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- Banking, Finance and Insurance Modern Award changes - What you need to know and do to remain compliant
The recent changes to the Banking, Finance and Insurance Modern Award (BFIA) follow a Fair Work Commission decision of 4 July 2019.
- Insurance and Economic Costs of Australia’s Bushfires
The High Risk of Bushfires in Australia - Since November 2019, sweeping bushfires have been ravaging Australia’s coastlines in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Southern Australia. Relief from the catastrophic fires is likely not imminent, as summer temperatures in Australia peak in January and February, increasing the risk of heatwaves, droughts, and bushfires. News reports state that, by early January 2020, land the size of South Korea (about 10 million hectares or 100,000 km²) had been consumed by the fires, affecting approximately a third of the country’s population.
- Australian Government delays implementation of Open Banking after facing practical issues with the new Consumer Data Right
Introduction to Open Banking - In 2019, the Australian Government passed new laws to provide new rights for consumers and small businesses to their data from July 2019. We summarised the background on the new laws in our alert on 14 December 2018: Australian Consumer Data Right law: what you need to know and we explained their impact in our alert on 8 August 2019: Australian Government passes Consumer Data Right legislation on 1 August 2019.
- Court Gives Effect to Strata Renewal Plan
WHAT HAS HAPPENED? The NSW Land & Environment Court (Court) has handed down the first decision to give effect to a strata renewal plan (SRP) for the collective sale of a strata scheme under the strata renewal provisions of the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 (NSW) (the Act).
- Foreign direct investment reviews 2019: A global perspective: Australia
Australia requires a wide variety of investments by foreign businesses to be reviewed and approved before completion. The decision to approve or deny a foreign investment application is ultimately made by the Treasurer of Australia, based on an assessment of whether the investment would be contrary to the national interest. When making its decision, the Treasurer is advised by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), which examines foreign investment proposals and advises on the national interest implications. Australia's foreign investment policy framework comprises the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 ("the Act"), the Act's related regulations, Australia's Foreign Investment Policy ("the Policy") and a number of guidance notes.
- Do you employ administrative staff? Be aware of the Clerks–Private Sector Award changes
Employment Law Update - On 4 July 2019, the Fair Work Commission announced changes to the annualised salaries provision of the Clerks–Private Sector Award 2010 (Clerks Award) which has the potential to impact hundreds of thousands of clerical workers across numerous industries.
- Sydney Desalination Project Boosts Fish Life
Desalination will be essential to meet the water needs of many areas around the world as an alternative to overextended or depleted fresh water sources.
- Australia proposes robust new foreign bribery laws
On Monday 2 December, the Australian Government introduced into the Senate the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bill 2019 (Cth) (“Foreign Bribery Bill”). This Bill proposes to fundamentally shift the criminal liability landscape for corporations with respect to foreign bribery. The Bill follows on from the Australian Government’s introduction of the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bill 2017 (Cth) (the “2017 Bill”) two years ago, which had been allowed to lapse at the end of the previous Parliamentary session, ahead of the 2019 Australian federal election. Please see full article below for more information.
- Victoria Legislates Workplace Manslaughter
WHAT IS HAPPENING? The State of Victoria has become the latest Australian jurisdiction to make 'Workplace Manslaughter' a criminal offence, with significant penalties and potential imprisonment for individuals guilty of the offence.
- Establishing A Business Entity In Australia (Updated)
1. Types of business entities - 1.1 Types of entities available through which to conduct business - The following entities are recognized as business structures to conduct business under Australian law: Sole trader - A sole trader is the simplest form available as a business structure where an individual trades under their own name or under a registered business name. It is easy to set up as there are few legal and tax formalities required. The business name is easily registered for a minimal fee. A sole trader does not need a separate Tax File Number (TFN) or business bank account, unlike a public or private company.... Please see full Chapter below for more information.
- Divide by three - APRA turns twelve prudential standards into four
Following its December 2010 consultation package, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released four prudential standards, intended to consolidate 12 existing standards across the authorised deposit-taking, general insurance and life insurance industries. Th...
- Tax credits for fuel and transport emissions: The sting in the carbon price tail
The ‘500 polluters’ tagline has proved popular amongst the commentariat for explaining the reduced coverage of the Gillard Government’s carbon price mechanism, however, this is only part of the story. An ‘equivalent carbon price’ will also be placed on many transport fuels via...
- Complex Financial Products – International Support for yet More Investor Protection
The International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has recently released its final report on "Suitability Requirements with respect to the Distribution of Complex Financial Products" (Report), which outlines the key principles in respect of the distribution of such products...
- News from Abroad: Lilly Successfully Defends Zyprexa Compound Patent In Australia
Originally published in Wrays on March 27, 2013. On 15 March 2013, the Australian Federal Court upheld Eli Lilly's patent for the active compound in their highly successful product ZYPREXA®. Lilly successfully defended the validity of the patent against a wide-ranging attack ...
- NSW State Government Introduces New Legislation for Public Sector Employment
Australia's largest employer is the State Government of New South Wales and its agencies. It represents AUD60 billion of the economy in New South Wales. Any reform in the public sector is, therefore, important to us all. On 23 May 2013, the NSW State Premier Barry O'Farrell introduced...
- ASIC Enforces its Newly Implemented Guidance on Rights Offerings
Following the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's (ASIC) recent overhaul of its regulatory guidance on takeovers, ASIC has demonstrated its commitment to enforcing its takeovers policy and maintaining market integrity by intervening in two separate corporate transactions involving...
- Proposed Amendments to the Corporate Governance Principles
In August last year, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) Corporate Governance Council (Council) undertook a review of the Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations (Recommendations) in response to the corporate governance failures that emerged in the aftermath of the Global Financial ...
- End of Year Checklist
As 2013 comes to an end, it's time for Australian employers start actioning their end of year employment checklist. 1. Annual Shutdowns - Many Modern Awards require employers to provide a minimum of four weeks' notice of an annual shutdown. Notice must...
- Australian New Energy White Paper Process Commences
The Australian Federal Government (Government) has taken its first step towards creating a new national energy policy by releasing an Energy Policy Issues Paper (Issues Paper) seeking stakeholder input on a range of priority areas. As signalled by the Coalition in its...
- Bank Late Payment Fees Held to be Penalties – Class Action Risk for Other Industries
Paciocco v ANZ  FCA 35 - The Federal Court of Australia (Federal Court) has held that late payment fees charged by a bank to its credit card customers were unlawful penalties. Paciocco v ANZ  FCA 35 is the first case to be decided following ...