In the media
Poorly managed conflicts of interest enable corruption
in Victoria - IBAC report finds
Poorly managed conflicts of interest remain a major enabler of corruption according to a report released by the state's anti-corruption body, IBAC (25 October 2019). More...
APS information proving popular
The Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner, Angelene Falk has revealed that privacy complaints and freedom of information requests involving the Australian Public Service (APS) increased in the past financial year (24 October 2019). More...
Report on identity-matching strikes the right
The Law Council supports bipartisan recommendations by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security to include greater safeguards and privacy protections in the Identity-matching Services Bill 2019, but the committee has recommended the Bill and the related Australian Passports Amendment (Identity-matching Services) Bill 2019 (Passports Bill) be redrafted (24 October 2019). More...
Increase in complaints shows continuing relevance of
Ombudsman office to Victorians
Complaints to the Victorian Ombudsman increased by 14 per cent over the past year, while the number of protected disclosure (whistleblower) matters looked into has tripled since 2015 (24 October 2019). More...
IBAC to hold public hearings into allegations of
corruption in local government planning and property development
decisions at Casey council
IBAC, the state's independent anti-corruption body, will hold public hearings next month into allegations of serious corrupt conduct in relation to planning and property development decisions at the Casey city council (24 October 2019). More...
AEC enrolls new election webpage
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has launched a new Transparency Register on its main website to improve public access to the data political parties and candidates are required to lodge at each election (21 October 2019). More...
Privacy complaints, FOI reviews on rise in
Increases in privacy complaints and freedom of information requests and reviews last year demonstrate the increasing value the community places on information, according to Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner (21 October 2019). More...
New OVIC online learning module: Managing the privacy
impacts of data breaches
The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new online learning module, Managing the privacy impacts of data breaches (21 October 2019). More...
Senate report fails to justify Government's attempt
to repeal Medevac laws
A Senate Committee report released shows that the Medevac laws are working as intended. The laws, passed in February 2019, allow doctors to recommend that people be evacuated from Nauru and Papua New Guinea to Australia for medical treatment (18 October 2019). More...
ABC to tell truth about fake news
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has entered a partnership with a United States media education organisation to help combat the worldwide spread of spin, misinformation and fake news (17 October 2019). More...
Bill to cut red tape and restore certainty to native
Streamlining the native title claim process and removing uncertainty around the validity of some mining and exploration agreements are the key aims of a Bill tabled in Parliament by the Morrison Government. The Bill will provide claimant groups with increased transparency and accountability for prescribed bodies corporate (the corporations set up to manage native title) (17 October 2019). More...
Modernising Victoria's appeals system
The Andrews Labor Government is improving and modernising Victoria's appeals system, making appeal proceedings more efficient and transparent, and better supporting victims. The Justice Legislation Amendment (Criminal Appeals) Bill 2019 reintroduces the Government's commitment to abolish 'de novo' appeals of criminal cases to the County Court (16 October 2019). More...
Telcos tackle mobile number fraud and identity
The Australian Communications and Media Authority welcomed newly implemented measures to tackle mobile number fraud—the gateway to identity theft. Mobile number fraud can have devastating effects as scammers can gain access to bank accounts, email, social media and more (16 October 2019). More...
Law Council backs push for increase to minimum age of
The Law Council of Australia has welcomed the introduction of legislation to Federal Parliament, which seeks to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility for Commonwealth offences to 14 years. The Bill is consistent with Law Council policy and recognises Australia's international obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (14 October 2019). More...
In practice and courts
OAIC: Consultation opens on draft privacy rules
The OAIC is seeking feedback over its draft Privacy Safeguard Guidelines. The planned rules apply to the Consumer Data Right (CDR) regime, which aims to provide Australians with greater choice and control over how their data will be used and disclosed. The CDR scheme will be rolled out in February, starting with the banking sector. Closing date for submissions is November 20. More...
The AAT Bulletin is a weekly publication containing a list of recent AAT decisions and information relating to appeals against AAT decisions, including immigration and citizenship.
