VCAT update: Tribunal distinguishes key decision and extends jurisdiction

Aquadonis Pty Ltd v Kingston CC (Red Dot) [2018] VCAT 1407 The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘VCAT’) recently decided it may have jurisdiction to determine an application under section 79 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 in circumstances where a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) is required but has not yet been approved. … Read more

Liability under the ASIC Act for unconscionable conduct

The New South Wales Court of Appeal has recently delivered an important judgment confirming that unconscionability will not be found lightly when allegations of unconscionable conduct are made against banks. Mastronardo & Anor v Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd & Ors [2018] NSWCA 136 explores the liability of banks for unconscionable conduct under the predecessor … Read more

Casual uncertainty: Federal Court decision states that casual employees may be entitled to annual leave

A recent decision of the Full Federal Court has emphasised to employers that they should be cognisant about the way that they engage “casual” employees in order to shield themselves from being liable in circumstances where a casual employee may claim that they should receive the annual leave entitlement under the National Employment Standards (Fair … Read more

Reminder about new ASX voting restrictions

In December 2017, ASX amended the voting exclusion requirements under ASX Listing Rule 14.11 and expanded the definition of ‘associate’ in ASX Listing Rule 19.12. Almost 90% of ASX listed entities are currently preparing for their AGMs and should be aware of these amendments when preparing their notice of annual general meeting. This is the … Read more

CSF legislation: Proprietary companies join the crowd

On 12 September 2018, new legislation was passed expanding Australia’s equity crowd-sourced funding (CSF) regime. CSF involves companies sourcing small amounts of capital from a large number of investors, generally using online platforms and appealing to non-professional investors. The new rules, which will come into effect 28 days after the legislation receives Royal Assent, extend … Read more

Brisbane commercial e’newsletter – September 2018

Welcome to HWL Ebsworth’s Commercial e-Newsletter for Queensland. We trust that you will find the information in this edition useful, timely and practical. HWL Ebsworth’s Commercial group offers a diverse range of expertise including in Mergers & Acquisitions, Capital Markets, Corporate Governance, Commercial Contracting, Taxation, Energy & Resources, Intellectual Property, Information & Technology and Franchising, … Read more

Do you own your trade marks?

The Full Federal Court has recently confirmed that trade marks applied for in the name of the wrong entity or individual will be invalid and open to cancellation. Ownership issues often arise when: A licensee files an application for a licensor’s mark; The wrong entity within a corporate group is named as the applicant; or … Read more

Why should you consider estate planning?

What is estate planning? Often, an effective estate plan does not end with a Will. It should adopt strategies to ensure that your wealth is protected during your lifetime, as well as enable the effective transfer of your wealth to your beneficiaries, without causing unnecessary stress and expense. Estate planning involves identifying your goals and … Read more

Outsourcing – An easy way to comply with the Notifiable Data Breach scheme?

The Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) has always required organisations which are bound by the Privacy Act (‘APP Entities’) to take reasonable steps to keep personal information (Personal Information) secure. However, the newly introduced Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme has added a further obligation for APP Entities to notify the Office of the Australian Information … Read more

Key IP and technology issues for Building and Construction (B&C) industry

The continuing introduction of new technologies into the B&C industry has brought with it a number of vital IP and regulatory considerations. It is important to understand these developments as they arise in the industry, in order to maintain a competitive advantage and avoid potential legal disputes. Are you compliant with the new technology regulations? … Read more

Are you sitting on circumstances that should be notified to your insurer?

In all likelihood, you devote a substantial (and alarming) amount of money each year to insurance. Knowing when and how to notify claims and circumstances to an insurer is imperative to take full advantage of your cover and protect your business against a wide range of risks. Importance of notifying under claims made policies Policies … Read more

Proposed Aboriginal cultural heritage Bill

The current system Currently the protection and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage in New South Wales occurs under Part 6 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act). The following are some of the limitations of the current regime: The absence of formalised local arrangements for coordinating cultural knowledge. This often creates uncertainty … Read more

Seaworthiness, General Average and “Actionable Fault”

In a recent case involving General Average and the York-Antwerp Rules 1994 (Mount Isa Mines Ltd v The Ship “Thor Commander” [2018] FCA 1326), the Federal Court of Australia found that: The owner of the ship Thor Commander had failed to exercise due diligence before and at the beginning of the voyage to make the … Read more

Shadow Assistant Treasurer announces automotive Dealer Code

The Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Dr Andrew Leigh MP, today announced at the AADA National Dealer Convention in the Gold Coast that, if voted into office at the next Federal election, a Labor Government will implement an industry-specific Code for the new retail franchised automotive industry. Dr Leigh said that the new ‘Dealer Code’ will ‘drive … Read more

Legislative update – (even more) new ways to make development harder

On 21 August 2018, the Victorian Government introduced the Sale of Land Amendment Bill 2018 in an effort to provide greater protection to Purchasers, while creating greater restrictions and obligations on Vendors of off-the-plan and terms contracts and options to purchase. Changes to the Vendor’s right to rescind under sunset clauses If passed, the Bill … Read more

Hunter Quarries Pty Ltd v Alexandra Mexon as Administrator for the Estate of the Late Ryan Messenger [2018] NSWCA 178

Bright lines, chimeras and permanent impairment – The NSW Court of Appeal finds impairment arising as a result of an injury does not give rise to an entitlement to permanent impairment compensation under section 66 of the Workers Compensation Act where the injury is so serious that death will inevitably follow within a few minutes. … Read more

Amendments to Australia’s IP legislation approved

Further to our July alert regarding the status of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 1 and Other Measures) Bill 2018 (Cth) (Bill), the Bill passed the Senate on 16 August 2018 and received Royal Assent on 24 August 2018, and is now an Act. The majority of the Act commenced on … Read more

Further Delay to Commencement of Part 6 EP&A ACT

On 1 March 2018, the new look Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (Act) came into force. However, Part 6 – Building and Subdivision Certification (which replaced the former Part 4A Division 1) was not due to commence operation until 1 September 2018. On 17 August 2018, the Department of Planning and Environment announced that … Read more

Are you eligible for the primary production exemption from land tax?

Are you paying land tax on vacant land? If you conduct primary production activities on land in Queensland, you may be eligible for the primary production exemption from land tax. If you own vacant land, or land earmarked for future development, we can assist you. Who is this article relevant to? Property developers; Landholders; and … Read more

Consumer law penalties increase dramatically

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 3) Bill 2018 was passed in Federal Parliament on 23 August 2018, amending the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 to align the maximum penalties under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) with the maximum penalties under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act. The Bill increases the … Read more

Trends in building upgrade finance

The Western Australian property industry is urging the State government to make changes to the Local Government Act 1995 (WA) that would enable financiers to enter into environmental upgrade agreements with commercial building owners and local councils. If introduced, these changes will help cut carbon emissions and provide a solution to the growing number of … Read more

Queensland’s combustible cladding reforms continue with the introduction of a new Regulation imposing audit onus on private owners

In June 2017, in response to the Lacrosse building fire in Melbourne and similar incidents abroad, the Queensland Government established the Non-Conforming Building Products Audit Taskforce to minimise and manage the risk of combustible cladding used in the construction of high-risk buildings. The Taskforce audited all publicly-owed buildings and is currently assessing the 71 buildings … Read more

Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Bill 2017

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Bill 2017 is currently before the Senate and aims to strengthen and consolidate whistleblower protections in the corporate and financial sector. Key Features of the Bill The Bill aims to make the following key amendments to the current whistleblowing regime: Expanding the types of disclosures that will be … Read more