election to which the report relates or 7 days before the first sitting day of either or both Houses of the Parliament after the general election to which the report relates.

Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) Bill 2019
HR Introduced 21 February 2019 - The Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) Bill 2019 (the Bill) is a stand-alone bill that introduces a temporary exclusion orders scheme to delay Australians of counter-terrorism interest from re-entering Australia until appropriate protections are in place. 


Bills Updated
Human Rights Bill 2018
Introduced by: Hon Y D'Ath MP on 31/10/2018
Stage reached: Passed on 27/02/2019

Criminal Code (Non-consensual Sharing of Intimate Images) Amendment Bill 2018
Introduced by: Hon Y D'Ath MP on 22/08/2018 Stage reached: Passed on 13/02/2019;
Assent Date: 21/02/2019 Act No: 1 of 2019 Commences: Date of Assent

Subordinate legislation as made – 18 February 2019
No 9 Professional Standards (Bar Association of Queensland Professional Standards Scheme) Notice 2019

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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