The Ageing and Disability Commissioner Bill 2019 (the “Bill”) was introduced to the NSW Parliament’s Legislative Assembly on 8 May 2019, by Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, the Hon Gareth Ward. The object of the legislation is to establish a new position of Ageing and Disability Commissioner. The Bill is currently before the Legislative Assembly and is proposed to amend the following NSW Acts:
In Gary Douglas Spence v State of Queensland  HCA 15 (‘the Case’), the High Court of Australia considered the validity and operation of Commonwealth and Queensland laws that regulate the gifts made to political parties. On 17 April, the High Court held that the Queensland laws were valid and that a provision of the Commonwealth law was invalid. The Court published the reasons for this judgment on 15 May 2019.
In Rudy Frugtniet v Australian Securities and Investments Commission  HCA 16 (15 May 2019) the High Court of Australia has, in a unanimous decision, allowed an appeal from a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia [see Frugtniet v Australian Securities and Investments Commission  FCAFC 162 (12 October 2017)]. The High Court held that the Administrative Appeals Tribunal ("the Tribunal"), on review of a decision by a delegate of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission ("ASIC") to impose a banning order on the appellant, was prohibited from taking into consideration a spent conviction, within the meaning of Part VIIC of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) (the Crimes Act). This was because ASIC had initially been prohibited from taking a spent conviction into account in making its decision to impose the banning order.
On 19 February 2019, the Open Courts and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2019 (VIC) (‘the Bill’) was reintroduced to the Victorian Legislative Assembly by Attorney-General, Jill Hennessy. The Bill was previously introduced on 7 August 2018 as the Open Courts and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2018 (VIC), but lapsed due to the expiration of the 58th Parliament.
On 2 May 2019, the Biosecurity Bill 2019 (No 15 of 2019) (the “Bill”) was introduced to Tasmania’s House of Assembly (the “Assembly”) by the Hon Guy Barnett (Minister for Primary Industries and Water). The new Bill proposes to consolidate a number of current biosecurity laws. The Bill is currently before the Assembly where it is awaiting further discussion.
In Rinehart v Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd; Rinehart v Rinehart  HCA 13 (8 May 2019), the High Court of Australia has, in a unanimous decision, dismissed appeals from two decisions of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia. The Court found that disputes as to the validity of certain deeds were subject to the arbitration clauses contained in those deeds. A majority of the High Court also allowed a cross-appeal from one of the decisions, finding that three companies who were not parties to the deeds were "part[ies]" within the meaning of the Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 (NSW) section 2(1) ("the NSW Act").
On 30 April 2019, the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Amendment Bill 2019 (VIC) (‘the Bill’) was introduced to the Victorian Legislative Assembly by the Minister for Industrial Relations, Tim Pallas. It aims to amend various acts in order to provide for safer and fairer work for owner drivers and forestry contractors.
In the recent case of Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC v Bega Cheese Limited (No 8)  FCA 593 (1 May 2019), the Federal Court of Australia (the “Federal Court”) has handed down a decision in favour of Bega Cheese Limited (“Bega”) after Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC (“Kraft”) went to the Federal Court alleging Bega engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct over the marketing of its peanut butter. See our previous TimeBase article for more on the history of the matter.
The Fair Trading Amendment Bill 2019 (the “Bill”) was introduced to Western Australia’s Legislative Council on 3 April 2019, by the Hon Alannah MacTiernan (Minister for Regional Development). The intention of the Bill is to "amend the Fair Trading Act 2010, to improve the operation of the consumer law in Western Australia". The Bill is currently before the Legislative Council.
The Local Government Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 (the Bill) was introduced into the WA Legislative Assembly by the Minister for Local Government, Mr DA Templeman (the Minister), on 14 March 2019 and reached second reading stage in the Legislative Council on 11 April 2019. The purpose of this Bill is broadly stated as being to amend the Local Government Act 1995 (WA) (the LG Act), the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1960 (WA) and certain other Acts, to introduce reforms aimed at improving the governance level of local governments and increasing their accountability to the community. The Bill is the third major piece of legislation introduced by the WA Government to bringing about reforms to the local government sector and complements the transfer of auditing oversight to the Office of the Auditor General and the introduction of the power to suspend individual council members when their behaviour is interfering with the ability of the local government to perform its function.
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