vLex Australia

  • Construction industry reforms: Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW)

    The NSW Parliament passed the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) (the Act) on 11 June 2020 as part of series of reforms to laws impacting the construction industry following recent high-profile incidents of building defects across Sydney. (See Article)

    Sep 30, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Proposed Copyright Reform in Australia – Limited Liability Scheme for Use of Orphan Works

    Reforms to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (Act) are just around the corner, and after two years of extensive stakeholder consultation, the Government has finally proposed a limited liability scheme for use of orphan works. The proposed reforms were announced by Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, on 13 August 2020. (See Article)

    Sep 30, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Study findings could help develop E. coli treatment

    Research by scientists in Australia could help open up new possibilities to treat enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) infections. University of New South Wales (UNSW) microbiologists discovered a molecular pathway that controls Shiga toxin production. The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). EHEC is a foodborne pathogen that releases Shiga toxins during... (See Article)

    Sep 29, 2020 6:33 AM

  • Building and construction update: the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020

    The Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance & Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 (NSW) (RAB Act) came into force on 1 September 2020. The RAB Act is part of the NSW Government's commitment to arm the Building Commissioner and relevant government departments with a suite of comprehensive powers against non-compliant developers and to identify serious defects in residential apartment buildings. (See Article)

    Sep 28, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Has COVID-19 Affected Patent, Trade Mark or Design Filing Activity – an Australian Perspective

    This is a guest contribution from Mike Lloyd of Patent-Insights.  Further details about the author can be found at the end of the article. COVID-19 has had many devastating impacts all around the world, both in terms of fatalities and other health impacts, and also in economic terms.  While the economic impact is yet to... (See Article)

    Sep 27, 2020 5:47 AM

  • Western Australia – A Requiem for the ‘Peer Professional’ Test at a Time of Uncertainty.

    In the Torts Law Journal (forthcoming) abstract for his article Marco Rizzi writes: In late September 2019, the Court of Appeal of Western Australia, comprising Quinlan CJ, Murphy and Pritchard JJA, handed down a significant judgment that sheds a measure of light over some intricate aspects of medical liability in WA. The Civil Liability Act... (See Article)

    Sep 27, 2020 5:47 AM

  • COVID-19 (Australia): Migration Update – September 2020 Changes

    NEW OCCUPATION LIST ANNOUNCED FOR PRIORITY ENTRY UNDER COVID-19 - Acting Minister for Immigration Alan Tudge has announced a new Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) in a joint media release with Senator Michaelia Cash on 2 September 2020. (See Article)

    Sep 27, 2020 5:46 AM

  • COVID-19 Safe Harbour – I Just Spent Six Months in a Leaky Boat…

    No one expected these immortal words by Split Enz to be so relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that is exactly how some directors may be left feeling regarding the requirements to qualify for protection from trading while insolvent under the COVID-19 Safe Harbour provisions. Please see full Publication below for more information. (See Article)

    Sep 27, 2020 5:46 AM

  • Further changes to the Australian Securities Exchange temporary emergency capital raising relief

    For all relevant capital raisings announced on or after 16 September 2020 and on or before 30 November 2020: Any listed entity that wishes to utilise the class waivers must be able to evidence that it is raising capital “… predominately for the purposes of addressing the existing or potential future financial effect on the entity resulting from the COVID-19 health crisis, and / or its economic impact…” on the listed entity. (See Article)

    Sep 27, 2020 5:46 AM

  • JobKeeper Wage Subsidy and Workplace Flexibility Arrangements Extended for Australian Employers During COVID-19

    The Situation: The Australian Federal Government has extended the JobKeeper Payment Scheme ("Scheme") with modifications for an additional six months, until 28 March 2021. The fortnightly flat rate subsidy of $1500 per eligible employee will be replaced by a reduced, two-tiered payment. The temporary workplace flexibility arrangements under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) ("FW Act") have also been extended for the same period, although these have also been modified. (See Article)

    Sep 27, 2020 5:46 AM

  • Australian Hydrogen Update Paper - September 2020

    The move to a low carbon energy industry is now firmly underway in Australia, with the Commonwealth and most State governments publishing and executing long term strategies to develop the hydrogen energy industry in Australia. Please see full Publication below for more information. (See Article)

