In the media

Services Australia penalised for breaching privacy of a vulnerable customer
The Australian Information Commissioner has issued Services Australia with a notice to pay a customer AU$19,890 as atonement for breaching her privacy. The woman was in receipt of Centrelink benefits administered by the Department of Human Services, now Services Australia (22 April 2021). More...

Royal Commission to probe veterans' deaths
A Royal Commission into the suicide of Defence and military veterans is to be established by the federal Government following consultation with State and Territory Governments. Crucially, the Royal Commission will not defer, delay or limit in any way, any proposed or announced policy, legislation or regulation that we are currently implementing (22 April 2021). More...

Comments invited on new Regulators' guide
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has issued a new performance guide for Government regulators, inviting the public to comment. The guide outlines principles of best practice and supporting guidance to assist Commonwealth regulators to report on their performance against these principles (22 April 2021). More...

ACCC wins court case against Google
Chair of the ACCC, Rod Sims said that following the Commission's world-first enforcement action, the Federal Court found Google had misled consumers about personal location data collected through Android mobile devices (19 April 2021). More...

QLS: Parole board needs greater independence
Queensland Law Society says Parole Board Queensland (PBQ) needs greater independence from the state's Department of Corrective Services to ensure decisions on whether or not prisoners should be released are made quickly and impartially (19 April 2021). More...

Queensland Courts and QCAT develop new digital civil case management portal
Court Services Queensland and QCAT are working on a solution to enable the filing of civil cases electronically. The solution will also enable self-represented parties to manage their cases electronically, 24/7, delivering a contemporary experience by providing a more accessible, easy-to-use and convenient service for Queenslanders (22 April 2021). More...

Parliamentary committee to review vilification and hate crime laws
The parliamentary Legal Affairs and Safety Committee has been asked to determine if they are operating effectively, if they are consistent with community expectations, and suitable to deal with modern day challenges (21 April 2021). More...

ACMA requests internet service providers to block more illegal gambling websites
The ACMA has requested that Australian internet service providers (ISPs) block more illegal offshore gambling websites. Following numerous complaints about these services, the ACMA undertook investigations which found them to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (21 April 2021). More...

Queensland taking the lead on gender equality
An annual snapshot on the status of gender equality in Queensland has been released by the Palaszczuk Government. The Premier said the 2020 Gender Equality Report Cards focussed on four priority areas including participation and leadership; economic security; safety; and health and wellbeing (21 April 2021). More...

Significant updates to Queensland's defamation laws
Freedom of expression, modern media reporting and protection of individuals from reputational harm are on the agenda of the Palaszczuk Government with significant amendments being introduced to defamation law provisions (20 April 2021). More...

Post office complaints in the post
The impact of COVID-19 on the postal industry has resulted in a high number of complaints according to the latest quarterly update from the Commonwealth Ombudsman in his capacity as the Postal Industry Ombudsman (19 April 2021). More...

Indigenous justice announcements welcome, but funding for multi-faceted response needed
Fresh announcements by the Government and the Opposition aimed at addressing the systemic disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the justice system have been welcomed by the Law Council of Australia, but we need a multi-faceted government response supported by adequate funding (15 April 2021). More...

New Action Plan for women's security
The second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, developed by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, has been released. The plan builds on existing efforts to protect and promote the human rights of all women and girls, while increasing the participation of women in peace and security processes (15 April 2021). More...

Statement from CCC Chairperson – Alan MacSporran QC
The CCC investigates allegations of corrupt conduct but does not prosecute. Once the CCC charges individuals, the briefs of evidence were forwarded to the ODPP in order for them to independently assess the evidence and decide whether or not to prosecute. In light of the above, it is difficult to see how it could be reasonably suggested there should be an inquiry into the CCC's conduct (14 April 2021). More...

High Court determination settles right of entry permit requirement
The requirement for union officials to hold a valid federal right of entry permit when entering work sites under State or Territory OHS laws has been upheld following a High Court determination. The High Court on 8 April 2021 refused to allow the CFMMEU special leave to appeal a 2020 Full Federal Court decision (13 April 2021). More...

In practice and courts

High Court Bulletin
The High Court Bulletin is compiled approximately once a month, from February to December after each Court sitting. View the High Court of Australia Bulletin [2021] HCAB 03 here (16 April 2021).

Law Council of Australia Submissions
19 April 2021— Business Law Section
Timeliness of processes under the National Access Regime

15 April 2021— Business Law Section
Practical Compliance Guideline PCG 2021/D2: Allocation of professional firm profits – ATO compliance approach

13 April 2021— Business Law Section
Breach Reporting Regulations

Law Council update
The Law Council produces a fortnighly newsletter which highlights the Law Council's important activities and advocacy. View the latest edition here.

