The NSW parliament has passed the Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Amendment Bill 2014 resulting in the government ditching a proposal that would have cut the amount of taxpayer funding smaller parties can claim if they don't get a member elected to the Legislative Assembly, or lower house.
Yesterday (30 October 2014) the Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull introduced the government’s widely reported and controversial Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014. The Bill will require, among other matters, that internet service providers (ISPs) store details of internet usage by Australians for a period of two years.
In a judgment handed down in August 2014 (Maughan Thiem Auto Sales Pty Ltd v Cooper  FCAFC 94 (1 August 2014)), a Federal Court Full Court has overturned an earlier decision of the South Australian Industrial Court in relation to the interpretation of the long service leave provisions of the National Employment Standards (“NES”) in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the Act). The decision clarifies the circumstances in which award provisions of long service leave apply. In particular, it provides guidance on how the terms of an award that pre-dates the Fair Work Act will continue to apply and how this can exclude State and Territory laws that deal with long service leave.
The Federal Government’s proposed changes to university funding and fee deregulation (the Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill 2014) are currently being debated in the Senate. It is still not clear whether the bill will pass, as Labor, the Greens and Clive Palmer of the Palmer United Party have all expressed their opposition to the bill as it currently stands.
The next step to tougher security powers, the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 was introduced into the Senate by the Federal Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis (the AG) on 29 October 2014 and has reached second reading stage, where it has been referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (the PJCIS) for inquiry and report back to the Parliament by 17 November 2014.
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