Issue No. 42/2019,21 October 2019. More...
Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation
NewNative Title Legislation Amendment Bill 2019
Customs Amendment (Product Specific Rule Modernisation) Bill 2019 [Provisions]
Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Bill 2019 [Provisions]
Legal and Constitutional Affairs References
Impact of changes to service delivery models on the administration and running of Government programs
Nationhood, national identity and democracy
ACMA: The form of records kept by broadcasters
Consultation closes: 08 November 2019
We've decided to update the instrument that sets out the form of the records broadcasters need to keep. A draft of the updated instrument can be downloaded here (10 October 2019).
Cyber security strategy
The new strategy will build on the foundations of the 2016 Cyber Security Strategy. More...
Inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law
enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the
The inquiry was referred by the Attorney-General, The Hon Christian Porter MP who noted that the Government will consider proposals from media organisations and interested bodies which aim to ensure the right balance is struck between a free press and keeping Australians safe. For further information about the inquiry see the full terms of reference. As agreed by the Attorney-General, the reporting date for this inquiry has beenextended to 28 November 2019
Submission to PM&C – Data Sharing and Release
Legislative Reforms Discussion Paper
OVIC submission PMC Data Sharing and Release Discussion Paper - PDF (1 MB) (15 October 2019)
New OVIC online: Managing the privacy impacts of data
The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new online learning module, Managing the privacy impacts of data breaches. Alongside this module, OVIC has produced a guide, Managing the privacy impacts of data breach, which can be found here (21 October 2019).
Inquiry into the conduct of the 2018 Victorian state
This inquiry is looking at the conduct of the 2018 Victorian election. The Committee isconsidering people'sviews on how the election was conducted and suggestions on how things could be improved. Issues to be examined include enrolling, being a candidate and voting. Submissions for this inquiry have closed.We are now holding public hearings in October 2019. More...
Announcement of new judicial appointment
22 October 2019 - Justice Lisa Michelle Nichols appointed as judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria.
Published – articles, papers, reports
Commonwealth Auditors General Group e-newsletter (Issue
2 — September 2019)
ANAO: 24 October 2019
This is the second e-newsletter of the Commonwealth Auditors General Group. These e-newsletters are a genuine effort to share experiences, challenges and engage in thought-provoking discussions on topics which are common to the fifty-three member countries of the Commonwealth. More...
Victorian Ombudsman 2018-19 Annual Report
Tabled 24 October 2019
The Annual Report includes 17 case studies, providing a sample of the complaints Victorians raised with our office, covering local government, human rights, youth justice and more.
Read the report here: Annual Report 2019
A model code for the protection of freedom of speech and
academic freedom in Australian higher education providers
French Review Model Code Implementation Group; University of Sydney: 23 October 2019
The report outlines how former Chief Justice, the Hon Robert French's model code for the protection of freedom of speech and academic freedom can be adopted by the University of Sydney by amending its current Charter of Academic Freedom. More...
Guide to health privacy
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner: 16 October 2019
The guide outlines the key practical steps that health service providers should take to embed good privacy in their practice. In addition, the guide outlines how key privacy obligations apply to and operate in the healthcare context
This guide has been written to help health services providers – from doctors and private sector hospitals, through under the Privacy Act 1988, and embed good privacy in their practice. More...
The risk of the digital status quo: how governments can
enable digital transformation
Satyamoorthy Kabilan; Public Policy Forum: 17 October 2019
Digital transformation can be risky — but the status quo is riskier. Drawing on insights of CIOs and senior public servants, this report identifies strategies for dealing with the risks of not embracing digital technology for public services,?including: legacy systems costs, cyber security, people and culture, and service failure. More...
