The Productivity Commission (the Commission) inquiry into the Banking System was announced by the Federal Treasurer Mr Morrison in May 2017 as part of the federal budget process which also included the new Bank Levy announcement (see Major Bank Levy Bills Introduced). In broad terms the Commission was tasked by the Treasurer, to look at: how to improve consumer outcomes; the productivity and international competitiveness of the financial system and economy more broadly; and how to support financial system innovation, while balancing financial stability objectives. The Commission began this work in July 2017 and while it is not due to report until July 2018, it has received some 31 key submissions from interested parties, two of the more interesting ones being from the "regional banks" and the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) seeking more consideration of the "market power" of the big banks and the concept of "too big to fail" often applied to the big banks.
On Friday the 22nd of September 2017, the High Court handed down its judgment of Re Roberts  HCA 39. Sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns in Brisbane, Justice Keane held that at the time of the Federal election in 2016, Senator Malcolm Roberts of the One Nation Party, was a joint citizen with the United Kingdom.
The Public Health Amendment (Review) Bill 2017 (NSW), introduced into the House of Assembly on 9 August 2017 by Mr Brad Hazzard, Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research, received Assent on Wednesday, 20 September 2017, and has now been enacted as the Public Health Amendment (Review) Act 2017 (Act No 43 of 2017) (the Act).
The new Taxation Administration Regulations 2017 (Cth) (“the Regulations”) have been notified on the Federal Register of Legislation. The Regulations replace the Taxation Administration Regulations 1976, which were scheduled to sunset, and have been made under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) (”the Act”). The new Regulations will commence operation on 1 October 2017. The release of the new Regulations follows a three week public consultation period, with an exposure draft released on the Treasury website on 31 July 2017.
On Tuesday (19 September 2017) the Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Marlene Kairouz (the Minister) introduced into the Victorian Legislative Assembly the Gambling Regulation Amendment (Gaming Machine Arrangements) Bill 2017 (Vic) (the Bill). The proposed legislation has been described as part of a "sweeping raft of changes" - a key element of which is a $500 a day cap on EFTPOS withdrawals in the bid to tackle gambling harm in Victoria.
On Tuesday, 19 September 2017, the Fines Reform Amendment Bill 2017 (‘the Bill’) was introduced into the Legislative Assembly by the Victorian Attorney General and Minister for Racing, the Honourable Martin Pakula. In essence, the Bill will amend the Fines Reform Act 2014 ('the Act'), as well as a number of other related Acts, to establish a scheme devised to aid people who are the victims of family violence and who have consequently come into contact with the infringement system.
The Liquid Fuel Emergency Amendment Act 2017 (Cth) ('the Act') received the Royal Assent on Monday, 18 September 2017. The Act will enable the Australian Government to enter into commercial oil stockholding contracts, including what is known as “ticket contracts” with Australian and foreign entities. The Act will commence operation on 1 January 2018.
On 15 February 2017, the Senate referred the issue of transvaginal mesh implants to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report. The inquiry has been travelling around Australia to hear testimony from stakeholders on the issues.
The Federal Government has introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. 6) Bill 2017 (Cth) (the Bill) into Parliament. The Bill proposes to amend the current GST laws so that digital currencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, will no longer be subject to double taxation.
On 13 September 2017, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal (NSWCCA) dismissed an appeal brought by former Labour leader, Eddie Obeid. The matter concerned the applicant’s sentence of five years, handed down in December 2016 (R v Obeid (No 12)  NSWSC 1815) for the offence of misconduct in public office.
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