In the media

NRMA Insurance's ‘First Saturday' ad pulled for distressingly realistic scenes of bushfires and volunteer firefighters
NRMA Insurance's ‘First Saturday' campaign film has been discontinued after the advertising self-regulator, Ad Standards, ruled the ad had breached the Code of Ethics, based on section 2.3, which covers the portrayal of violence (09 October 2020).  More...

Senate Inquiry into the Aboriginal Flag news update
On 22 September 2020, the Australian Copyright Council (ACC) CEO, \\ was invited to appear at the Select Senate Committee's Inquiry into the Aboriginal Flag. The ACC submission emphasised the importance that, Luritja artist and copyright owner, Mr.Harold Thomas retain copyright and a say in the landscape in which the flag continues to be used. The Committee is due to report to Parliament on 13 October 2020 (09 October 2020).  More...

International Convention on the rights of older persons
The Law Council has recently adopted an in-principle position in support of the development of an international Convention on the Rights of Older Persons (International Convention). It considers the International Convention to have the potential to play an important role in improving the lives of older people globally, and in turn to inform Australia's own domestic legal and policy frameworks  (09 October 2020).  More...

Digital goal to top world by 2030
The Government's Digital Business Plan includes a number of initiatives to support businesses along the journey towards improved business resilience and performance. This would be underpinned by the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy which would ensure Australia's cyber security was robust by improving security practices and awareness across the economy. (08 October 2020).  More...

Election office can count on upgrades
The Australian Electoral Commission's (AEC) ageing ICT systems are to be upgraded as part of the post-pandemic Economic Recovery Plan for Australia. The upgrading will include new systems for control of personnel and logistics, and more seamless voter interactions with the AEC (08 October 2020).  More...

The Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia welcome Government funding announced in the 2020-21 Budget
The Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia (the Courts) welcome additional resources announced on 6 October as part of the 2020-21 Budget. Securing key and ongoing funding for judicial and registrar resources has been a priority for the Courts (08 October 2020).  More...

Text message sparks council candidate complaint over newspaper bias
An errant text message from a newspaper editor has sparked a bitter battle involving allegations a media outlet is trying to sway a council election (08 October 2020).  More...

Supporting the justice system during the COVID-19 pandemic
As part of Australia's Economic Recovery Plan, the Morrison Government is providing additional support for Australia's legal system to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and to support those using the courts to resolve their matters as quickly and efficiently as possible (06 October 2020).  More...

Queensland's Murri Court helping to make change happen
In developing the Doing Justice Differently series and working with the specialist courts, the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council is focusing attention on the many ways the court system is working to invest in people to keep communities safe (06 October 2020).  More...

Formal family agreements will protect older people
Age Discrimination Commissioner the Hon. Dr Kay Patterson AO has welcomed the announcement that the Federal Government is removing a disincentive for older people to put in place formal ‘family agreements' (also known as ‘assets for care' agreements) (05 October 2020).  More...

Updated corruption allegations data released
The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has updated its Corruption Allegations Data Dashboard (CADD) to include data up to 30 June 2020. The expanded data set means a total of five years of allegations data for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2020 (02 October 2020).  More...

Updates to the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards
The Morrison Government is pleased to announce the finalisation of the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2020 which have been released today (02 October 2020).  More...

Domestic violence Rrelated to problem gambling, says Study
New research published earlier this week by Australia's National Research Organization for Women's Safety (ANROWS) found that gambling doesn't cause intimate partner violence (IPV) but exacerbates it (02 October 2020).  More...

Evaluating the first tranche of the table offences reform
Crime and Justice Bulletin No. 231, Clare Ringland: October 2020. Results from this study suggest that reclassifying offences from strictly indictable to Table offences significantly reduced both the number of matters finalised in the District Court and court delay, and decreased the likelihood of a custodial penalty being imposed (01 October 2020).  More...

Final Report into penalties for assaults on public officers released
The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council says reform is recommended to simplify and focus the offence of serious assault under section 340 of the Criminal Code Act 1899, and recommending important changes to the structure of offences and penalties for assaults in the workplace, making 13 recommendations to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, the Honourable Yvette D'Ath MP (01 October 2020).  More...