'RG' and Department of the Prime Minister and
Cabinet (Freedom of information)  AICmr
Freedom of Information – whether material obtained in – (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 s 45
RF' and Department of Home Affairs (Freedom of
information)  AICmr
Freedom of Information – whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable – whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents – (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5) and 47F
Conroy v Romas  VSC
JUDICIAL REVIEW – medical Panel – opinion as to worker's work capacity – extent of impairment – suitable employment – whether consideration of relevant matters – whether consideration of irrelevant matters - adequacy of reasons – jurisdictional error – Accident Compensation Act 1985 s 5; Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 s 313
Zeqaj v Victoria Police (Human Rights)
 VCAT 1641
Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) – Information Privacy Principle 4.1 – alleged breach – personal service at place of work by Victoria Police of Notice to complainant issued by the Australian Taxation Office – complainant refused to accept service – notice left face down on table – others then see personal information contained in Notice – respondent's defence that IPP 4.1 does not regulate authorised disclosure or the protection of information an organisation no longer holds – in the alternative, if IPP 4.1 did require the respondent to take reasonable steps to protect information either during or after service, it took reasonable steps to so protect – complainant also alleges the same behaviour breached section 38 of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) – right not to have reputation unlawfully attacked – section 73 PDP Act – Tribunal's jurisdiction limited to matters contained in complaint from Information Commissioner
Joybay Pty Ltd & Anor: in the matter of an
Application under Section 68 of the Domestic Building Contracts Act
1995 (Vic)  VSC
JUDICIAL REVIEW AND APPEALS – application for leave to appeal from VCAT under s 148 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) – section s 137B of the Building Act 1993 (Vic) ('Building Act') prohibits owner builders from selling newly built or renovated homes without domestic building warranty insurance – where the builder failed to obtain domestic building warranty insurance for the apartments subsequently purchased by the applicants – principles of statutory construction – Project Blue Sky Inc v Australian Broadcasting Authority  HCA 28; (1998) 194 CLR 355, referred to – literal construction of s 137B(1) of the Building Act does not impose the requirement to have domestic building warranty insurance upon the applicants, such that VCAT's jurisdiction to make an order under s 68 of the Domestic Buildings Contracts Act 1995 (Vic) ('DBCA') was not enlivened – criteria to be satisfied for reading words into a statute when a literal interpretation of the relevant provision fails to achieve an ascertained legislative intention – DPP v Leys  VSCA 304; (2012) 44 VR 1, applied – whether to read words into s 137B(1) of the Building Act given the legislative intention to protect consumer interests under the building legislation – applicants have standing to apply for an exemption from the requirements of s 68 of the DBCA – application for leave to appeal and appeal allowed
Kheir v Robertson  VSCA
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – application for leave to appeal – judicial review – decision of delegate of Secretary to the Department of Justice and Regulation to refuse an application for 'emergency management days' – delegate not satisfied applicant was of 'good behaviour' during emergency at the prison – whether applicant denied procedural fairness – duty to inquire – whether delegate obliged to consider transcript of committal proceeding in which witnesses against applicant were said to have resiled from their original allegations – no denial, in the circumstances, of procedural fairness – leave to appeal refused – Corrections Act 1986 s 58E
Transport Security Amendment (Serious Crime) Bill
HR 23/10/2019 -to clarify and align the legislative basis for undertaking background checks of individuals under the Aviation and Maritime Acts.
Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Lowering Voting Age and
Increasing Voter Participation) Bill
HR 21/10/2019 – The changes to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 are intended to lower the minimum age of a voter in Australian federal elections and referenda from 18 to 16 years of age, while keeping the minimum age of compulsory voting and eligibility to stand as a federal parliamentarian at 18 years of age.
National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill
Senate 17/10/2019 - This Bill is part of a package of bills to promote public confidence in the integrity of Parliament, the public sector and the democratic system. This package is about creating a culture of integrity and a practical and pro-active approach to preventing and addressing corruption. The Bill will create a statutory code of conduct for parliamentarians and their staff.
Note: The Bill will operate alongside the National Integrity Commission Bill 2018 (No. 2) which seeks to establish the Australian National Integrity Commission.
Date of second reading speech: 17 October 2019
Justice Legislation Amendment (Criminal Appeals) Bill 2019
Date of second reading speech: 16 October 2019
Justice Legislation Amendment (Serious Offenders and Other Matters) Bill 2019
Victorian legislation can be accessed here.
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.