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. 8/2021, 19 April 2021. More...

AHRC: Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces
The Commission will not be investigating nor making findings about individual allegations of bullying, sexual harassment or sexual assault as part of the Review. The Commission will report on its findings and recommendations in a report to be tabled in Parliament in November 2021. The Terms of Reference outline the scope of the Review in more detail here.

OAIC Consultation - IC review direction for applicants
21 April 2021 The closing date for comments is 12 May 2021. More...

OAIC consultation - the remaking of the Data Matching Guidelines
15 April 2021 More information will be available from the Consultation page when the public consultation commences. More...

OAIC: Independent review of the Credit Reporting Code
In April 2021, the Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner will tender for an independent review of the Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014 (the CR Code). This review is an opportunity to explore how the CR Code is operating in practice. More...

OAIC: Our FOI disclosure log
The information described in our disclosure log has been released by the OAIC under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act): updated 12 April 2021. More...

Office of National Data Commission
16 April 2021 - 2021 Privacy Impact Assessment
To report on the privacy impact assessment of the Data Availability and Transparency Bill.

CDPP: COVID-19 update
Should further lock downs occur, the CDPP is well placed to deal with them, as it was during 2020. As part of our continuous transformation, all CDPP lawyers have laptops and phones, enabling them to work remotely and connect securely to CDPP systems (12 April 2021). More...

Regulator performance guide for consultation
The guide will empower regulators to demonstrate and report on best practice performance that is in line with the Government's expectations and supports investment and growth. Submissions open until 21 May 2021 (22 April 2021). More...

Public consultation - Rule 42 of the Australian Solicitors' Conduct Rules
The Law Council of Australia has released a Public Consultation Paper on a proposed revision to Australian Solicitors' Conduct Rule (ASCR) 42. The Law Council is inviting comments and submissions by 7 May 2021. More...

ANAO Consultations
Due to table: May 2021 Open for contribution Administration of the National Bushfire Recovery Agency The objective of this audit is to assess the effectiveness of the National Bushfire Recovery Agency and its administration of the National Bushfire Recovery Fund. Due to table: May, 2021 Open for contribution - Australian National University's Governance and Control Frameworks - The objective of this audit is to examine the effectiveness of the Australian National University's governance and control frameworks.

LSC: Regulation of litigation funding schemes
The Legal Services Council has amended the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015 with effect from 22 August 2020 so the prohibitions in s 258(1) and (3) of the Legal Profession Uniform Law do not apply in relation to litigation funding schemes now regulated as managed investment schemes. The new rule will operate for 12 months to allow for consultation See the Legal Services Council website.

Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee
Data Availability and Transparency Bill 2020 [Provisions] and Data Availability and Transparency (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2020 [Provisions] report by Thursday, 29 April 2021

Operation and management of the Department of Parliamentary Services
On 22 February 2021, the reporting date was extended to 19 May 2021

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee
Judges' Pensions Amendment (Pension Not Payable for Misconduct) Bill 2020
On 18 March 2021, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 20 May 2021.


Queensland Courts

UCPR Form 131 – Application for reduction of fees by an Individual – (version 2) approved on 12/04/2021
19 Apr 2021 - Version 2 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 199 Form 131 - Application for reduction of fees by an Individual has been approved for use from 12 April 2021 and is available on the Forms page.This version of the form was first published on the Queensland Court website on 21 February 2020.

QLS Consultation Submissions April 2021
Use of Technology in the Federal Courts
Publicly available submissions can be found on the Society's website.

Bills and Papers
Queensland Law Reform Commission: A legal framework for voluntary assisted dying—Review update, February 2021 | Qld
Due to the size and complexity of the Commission's task, the reporting date was altered to 10 May 2021

Queensland Law Reform Commission Consultation Paper – a legal framework for voluntary assisted dying
The Queensland Law Reform Commission is seeking feedback on the Consultation Paper " A legal framework for voluntary assisted dying". The Consultation Paper explores a legal framework for voluntary assisted dying.. For more information please see the consultation page and the terms of reference. Note: The Commission continues to work hard on this review, and hopes to meet a reporting date of 10 May 2021. This document is intended to inform the public about the Commission's task and its processes, and how it hopes to complete the review by 10 May 2021.

Department of the Premier and Cabinet Consultation

Annual report 2019-20 feedback survey
By taking a minute to complete this survey, you will help us improve our annual reports so readers can use them more effectively. Open until 30 June 2021. More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

Composition of Australian Parliaments by party and gender: a quick guide
Anna Hough
Politics & Public Administration Section, APH: 16 April 2021
This quick guide contains the most recent tables showing the composition of Australian parliaments by party and gender (see Tables 1 and 2 below). It takes into account changes to the Commonwealth and state/territory parliaments since the last update was published on 2 December 2020.