Modernised Body Corporate regulations to commence in March 2021
The Palaszczuk Government has finalised a modernised set of body corporate regulations which will deliver important benefits for Queensland unit owners. The new regulations streamline and modernise body corporate procedures, reduce body corporate costs and enhance protections for unit owners (29 September 2020).  More...

New Magistrate appointed in Rockhampton
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath has announced the appointment of Jason Schubert to the Rockhampton Magistrates Court.  Mr Schubert commences his position as Magistrate on Wednesday 30 September (29 September 2020).  More...

CCC: No trust without transparency: International Access to Information Day 2020
International Access to Information Day 2020 and the CCC is supporting the Queensland Office of the Information Commissioner to highlight the importance of providing accurate and relevant information to the community (28 September 2020).  More...

Most want govt to do more to protect privacy
More than eighty per cent of Australians think the government should do more to protect the privacy of their data, according to a survey by the OAIC. Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk says the survey highlights the importance of data privacy to Australians in a time of rapidly evolving data collection and storage (28 September 2020).  More...

Information watchdogs mark access day
The Australian Information Commissioner joined Information Access Commissioners and Ombudsmen from across Australia and New Zealand to sign a public statement marking Monday of this week as International Access to Information Day (28 September). They said open, transparent and accountable Governments that proactively release information to the community remained fundamental to a democratic society (28 September 2020).   More...

Factsheet sets out Ombudsman's intentions
The Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman has released a new factsheet outlining what Government Agencies and other entities can expect when the Ombudsman seeks assurance that recommendations he makes have been implemented (28 September 2020)..  More...

Services Australia passes risk audit
A performance audit assessing whether Services Australia has appropriately managed risks involved in operating its current welfare payment system while managing transition to a future system has concluded that it has “largely done so” (28 September 2020).  More...

In practice and courts 

Federal Budget 2020-21:
The Federal Government delivered the Budget for 2020-21 on 6 October
Cyber safety:  $39.4 million in new funding for the Federal eSafety Commissioner to continue its work protecting Australians from online harms.

Office of the National Data Commissioner Exposure draft: Data Availability and Transparency Bill
We are seeking submissions on the exposure draft of the Data Availability and Transparency Bill and explanatory materials, and an Accreditation Framework discussion paper. Submissions are open between 14 September and 6 November 2020. You can also find a second independent Privacy Impact Assessment that examined the privacy implications of the Bill, and see our response. 

AIJA ANROWS Perpetrator Intervention Project  - The National Statement for this project finalised.
This is another key outcome of the ANROWS project and aims to encourage further discussion of the need to build more opportunities for judicial peer discussion and education on how to effectively utilise perpetrator interventions to enhance accountability.  The statement can be accessed here or from the Monash University Project here

Nomination of legal representative - Australian Tax Office
The ATO recently reviewed the way it engages with legal practitioners who are representing their clients in relation to tax and superannuation matters. As part of this review the ATO consulted with legal practitioners to better understand the role they typically play with respect to taxation and superannuation and their priorities and timelines when dealing with the ATO. Please find attached the methods for nomination of legal practitioner with associated timeframes.

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. 25/2020, 5 October 2020.  More...

Consultation on Financial Products and the Personal Property Securities Act 2009
The Attorney-General's Department has released its consultation paper on the Personal Properties Securities Act 2009 and Financial Products. This consultation process will inform the Attorney-General's policy considerations and help ensure the law regarding financial property and intermediated securities is clear and fit for purpose in the PPS Act. For more information, please see the Department's inquiry page here. Consultation closes on 30 October 2020

Family Law Amendment (Powers Delegated to Registrars) Rules 2020 and Federal Circuit Court Amendment (Powers Delegated to Registrars) Rules 2020
Family Law Amendment (Powers Delegated to Registrars) Rules 2020 and the Federal Circuit Court Amendment (Powers Delegated to Registrars) Rules 2020 commenced on Saturday 26 September 2020. The amendments delegate additional powers to Registrars and Deputy Registrars of the Family Court of Australia (known respectively in practice as ‘Senior Registrars' and ‘Registrars') and Registrars of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. 

ACMA Consultation: New arrangements for low interference potential devices - consultation 28/2020
The ACMA would like your comments on the draft Radio communications (Low Interference Potential Devices) Class Licence Variation 2020 (No. 1). The closing date is 26 October 2020.  More...

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 More...

