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GRCI Regulatory News Weekly

Dynamic and ever changing regulatory environments provide unique challenges for Compliance professionals to keep up to date. Recognising this challenge, SAI Global is providing a weekly regulatory news service across a range of jurisdictions, industries and risk areas. The global coverage across some key risk areas as well as all Australian regulator activity, provides a sample of news extracts from a range of SAI Global's Newsfeeds, and is a valuable resource available only in this format to GRCI members. Experienced legal editors and subject matter experts ensure that the SAI Global - GRCI Regulatory News Weekly is accurate and actionable.
 
 
Index - Thursday 26 November 2015
 
 
 
  1. Building and Construction Newsfeed
  2. Electricity Newsfeed
  3. Employment, Workplace and Industrial Relations Newsfeed
  4. Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change Newsfeed
  5. Financial Services Newsfeed
  6. Gas Newsfeed
  7. Governance, Risk & Compliance Newsfeed
  8. Insurance Newsfeed
  9. Minerals and Petroleum Newsfeed
  10. Occupational Health & Safety Newsfeed
  11. Property Newsfeed
  12. Superannuation Newsfeed
  13. Transportation Newsfeed
  14. Water Newsfeed

Next posting: Thursday, 3 December 2015







1. Building and Construction Newsfeed
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CFMEU and Eight Officials Fined $151,000
Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) has announced that the Federal Court of Australia (FCA) has fined the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and eight of its officials a total of $151,000. In its decision in Director of Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union [2015] FCA 1213 (11 November 2015), the Court found that the CFMEU and its officials engaged in conduct on a building site in Melbourne during August and September 2012 which contravened the Fair Work Act 2009 No. 28 (Cth).
FWBC's media release (11 November 2015)

Related media item:
Employment Minister's media release (12 November 2015)
(Source: FWBC; FCA; Employment Minister; Lawlex Legislative Alert & Premium Research)


2. Electricity Newsfeed
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Annual Retailer Performance and Compliance Reports
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has made available the following reports (both dated November 2015):

(Source: AER)

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3. Employment, Workplace and Industrial Relations Newsfeed
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Senate Committee Inquiry - Long Service Leave
The Senate Education and Employment References Committee (the Committee) has made available the terms of reference (undated) (the ToR) for its inquiry into "the feasibility of, and options for, creating a national long service standard, and the portability of long service and other entitlements".

According to the ToR, the inquiry will have particular reference to matters including the:

  • "number of Australians in insecure work";
  • "extent and nature of labour market mobility";
  • "objectives of portable long service leave schemes, and the key components that might apply";
  • sectors, industries or occupations that may or may not benefit from such schemes;
  • "operation of a portable long service scheme"; and
  • related matters.

The Committee will report by the third sitting day in February 2016.

Comments on the ToR should be sent to the Committee using the online form (registration required) by 11 December 2015.
Further information from the Parliament of Australia

Related media item:
Australian Industry Group's (Ai Group) media release (10 November 2015)
(Source: Parliament of Australia; Ai Group)

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4. Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change Newsfeed
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Consultation - Shortlisted Sites for the Establishment of a Permanent National Radioactive Waste Management Facility
Federal Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg has invited public comment on six shortlisted sites for further evaluation for the establishment of a permanent national radioactive waste management facility. The six shortlisted locations are:

  • Sallys Flat in New South Wales;
  • Hale in the Northern Territory;
  • Cortlinye in South Australia;
  • Pinkawillinie in South Australia;
  • Barndioota in South Australia; and
  • Oman Ama in Queensland.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) stated that "persons with a right or interest in the nominated land", as well as "persons from the local communities where the six land nominations are located and other interested persons" are invited to comment.

Mr Frydenberg advised that another phase of detailed assessment will follow this consultation period, before a final site is selected before the end of 2016.

Comments on any of the shortlisted sites should be sent to the DIIS using the online form by 11 March 2016.
Further information from the DIIS
Federal Resources Minister's media release (13 November 2015)

Related media item:
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency's (ARPANSA) media release (13 November 2015)
(Source: Federal Resources Minister; DIIS; ARPANSA)


5. Financial Services Newsfeed
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Report on Corporate Insolvencies 2014-15
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has made available Report 456 - Insolvency statistics: External administrators' reports (July 2014 to June 2015) (November 2015). The report summarises information from 8,354 external administrators reports received by ASIC during the 2014-15 financial year.

Key highlights outlined in the report include that over the 2014-15 period:

  • civil insolvent trading was alleged by external administrators in 57.1% of reports;
  • criminal insolvent trading was alleged by external administrators in 1.8% of reports;
  • the three most frequently nominated causes of failure were inadequate cash flow or high cash use, poor strategic management of business, and trading losses; and
  • the three most frequently reported forms of  misconduct were insolvent trading, failure to keep financial records, and breaches of directors' duty to exercise care and diligence.