Implementation of ANAO and Parliamentary Committee Recommendations — Department of Defence
ANAO: 12 April 2021
The audit made three recommendations directed at strengthening guidance, ensuring the implementation of recommendations was subject to periodic risk review and monitoring, and improving the clarity of responses. More...

Women, Peace and Security 2021-2031 Plan
Australian Government: released 12 April 2021
The new National Action Plan identified four outcomes that would support coordinated action across Government. More...

Postal Industry - Quarterly Update six: 1 October to 31 December 2020
Ombudsman: 15 April 2021
In the December 2020 quarter, the Office received 52.6 per cent more complaints compared to the same quarter last year. Complaints increased by 92.8 per cent in the June 2020 quarter compared to the June quarter last year. However complaints in the September and December quarter show complaints are decreasing overall. More...

Local government 2020
QAO Report No 17: 22 April 2021
This report summarises the audit results of Queensland's 77 local government entities (councils) and the entities they control. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic presented new challenges for local governments to deliver these services while under immense pressure in a time of unpredictable change. Tabled 22 April 2021. More...


'WW' and Australian Sports Commission (Freedom of information) [2021] AICmr 11
Freedom of Information — Whether material in the documents is irrelevant to the request — Whether reasonable steps taken to find documents — Whether material obtained in confidence —Whether disclosure of personal information is unreasonable — Whether contrary to the public interest to release conditionally exempt documents (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 22, 24A, 45 and 47F.

Rex Patrick and Department of Industry, Science Energy and Resources (Freedom of information) [2021] AICmr 14
Freedom of Information — Whether documents contain deliberative matter prepared for a deliberative purpose — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982, ss 11A(5), 47C, 47E(d) and 47F

Brinin v Kasabel Investments Pty Ltd t/as Twin Cities Building & Pest Inspections [2021] QCAT 114
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where the applicant purchased a property – where the respondent was contracted to perform a building and pest inspection for the applicant – where the applicant filed an Application for domestic building dispute – where the applicant claims $127,867.29 – whether the work performed by the applicant is "domestic building work" – whether the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear the matter
Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 Qld s 75, s 78, s 79, Schedule 1B s 4, Schedule 2
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 49

Guilfoyle v Wild Breads Pty Ltd [2021] QDC 58
APPEAL FROM MAGISTRATE – BREACH OF HEALTH AND SAFETY DUTY – s. 222 Justices Act 1886 – where the respondent breached a health and safety duty pursuant to s. 19 of the Work Health and Safety Act and the failure exposed an individual to a risk of death or serious injury – where the Magistrate imposed a fine significantly lower than submitted by either party – whether the Magistrate misunderstood the basis of the respondent's liability – whether the sentence imposed was manifestly inadequate. Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 Qld

Ha v Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia [2021] QCAT 91
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – where applicant seeks review of decision of respondent Board to place conditions on applicant's registration as a registered nurse – where applicant was employed as a registered nurse at a correctional centre – where respondent Board makes application for non-publication order to prohibit publication of identities of patients, the notifier to the respondent Board and staff employed at the correctional centre – where not controversial that non-publication order regarding patients should be made – whether Tribunal has discretion to make other non-publication orders sought – whether discretion should be exercised to make other non-publication orders sought



Acts compilation

Regulatory Powers (Standard Provisions) Act 2014
18/04/2021 - Act No. 93 of 2014 as amended, taking into account amendments up to Regulatory Powers (Standardisation Reform) Act 2021 - Part 2—Monitoring; Part 3—Investigation; Part 4—Civil penalty provisions; Part 5—Infringement notices; Part 6—Enforceable undertakings; Expand Part 7—Injunctions


Electoral Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Regulations 2021
19/04/2021 - These regulations amend the Electoral and Referendum Regulation 2016 to expand the electronically assisted voting methods, which are currently only available to blind and low vision voters, to Australians working in Antarctica. They also amend the Electronic Transactions Regulations 2020.


Subordinate legislation as made
No 28 Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response—Documents and Oaths) Amendment Regulation 2021 14/04/2021 - The policy objectives of the Regulation are to clarify the intended operation of the modified requirements or arrangements for the making, signing and witnessing of wills, enduring documents and general powers of attorney

No 30 Legal Profession (Society Rules) Amendment Notice 2021 16/04/2021

Bills updated

Queensland Veterans' Council Bill 2021
Introduced by: Hon A Palaszczuk MP on 22/04/2021
Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 22/04/2021
Exp Note

Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021
Introduced by: Hon M Ryan MP on 25/02/2021
Stage reached: 2nd reading adjourned on 21/04/2021

Defamation (Model Provisions) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021
Introduced by: Hon S Fentiman MP on 20/04/2021
Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 20/04/2021

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.