    Sep 23, 2020 8:32 AM

  • Australian Hydrogen Projects Paper - September 2020

    Current Australian hydrogen projects - We set out the table below the current Australian hydrogen pilot projects, refuelling projects, feasibility studies and research projects based on information made available to the public as at 7 August 2020. Please see full Publication below for more information. (See Article)

    Sep 23, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Australia Increases Scrutiny for Litigation Funders

    The Situation: Following a boom in class actions backed by litigation funders, the Australian Federal Government has introduced new regulations which classify litigation funding schemes as "managed investment schemes" and "financial services licensing schemes" for the purpose of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). (See Article)

    Sep 22, 2020 8:32 AM

  • Avoid the Crocs! Here Are the New Rules for Reporting Independent Contractor Payments

    It’s important to follow directions. Not convinced? Ask the 52-foot humpback whale that took a wrong turn on its way to Antarctica earlier this month and ended up in Australia’s East Alligator River. Ironically (and I do not use that term lightly)* the East Alligator River has no alligators in it. It is infested with... (See Article)

    Sep 22, 2020 6:33 AM

  • ASIC's New Corporate Plan Covers Next Four Years

    Australia's corporate regulator has released its Corporate Plan, which outlines its strategic litigation goals and governance initiatives over the next four years. On 31 August 2020, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission ("ASIC") released its Corporate Plan for 2020-2024. The Corporate Plan articulates the corporate regulator's ambitious agenda, strategic priorities, and enforcement strategy. (See Article)

    Sep 22, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Australia’s High Court Rules on How to Count Personal Leave Entitlement Under the Fair Work Act

    On August 13, 2020, 11 years after the enactment of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the “FW Act”), Australian employers received guidance from the High Court regarding how to count the entitlement to “10 days” of personal leave per year of employment, as required under Section 96 of the FW Act. The High Court... (See Article)

    Sep 17, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Essential System Services in the National Electricity Market

    Executive summary - 1. In common with most electricity systems in the world, the Australian National Electricity Market (“NEM”) has entered a period of transition as the share of generation from variable renewable generation (“VRE”) increases rapidly. The system now operates with an increasing share of non-synchronous generation (inverter-based resources (“IBR”), such as wind and solar) and a declining share of conventional large-scale synchronous coal and gas-fired generation. By 2025, the maximum penetration of wind and solar is expected to exceed 75% of underlying demand and could reach up to 100% according to different AEMO forecasts. Please see full Publication below for more information. (See Article)

    Sep 16, 2020 6:31 PM

  • A Comprehensive Roadmap for Australia's Complex Energy Transition - Part of the Jones Day Carbon Disruption series.

    The Situation: On 30 July 2020, the Australian Energy Market Operator ("AEMO") published the 2020 Integrated System Plan ("ISP") for the Australian National Electricity Market. The Context: The plan is a comprehensive, whole-of-system roadmap for Australia's energy future to 2040. It sets out detailed stakeholder engagement programs, potential investment requirements and planning timelines for Australia's proposed transition to a climate-resilient network. Looking Ahead: The 2020 ISP proposes that by 2035, nearly 90% of electricity demand on the Australian electricity network could be met by renewable generation. This would exceed Australia's current target of a 26% reduction in 2005-level greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. (See Article)

    Sep 16, 2020 8:32 AM

  • Austria Introduces New Foreign Investment Screening

    Austria passed a new Investment Control Act ("ICA") expanding the screening of foreign investments ("FDI"), effective July 25, 2020. The Austrian rules on European FDI-cooperation will enter into force on October 11, 2020. The ICA affects a wide array of "sensitive sectors," including, among others... (See Article)

    Sep 16, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Another Reason for ASIC Not to Litigate

    The Situation: Australia's corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission ("ASIC") brought proceedings against two former directors of Tennis Australia ("TA") alleging that they engaged in numerous contraventions of their duties under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) in respect of their conduct during negotiations between TA and Seven Network Holdings (Seven) for a renewal of an agreement for the domestic broadcast rights to tennis tournaments. The Judgment: In ASIC v Mitchell (No 2) [2020] FCA 1098, Justice Jonathan Beach of the Federal Court of Australia rejected 41 of ASIC's 44 allegations against the directors. Justice Beach was extremely critical of the way that ASIC had brought its case finding that the regulator's case theory displayed confirmatory bias and dismissing its construction of the evidence as based on unsubstantiated "conspiracy theories". (See Article)

