SA to get new minimum expiry date for gift cards

Summary As we discussed in an alert earlier this year, the New South Wales Government introduced new laws on 31 March 2018 to provide greater consumer protections to users of gift cards. The rules provide for a three-year minimum term on gift cards, and prohibit any charges or fees applied after the sale of a gift … Read more

General Data Protection Regulation privacy changes

EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) As per our previous publication, dated 22 January 2018, the European Union GDPR will be in effect from 25 May 2018, and will replace existing data protection rules set out in the 1995 European Directive 95/46/EC. While the GDPR will be law in the European Union (EU), it is … Read more

Common questions concerning GST withholding law

The new GST withholding law commences on 1 July 2018. We are fielding a number of commonly asked questions concerning the operation and application of the new law. Here are some commonly asked client questions and our responses. If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. 1. When does the GST … Read more

Tax Insight: Tax compliance certificates and government tenders

Treasurer Scott Morrison recently released the 2018-19 Federal Budget (Budget).  One key Budget measure and recommendation of the Government’s Black Economy Taskforce (Taskforce) will significantly affect businesses tendering for government contracts. The Australian Treasury is currently consulting on this proposed measure with submissions due by 15 June 2018. From 1 July 2019, it has been … Read more

Broad reach of cartel prohibitions confirmed in record-setting case

The Full Federal Court has imposed a record penalty for cartel conduct of $46 million in a case that also confirmed that a broad interpretation is to be given to the cartel prohibitions. The case involved an appeal from an earlier decision in which the ACCC succeeding in proving that Yazaki, a Japanese company that … Read more

ASX Corporate Governance Principles 4th Edition Consultation Paper Released

The ASX Corporate Governance Council (Council) has released its consultation paper for the fourth edition of the ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations (CG Principles) proposing a range of changes relevant to listed entities’ governance structures and reporting requirements. Whilst the Council acknowledges that Australian corporate governance operates at a high level in comparison to international standards, … Read more

‘Loot boxes’: a new form of gambling?

Microtransactions (payments of real money within a game for items, benefits, downloadable content, etc) first gained popularity as a method of monetising so-called ‘freemium’ mobile app games. They have now become a feature of triple-A games, including Overwatch, Star Wars: Battlefront II (however temporarily), FIFA 2017 and Call of Duty: WWII and account for billions in … Read more

Insurance bulletin – May 2018

Welcome to the latest edition of the HWL Ebsworth Insurance Review. We are delighted to bring you content addressing a range of current and emerging insurance issues, trends and cases from across our offices nationally, across various lines of business. We trust you will find this edition of our Insurance Review helpful and informative. Should you … Read more

Casualty update – obvious risk, dangerous recreational activity & waivers

An “obvious risk” is a risk that would be obvious to a reasonable person in the position of the person who suffers harm. The determination of obvious involves a ‘forward looking enquiry’ as to whether the risk that eventuated would have been obvious to the hypothetical reasonable person. This means that both the factual scenario facing … Read more

Contractual liability exclusions – why insurers and insureds need to be mindful

Most liability policies contain some form of contractual liability exclusion. This commonly in terms that the insurer will not be liable of any loss assumed by the insured under a contract or agreement, save to the extent such liability would have attached to the insured in the absence of such contract or agreement (under the … Read more

Some recent professional indemnity decisions

The first quarter of 2018 has seen some important decisions come out of the highest courts of our land relating to professional indemnity insurance. We highlight the following three cases for you, involving a certifier, a building inspector and an engineer respectively. We trust they are of interest to our readers working in the PI space. High … Read more

Insurers not faring well under new legislation enabling insurers to be joined

The Civil Liability (Third Party Claims Against Insurers) Act 2017 (NSW) (the Act) took effect on 1 June 2017. Since then, two court judgments have been handed down that were adverse to the insurers’ positions1. A third decision in February 2018 however demonstrates that applications will not be granted willy-nilly. As further applications for the joinder … Read more