Commonwealth Ombudsman - Fact Sheet:  Ombudsman recommendations
This fact sheet outlines what government agencies or other entities can expect when the Ombudsman seeks assurance that recommendations have been implemented (02 October 2020).  More...

ACMA position paper: Misinformation and news quality on digital platforms in Australia
A position paper to guide code development—includes a model code framework for consideration, including objectives and outcomes to be achieved for the benefit of Australian users of digital platforms. The ACMA anticipates to have in place a single, industry-wide code by December 2020. The position paper, Misinformation and news quality on digital platforms in Australia - A position paper to guide code development has been published on the ACMA website.

Law Council update
The Law Council produces a fortnightly newsletter which highlights the Law Council's important activities and advocacy, along with any relevant media and events stakeholders would be interested in. More...

LCA submissions
06 October 2020— Business Law Section
Major reform of the Foreign Investment Review Framework - Tranche 2

28 September 2020— Law Council
Supplementary Submission: Inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence

28 September 2020— Law Council
Supplementary submission: ‘Declared areas' provisions of ss 119.2 and 119.3 Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)

Current APH Inquiries and Consultations

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee
Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2019 [Provisions] and Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2019 [Provisions]  Report by 20 November 2020
Nationhood, national identity and democracy
The committee's reporting date is extended to 8 December 2020
Guidance for digital check-in providers collecting personal information for contact tracing,

Intelligence and Security Legislation Amendment (Implementing Independent Intelligence Review) Bill 2020
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security is calling for submissions on the Intelligence and Security Legislation Amendment (Implementing Independent Intelligence Review) Bill 2020. Further information on the bill can be found here. On 23 March 2020 the Senate extended the committee's reporting date to 14 October 2020.

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


Human Rights Act 2019 - Section 52 Notice: Director-General for the DJAG
Under section 52 notice of the Human Rights Act 2019 (the HR Act), a party to a proceeding before the Supreme or District Courts must give notice to the Attorney-General and the Queensland Human Rights Commission (QHRC) if a question arises in relation to the application of the HR Act or in relation to the interpretation of a statutory provision in accordance with the HR Act. An approved form for this notice has been developed and is available on the Queensland Courts website (Form 1).

Local Government Reform
Regulation changes to improve transparency through requirements for meeting agendas, minutes and registers of interests, the ability to appoint Councillor advisors and a new code of conduct for Councillors (in effect 12 October 2020). Read the updated information paper

Electoral and Other Legislation (Accountability, Integrity and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2020
The Queensland Government is delivering a rolling reform agenda to strengthen the transparency, accountability and integrity measures that apply to the system of local government and elections in Queensland.

Trust account investigation policy
QLS Council has approved a policy for Part 3.3 (Trust Account) Investigations. The policy, which commenced operation on 1 September 2020, sets out the QLS's process of regulating trust accounting, what it looks for, how it determines compliance and non-compliance, and the consequences of these. More...

P&E Court to resume in-person ADR conferences 
In-person ADR conferences have resumed in the Planning and Environment Court as of 28 September. More...

QLS Annual Report 2019-20 released
The Queensland Law Society Annual Report 2019-20 is now available. The report, which was tabled in Queensland Parliament last week, records QLS's activities, achievements and challenges for the 2019-20 financial year (29 September 2020).   More...

Crime and Corruption Commission
Includes data up to 30 June 2020.   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. (02 October 2020). More...

OIC Qld: Joint statement on International Access to Information Day 2020
September 28, 2020 - Information Access Commissioners and Ombudsmen from across Australia and New Zealand have released a joint statement to mark International Access to Information Day on 28 September.  More...

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...

COVID-19 Update on Courts, Commissions, Tribunals
See current COVID-19 updates for the Courts, Commissions and Tribunals here. Additionally, QLS also provides COVID-19 updates specifically relating to property law and criminal law.

Published - articles, papers, reports

Supplementary submission by the Commonwealth Ombudsman Inquiry into Centrelink's compliance
Commonwealth Ombudsman: 08 October 2020
Submissions: Supplementary submission by the Commonwealth Ombudsman Inquiry into Centrelink's compliance program

2019 Report on Commonwealth Ombudsman's activities under Part V of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979
Commonwealth Ombudsman: 02 October 2020
For the period: 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.  More...