ASIC's media release (17 November 2015)
(Source: ASIC)

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6. Gas Newsfeed
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ACCC's Decision on Proposed Acquisition of BG by Shell
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has advised that it will not oppose the proposed acquisition of BG Group (BG) by Royal Dutch Shell (Shell). According to ACCC chairperson Rod Sims, "[t]he ACCC's view is that the proposed acquisition would be unlikely to substantially lessen competition in the wholesale natural gas market, in either Queensland or eastern Australia more broadly".
ACCC's media release (19 November 2015)

Related media and news items:
Energy Users Association of Australia's (EUAA) media release (23 November 2015)
ABC News: ACCC backs Shell's $US70 billion takeover of BG (19 November 2015)
(Source: ACCC; EUAA; ABC News)

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7. Governance, Risk & Compliance Newsfeed
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Consultation - Remaking COs Related to Horse Racing and Horse Breeding
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released Consultation Paper 242 - Remaking ASIC class orders on horse racing syndicates and horse breeding schemes (November 2015) for public comment. The consultation paper sets out ASIC's proposals to remake class orders (COs) on horse racing syndicates and horse breeding schemes, which will sunset if not remade.

ASIC has also made available the following draft legislative instruments (both undated) to accompany the consultation paper:

ASIC states that it also intends to update Regulatory Guide 91 - Horse racing and breeding (June 2012) "reflect any changes in the [proposed] ASIC instruments".

Comments on the consultation paper and draft instruments should be sent to ASIC by 18 December 2015.
ASIC's media release (13 November 2015)
(Source: ASIC)

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8. Insurance Newsfeed
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Comcare to Trial Private Sector Claims Managers
The Canberra Times reports that Comcare will engage two private companies in a trial aimed at reducing the costs of managing compensation claims. A Comcare spokesperson reportedly stated that the trial was not indicative of a "move towards privatisation or outsourcing", but instead represented "an ideal opportunity to benchmark [Comcare's] claims management model against industry best practice". The trial will reportedly run for 12 months commencing in February 2016.
The Canberra Times: Comcare going private: Public service compo experiment announced (9 November 2015)
(Source: The Canberra Times)

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9. Minerals and Petroleum Newsfeed
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NSW Department Conditionally Approves Coal Mine Expansion
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) has announced that it has approved an expansion of operations at the Wambo Coal Mine, subject to conditions.

According to the DPE, the modification will allow for the production of approximately "5.6 million tonnes of extra coal with only a minor increase in coal processing waste".
Further information from the DPE
DPE's media release (11 November 2015)
(Source: DPE)

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10. Occupational Health & Safety Newsfeed
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Prosecution Results Summaries
WorkSafe Victoria added new prosecution outcomes to its list of prosecution results summaries on the following dates:

11 November 2015

16 November 2015

Further information from WorkSafe Victoria
(Source: WorkSafe Victoria; Lawlex Legislative Alert & Premium Research)

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11. Property Newsfeed
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NSW Consultation - Statutory Review of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010
Fair Trading NSW has made available Discussion Paper - Statutory Review of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (November 2015) for public comment.

The discussion paper aims to "to encourage and facilitate public discussion about the regulation of residential tenancies in NSW and whether [the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 No. 42 (NSW)] is working as intended".

Comments on the discussion paper should be sent to Fair Trading NSW using the online submission form by 29 January 2015.
Further information from Fair Trading NSW
(Source: Fair Trading NSW; Lawlex Legislative Alert & Premium Research)

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12. Superannuation Newsfeed
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ATO Publications
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released the following publications (all dated 12 November 2015):

(Source: ATO)

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13. Transportation Newsfeed
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NTC Proposes Changes for COR Obligations
The National Transport Commission (NTC) has made available Policy Paper: Primary Duties for Chain of Responsibility Parties and Executive Officer Liability (November 2015) which aims to restructure the chain of responsibility (COR) obligations "to improve consistency and allow more flexibility in how all parties along the supply chain who can influence on-road behaviour achieve the desired regulatory outcomes".
Further information from the NTC
NTC's media release (18 November 2015)
(Source: NTC)

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14. Water Newsfeed
 

WA Upper House Committee Tables Report on Implications of Hydraulic Fracturing
The Legislative Council Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs has made available Report 42 - Implications for Western Australia of Hydraulic Fracturing for Unconventional Gas (November 2015).

The recommendations made in the report include that:

  • "the Department of Mines and Petroleum develop a mechanism to consult with the Water Corporation (or in the case of regional areas, with the relevant water provider) in relation to the regulation of hydraulic fracturing activities"; and
  • "resource companies in Western Australia be encouraged to explore the recycling of wastewater during hydraulic fracturing operations, where practicable".

In response to the Water Corporation's submission that a 1.5 kilometre buffer distance should be implemented to separate drinking water sources from hydraulic fracturing activities, the Committee stated in the report that "there are sufficient safeguards and water source protection policies in place to protect Public Drinking Water Source Areas in Western Australia without the introduction of a 1.5 kilometre buffer zone between water source areas and unconventional gas activity".
Further information from the Parliament of WA

Related news item:
The West Australian: Fracking fears 'overblown' (17 November 2015)
(Source: Parliament of WA; The West Australian)

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