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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27458" align="alignnone" width="279"] Julie Inman Grant is the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.[/caption]

The Federal Government will rename the Children’s eSafety Commissioner just the eSafety Commissioner, entrusting the office to “enhance online safety for all Australians and provide clarity for reporting online safety issues”.

The changes allow the eSafety Commissioner to be tasked with improving the digital confidence and skills of senior citizens as well, and to establish a national online complaints mechanism where victims can report cases of intimate photos or videos being posted without consent (image-based abuse) and access support.

The changes will make it easier for the public to identify where they can seek assistance and advice on a range of online safety issues. The amendments only relate to the general functions of the commissioner and do not relate to the cyberbullying complaints scheme, which addresses material that is targeted at children.

Prior to the last election, the Liberals promised to spend $50 million to improve the digital literacy of seniors and improve their safety online, by developing a digital inclusion and online safety strategy for them.

The digital literacy strategy’s aim is to complement existing programs and draw on the expertise and knowledge of the community sector to develop an appropriate package of support to improve the digital literacy and safety of seniors online.

It targets seniors who have access to existing devices and aims to support them to learn how to take full advantage to keep in touch and stay connected, without exposing themselves to online abuse.

The government had also promised to spend $10 million on:
  • Establishing a national online complaints mechanism where victims can report cases of intimate photos or videos being posted without consent (‘revenge porn’) and access immediate and tangible support.
  • Countering the impact of pornography in society with targeted information and educational resources to shift attitudes and behaviours in young people.
  • Identifying gaps in, and impediments to, information sharing about victims and perpetrators of domestic, family and sexual violence between jurisdictions.
  • Strengthening research and data collection around the forms of violence experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
These initiatives will now also fall under the authority of the eSafety Commissioner. Feedback sought In addition, the government is currently seeking feedback on implementing civil penalties for the non-consensual sharing of intimate images (‘revenge porn’). Submissions can be made through the Department of Communications and the Arts’ ‘Have your say’ website. [post_title] => Children’s eSafety Commissioner to look after all ages [post_excerpt] => The Children’s eSafety Commissioner will be renamed just the eSafety Commissioner, to “enhance online safety for all Australians”. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => childrens-esafety-commissioner-look-ages [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-23 13:41:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-23 03:41:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27457 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27435 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-06-20 09:46:27 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-19 23:46:27 [post_content] => The government has succeeded in securing an industry funding model for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), with the ASIC Supervisory Cost Recovery Levy Bill 2017 and related bills passing through the Senate. The industry funding model will deliver ASIC an additional $127.2 million funding package, which the government says “will significantly enhance data analytics and surveillance capabilities and facilitate proactive enforcement” – in short, more people and stronger powers. ASIC has welcomed the passage of legislation enabling a more secure and accountable funding of the model for regulation of the Australian corporate sector, indicating an increase in its specialist officer numbers overlooking the financial industry. Effective from 1 July 2017, ASIC’s regulatory costs will be recovered from all industry sectors regulated by ASIC through annual levies. The total figure mentioned in the Government’s White Paper was at the $240 million mark for the coming financial year, with the top five banks accounting for approximately half of the levy. ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft welcomed the legislation's passage, and highlighted the fact it enjoyed widespread support across the political spectrum. “This is an important milestone not just for ASIC, but also for the companies and wider corporate sector that we regulate,” he said. “Industry funding, in one form or another, applies to other areas of public oversight in Australia and in many comparable economies around the world. Not only will the different elements of the broad business sector more fairly share the load, but the taxpaying public will benefit through the more accountable use of the funds provided for the task.” ASIC has gone through a few years of upheaval in terms of its staff numbers, reportedly losing 80 in 2011 and a further 230 following Tony Abbott’s budget cut in 2014. Whilst ASIC had its personnel numbers largely restored once its $120 budget cut was restored last year, the regulatory burden of the financial market will require it to add further to its financial specialist team. The increased total revenue will also allow the regulator to boost its numbers in other areas of responsibility. The industry funding model is in large part a response to the recommendations of the 2014 Murray Financial System Inquiry and the 2013 Senate Inquiry into ASIC’s performance, both of which were largely critical of the organisation’s ability to respond effectively due to it having “limited powers and resources”.         [post_title] => ASIC to collect its revenue direct from industry [post_excerpt] => The ASIC Supervisory Cost Recovery Levy Bill 2017 and related bills have passed through the Senate. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => asic-collect-revenue-direct-industry [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-22 13:17:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-22 03:17:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27435 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27429 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-06-19 12:45:11 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-19 02:45:11 [post_content] =>   A senior public official from Victoria’s Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board (MFB) executed an elaborate deception to employ her two sons by encouraging them to change their names and falsify their CVs. The Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass’ report into the scam, released today [Monday], uncovered a case of naked nepotism within the metropolitan Melbourne fire service that she said had cost the public more than $400,000 over a number of years.     The MFB’s Chief Information Officer, Mary Powderly-Hughes, hid her relationship to her son, David Hewson, when she hired him in July 2014. She employed her other son, Barry Robinson, two years’ later to backfill Mr Hewson’s position after she handing him a permanent role as the Manager of IT Administration, Finance, Procurement and Projects. Leaving nothing to chance, Ms Powderly-Hughes typed her sons CVs, faked their employment history and told them the interview questions beforehand. She also pretended to carry out reference checks after interviewing them. To make doubly sure her second son got over the line for a procurement manager role, Mrs Powderly-Hughes ‘interviewed’ Mr Robinson at her home and drilled him in IT finance packages, despite him being woefully underqualified for the role and ordinarily working as a motor mechanic. The three were sprung after a whistleblower reported their concerns to the Ombudsman. “I have my suspicions that Mary Powderly Hughes has hired her son, or family member, or someone with a very close connection and I think she’s manipulated things to make sure he got the job when it became permanent. When he was a contractor he quickly got a rate rise, which is quite rare for most people,” the manager told Ms Glass. The Ombudsman investigated the tangled web the trio had weaved using social media and official records. Officers matched Mr Hewson’s mobile phone number listed on his MFB emails with his role as Treasurer of the local cricket club. They then matched his personal email address with a Facebook account for a Mr Hughes, which revealed the suburb he lived in, the same as the cricket club. The Victorian Electoral roll listed a David Patrick Powderly-Hughes in the same suburb. Mr Hughes Facebook account also showed he had previously worked for Parks Victoria, which Mrs Powderly Hughes had also listed in her past jobs on her LinkedIn account. A search of the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages showed that the men were her sons and had both changed their names a few weeks’ before starting work at MFB. Ms Glass said the case was an egregious example of self-interest. “Some cases I have investigated over the years seem so unlikely you could not make them up. Except, as in this case, they did,” Ms Glass said. “The facts of the case are that a senior public official at the Metropolitan Fire Brigade hired her son, not declaring the relationship, having falsified his CV and coached him prior to interview, three weeks after he changed his name to conceal the relationship.  “After giving him a pay rise and moving him into a permanent role, she then hired her second son, also falsifying his CV and “interviewing” him at her home after he, too, had changed his name to conceal the relationship,” said Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass.  Ms Glass said she had rarely come across such blatant and calculated behaviour. “Often the cases are minor, although wrong. Not this time, this was a case of deception where the family nest was feathered, plain and simple.”  Unsurprisingly, all three have left MFB since the investigation blew up. Ms Powderly-Hughes resigned on the day of her interview with the Ombudsman and both of her sons have since been sacked. Ms Glass said cases were often difficult to detect and she underlined the importance of colleagues raising the alarm if they saw anything suspicious going on at work. “The case also serves as a salient reminder of the importance of disclosers acting on suspicion that something is awry in their workplace. More often than not, as the saying goes, where there is smoke, there is fire.” She said that while the agency could not be held responsible for the deception perpetrated upon it in this case it needed to beef up its conflict of interest policies. [post_title] => Senior public official secretly employs sons after name changes and doctored CVs [post_excerpt] => Pretend reference checks and pay rises for the family. