In the media 

Channel Seven breaches children’s privacy
Channel Seven Melbourne Pty Ltd breached the Commercial Television Code of Practice in Seven News and Sunday Night episodes broadcast on 5 July and 5 August 2018. An ACMA investigation has found broadcasts containing mobile phone footage of alleged schoolyard bullying invaded the privacy of several children (29 March 2019).  More...  

Does 'I don't want' mean no? The call to reform Queensland consent laws
Queensland juries are struggling to deal with complicated and confusing consent laws in rape cases and vulnerable women are suffering, prompting calls for law reform (29 March 2019).  More... 

No bail, no parole for terrorists
Tough new bail and parole laws for offenders convicted of terrorism or those with links to terror activities have been passed by the Queensland Parliament (29 March 2019).  More...  

What good local government integrity frameworks look like
A new research report released today by IBAC, the state's anti-corruption commission, identifies a sample of councils that have built solid integrity frameworks to help protect them from corruption, providing a model for other councils to follow (28 March 2019).  More... 

AMA calls for age of criminal responsibility to be raised to 14 years of age
The new policy was passed at the AMA Federal Council meeting in Canberra. The age of criminal responsibility is the age at which a child is considered capable of being dealt with by the criminal justice system. Currently, children aged 10 can be charged, prosecuted, and imprisoned (25 March 2019).  More... 

How Australia's new privacy laws will Target Google And Facebook
The new laws, which are being drafted with social media giants in mind but will apply to all companies operating in Australia, will levy much more significant fines, not just for major breaches but for failing to cooperate and remediate issues relating to smaller breaches. This is important as the majority of breaches reported to the OAIC involve fewer that 1000 records according to its quarterly reports (25 March 2019).  More... 

Claims of ‘secrecy’, misused funds in transport projects
An advisor for some of Melbourne’s biggest transport projects has called out misappropriation of taxpayer dollars and growth forecast “failures” in the state’s $1.9 billion infrastructure pipeline, and criticised NSW for similar malpractice (25 March 2019).  More... 

OAIC welcomes increased enforcement powers to keep Australians’ personal information safe online
The proposed changes to the Privacy Act, along with new rules for digital platforms that trade in personal information, are an important step in meeting community expectations that personal information will handled in a way that is transparent and accountable (24 March 2019).  More... 

Tougher penalties to keep Australians safe online
Attorney-General, Christian Porter and Minister for Communications and the Arts, Mitch Fifield, announced the new penalty regime under the Privacy Act and other measures to ensure Australians were protected online and that major social media companies took action to protect the personal information they collect about Australians, particularly children (24 March 2019).  More... 

$35 Million to extend the Federal Court's jurisdiction to corporate crime
The jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Australia will expand to include corporate crime. The expansion and funding will ensure that those who engage in financial sector criminal misconduct are prosecuted and face the appropriate punishment for their actions in a timely manner (23 March 2019).  More... 

Commission welcomes National Plan on elder abuse
Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson this week participated in the launch of the Federal Government’s National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (2019-2023) (22 March 2019).  More... 

$67 million for digital identity
The federal government has announced a $67 million boost for the controversial MyGovID initiative as it launches a new resource to guide agencies in the safe use of public data. Under the system users will be required to take a photo and provide a mobile number and email address as well as details from a drivers licence, passport or Medicare card (21 March 2019).  More... 

Channel Seven ‘African gangs’ claim breaches accuracy requirements
The ACMA has found Channel Seven Melbourne breached the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice in a Sunday Night program broadcast on 8 July 2018. The ACMA investigation found a claim broadcast in the current affairs program was inaccurate and in breach of the code (21 March 2019).  More... 

In practice and courts

Law Council of Australia Submissions
18 March 2019— Law Council
Combatting Child Sexual Exploitation Legislation Amendment Bill 2019

Attorney General Court Appointments – 22 March 2019
Appointments to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia
Appointments to the Family Court of Australia  

Attorney General: The amendments to the Privacy Act will
Provide the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) with new infringement notice powers backed by new penalties of up to $63,000 for bodies corporate and $12,600 for individuals for failure to cooperate with efforts to resolve minor breaches
Expand other options available to the OAIC to ensure breaches are addressed through third-party reviews, and/or publish prominent notices about specific breaches and ensure those directly affected are advised
Legislation will be drafted for consultation in the second half of 2019.  More... 

Current Senate Inquiries

National Integrity Commission Bill 2018 [Provisions], National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill 2018 [Provisions], and National Integrity Commission Bill 2018 (No. 2)
The Senate has referred both Bills to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 5 April 2019.  More... 


Department of Justice Consultation
Review of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 2003 (Qld) – Discussion paper 2
Have your say on Discussion Paper 2 Registration of life events: Functions and powers of the Registrar and the use and disclosure of information. Submissions close 23 April 2019

CCC: Current Prosecutions
More charges from joint CCC and Department of Education investigation - 25 March 2019
Public servant charged with fraud offences - 22 March 2019
Police officer to face forgery and uttering offences - 20 March 2019 

OIC Queensland: Right to Information Act and Information Privacy Act Annual Report 2017-18
On 18 March 2019 a report on the operation of the Right to Information Act 2009 and the Information Privacy Act 2009 regarding access and amendment applications for the 2017-18 reporting year was tabled in Parliament. The 2017-18 report can be viewed here. (20 March 2019).  More... 

QAO Advice: How can audit committees improve audit quality?
A key element of effective audit committees is the existence of a strong and robust relationship with external audit (20 March 2019).  More...  

