In the media

New laws to force coughers and spitters to be tested for coronavirus
Anyone accused of coughing or spitting on a person could soon face mandatory testing for COVID-19, as the Queensland Government moves to close a loophole in its response to the pandemic (19 May 2020). More...

Hazelwood Power fined $1.56m after mine fire
The operator of Hazelwood mine, Hazelwood Power Corporation Pty Ltd, was this week fined a total of $1.56 million for breaches of the OHS Act after a major fire that burned for several weeks in 2014. The company was last November found guilty of 10 charges following an eight-week jury trial in the Supreme Court (19 May 2020). More...

New purchasing rules for COVID-19
The Department of Finance has unveiled new arrangements for procurement and contracting to support Australian businesses providing goods and services to Government. The Finance Department has released a Policy Note to assist entities considering procurements or addressing contractual matters with affected suppliers (18 May 2020). More...

The OAIC understands Australian Government agencies and organisations covered by the Privacy Act 1988 are facing unprecedented challenges in combating the spread of COVID-19 (16 May 2020). More...

CCC releases new corruption allegations data
The CCC has updated its Corruption Allegations Data Dashboard (CADD) to include data up to 31 December 2019. The expanded data set means a total of 4.5 years of allegations data for the period 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2019 is now available on the CCC website (14 May 2020). More...

New rules for staff changes in pandemic
The APSC has issued a new Circular dealing with staffing mobility arrangements in response to COVID-19. The focus of Agencies and employees should be on the continued delivery of critical functions to the Australian public, as well as ensuring workplaces are safe for all employees, the Circular says (18 May 2020). More...

APSC sets scene for return to offices
The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has issued a Circular calling on Agency heads to implement a transition plan to return employees to their usual workplaces in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic (14 May 2020). More...

ACCAN welcomes passage of COVIDSafe app legislation with amendments
ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin said that she was pleased that the legislation was amended to address a number of concerns raised by ACCAN and other consumer groups across the fields of health, technology, privacy, human rights, digital inclusion, communications and community interests. This is a key step to ensuring appropriate safeguards are in place to protect the privacy of Australians using the COVIDSafe app (15 May 2020). More...

OAIC expands oversight role as privacy safeguards for COVIDSafe app made law
Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk has welcomed changes to the Privacy Act 1988 that enshrine strict privacy safeguards for COVIDSafe app data in law (14 May 2020). More...

Auditor unveils targets for next year
The Auditor-General has issued a proposed program of performance audits for the coming financial year.. Among the broader selection of possible audit targets in the year head are the efficiency of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal's Case Management and Implementation of Recommendations from the Independent Review of Whole-of-Government Internal Regulation (14 May 2020). More...

Statement on proposed amendments to the ASIO Act by Law Council President
The Law Council of Australia is very concerned with some aspects of the proposed amendments to the Australian Security and Intelligence Act 1975 (Cth) released today in parliament. If adopted, the amendments would redesign the ASIO's compulsory questioning warrant regime and repeal its specific detention powers (13 May 2020). More...

Improving justice outcomes for class action members
Ensuring Australians get their fair share of legal settlements will be the focus of a parliamentary committee inquiry which will examine all aspect of the class action system, including the enormous profits being made by litigation funders (13 May 2020). More...

ACMA issues formal warning to phone directory publisher
The ACMA has issued a formal warning to digital marketer Localsearch Operations Pty Ltd (Localsearch) after it published an unlisted 'silent' number in one of its phone directories. An ACMA investigation found Localsearch breached the conditions of its use of the IPND under the Integrated Public Number Database Scheme 2017 (13 May 2020). More...

Safeguards needed in arrangements with overseas partners in digital era
The Law Council of Australia acknowledges the enormous challenges facing law enforcement agencies when requiring access to crucial data stored in foreign countries. These agreements need a domestic legal framework that contains adequate safeguard (12 May 2020). More...

ACCC can submit evidence from BlueScope criminal investigation in civil case
The ACCC has been given the green light to use witness statements prepared during its criminal cartel investigation of BlueScope Steel in the civil penalty proceedings launched by the regulator, but a fight with the steel giant over the admissibility of the evidence still looms (12 May 2020). More...