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => senior-public-official-secretly-employs-sons-change-names-falsify-cvs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-19 14:22:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-19 04:22:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27429 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27411 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-06-16 11:22:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-16 01:22:15 [post_content] =>   The community impact statements (CIS) that NSW pubs, bottle shops, bars and clubs must submit when applying for liquor licenses are being reviewed for the first time in nine years. Community impact statements require the applicant to gather community views on the potential impact that granting a new liquor licence could have on a neighbourhood. These statements must include community opposition or support for the licence. NSW Racing Minister Paul Toole announced earlier this week that Liquor and Gaming NSW will be reviewing the process and is asking for community and industry feedback. “It’s important that those potentially affected by liquor licences have input into the assessment process, whether they be residents, councils, police or others,” Mr Toole said. “But it’s also important that pubs, bars and other venues can continue to provide options for people who want to socialise and enjoy themselves.” The review will examine issues such as: • Whether CIS adequately capture local community views • Are concerns being accurately reported by applicants via the CIS? • Does the CIS identify the risks and benefits of a proposed liquor licence? • Are there opportunities to cut red tape and minimise delays in the CIS process? • Is the feedback and information collected via the CIS useful when deciding applications? • Do the benefits of the CIS justify the costs or time placed on businesses, local residents and other stakeholders? • Are there any applications or venues currently included or excluded from the CIS that should not be? Meanwhile, AHA NSW Director of Liquor and Policing John Green, welcomed the review, telling Intermedia stablemate TheShout: “The current system has been in place for quite some time, so AHA NSW looks forward to taking part in this review process on behalf of our members.” Submissions close on Wednesday 26 July. Have your say here.  [post_title] => Community feedback on NSW liquor licences reviewed [post_excerpt] => First review in nine years. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => community-feedback-nsw-liquor-licenses-reviewed [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-16 12:02:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-16 02:02:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27411 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27374 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-06-13 12:52:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-13 02:52:02 [post_content] =>   By Lucy Marrett  The 7-Eleven wage repayment scheme has so far repaid over $110 million in unpaid wages. However former wage repayment chairman Professor Allan Fels has raised concerns about minimal fines. The current payout has eclipsed penalties under existing laws and raised questions about a new law that the Federal Government has proposed, Sydney Morning Herald reported. Mr Fels said the fines imposed under the existing laws would be minimal in comparison to the 7-Eleven payouts. “The far stronger deterrent effect for others is if they know they have to make up the underpayments in full – in this case $110 million plus, compared to if they just have to pay a fine,” he said. “The Fair Work Act system just imposes fines and very limited compensation on the individuals whose cases are considered. But the court system works quite badly for systematic underpayment of thousands of people.” Read more here. This story first appeared in C&I Week.  [post_title] => 7-Eleven compensation claims hit $110m [post_excerpt] => Payouts better than fines, says Fels. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 7-eleven-compensation-claims-hit-110m [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-13 12:58:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-13 02:58:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27374 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27340 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-06-08 05:00:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-07 19:00:15 [post_content] => Pic: University of Sydney Union.   By Danielle Bowling  The cuts to penalty rates announced earlier this year won’t be completed until 2020, according to a ruling by the Fair Work Commission (FWC). The FWC announced that the reformed penalty rate conditions for part-time and full-time hospitality employees working on Sundays would be phased in over three years, commencing from 1 July 2017. Sunday penalty rates would be reduced from 175 percent to 170 percent in 2017-18, from 170 percent to 160 percent in 2018-19, and from 160 percent to 150 percent in 2019-2020.
Public holiday penalty rate reductions for both Hospitality and Restaurant Awards will take effect from 1 July 2017.
Sunday rates for casual employees will not change.
“Hotels will now be able to make long term decisions about the future operation of outlets on Sundays,” said Ferguson. “The reform could lead hotels to increasing trading hours and services and employing more staff.” Read more here. This story first appeared in Hospitality Magazine.  [post_title] => Penalty rate cuts won’t be fully implemented until 2020 [post_excerpt] => Sunday penalty rates down to 150% by 2020. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => penalty-rate-cuts-wont-fully-implemented-2020 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-09 10:02:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-09 00:02:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27340 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27306 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-06-05 18:41:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-05 08:41:50 [post_content] =>