Auditor-General's mid-term report
ANAO: 07 October 2020
The fifteenth Commonwealth Auditor-General of Australia, Grant Hehir, has prepared a mid-term report reflecting on his first five years in the role. The report presents a description and analysis of the role and impact of audit, as well as analysis of the financial audit and performance audit work of the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO). The report concludes with coverage of ANAO continuous improvement activities across audit quality, better communication, transparency, efficiency and workforce capability.  More...

ANAO Annual Report 2019–20
ANAO: 28 September 2020
The report addresses all applicable obligations under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013; the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014; the Auditor-General Act 1997; the performance measures set out in the outcome and programs framework in the ANAO's Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20 and the ANAO Corporate Plan 2019–20; and annual reporting requirements set out in other relevant legislation.  More...

Not for publication: declining transparency in the federal budget
Rod Campbell; The Australia Institute: 09 October 2020
Budgets are a key part of Australia's democratic system, with budget papers giving the public a valuable opportunity to see how much money is spent and on what. In this paper, Rod Campbell argues that while there may be circumstances where non-publication of budget information.  More...

Democracy under lockdown: the impact of COVID-19 on the global struggle for freedom
Sarah Repucci, Amy Slipowitz Freedom House: 02 October 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled a crisis for democracy around the world. Based on a survey of 398 journalists, civil society workers, activists, and other experts, as well as research on 192 countries by Freedom House's global network of analysts, this report provides an in-depth analysis.  More...

Equality before the Law Bench Book
JUDCOM: 28 September 2020
Section 7 — Women - This chapter has been rewritten, with updated cases and legislation, new and updated statistics and new sections on socio-economic factors and gender disadvantage, sexual harassment, intersectional discrimination and violence against women.  More...

Delivering successful technology projects
QAO Report 7: 2020–21: 30 September 2020
The purpose of this Auditor-General's insights report is to highlight recurring risks and issues in delivering technology projects and to share learnings with the wider public sector.  More...

Awarding of sports grants
QAO Report 6: 2020–21: 29 September 2020
The objective of this information brief is to share key facts about sports grants in Queensland between 1 July 2017 and 29 February 2020.  More...


Ambrose v Commonwealth of Australia [2020] FCA 1439
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – where applicant's Newstart allowance under Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 (Cth) suspended for non-compliance with mutual obligation requirements – where allowance reinstated and applicant repaid allowance in full on internal review – where application for  judicial review  under  Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977  (Cth) of suspension lacks any utility – where in any event adequate provision is made for full merits review under the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 (Cth) – relief refused in the exercise of discretion 

Vincentia MC Pharmacy Pty Ltd v Australian Community Pharmacy Authority [2020] FCAFC 163
 ADMINISTRATIVE LAW  – statutory construction – decisions of Australian Community Pharmacy Authority to recommend to approve, and of Secretary to approve, application to supply pharmaceutical benefits under s 90 of National Health Act 1953 (Cth) – whether primary judge erred in adopting narrow construction of “for at least 70 hours each week” for purposes of definition of “large medical centre” in s 5(1) of National Health (Australian Community Pharmacy Authority Rules) Determination 2011 (Cth) – significance of weeks which include a public holiday to proper construction of “each week” – interpretation of subordinate or delegated legislation pursuant to s 13 of the Legislation Act 2003 (Cth) and s 15AA of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) – legislative definition framed as substantive enactment – appeal allowed – outstanding judicial review grounds remitted to primary judge for determination 

McCarthy v TKM Builders Pty Ltd & Anor [2020] QSC 301
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS OF REVIEW – JURISDICTIONAL MATTERS – where the applicant was not given a copy of the adjudication application – where the second respondent, the adjudicator, made an adjudication decision – whether failure of the first respondent to give the adjudication application to the applicant deprived the adjudicator of jurisdiction

Kocwa v Twitter Inc [2020] QDC 252
DEFAMATION – INJUNCTIONS – INTERLOCUTORY INJUNCTIONS – where a Twitter user made publications about the applicant on Twitter – where posts made by Twitter user had been re-tweeted by other Twitter users – where the applicant seeks an injunction to remove existing posts and restrain the respondent from publishing or causing to be published further posts – whether Twitter Inc is the proper respondent – whether applicant has affected service on the respondent – whether prima face case made out – whether balance of convenience is in favour of the grant of an injunction