Solar telemarketing complaints halved
New figures from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) show complaints about unwanted telemarketing calls from solar companies have halved since 2018. ACMA Chair Nerida O'Loughlin said the results are encouraging and follow a series of ACMA actions to reduce illegal telemarketing calls from the solar sector (12 May 2020). More...

Law Council President, Pauline Wright, statement on the release of COVIDSafe source code
The Australian Government's release of the COVIDSafe app source code on the weekend is welcomed by the Law Council of Australia, giving all Australians the chance to satisfy themselves that the app will be used in the way that it is intended (11 May 2020). More...

Legal assistance boost during COVID-19 welcomed
Increased funding to front line legal services by the Victorian and Federal Governments will provide greater support to people with legal problems during the current COVID-19 crisis, according to the Law Institute of Victoria (11 May 2020). More...

In practice and courts

Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee
Inquiry into domestic violence with particular regard to violence against women and their children
Nationhood, national identity and democracy
On 23 March 2020 the committee's reporting date was extended to 9 September 2020

Draft 2020–21 Annual Audit Work Program
The Auditor-General, Grant Hehir says the work would be done by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) and everyone was invited to make a contribution. The ANAO will accept feedback on the draft program until 29 May. A detailed list of the possible audits can be accessed here (14 May 2020).

Attorney-General's List
Efficiency of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal's Case Management
Implementation of Recommendations from the Independent Review of Whole-of-Government Internal Regulation
Implementation of the Revised Protective Security Policy Framework
Implementation of the Whole-of-Government Legal Services Panel
Management of Complaints by the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman

APSC Circular 2020/5 Preparing for a COVID-safe transition for APS workplaces,
The APSC says that in developing their transition plans, Agency heads need to review the balance between working from home and returning to usual workplaces, ensuring the health and wellbeing of their staff along with Agency productivity, and the delivery of essential services. APSC Circular 2020/5 can be accessed here (14 May 2020).

Aged Care visitor access code
The Aged Care Visitor Access Code, developed in conjunction with consumer peak bodies sets out a nationally consistent, principles-based approach to maintaining residents' visitation and communication . The Aged Care Visitor Access Code can be found here (13 May 2020)

Attorney-General: COVIDSafe draft legislation
Draft legislation, the Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Bill 2020,will support the COVIDSafe app (released on 26 April 2020) and provide strong ongoing privacy protections. The Australian Government intends to introduce this draft legislation in Parliament in the week of 11 May 2020. Download a copy of the draft legislation here. The Committee will be asked to report back to Parliament by 7 December and its work will complement the work already done in this area by the Australian Law Reform Commission. The Government will shortly release its response to the ALRC inquiry (13 May 2020). More...

LCA Submissions
13 May 2020 - Inquiry into Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (International Production Orders) Bill 2020. You can read the Law Council's submission here and media release here.

OAIC Privacy guidance
Released privacy guidance for agencies and private sector employers to help keep workplaces safe and handle personal information appropriately as part of the COVID-19 response. This includes answers to frequently asked questions. Revised detailed advice helps regulated entities assess the privacy risks involved in changed working environments, as many organisations implement or expand remote working arrangements. Organisations and agencies can also download our new step-by-step tool to help guide them through the Privacy Impact Assessment process (16 May 2020).

AAT Bulletin
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. 15/2020, 18 May 2020. More...

ANAO Performance Audits in Progress
Due to table: June, 2020; Open for contribution
Administration of financial disclosure requirements under the Commonwealth Electoral Act
Due to table: June, 2020; Open for contribution
Management of the Australian Government's Register of Lobbyists — follow-up

Australian Bushfires Disaster Emergency Declaration — Understanding your privacy obligations
The Attorney-General has made the Privacy (Australian Bushfires Disaster) Emergency Declaration (No. 1) 2020 (the emergency declaration) under Part VIA of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act). The emergency declaration was made in response to bushfires in Australia resulting in death, injury and property damage occurring from August 2019 into 2020.The emergency declaration expires on 20 January 2021.


