22 August 2013
The impact of pecuniary interests by decision makers – $40 billion environmental approval declared invalid
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.
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11 August 2013
As the benefits of alternative dispute resolution become better understood, parties are increasingly seeking to insert dispute resolution clauses in contracts.
A recent decision of the Victorian Court of Appeal, WTE Co-Generation & Anor v RCR Energy Pty Ltd & Anor  VSC 314 (21 June 2013), clarifies the circumstances in which such clauses will or will not be upheld.
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Author: Darren Pratt
11 August 2013
As of 7 August 2013, Western Australia has a new system for arbitration in place with the commencement of the sections of the Commercial Arbitration Act 2012 (WA) (“the 2012 CAA”): sections 1C to 44 and section 45 Tables (items, s 2, 3, 5 – 17).
The 2012 CAA (which received assent on 29 August 2012) is now substantively in force and the changes are significant.
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Author: Isla McRobbie
30 July 2013
The first significant Australian judgement relating to determining priorities between competing creditors under the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) sends a clear message that what matters is having what is known as a ‘perfected’ security interest not ‘title’.
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Author: Hilary Hunt
28 July 2013
Local Government Minister Tony Simpson MLA announced the State Government’s plans for metropolitan local government reform today, ending more than 12 months of speculation.
One of the reforms which has and will continue to attract the most attention is the significant reduction in the number of local governments in the Perth metropolitan region through amalgamations and boundary realignments. Minister Simpson confirmed that the number of metropolitan local governments will be reduced from 30 to 14 in a process that is expected to be completed by July 2015.
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Author: Lance Hilton-Barber
23 July 2013
The State Administrative Tribunal has delivered another decision in favour of the charitable nature of not-for-profit aged-care and retirement villages, confirming that this applies even where entry fees and ongoing fees are charged thatproduce a surplus of income over expenses, provided the surplus is not utilised by way of private profit.
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11 July 2013
The long awaited decision of whether there is a charge over Director's & Officer's defence costs was handed down yesterday in Chubb Insurance Company of Australia Limited v Moore  NSWCA 212.
Australian claimants cannot use s6 to claim a charge over D&O insurance policy moneys that might be used as defence costs prior to the entry of judgment or settlement. Accordingly insurers may pay defence costs without risk.
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Author: Stefan Sudweeks
11 July 2013
On of 1 July 2013 a 2.6% increase in the full time National Minimum Wage came into effect. Employers will need to ensure that wages of employees who fall under this award are increased in order to avoid a fine for non-compliance. Accompanying these minimum wage increases will be an increase to the current prescribed rate for superannuation contributions. The previous prescribed rate for superannuation contributions in Australia was 9% and has now been increased to 9.25%. Employers will be required to inform their employees of their additional superannuation contributions and review their record keeping requirements for all employees.
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9 July 2013
M v RBD Contracting Services Pty Ltd  TASWRCT 12 and Qantas Airways Ltd v Arnott  NSWWCCPD 35 WASC 194.
Two recent cases in NSW and Tasmania have provided some further guidance on what circumstances injuries arising from assaults will be held to arise “in the course of” a worker’s employment.
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Author: Alex Lustig
27 June 2013
On 31 May 2013, the Western Australia Supreme Court handed down its decision in Retirement Care Australia (Hollywood) Pty Ltd v Commissioner for Consumer Protection  WASC 219.
Although primarily focussed on section 22 of the Retirement Villages Act 1992 (Act), the judgment includes observations as to the underlying purposes and public policy considerations relevant to interpreting the Act. The Court’s observations are relevant to all persons dealing with retirement villages.
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