On 26 May 2016, the Witness Protection Amendment Bill 2016 passed the Legislative Assembly and was introduced into the Legislative Council of Victoria. The Bill proposes to extend the scope, improve the governance and administration of protection and assistance provided under the Witness Protection Act 1991 (VIC) (Witness Protection Act) and promote community confidence in its operation and to make consequential amendments to other acts, namely to amend the Crimes Act 1958 (VIC) (Crimes Act) to create a new offence relating to intimidation towards, and reprisals against, witnesses.
Northern Territory Attorney-General Mr Elferink introduced the Bail Amendment Bill 2016 into the Northern Territory Parliament on 25 May 2016. The Bill amends the Bail Act to create a presumption against bail for persons charged with certain property and vehicle-related offences, and to mandate electronic monitoring for people released on bail despite the presumption. TimeBase has previously reported on the Facebook announcement by Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles, where he foreshadowed the introduction of such a bill.
On 24 May, the Queensland Legislative Assembly introduced the Education and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 into Parliament. The primary objective of the bill is to make the Preparatory Year (Prep) the compulsory first year of school education in Queensland. The bill also improves the regulation relating to the teaching provisions in Queensland. The bill also introduces a statutory debt recovery mechanism to recover State and Commonwealth funding paid to non-state schools in excess of their entitlement.
It has been revealed in a recent ACCC Media Release that online retailer Update Technology Pty Ltd (Update Technology) has paid a $10,200 penalty after the issue of an infringement notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Home insulation installers and manufacturers are being asked to join a $100 million class action against the Commonwealth Government, claiming the failed management of the “pink batts” scheme caused them massive financial losses and damage to their businesses.
The Justice Legislation Amendment (Drug Offences) Bill 2016 passed the Northern Territory (NT) Assembly on 25 May 2016 and is awaiting assent. The new legislation is meant to substantially strength NT drug legislation and is described by the Attorney General Mr Elferink (the AG) as seeking to:
The Commonwealth Attorney General, George Brandis, has recently announced several new judicial appointments to the Federal Court of Australia as well as the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court.
On Wednesday the 4th of May 2016, the ABC News reported that 757 asylum seekers held on Manus Island had launched a High Court action seeking their immediate removal from Manus Island to Australia. The action is reported to be prompted by the previous week's decision in the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court ruling that the detention centre on Manus Island breached PNG's constitution.
On 24 May 2016, the SA Law Society as an initiative of the Succession Law Committee, has set up a Central Wills Register, including the location of all wills held by practitioners in the State.
It has been reported that the consumer watchdog will appeal a $1.7 million fine issued to the maker of Nurofen over its misleading "specific pain" range, saying it should be increased to at least $6 million.
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