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On 28 November 2019, the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer) Bill 2019 (Cth) (“the Telecommunications Bill”) and the Telecommunications (Regional Broadband Scheme) Charge Bill 2019 (Cth) (“the Charge Bill”) were introduced into the House of Representatives by Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher. Both Bills passed through Parliament with amendments on 14 May 2020. The Bills are yet to receive Royal Assent.
On 13 May 2020, the Payment Times Reporting Bill 2020 (Cth) (‘the Bill’) and the Payment Times Reporting (Consequental Amendments) Bill 2020 (Cth) (‘the Consequential Amendments Bill’) were introduced to the House of Representatives. According to the Explanatory Statement, the purpose of the Bill is to establish a payment times reporting scheme (‘the Scheme’) whereby large businesses and large government enterprises will be required to publicly report on their payment terms and practices for their small business suppliers. Section 3 of the Bill states that the purpose of making this information publicly available is to:
The Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Bill 2020 (Cth) (the Bill) was introduced into Federal Parliament on 12 May 2020 by Mr Porter, the Commonwealth Attorney-General and was passed the Senate on 14 May 2020. The Bil lwas assented to on 15 May 2020, and is now the Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Act 2020 (Act No. 44 of 2020) (the legislation). According to the Attorney-Genera,l the legislation introduces strong privacy protections that apply to data collected through the COVIDSafe app and is intended to facilitate the COVID-19 contact tracing efforts of the State and Territory health authorities.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2020 (Cth) (“the Bill”) was introduced into Federal Parliament’s House of Representatives on 13 May 2020 by the Hon Peter Dutton, the Minister for Home Affairs. The Bill is currently before the House of Representatives.
On 4 May 2020, the NSW Department of Liquor and Gaming (“the Department”) released the draft Liquor Amendment (24-hour Economy) Bill 2020 (NSW) (“the draft Bill”) for public consultation.
On 8 May 2020, the Land (COVID-19 Emergency Response—Waiver and Deferral of Rents and Instalments) Regulation 2020 (Qld) (‘the Regulations’) were published on the Queensland Legislation Website. According to the Explanatory Statement, the purpose of the Regulations is to establish a framework for the Minister to provide relief (wholly or partially) from the necessity of paying rent under the Land Act 1994 (Qld) and the Land Regulation 2009 (Qld), in response to the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 15 April 2020, the WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt introduced the Pay-roll Tax Relief (COVID-19 Response) Bill 2020 (“the Bill”) to WA’s Legislative Assembly, with the Bill passing the Assembly on the same day.
The Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Bill 2020 (the Bill) was introduced into the South Australian Parliament on 30 April 2020 by Mr D J Speirs MLA, the Minister for the Environment and Water (the Minister). In broad terms, the Bill prohibits the sale, supply and distribution of certain single-use plastic products and establishes a framework for banning other plastic products in the future. The Bill has been introduced to carry out the SA Government’s announcement in July 2019 that it would address the "impacts of single-use plastic products".
On 16 April 2020, Minister for Commerce John Quigley introduced the Residential Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Bill 2020 (WA) (“the Bill”) to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly. The Bill passed the lower house on the same day, and passed the Legislative Council with amendments on 17 April 2020. The Legislative Assembly agreed to the amendments and the Bill passed both houses of parliament on 20 April 2020. The Bill received the Royal Assent on 23 April 2020.
On 23 April 2020, the Western Australian Commercial Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Act 2020 (the Act) was assented to, with Parts 2 and 3 of the Act (dealing with terminology and with prohibited actions) being deemed to have commenced on 30 March 2020 and the remainder commencing on 23 April 2020. The main purpose of the Act is to create a "moratorium on evictions for small commercial tenancies". The Act also incorporates a range of other measures to provide urgent relief for commercial tenants in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and includes a mechanism for the introduction of a code of conduct for landlords and tenants.
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