QLS: Estate administration update – access to ATO Information
The range of persons to whom the ATO can disclose information about the taxation affairs of a deceased person has been expanded, as of 15 May 2020, pursuant to the Taxation Administration (Remedial Power—Disclosure of Protected Information by Taxation Officers) Determination 2020 (21 May 2020). More...

CCC updated Corruption Allegations Data Dashboard (CADD)
The updated version now includes data up to 31 December 2019. The CADD is a tool which provides members of the public and public servants with the ability to view CCC allegations data, learn about the number and types of matters received by the CCC, and identify agencies related to the allegations. To view the latest data dashboard, including a glossary of terms and instructions on how to interpret the data, click here. (14 May 2020)

Court Amendments
A more detailed summary is available on the QLS webpage where we are posting regular updates from the Courts, Commissions and Tribunals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Magistrates Court of Queensland
The Magistrates Court is testing a new cloud-based videoconferencing system for the conduct of proceedings. PEXIP is currently in testing so only select matters will be heard in this manner. If you are a party to a matter that is testing the system you will receive instructions. Further communication and updates will be provided as testing progresses including frequently asked questions (14 May 2020).

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
Amendments to QCAT Practice Directions No. 4 and 5 of 2020 - Minor amendments have been made to QCAT Practice Directions No. 4 and 5 of 2020. Amendments to Practice Direction 4 affect paragraph [6]. Amendments to Practice Direction 5 affect paragraphs [6] and [8]. View QCAT Practice No. 4 of 2020 – Minor Update and QCAT Practice Direction No. 5 of 2020 – Minor Update (15 May 2020).

COVID-19 Update on Courts, Commissions, Tribunals, Property law and Criminal law
QLS will provide up to date information on our website regarding the evolving COVID-19 situation and the response of the Courts, Commissions, and Tribunals in Queensland. Further key updates on information specifically relating to property law, can also be found on the QLS website.

QLS: Guidance and assistance—COVID-19
The Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response—Wills and Enduring Documents) Regulation came into force on 15 May 2020 and can be accessed here.

OIC Qld: Applying section 54 of the IP Act
Dealing with Information Privacy Act 2009 (IP Act) applications that aren't limited to documents containing the applicant's personal information can be challenging. It is important that decision makers follow section 54 of the IP Act (19 May 2020). More...

OIC Qld: What to do if you're affected by a privacy breach
If someone is impacted by a privacy breach, OIC's new page will help them take steps to minimise any potential harm (13 May 2020). More...

OIC Qld: Embed and support a privacy aware culture
Good privacy practice stems from good privacy governance. Embedding a culture that respects privacy helps an agency manage compliance and reduces the risk of privacy breaches. To embed and support a culture of privacy that values personal information an agency should make a commitment to the regulation and policy outlined here (12 May 2020). More...

Inquiry into the Queensland Government's economic response to COVID-19
The Queensland Economics and Governance Parliamentary Committee is calling for submissions on their inquiry into the Queensland Government's economic response to COVID-19. Further information and details on the terms of reference can be found on the Inquiry Homepage. Feedback is welcomed by 3 June.

Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council Issues paper: Penalties for Assaults on Public Officers
The Council has published an Issues Paper that explores the themes raised in preliminary submissions and is supported by the Council's analysis of sentencing trends and reforms introduced in other Australian and overseas jurisdictions. Further information about the review is available on the QSAC website. Submissions close on 25 June 2020.

Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council Inquiries
The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, the Honourable Yvette D'Ath MP, referred Terms of Reference to the Council in early December 2019 asking for its advice on penalties for assaults on police and other frontline emergency service workers, corrective service officers and other public officers. The Council must report back to the Attorney-General by 30 June 2020. More...

Managing your investments in times of volatility
QAO Advice: 18 May 2020
COVID-19 has brought volatility to the value of many investments, including those of public sector entities. More...

Inquiry into the exemption of delegated legislation from parliamentary oversight
The Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation has resolved to inquire into and report on the exemption of delegated legislation from parliamentary oversight. The Committee will be specifically considering: the appropriateness and adequacy of the existing framework for exempting delegated legislation from parliamentary oversight; and whether the existing framework for exempting delegated legislation from parliamentary oversight should be amended, and, if so, how. Further details on these terms of reference can be found on the Inquiry Homepage.