Update re whistle – blower regime

In our “Regulatory spring clean” article of the December 2017 Edition (available here), we reported the draft whistleblower legislation, being the Treasury Laws Amendment (Whistleblowers) Bill 2017 released on 23 October 2017, was to go before an expert advisory panel to consider the recommendations from the Federal Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services … Read more

Use of clean fill on development sites not subject to levy

The WA State government passed legislation on 28 April 2018 that permits clean fill (and other fill material meeting certain thresholds) to be used on development and construction sites without payment of levy under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Levy Regulations 2008 (WA) (Levy Regulations). These changes will help resolve the legal uncertainty for developers and … Read more

Tax Insight: 2018-19 Federal Budget

Last night, Treasurer Scott Morrison released the 2018-2019 Federal Budget (Budget). In his speech, the Treasurer outlined five key principles which have shaped the development of this Budget: Provide tax relief to encourage and reward working Australians; Back business to invest and create more jobs; Guarantee essential services for all Australians; Keep Australians safe; and … Read more

ACMA bans bookies ads in broadcasts of live sport

Last year, the Turnbull Government announced that it was moving to restrict the promotion of gambling and betting to curb problem gambling and make sport more family friendly. This led to amending the Broadcasting Services Act (Act) and new broadcasting codes of conduct registered with the Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA). There are also draft rules … Read more

ACCC Recommends Mandatory Data Sharing for Automotive Industry

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims declared last Friday, 4 May 2018 at an automotive industry event that voluntary data sharing arrangements between motor vehicle manufacturers and the aftermarket sector have failed. At the event, run by aftermarket industry group the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), Mr Sims stated that the ACCC’s recent new car retailing industry … Read more

Consultation on draft rules for gambling ads in online live sport

Last year, the Turnbull Government announced that it was moving to restrict promotional content of gambling and betting in order to curb problem gambling and make sport more family friendly. This led to amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act (the Act), as well as a series of new broadcasting codes of conduct (Codes) registered with the … Read more

23rd Edition – National Insolvency & Reconstruction Quarterly Review

Welcome to the latest edition of our National Insolvency & Reconstruction Quarterly Review for the period 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2018. A significant amount of activity has occurred over the last quarter and we outline a few of those matters in this edition. In particular, our team: Considers the recent appeal decision in … Read more

Medical opinions justifying dismissal now open to Fair Work Commission scrutiny

Until recently, employers had greater ability to make a final call when weighing competing medical evidence to determine if an employee is fit to perform the inherent requirements of his or her role. In appropriate cases, this empowered employers to consider whether an independent specialist’s opinion would trump an employee’s GP certificate when assessing an … Read more

Health law update (Melbourne)

Coroner’s court – Inquest into death of Louis Oliver Tate 13 year old Louis Oliver Tate passed away on 23 October 2015. Louis had a history of asthma and allergies to cow’s milk, raw egg, peanuts, and tree nuts. On 21 October 2015, he was experiencing an exacerbation of his asthma. As a result he … Read more

Automatic renewal clauses increasingly vulnerable under the Australian Consumer Law

An automatic renewal clause typically provides that a contract is automatically extended for a further term upon the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain events.  For example, a contract may be automatically extended for a further one year period if the other party does not provide written notice terminating the contract at least 30 days before … Read more

VCAT update: extension to planning permit granted despite Better Apartment Design Standards

Gagliano v Moreland CC [2018] VCAT 527 VCAT recently granted an extension to a planning permit for a seven storey building, despite non-compliance with the recently introduced Better Apartment Design Standards (BADS). James Lofting of HWL Ebsworth Lawyers successfully represented the applicant. The decision is significant as it provides clear guidance on the weight to … Read more

Rents will tumble: Medical centres, hospitals and dental clinics forced to charge market rate rent to co-located pathology collection centres

The following article was co-written with William Buck. Since being enacted in 2008, “prohibited benefits” laws have been unenforced and widely unfollowed. Many medical centres, hospitals and dental clinics have routinely charged rents substantially above market rates to pathology collection centres co-located on their premises. A new regime of enforcement by Medicare will start to … Read more