    Sep 15, 2020 8:32 AM

  • Stage 4 Restrictions Move Many Victorian Construction Projects on to the Back Burner

    The government's latest restrictions will impact owners, contractors, and suppliers. The Victorian Government has moved the Victorian construction industry to a "pilot light" status from 5 August 2020, until at least 16 September 2020, as part of the Government's response to the second wave of COVID-19 cases in the State. (See Article)

    Sep 15, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Australia’s Directors Continue to Enjoy Two Safe Harbours as the COVID-19 Insolvency Laws Are Extended

    The Australian federal government has announced that the temporary changes it enacted in March to the Corporations Act concerning insolvent trading laws and the creditor’s statutory demand regime have been extended to 31 December 2020. The changes were due to expire on 25 September. Please see out alert for further information. (See Article)

    Sep 14, 2020 6:33 AM

  • Foreign Financial Services Providers Update

    UPDATE ON ASIC FOREIGN AFSL REGIME - It has now been over five months since the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) commenced its foreign Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) regime. (See Article)

    Sep 10, 2020 6:31 PM

  • Case Note: What does ‘give possession’ mean under the Cape Town Convention?

    Wells Fargo Trust Company, National Association (trustee) v VB Leaseco Pty Ltd (administrators appointed) [2020] FCA 1269 In a significant decision for aircraft leasing and finance, the Federal Court of Australia last week provided important guidance on the meaning of the phrase ‘give possession of the aircraft object to the creditor’ as used in Article... (See Article)

    Sep 10, 2020 6:33 AM

  • Canadian Heritage Minister Guilbeault Says Social Media Sites Linking to News Content Without Payment is “Immoral”

    Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault appeared on The West Block over the weekend in an interview that provides a strong – and disturbing – sense of where the government is headed on Internet regulation. Most problematic was the discussion on compensation from social media companies such as Facebook to news organizations for allowing their users... (See Article)

    Sep 10, 2020 6:33 AM

  • There Are Many Serious Concerns About Facebook. Why the Australia News Fight Isn’t One of Them

    Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it plans to stop allowing publishers and users to share news on both Facebook and Instagram in Australia. The decision came after months of public debate and private negotiations on potential payments from the social media giant to news organizations. When the Internet platforms and the news organizations led... (See Article)

    Sep 7, 2020 6:33 AM

  • Australia Financial Services Industry Royal Commission Leads to Class Actions Boom

    Australia's landmark Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry that was conducted throughout 2018 and reported in early 2019 highlighted numerous examples of potential contraventions of the law. The Royal Commission has triggered not just legislative reform and regulatory actions, but also a boom in class action proceedings seeking to recover compensation for bank customers and shareholders alike. As of 30 June 2020, 17 class actions, relying on a variety of causes of action, including shareholder claims of misleading or deceptive conduct, contravention of superannuation fund trustee obligations, unconscionable conduct and contravention (See Article)

    Sep 7, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Australian Defence to Use Swarms of Tiny Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, Highlighting a Global Trend

    Last week, the Australian Department of Defence announced that it will begin research and development for the use of swarms of tiny autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) (i.e., underwater drones) to detect and clear naval mines. (See Article)

    Sep 4, 2020 6:31 AM

  • “Never waste a (COVID-19) crisis”: new proposals to streamline the Australian government's environmental approvals regime

    On 27 August 2020, the Federal Government tabled the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Streamlining Environmental Approvals) Bill 2020 (Bill) in the House of Representatives. (See Article)

    Sep 4, 2020 6:31 AM

  • COVID-19: (Australia) Further Changes To JobKeeper: What Do Employers Need To Know Now?

    The Coronavirus Economic Response Package (JobKeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020 was passed by Federal Parliament, which has resulted in further changes to the JobKeeper Payment scheme including changes to the flexibility provisions under Part 6-4C of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act). (See Article)

    Sep 3, 2020 8:31 AM