The Abbott Government has announced a sweeping review of the Australian industrial relations system. Productivity Commissioner Chief Peter Harris has promised that the review will be the broadest review of IR laws in a generation. The findings of this review are expected to form the basis of a new workplace relations policy for the Federal Coalition.
On 30 October 2014, the Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull introduced the government’s widely reported and controversial Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (the Data Retention) Bill 2014 (see). The Bill, which currently sits at second reading stage in the House of Representatives, will require, among other matters, that internet service providers (ISPs) store details of internet usage by Australians for a period of two years and it will provide access to that stored data to a dozen law enforcement agencies.
The new Victorian Labor Government have announced the proposed terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Family Violence. The Commission, which was a key election promise, will be chaired by Justice Marcia Neave and is scheduled to begin in February. The Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, has called family violence “a national emergency” in a press release by the Victorian Government that also stated:
The New South Wales government is currently conducting a review of court security in conjunction with the Australian Federal Police as a result of heightened fears of terrorist activities. Late last year, the Department of Justice engaged the Australian Federal Police to conduct an independent review of court security for the protection of all court users. The Magistrates' Association will be consulted as part of the review.
Late last year (2014) the Water Reform and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (Qld) completed its legislative journey through the Queensland Parliament and on 5 December 2014 was enacted as Act No 64 of 2014 (the Act). The legislation has attracted attention and some controversy because it will, among other amendments, allow miners in Queensland to take ground water without a license and will exempt them from reporting requirements for "low-risk" activities.
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