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- Greenwashing, Digital Advertising & Platform Issues, Financial Services & Consumer Guarantees: What the ACCC's 2022/23 Priorities Mean for Your Business
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has just published its compliance and enforcement priorities for FY 2022/23. For the first time, the ACCC has aligned its annual priorities to the financial year. It promises to be a significant year with the ACCC's leadership changing, with the baton soon to be passed from the outgoing Chair, Rod Sims (who has been at the ACCC's helm for over a decade), to the incoming and first female Chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, in late March 2022. To help businesses digest the implication of the ACCC's priorities quickly and efficiently in this unique paradigm, we have prepared a one page summary that highlights the ACCC's most pressing consumer and competition law priorities and key 'to do's' for businesses. The ACCC also continues to focus on enduring issues including cartel enforcement. Please see full Summary below for more information.
- Vaccine Requirements – Australia
Australia has a high uptake of vaccination to COVID-19, partly due to enforceable public health orders at State level which require classes of workers to be vaccinated if they are to work outside of their home. As at the date of writing, the position is summarised below. Commonwealth - The Federal Government has not mandated vaccination but has endorsed state mandates for vaccination of workers in aged care settings. Please see full Chapter below for more information.
- Foreign Investment in Australia: what you need to know
What you need to know Under Australia’s foreign investment regime, certain types of investments by foreign private investors or foreign government investors need to be notified to, and reviewed and a statement of no objection is issued by the Australian Treasurer (“Treasurer”). This process is referred to as “obtaining FIRB approval”. The Foreign Investment Review Board (“FIRB”) reviews foreign investment proposals on a case by -case basis and advises the Treasurer on the national interest implications of the proposed transaction. The decision to grant or refuse FIRB approval is made by the Treasurer. Please see Publication below for more information.
- Australia's Pathway to a Hydrogen Energy Future: Hydrogen Projects Update 2022
There has been significant progress in the Commonwealth and State Governments’ plans to develop a hydrogen industry in Australia since our original Australian Hydrogen Projects Paper that was published in 2020. Alongside and in collaboration with domestic and foreign developers, investors and energy buyers, the Commonwealth and State Governments have continued to support the development of existing and new hydrogen-focused research programs and project plans across Australia throughout 2021. We have summarised these developments and changes in this latest 2022 version of our Australian Hydrogen Projects Paper. Please see full publication below for more information.
- Changes to the Franchising Code Now Apply
On 1 June 2021, the Australian Government released amendments to the Franchising Code of Conduct and a number of these have already begun to apply. A summary of when various key changes take effect is set out below.
- A Novel Duty of Care? Recent Developments in Australian and International Climate Change Law
In the past month, a number of landmark developments have occurred in climate change law in Australia and overseas, which have the potential to materially impact emissions intensive corporations and projects. These reflect the ongoing willingness of courts to intervene and regulate carbon dioxide emissions based on actions founded in tort and negligence.
- Australian Financial Services Regulatory Update - May 2021
This edition of the Update covers: 1. Recent legal and regulatory developments, including the release of ASIC's immunity policy for market misconduct offences, a FATF consultation on proliferation of financial risk and digital currency, and ASIC and APRA's focus on the management of cyber risk and climate risk; 2. A recent decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia upholding an order compelling compliance with a s 33 notice by an authorised representative of an AFS licensee; 3. The continuing fallout of the Financial Services Royal Commission and the recent cases demonstrating ASIC and APRA's continuing commitment to enforcement action in relation to matters referred by the Commissioner; and 4.Other regulatory enforcement action, including the Federal Court finding that the Mayfair 101 Group made misleading or deceptive statements in its advertisements and the imposition of AFS licence conditions on a retail OTC derivatives issuer.
- ASIC signals its approach on new breach reporting obligations
New breach reporting obligations for Australian financial services and credit licensees come into effect on 1 October 2021. This post considers ASIC’s draft guidance on some of the key features of these reporting obligations.
- Duty of care to consider climate change impacts on children: The Sharma case
The Federal Court of Australia has found that the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment has a duty of care to children when deciding whether to approve a project under the EPBC Act that would facilitate carbon emissions.
- Après Ski: Two Rules for NSW Environmental Prosecutions after the Charlotte Pass Snow Resort Case
Just days from the NSW ski season opening, the NSW Land and Environment Court (Court) has delivered its second decision in relation to the ongoing prosecution of Charlotte Pass Snow Resort Pty Ltd (Ski Resort) by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
- ATO reconsiders tax exemptions for charities and not-for-profits: draft amendment to taxation ruling 2005/22 and a new version of the GiftPack is released
The ATO recently released a draft amendment to its public ruling 2005/22 which considers when companies will be income tax exempt under Division 50 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. The draft amendments to the ruling are a long awaited response to the High Court’s Decision in Federal...
- Are You Getting The Flexibility You Are Looking For?
A recent prosecution by the Fair Work Ombudsman has demonstrated the strict compliance requirements associated with the use and implementation of an individual flexibility arrangement (IFA) in an employer’s business. What is an IFA? Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act), modern...
- Reserve Bank of Australia RMBS Disclosure Criteria
On October 22, the Reserve Bank of Australia introduced new criteria for the eligibility of RMBS in its operations, which will require RMBS issuers to provide detailed information on reporting templates regarding......
- Addressing the Maintenance Backlog in Victorian Schools – is a PPP the Answer?
The results of the audit report into Victorian schools announced on 20 February 2013 revealed a AUD420 million maintenance backlog with over 5,000 school buildings identified as falling below the standards set by Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD). Since the first...
- Steady As She Goes – Coalition Tweaks Fair Work Laws Creating a Glimmer of Hope for Employers
The Policy - Yesterday, the Coalition released its workplace relations policy, The Coalition's Policy to Improve the Fair Work Laws (Policy), which promises that no Australian worker will be worse off and businesses will be encouraged to grow. The Policy repeats the Coalition mantra...
- A Statutory Definition of Charity
The Government has Passed the Charities Act – Finally a Statutory Definition of Charity - Following public consultation in 2011 and earlier this year, the Federal Government passed the Charities Act 2013 (Act) and related legislation on 27 June 2013. ...
- Federal Court Clarifies Unconscionable Conduct Law
In an important decision, the Full Federal Court of Australia has held that conduct alleged to be unconscionable is to be assessed against a normative standard of conscience, permeated with accepted and acceptable community values....
- Australian Financial Services Reforms – New Issues for Superannuation and Hedge Funds
Superannuation fund trustees will be seeking increased input and cooperation from their investment managers in order to comply with new regulatory requirements while hedge funds will need to consider their status under the refined definition of 'hedge fund'. We have previously reported on...
- Don't Lose Your Priority in 2014 – Australian Transitional Perfection of Security Interests to Expire!
Many companies doing business in Australia have been caught unaware of an impending impactof the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA). In considering the effect of the PPSA on your business, it is critical that you act now to assess whether you have any transitional security interests ...
- Franchising Update - February 2014
To begin 2014, we remind franchisors of the Government's response to the changes to the Franchising Code recommended last year. On 6 January 2014, Small Business Minister Bruce Billson advised that the Coalition advocated penalties to help enforcement of the Franchising Code of Conduct (Franchising ...