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On 21 July 2020, the South Australian Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade, introduced the COVID-19 Emergency Response (Further Measures) (No 2) Amendment Bill 2020 (SA) (“the Bill”) to the Legislative Council. The Bill passed both houses of Parliament without amendments by 23 July. On 24 July, the Bill was assented to as the COVID-19 Emergency Response (Further Measures) (No 2) Amendment Act 2020 (SA) (“the Act”), and came into operation on the same day.
According to a number of news reports, Westpac is facing a potential class action on behalf of thousands of Australians who took out car loans under a since-banned scheme that allowed dealers to set exorbitant interest rates.
On 13 July 2020, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Acquisition as Consumer—Financial Thresholds) Regulations 2020 (Cth) (‘the Regulations’) were notified. The primary purpose of the Regulations is to give effect to proposal 15 of the Australian Consumer Law Review which recommended increasing the monetary threshold in the definition of ‘consumer’ for the purposes of the Australian Consumer Law which is found in Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act (Cth) (‘the ACL’).
The Training and Skills Development (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2020 (the Bill) was introduced into the SA Parliament by the Minister for Innovation and Skills, D G Pisoni, (the Minister) on 2 July 2020. According to the Minister, the Bill is the outcome of a thorough consultative review of the Training and Skills Development Act 2008 (the TSD Act).
On 15 July 2020, the Minister for Industrial Relations Grace Grace introduced the Criminal Code and Other Legislation (Wage Theft) Amendment Bill 2020 (QLD) (“the Bill”) to the Queensland Legislative Assembly. The Bill was referred to the Education, Employment and Small Business Committee (“the Committee”) for consideration on the same day. The report from the Committee is due to be released on 28 August 2020.
On Tuesday, 14 July 2020, the Child Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 (Qld) (the Bill) was introduced into the Queensland Parliament by the Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women, Di Farmer. The Bill responds to the findings of the Deputy State Coroner in the Coroners Court of Queensland delivered on 2 June 2020 following the inquest into the death of 22 month old Mason Jet Lee (Mason).
On 25 June, the Therapeutic Goods Amendment (2020 Measures No. 1) Act 2020 (Cth) (‘the Act’) received assent. The Act makes several amendments to the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth) (“the Principal Act”). In his second reading speech, Mr Mark Coulton, the Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, highlighted three main changes made in the Act:
The Fair Work Ombudsman (the “FWO”), Sandra Parker, has announced the regulator’s strategic priorities for the year ahead in a media release. The priorities include supporting all workplaces through the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing large corporate underpayments. The FWO is re-adjusting its focus to investigate serious allegations of “serious non-compliance with workplace laws”, including complaints about JobKeeper. The regulator revealed they were fielding 50 per cent more inquiries in April 2020 compared with 2019 and as of 8 July 2020, had seen a 25 per cent increase in JobKeeper inquiries.
On 9 July 2020, a review of the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 (Cth) (“the Act”) was tabled at parliament by the then Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (“INSLM”) Dr James Renwick. Dr Renwick completed his term as the INSLM, and the review, on 30 June 2020.
On 30 June, the Sentencing Amendment (Emergency Worker Harm) Act 2020 (Vic) (“the Amending Act”) was assented to as Act 23 of 2020. In the Second Reading Speech for the Bill, Attorney-General Hon. Jill Hennessy stated:
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