The Queensland Industrial Relations Act 2016 was assented on 9 December 2016. As previously reported, the Act will attempt to restore fairness to the State’s industrial relations jurisdiction. During its process through Parliament, the Act received a few amendments to clarify provisions of the Act and to ensure that the policy objectives of the overall Act are achieved.
In a recent judgment handed down by the Federal Court (Fair Work Ombudsman v Complete Windscreens (SA) Pty Ltd (No 2)  FCA 1563), an Adelaide car windscreen business and its director have been fined nearly $85,000 for the underpayment of employees after a Federal Court decision ruled some of the company’s conduct involved “an element of exploitation”.
The Medicines and Poisons Act 2014 (No 13 of 2014) (WA) (the new Act) has been proclaimed to commence (excluding section 14(2)) on 30 January 2017 (see Gazette 13, 17 January 2017, p 404) and to compliment that commencement, a new set of principal regulations, the Medicines and Poisons Regulations 2016, has also been gazetted (see Gazette 14, 17 January 2017, p 443).
The NSW Government is reviewing the civil justice system, releasing a consultation paper late last year that asks for public submissions on how it can improve the current system. In a media release announcing the launch of the paper, the Government cited figures from the Law and Justice Foundation saying that around 2.8 million people in NSW face a significant legal problem each year, with 85% of those matters involving civil law. However, the Foundations says that ‘one in five people take no action because they don’t know how to or think it will be too stressful or expensive’.
The Victorian Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2016 was assented in December of 2016. The Act which will primarily commence in July 2017 and will improve the benefits payable under existing Victorian Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and WorkSafe Victoria schemes.
Yesterday (17 January 2017), the draft of a new Education and Children’s Services Bill 2016  (SA) (the draft Bill) was posted to thewebsite looking for feedback on the new draft Bill which is intended to replace both the Education Act 1972 (SA) and the Children's Services Act 1985 (SA). The proposed draft Bill is described as ". . . the biggest single legislative change to the [SA] education system in more than 40 years".
On 16 January 2017, the Minister for Corrections, Gayle Tierney, released a public media statement regarding changes to the Community Correctional Services in Victoria. With a target to reduce reoffending by prisoners, the new reforms will see offenders subjected to more intensive case management, and having access to more targeted rehabilitation and support services.
In the case of Palmer v Forrest Personnel Inc  WAIRC 866 (4 November 2016), Commissioner Emmanuel found that an employee was unfairly dismissed because her employment was terminated without reason and the employer’s behaviour towards her was particularly harsh and unfair.
There have been a number of class actions and inquiries launched by or on behalf of people detained in Australia’s offshore detention centres. This article provides a snapshot of the status of two class actions and an inquiry that are currently underway.
In late December 2016 and early January 2017, there have been 17 new appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, one new appointment to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and a proposal for appointment to the newly created Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.
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