21 November 2013
The Australian Taxation Office recently revised its Code of settlement practice.
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15 November 2013
Local Government reform update - the Local Government Amendment Bill 2013 and the Government's updated plan for boundary changes
The Local Government Amendment Bill 2013 ("the Bill") was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 30 October 2013.
Minister for Local Government, Tony Simpson, described the Bill as "an important step in a historic reform of the local government sector".
Then, on 12 November 2013, the Minister released an updated plan of the Government’s proposed local government boundaries and lodged proposals reflecting those boundaries for consideration by the Local Government Advisory Board ("LGAB").
When the Government released its blueprint for reform in July 2013, we commented that the "music had started" and that it was time to "choose your dance partners" for the reform process. At the risk of taking that analogy too far, does the Bill mean that the band has fundamentally changed, or has the line-up and playlist simply been refreshed? Is the ballroom going to turn into a rave party, or a line-dance?
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Author: Lance Hilton-Barber
13 November 2013
The Asbestos Diseases Compensation Bill 2013 (the Bill) was introduced into parliament by the Honourable Kate Doust, MLC, as a private members bill. It received its second reading on 31 October 2013 and was adjourned to 19 November 2013.
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Author: Alex Lustig
6 November 2013
With summer just around the corner, and some unseasonally hot weather already upon us, the decision of the Coroner of Western Australia in the investigation into the death of James Gregory Box in March 2012, the report of which was published on 30 October 2013, is a timely reminder of the dangers associated with children and swimming pools. Further, in his report the Coroner makes two recommendations that are directed expressly to Local Governments.
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Author: Lance Hilton-Barber
31 October 2013
On 30 October 2013, the High Court handed down its decision in Comcare v PVYW  HCA 41 which considered whether an employee’s injuries arose in the course of employment where those injuries were suffered while the employee was engaged in sexual intercourse with an acquaintance during an overnight stay at a motel that was booked by the employer.
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Author: Alex Lustig
30 October 2013
An extract of the decision of Hall J in Birla Nifty Pty Ltd v International Mining Industry Underwriters Ltd  WASC 386. It is a useful and succinct summary of how the Western Australian Supreme Court approaches the interpretation of insurance policies.
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Author: Stefan Sudweeks
16 October 2013
The High Court dismissed a challenge to the earlier NSW Court of Appeal decision that a party could contract out of the NSW proportionate liability regime without expressly referring to the proportionate liability legislation.
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Author: JC van der Walt
10 October 2013
Although Woodside had already pulled the pin on its $40 billion James Price Point proposal, on 19 August 2013 the Supreme Court delivered its decision in The Wilderness Society of WA (Inc) v Minister for the Environment  WASC 307, finding that the environmental approvals issued by the Minister in relation to the Browse LNG Precinct were invalid. The basis for the decision was a failure to have recognised or acted upon direct or indirect pecuniary interests held by 3 of the 5 members of the Environmental Protection Authority in relation to the proposal, which fatally tainted the processes leading up to the Minister’s approval.
The decision is of interest because there are similar disclosure requirements in the Associations Incorporation Act 1987 for members of the board of an Incorporated Association.
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17 September 2013
The first significant Australian judgment relating to determining prorities between competing creditors under the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) highlights some important issues to consider regarding the PPSA, especially with the transitional period nearing its end.
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Author: Hilary Hunt
11 September 2013
Commencing litigation against those who have engaged in unconscionable conduct is again on the radar of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC”). Specifically, where the ACCC considers it to be appropriate, it will pursue litigation in circumstances where it suspects that companies have engaged in unconscionable conduct.
A recent decision of the Federal Court of Australia, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Lux Distributors Pty Ltd  FCA 47 (Lux) has provided some timely clarification on the meaning of unconscionable conduct, and how Courts will, going forward, determine whether someone has engaged in unconscionable conduct.
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Author: Darren Pratt