22 September 2014
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Author: Hilary Hunt
18 September 2014
Earlier this year the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) was amended which brought into effect the new Australian Privacy Principles (APPs).
The APPs impose obligations on dealing with ‘personal information’. Personal information is information or an opinion about an identifiable person, or a reasonably identifiable person, regardless of whether the information or opinion is true or whether it is recorded in a material form. Some examples of personal information include a person’s name, email address, phone number and credit card details. Personal information also includes ‘sensitive information’, for example, information or an opinion about a person’s ethnic origin, religious beliefs or their health.
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Author: Elizabeth Tylich
16 September 2014
The Associations Incorporation Bill was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 11 September 2014. Its purpose is to provide a robust framework to regulate not-for-profit organisations in Western Australia, whilst maintaining an emphasis on self-management and self-reporting. It will repeal and replace the Associations Incorporation Act 1987 (WA) (Current Act).
At this stage, no Regulations or Model Rules have been released. The draft Model Rules released in late 2007 (as part of public consultation on the Associations Incorporation Bill 2006, which was the proposed “Green Bill” as it was then known) will be updated and finalised after the Bill’s passage through Parliament. We understand that associations will be given the opportunity to provide feedback on them as part of the consultation process.
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Author: Elizabeth Tylich
10 September 2014
The assessment of risk is now that much harder for underwriters after the High Court on 10 September 2014 unanimously dismissed an appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Western Australia. If underwriters assess risk thinking that endorsements in a policy, for example as to age or qualifications or assess risk thinking an exclusion from cover relating to non-compliance with safety standards, will operate to limit the scope of cover, then their risk assessment is unlikely to be accurate.
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Author: Stefan Sudweeks
28 August 2014
Why are so many PPSR registrations occurring after the security agreement is signed?
Many secured parties are still registering at the closing of a transaction despite the fact that the PPSA is designed to accommodate early registration. Section 161 confirms that a registration can be made in the PPSR before or after the security agreement is made or attaches to the property. A secured party is able to register even before the terms of the security agreement have been concluded as long as the registrant is mindful of section 151 and believes on reasonable grounds that the security interest eventually will be created.
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Author: Hilary Hunt
15 August 2014
The Western Australian government’s enactment of stage 1 of the reforms to the retirement village laws from 1 April 2014 has resulted in retirement village operators having to make a number of changes in managing retirement villages.
12 August 2014
AGM – Making sure shareholder votes count
The engagement of proxy advisers by institutional shareholders and the trend of smaller numbers of retail shareholders attending Annual General Meetings continue to challenge directors and boards seeking to engage shareholders.
The AGM is the traditional forum for retail shareholders to meet with directors and management, to ask questions and to raise issues. Nowadays it is common for only a small fraction of shareholders to attend an AGM and for absent shareholders to vote by way of proxy before the meeting. Proxy voting is therefore a key mechanism by which shareholders can be engaged by directors to have a say in the future direction of the company and in the governance of the company. Recent changes to the ASX Listing Rules seek to simplify the proxy voting process and should therefore assist companies to ensure all votes are counted at shareholder meetings.
To ensure the validity of proxy votes, it is important for ASX listed companies to ensure that the proxy form satisfies the new requirements.
Author: Will Moncrieff
6 August 2014
ACTU response to proposed budget: Employer to provide super increases, childcare allowances and reimburse $7 Medicare co-contribution The ACTU is providing its affiliates with a bargaining toolkit which includes proposed clauses for new enterprise agreements. The thrust of these clauses is to “claw back” amounts employees will either lose or be required to pay as a result of the proposed budget measures introduced by the Government.
The ACTU have made it clear the proposed clauses will not be pursued if the budgetary measures are not passed by Parliament.
5 August 2014
The Hon Joe Hockey announced the final terms of reference for a new financial system inquiry on 20 December 2013. The purpose is to examine how the financial system could be best positioned to meet Australia's evolving needs and support Australia's economic growth.
An interim report was released on 15 July 2014. Section 3 discusses potential changes to the current external administration regime in Australia.
Submissions were received that Australia should look to adopt a Chapter 11 style regime that is similar to the Chapter 11 provisions applying in the United States. A key difference between Chapter 11 and voluntary administration is that under Chapter 11 operational control remains with management, subject to Court supervision, rather than insolvency practitioners taking over the running of the business and company.
The Committee has come to the view that Chapter 11 has rarely enabled businesses to continue as going concerns in the long term. It considers that adopting such a regime would be costly and could leave control in the hands of those who are often the cause of a company’s financial distress.
The Committee seeks further comment on retaining the current external administration regime and instead, rather than widespread structural reform, implementing the proposals suggested by the Commonwealth Government in 2012 to reduce the complexity and the cost of external administration.
26 July 2014
The reporting regime for mining companies under the new Chapter 5 of the ASX Listing Rules and the JORC Code 2012 now includes requirements for annual reports of mining entities.
Earlier this year, a number of companies with a financial year end of 31 December 2013 were required by ASX to issue supplementary disclosure to the annual reports.
Listed companies with a financial year end of 30 June 2014 are now entering their annual reporting period and should ensure their annual reports address the new requirements.
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Author: Will Moncrieff