Sun Metals Corporation Pty Ltd v Craig Allen (Deputy Director-General, Office of Industrial Relations) [2020] QSC 304
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS OF REVIEW – REVIEWABLE DECISIONS AND CONDUCT – REVIEW OF PARTICUALR DECISIONS – where incident at zinc refinery caused death of worker - where prosecution commenced by the respondent against the applicant for an alleged breach of a duty under section 19 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) - where applicant proposed to the respondent a written undertaking under section 216 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) in response to prosecution – where respondent rejected undertaking – where responsibility of respondent to give reasons pursuant to section 217 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) - where applicant seeks judicial review of decision to reject undertaking – whether breach of the rules of natural justice – whether respondent took into account irrelevant considerations in making decision – whether respondent failed to take into account relevant considerations in making the decision – whether respondent failed to engage actively in consideration of objective gravity of incident 




Judges' Pensions Amendment (Pension Not Payable for Misconduct) Bill 2020
Introduced to Senate – 06/10/2020 - This Bill will address a deficit in the current Judges' Pensions Act 1968 (Pensions Act), and in particular the limitation that the Act only applies to Judges currently holding positions on the bench. This Bill is retrospective in operation for the purpose of ensuring all past Judges are held accountable for any serious misconduct done while they held their position and that only becomes apparent after their retirement or departure from the Bench 

Royal Commissions Amendment (Confidentiality Protections) Bill 2020
Introduced to Senate – 06/10/2020 -The Royal Commissions Amendment (Confidentiality Protections) Bill 2020 will amend the Royal Commissions Act 1902 and make consequential amendments to the Freedom of Information Act 1982. The proposed amendments will apply limitations on use and disclosure to information given by individuals to the Disability Royal Commission

Family Law Amendment (Risk Screening Protections) Bill 2020
Amends the Family Law Act 1975 to provide that: family risk screening information is confidential and cannot be disclosed except in limited circumstances; family safety risk information is inadmissible in court, except in limited circumstances; and court workers (such as registrars and family counsellors) have immunity when involved in family risk screening procedures. Senate Third reading agreed to 08/10/2020


Competition and Consumer (Consumer Data Right) Amendment Rules (No. 2) 2020
01/10/2020 - This instrument amends the Competition and Consumer (Consumer Data Right) Rules 2020 to permit the use of accredited 3.intermediaries to collect CDR data, through an expansion of the rules relating to CDR outsourcing arrangements.

Defence Determination, Conditions of service Amendment (Imprisonment, detention and custody) Determination 2020 (No. 18)
28/09/2020 - This instrument reinstates the authority for suspending and forfeiting a member's salary and allowances during a period of imprisonment, detention or custody and provides what happens to a member's leave, housing benefits and other conditions of service during a period of imprisonment, detention or custody.

Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Relevant Company) Amendment (2020 Measures No. 1) Rules 2020
28/09/2020 - This instrument makes an amendment to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Relevant company) Rule 2016, to add a relevant company item to the Relevant companies table in section 5, as well as incorporate the proposed relevant company's objects into Column 3 of the Relevant companies table under section 5.


Subordinate legislation as made – 05 October 2020
No 233 – Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Amendment Regulation 2020
No 235 - Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Amendment Regulation 2020
No 238 - Justices (Computer Warrants) Amendment Regulation 2020
No 239 -  Criminal Practice Amendment Rule 2020
No 244 - Local Government Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2020
No 247 - Public Service (Public Service Offices and Other Matters) Amendment Regulation 2020

Acts Commencement

Electoral and Other Legislation (Accountability, Integrity and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2020 (Qld)
The key policy objective of Chapter 2 is to improve the actual and perceived integrity and public accountability of State elections and ensure public confidence in State electoral and political processes
Commencement: (1)Chapter 2 commences as follows—  (c)the following provisions commence on 1 July 2022—
(4)Chapter 5 commences as follows—  (b)the remaining provisions of chapter 5 commence on 12 October 2020.

Subordinate Legislation as made – 02 October 2020
No 244 Local Government Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2020

Subordinate legislation reminder
No 144 Electoral Amendment Regulation 2020
5 Amendment of s 8 (Amount of policy development payment to which eligible registered political party is entitled—Act, s 240) (1) Section 5 commences on 1 January 2022

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.