Department of the Premier and Cabinet Consultation: Annual report 2018-19
Feedback survey open until 26 June 2020 - help us improve our annual reports so readers can use them more effectively. More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission: 19 May 2020
The ACCC has released this concepts paper seeking views on each of the issues to be covered in a mandatory code to address bargaining power imbalances between Australian news media businesses and Google and Facebook. More...

Issues paper: Constitutional framework for the declaration of a State of National Emergency
Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements: 08 May 2020
This issues paper explores legal and constitutional questions surrounding the concept of a declaration of a 'state of national emergency' by the Commonwealth of Australia, and how this might operate and interact with existing state and territory emergency management frameworks. More...

ANAO Performance Audits
Due to table: June, 2020 Open for contribution Administration of financial disclosure requirements under the Commonwealth Electoral Act
Due to table: June, 2020 Open for contribution Management of the Australian Government's Register of Lobbyists — follow-up

Australian Bureau of Statistics
06/05/2020 Public Consultation - How do you use Census data, 2020
Tell us about how your use of Census data has resulted in better outcomes for individuals, families and communities at


Cantor v Audi Australia Pty Limited (No 6) [2020] FCA 658
THE COURT ORDERS THAT: Pursuant to s 37AF and s 37AG(1)(a) of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) (Federal Court Act), on the ground that it is necessary to prevent prejudice to the proper administration of justice, until further order, the information specified in the schedule below not be disclosed (by publication or otherwise) to any person other than: (a) The Court; (b) The applicant; and (c) The legal representatives of the applicant for the purpose of this proceeding only.

Clark v National Australia Bank Limited (No 2) [2020] FCA 652
REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDINGS – where order sought pursuant to ss 22, 23 or s 33ZF of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth), r 1.32 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) and/or the Court's implied jurisdiction dismissing the proceeding – consideration as to how s 33ZB operates to bind group members to a settlement not the dismissal of the class action
REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDINGS – application for approval of settlement pursuant to s 33V of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) – settlement approved
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – where applicant sought confidentiality orders pursuant to Pt VAA of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) in respect of extensive material put before the Court on the settlement application – consideration of threshold for the grant of such an order – consideration of principles of open justice as fundamental to the operation of the judicial power of the Commonwealth

Australian Brumby Alliance Inc v Parks Victoria Inc [2020] FCA 605
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) Act s 15B(5) – action to prevent removal of brumbies from the Bogong High Plains and Eastern Victorian Alps within the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves - whether removal will have or is likely to have a significant impact on the National Heritage values of the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves - whether prohibiting the removal is reasonably appropriate and adapted to give effect to Australia's obligations under Article 8 of the Biodiversity Convention – whether brumbies are part of the National heritage values of the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves – whether the Biodiversity Convention protects cultural and social values - proper construction of s 15B(5) and (6)
Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth); Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth)

The State of Queensland through the Department of Housing and Public Works v Tenant [2020] QCAT 144
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – minor civil dispute – tenancy dispute – Public Housing - where Applicant applied to terminate Respondent's State tenancy for objectionable behaviour
HUMAN RIGHTS – HUMAN RIGHTS LEGISLATION – where Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) applies in Queensland residential tenancy context – where human rights limited in certain circumstances - whether human rights of tenant to privacy, family and home prevail over right of lessor to evict tenant – whether human rights to freedom to choose residence, not to be treated in cruel, inhuman or degrading way, or freedom of expression limited – where Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2009 (Qld) valid, effective and limiting according to its provisions – where exercise of discretion requires consideration of human rights and balancing of legislative purposes – whether termination of lease for objectionable behaviour non-arbitrary and lawful – whether termination a proportionate response to objectionable behaviour of tenant. Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 Vic s 7

Chief Executive, Department of Justice and Attorney-General v Dhillon [2020] QCAT 141
AGENTS FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION ACT 2014 (QLD) - CLAIM FUND – REIMBURSEMENT ORDER – whether reimbursement order should be made – real estate agent – misappropriation or misapplication of trust property –reimbursement order sought from respondent in relation to two claims brought by separate claimants
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – whether Agents Financial Administration Act 2014 (Qld) allows a reimbursement order for total value of separate claims against the claim fund
Acts Interpretation Act 1954 Qld s 14A, s 32C; Agents Financial Administration Act 2014 Qld s 6, s 82(1), s 116, s 117, s 118, s 119