Published - articles, papers, reports

Bias crime policing: 'The Graveyard Shift'
Gail Mason, Leslie Moran; International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy: 22 March 2019
Bias crime is crime that is motivated by prejudice or bias towards an attribute of the victim, such as race, religion or sexuality. Police have been criticised for failing to take bias crime seriously, and there is a pressing need to understand the reasons for this failure. This article presents the results of the first empirical study of bias crime policing in New South Wales.  More... 

Where is your data going?
Quinn Grundy et al; University of Sydney: 22 March 2019
Researchers are calling for greater regulation and transparency as analysis of medicines-related apps found most directly shared user data - including sensitive health data - with third parties, posing an unprecedented privacy risk.  More...  

Report of the Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor as at 1 November 2018
Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor: 21 March 2019
The Monitor's annual report to Parliament outlines how effective the Victorian government and its agencies are in implementing the family violence reform measures.  More... 

Data sharing practices of medicines related apps and the mobile ecosystem: traffic, content, and network analysis
Quinn Grundy, Kellia Chui, Fabian Held, Andrea Continella, Lisa A. Bero, Ralph Holz; BMJ: 21 March 2019
Researchers call for greater regulation and transparency as analysis of medicines-related apps found most directly shared user data - including sensitive health data - with third parties, posing an unprecedented privacy risk.  More... 

Independent review of the APS: priorities for change
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia): 19 March 2019
This report reflects what the Australian Public Service (APS) Review Panel has learned from their initial investigations and what changes the panel believes are needed to build an APS that is fit for the future.  More...  

Best practice guide to applying data sharing principles
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia): 19 March 2019
The Australian government holds vast amounts of public sector data that it collects from individuals and businesses, or generates through administrative functions of government agencies. This guide has been written to assist agencies holding Australian government data (data custodians) to safely and effectively share the data they are responsible for by using five data sharing principles (the Principles).  More... 


Comcare v Stewart [2019] FCA 365
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION – Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth) – appeal on questions of law from a decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal – statutory construction – ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – appeal on questions of law from a decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal – Commonwealth workers’ compensation – statutory construction – where injury “does not include a disease... suffered as a result of reasonable administrative action taken in a reasonable manner in respect of the employee’s employment” – whether Tribunal misconstrued or misapplied this statutory provision – whether error in respect of one integer infected the Tribunal’s conclusion in relation to another. Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) s 43; Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth) s 5A

Dixon v Queensland Racing Integrity Commission [2019] QCAT 58
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – FUNCTIONS OF TRIBUNALS – where decision of original decision-maker may have been legally ineffective – whether that would affect jurisdiction of tribunal

Eldridge v Department of Transport and Main Roads [2019] QCAT 57
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – Meaning of ‘an appropriate person’ to hold a tow truck driver certificate – circumstances wherein previously certified tow truck driver convicted of a third drug driving offence

Crossman v Department of Transport and Main Roads [2019] QSC 67
TRAFFIC LAW – TRAFFIC REGULATION – TRAFFIC SIGNS AND ROAD MARKINGS – ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – POWERS OF COURTS UNDER JUDICIAL REVIEW LEGISLATION – DECLARATIONS – where the applicant sought declaratory relief in the Supreme Court – whether the applicant identified a legal controversy for determination – whether the application failed at the threshold



Crimes (Biological Weapons) Regulations 2019
29/03/2019 - These regulations set out the procedures and requirements to be followed in relation to the notification, storage, labelling and disposal of biological agents, toxins and weapons. The regulations also enable a person charged with an offence under the Crimes (Biological Weapons) Act 1976 in respect of a biological agent or toxin to seek an independent analysis of a sample of the substance 

Fair Work Amendment (Modernising Right of Entry) Regulations 2019
25/03/2019 - These regulations amend the Fair Work Regulations 2009 to modernise the form of entry permits by giving the Fair Work Commission the discretion to determine the precise form of entry permits subject to certain requirements, and by amending the prescribed form for entry notices and exemption certificates to include additional information
Electronic Transactions Amendment (Electoral Nominations) Regulations 2019
25/03/2019 - These regulations amend the Electronic Transactions Regulations 2000 by removing item 25(b) of Schedule 1 to ensure that electoral candidates seeking to nominate for Commonwealth elections are able to lodge their nominations electronically. 

User Rights Amendment (Charter of Aged Care Rights) Principles 2019
22/03/2019 - This instrument amends the User Rights Principles 2014 and the Records Principles 2014 to introduce a single 'Charter of Aged Care Rights' and vary the responsibilities of approved providers to be consistent wih the Charter

Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 2019
22/03/2019 - These regulations remake the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982 (scheduled to sunset on 1 April 2019) with the same effect to ensure their continued operation. Minor amendments have been made to ensure fitness for purpose and consistency with current drafting practices, update various provisions to reflect the current terms of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and remove obsolete or unnecessary provisions. These regulations do not introduce new charges or increase charges from the previous rates.

Privacy (Disclosure of Homicide Data) Public Interest Determination 2019
20/03/2019 - This determination applies to the disclosure of certain information by the Australian Federal Police to the Australian Institute of Criminology for the purpose of the Australian Institute of Criminology's research under the National Homicide Monitoring Program and the publication of aggregate findings.


Disability Services and Other Legislation (NDIS) Amendment Bill
Introduced by: Hon C O'Rourke MP on 28/03/2019
Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 28/03/2019

Justice Legislation (Links to Terrorist Activity) Amendment Bill 2018
Introduced by: Hon Y D'Ath MP on 13/11/2018
Stage reached: 2nd reading adjourned on 27/03/2019

Subordinate legislation as made

No 29 Photo Identification Card Regulation 2019 22 March 2019
Part 5 Amendment of State Penalties Enforcement Regulation 2014 - 11 Regulation amended; 12 Amendment of sch 1 (Infringement notice offences and fines for nominated laws)

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.