Yearly Archives: 2011

The case of O’Keefe v William Muir’s Pty Ltd trading as Troy Williams The Good Guys highlights an increasing trend, recognised in Fair Work Australia decisions, that ‘the separation between work and home is now less pronounced that it once used to be.’

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On 18 August 2011, the NSW Government released for comment a draft State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011 (SEPP) to give effect to the Government’s previously released policy statements once Part 3A is repealed. The public is invited to make submissions in relation to the draft SEPP by 2 September 2011.

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The Supreme Court of Queensland was recently asked to determine whether a part of an adjudication decision, made under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) (BCIPA), which was found to be invalid for jurisdictional error, could be severed from the rest of the decision. The Court in James Trowse Constructions Pty Ltd v ASAP Plasterers Pty Ltd & Ors [2011] QSC 145 (Trowse) found that the common law doctrine of severance did not apply, and accordingly there was no mechanism available to sever that part of an adjudication decision infected by jurisdictional error from the remainder of the decision. As a result, the entire decision was set aside by the Court. This position is different to the position adopted in other states such as Victoria. Accordingly, a party in Queensland issuing a payment claim should ensure that all parts of its claim are valid to prevent the ultimate adjudication determination being set aside, particularly where the vast bulk of the claim has succeeded. Further, adjudicators should be vigilant in critically reviewing payment claims and adjudication applications and excising out invalid parts, or suffer the consequence of their entire decisions being set aside.

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Changes to accommodation bonds under the Aged Care Amendment Act 2011 (Cth) The government has introduced significant changes regarding permitted uses for accommodation bonds under the Aged Care Amendment Act 2011 (Cth) which received Royal assent on 26 July 2011.

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A recent decision of the Federal Magistrates Court (Stephens v Australia Postal Corporation [2011] FMCA 448) emphasises the risks that can arise when dismissing employees who have made workers compensation claims.

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From 1 July 2011, requirements came into effect which required repairers of certain consumer goods to provide notices to consumers before the repairer accepts goods for repair. If you do not already have processes in place, you must as a matter of urgency implement such processes, to comply with these new provisions which are now operative. Failure to comply with these obligations may result in penalties of up to $50,000 for corporations or $10,000 for individuals. We can assist in you in developing and implementing a practical process for your business that will communicate the appropriate notice to your customers and which will help protect you from the significant penalties that may apply.

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The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) was amended on 20 June 2011 with the most substantial change relating to the expansion of the definition of sexual harassment.

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The recent District Court of Queensland decision of Penfold Projects Pty Ltd v Securcorp Limited [2011] QDC 77 clarified that in Queensland, service on the superintendent of a payment claim made under the BCIP Act does not constitute valid service, subject to any express contractual provision. This Alert summarises the facts and findings of this recent decision, and explains its implications. For further information about how this decision affects you, please contact us.

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On 12 July 2011, the Minister for Planning announced that a comprehensive review is to be undertaken of New South Wales planning laws. The announcement foreshadows the introduction of a new planning framework, together with the creation of new draft State planning laws in the latter part of 2012.

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‘Directors cannot substitute reliance on the advice of management for their own attention and examination of an important matter that falls specifically within the Board’s responsibilities.’

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