The Chief Executive, Office of Fair Trading, Department of Justice & Attorney-General v Tivoli Gardens Ipswich Pty Ltd & Ors [2020] QCAT 140
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – Claim Fund under Agents Financial Administration Act 2014 (Qld) – whether reimbursement order should be made – where relevant event was expiry of Resident Letting Agent Corporation Licence – where receiver appointed – where requirements for reimbursement order for receiver remuneration and costs met – where Tribunal does not have discretion when requirements met
Agents Financial Administration Act 2014 Qld s 64, s 75, s 78, s 102, s 116, s 117, s 118, s 119
Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 Qld s 434
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 157
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2009 Qld r 39

Yong Construction Group Pty Ltd v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2020] QCAT 139
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – costs – Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) – s 100, s 102
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – COSTS – Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) – s 100, s 102
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 32, s 100, s 102, s 107(1), Chapter 2 Division 3




Marriage (Celebrant Registration Charge) Determination 2020
19/05/2020 - This determination sets the celebrant registration charge payable by Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants at $0 for the 2020-2021 financial year and repeals the Marriage (Celebrant Registration Charge) Determination 2014.

Remuneration Tribunal Amendment Determination (No. 3) 2020
18/05/2020 - This instrument amends the Remuneration Tribunal (Remuneration and Allowances for Holders of Full-time Public Office) Determination 2019 and Remuneration Tribunal (Remuneration and Allowances for Holders of Part-time Public Office) Determination 2019.

Telecommunications (Interception and Access) (Emergency Service Facilities—Victoria) Instrument 2020
18/05/2020 - This instrument specifies the names of the forces and services operating premises in Victoria that have been declared to be an emergency service facility. It revokes the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) (Emergency Service Facilities — Victoria) Instrument 2012.

Australian Postal Corporation (Performance Standards) Amendment (2020 Measures No. 1) Regulations 2020
15/05/2020 - These regulations amend the Australian Postal Corporation (Performance Standards) Regulations 2019 to provide urgent and temporary change to performance standards for the delivery of letters to enable Australia Post to effectively manage any COVID-19 impacts on its operations, including by optimising the use of its workforce. The amendment regulations will also give Australia Post an exemption from its retail outlet requirements, should temporary closures be necessary due to workforce impacts by COVID-19.


Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Bill 2020
Finally passed both Houses 14 May 2020
The purpose of the Bill is to assist in preventing and controlling the entry, emergence, establishment or spread of the coronavirus known as COVID-19 into Australia or any part of Australia, by amending the Privacy Act 1988(Privacy Act) to provide stronger privacy protections for users of the Commonwealth's COVIDSafe app and data collected through the app (COVID app data) than the protections that would otherwise apply under Australian law
Update: The Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Bill cleared the senate without amendments on 14 May 2020. The legislation seeks to allay privacy concerns within the community, replacing an interim determination issued under the Biosecurity Act when COVIDSafe was launched last month. It introduces strict penalties of up to five years jail for those that collect, use, disclose (include outside of Australia) or decrypt COVIDSafe data for any purpose other than contact tracing.

Fair Work Amendment (COVID-19) Bill 2020
Introduced Senate 12 May 2020
The Bill provides 14 days paid COVID-19 leave to all workers, including part-time, casual and gig economy workers. Paid COVID-19 leave will be added to the National Employment Standards which sets out minimum standards that cannot be displaced.


Subordinate legislation as made
No 78 Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response—Wills and Enduring Documents) Amendment Regulation 2020 – 22 May 2020
This Regulation is made under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020, Powers of Attorney Act 1998 and Succession Act 1981. The policy objectives of the Regulation is to prescribe modified requirements or arrangements, which will apply in addition to existing requirements, for the making, signing and witnessing of wills under the Succession Act 1981 and enduring documents under the Powers of Attorney Act 1998 in reliance on section 9 of the COVID-19 Response Act 2020.

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.