In the recent case of Nicolaou v Architectural Project Specialists  FWC 5224 (13 October 2017), the Fair Work Commission (the FWC) held that an employee (Jason Nicolaou, the applicant) had been unfairly dismissed on 19 May 2017 as a result of his failure to show up on a job site.
The NSW Government has assented to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Sydney Drinking Water Catchment) Act 2017 (NSW) (‘the Act’) on 13 October 2017. The Act will amend the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (‘the amended Act’) in order to make changes to the water quality test for extensions to developments.
On Monday, 16 October 2017, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) released the preliminary report to the Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry. This report is the first stage in “an inquiry into the retail supply of electricity and the competitiveness of retail electricity markets in the National Electricity Market” (the Inquiry); presented to the ACCC by the Treasurer of the Australian Government, the Hon Scott Morrison MP on 27 March 2017.
On Thursday 11 October 2017 the Minister for Agriculture and Food in WA, the Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC, introduced the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2017 (WA) (the Bill) into the Legislative Council. The Bill makes amendments to the Animal Welfare Act 2002 (WA) (the AW Act) enabling WA to legally enforce national welfare standards for livestock so bringing WA in line with the rest of the country, excluding the ACT.
The NSW Government has introduced a bill to amend the Fair Trading Act 1987 (NSW) that aims to combat ticket scalping, and introduce rules about the expiry of gift cards. The Fair Trading Amendment (Ticket Scalping and Gift Cards) Bill 2017 was introduced into the NSW Legislative Council on 11 October 2017 by Mr Scot MacDonald, on behalf of the Hon. Sarah Mitchell. The Bill is part of a suite of “Consumer First” reforms currently being proposed by the NSW Government.
In a move which is hoped will promote and recognise the importance of Indigenous languages, NSW Aboriginal Affairs Minister, the Honourable Sarah Mitchell, MLC has, in the presence of Aboriginal Elders and community representatives, introduced the Aboriginal Languages Bill 2017 (NSW) (the Bill) into the NSW Parliament on 11 October 2017, with the Bill currently at second reading stage in the Legislative Council.
On Wednesday, 11 October 2017, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia (FCAFC) released its reasons for upholding the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) decision to cut Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for full-time and part-time workers. In their decision, the FCAFC, consisting of Justices North, Tracey, Flick, Jagot and Bromberg, held that the legal basis for the FWC’s decision was correct and therefore, in making its review of the awards system, the FWC met its legal obligations.
In August 2017 when the Domestic Violence Orders (National Recognition) Bill 2017 (WA) was introduced into the WA Parliament, the Bill was declared "urgent" and the proposed legislation was expected to pass quickly. The Bill did in fact get to second Reading in the Council in the space of just one day, however, at that stage it was referred to the Standing Committee on Uniform Legislation and Statutes Review for scrutiny and the report on the Bill, (Report No. 107 (TP 712)), was tabled in the Council one month later on 10 October 2017.
Attorney-General George Brandis has released a draft version of the Security of Critical Infrastructure Bill 2017 (Cth), which proposes two new measures to “help manage the complex and evolving national security risks from foreign involvement in Australia’s critical infrastructure”. The draft Bill would create a “last resort power” to allow a ministerial direction to be issued to an owner or operator of a critical infrastructure asset and a “critical asset register” to allow the Government to track the ownership and control of these assets.
Today (11 October 2017) the High Court of Australia handed down a judgement in the case of Director of Public Prosecutions v Charlie Dalgliesh (A Pseudonym)  HCA 41. The issue on appeal was whether the Court of Appeal was correct to determine that the sentence given was within the range indicated by current sentencing practices and so to dismiss an appeal, even though the Court also concluded that the range was so low that it "reveals error in principle". The High Court unanimously allowed the appeal, saying that the range established by current sentencing practices should not have been treated as decisive.
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