Yesterday (30 March 2015), the Federal Government released the "Re:Think Better Tax Better Australia" Taxation White paper, which they have said is part of their "open and constructive conversation with the community on how we can create a better tax system that delivers taxes that are lower, simpler, fairer."
In the case of ACCC v Origin Energy Electricity Limited  FCA 278 (27 March 2015), the Federal Court has ordered Origin Energy Electricity Limited (Origin) to pay $2 million in penalties in relation to unlawful door-to-door selling practices in proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The Court also ordered Origin’s marketing company, SalesForce Australia Pty Ltd (SalesForce), to pay $325,000 in penalties.
Last week, the Federal Government introduced the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 into the House of Representatives. According to the Explanatory Memorandum, the Bill is designed to introduce a prescriptive scheme to reduce online copyright infringement. The Bill would insert a new section 115A into the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) that would allow the Federal Court to grant an injunction requiring a carriage service provider (e.g., an internet service provider or ISP) to block an infringing website.
In a recent media release (23 February 2015), the Queensland Attorney-General, Yvette D-Ath, announced a Commission of Inquiry into Queensland's Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment (VLAD) Act, or so-called anti-bikie legislation. This comes as part of Labour's inquiry into Organised Crime in Queensland.
The Telecommunication (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014 has been passed by both houses of Parliament. As previously reported by Timebase here, here and also here, the bill requires Australian Internet Service Providers and telecommunications carriers to retain customer metadata for a minimum period of two years. The data to be stored includes account holder names and addresses; date, time and duration of communications; the recipient of communications; and the location of equipment used for communications, including cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots.
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