 

Is the federal government two Tim Tams short of a packet?

 

By Lucy Marrett 

The federal government is backing a principles-based approach for product packaging in response to industry calls to review measurement labelling laws. The government was responding to calls to address industry requests to cut red tape with options to change measurement marking placement rules. At present, a products exact weight and/or volume must appear on the front of the packet under the national trade measurements regulations (NTMR) 2009 Part 4. If the industry proposal is successful, weight and volume markings could be moved from the front of packaging making it difficult for consumers to compare products and value for money. The current proposal to review the NTMR outlines three possible options: leave regulations as they are; clarify the regulations; implement a principles-based approach. The government is in favour of the third option, which, if implemented will see the removal of regulations controlling size, orientation, and position of the measurement mark. Read more here.  This story first appeared in C&I Week.
[post_title] => Industry vs consumer in labelling laws review [post_excerpt] => Removing weight and volume markings from packaging. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => government-vs-consumer-packaging-laws-review [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-06 11:26:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-06 01:26:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27306 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27268 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-05-31 13:04:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-31 03:04:03 [post_content] => NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has put the brakes on the controversial Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL), which could now be scrapped. The FESL was supposed to come in on July 1 to replace the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) but it sparked consternation from several quarters, including from local councils, property owners and unions. The government is now in the awkward position of having to reverse FESL legislation, which went through in March, to stall the scheme while it works out what to do next. The new levy would have meant several changes: first, it would be collected by local councils on the state government’s behalf alongside council rates, rather than by insurance companies; second, all property owners would pay the levy, including those whose property is uninsured. The government has repeatedly said that the ‘vast majority’ of property owners would be better off under the new levy, saving on average $47 per year, and that it would encourage more people to insure their properties. It said the levy was revenue neutral and fairer. But this figure has been disputed by the firefighters’ union, the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union of NSW (FBEU), using figures from the NSW Valuer-General and formulae contained in the FESL Bill. The union argued that property owners in some parts of Sydney, such as North Sydney, Mosman and the northern beaches, could end up paying more than double: up to $471 a year, compared with an annual average of $233 under the previous levy. The FBEU argued too that the proposal shifted the burden from businesses to homeowners with people living in low-risk homes subsidising those in bushfire-prone areas and high risk industries while halving the state’s contribution by around $70 million annually. Government News understands that some businesses had used the government’s online calculator and been shocked at how much extra they would have to pay under the new levy. Yesterday [Tuesday] Ms Berejiklian and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet blamed the government’s deferral on the negative impact it could have on small and medium-sized businesses and made no mention of homeowners. “While the new system produces fairer outcomes in the majority of cases, some people – particularly in the commercial and industrial sectors – are worse off by too much under the current model, and that is not what we intended,” Ms Berejiklian said. Mr Perrottet said the FESL was a complex reform and there would be challenges during the transition phase. “It’s not enough for this reform to work on paper – its real-life implementation has real life consequences for families and businesses, and we need to make sure they are not placed under unfair strain,” Mr Perrottet said. The government would not be drawn on whether the scheme would be scrapped or deferred. Ms Berejiklian said during a media conference yesterday: “If we don’t get a fairer system, we won’t introduce it. But our intent is to defer until we get a fairer system.” The government has said it will work with local government, fire and emergency services, the insurance industry and others to find a better and fairer path forward. Reaction News of the back down took many by surprise yesterday, cheering the firefighters’ union and local councils and aggravating insurance companies. The FBEU took it as proof the tax was ‘hopelessly wrong’ from the start. “They had six years, an inquiry and interstate precedent to get this right, and yet they completely stuffed it,” FBEU Secretary Leighton Drury said. “The FESL is a bad tax, and the wrong way to go. It doesn’t need further review and tinkering, it needs to be scrapped.” Mr Drury said there should be no levy and fire services to be funded from consolidated revenue, the same as police and other core public services. The Local Government NSW (LGNSW), the peak body for the state’s local councils, also welcomed the policy rethink. “Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s announcement that the government will not impose the FESL from July 1 provides an opportunity to pursue a true broad-based levy that replaces both the insurance and existing ratepayer contributions,” LGNSW President Keith Rhoades said. LGNSW said the FESL was based on the value of unimproved land value of property in NSW and recent land valuations would have meant ‘significant increases’ for many property owners. “Councils have already done a lot of work to comply with the government’s FESL legislation, and there will now be a need to undo this work – not to mention the associated costs. While this is regrettable, the chance to get the levy right should be our focus,” he said. Meanwhile the insurance industry reacted angrily to the news and said it would increase policy premiums for property owners. The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) said insurance companies were ‘shocked and disappointed’ by the decision to delay the FESL, especially as no deadline had been set for a final decision. “This has significant legal and commercial implications for the industry. It is a logistical and technical challenge that will cause confusion and increase premiums for policyholders,” ICA spokesperson Campbell Fuller said. “The resumption of ESL collection will come with significant additional costs that the industry will be forced to pass on in full to policyholders.” He complained that ‘every other mainland state has abolished emergency services levies on insurance with little fuss’. Mr Fuller said insurers had already spent more than a year and tens of millions of dollars on consultants and IT changes to prepare for the new levy. The Emergency Services Levy Insurance Monitor, headed by Professor Allan Fels and his deputy David Cousins, had previously been tasked with being the ‘cop on the beat’ to ensure insurance companies removed the levy from policies and passed this on in full to homeowners and businesses.   The government has said it will now oversee ‘a smooth continuation of the existing system and ensure insurance companies collect only the amounts necessary to meet fire and emergency services funding requirements’. Penalties for any insurance company that does not heed this are steep: up to $10 million for corporations and $500,000 for individuals. Both men had similar roles when Victoria did the same thing, following the 2009 Bushfires Royal Commission recommendations. [post_title] => Berejiklian could scrap new Fire and Emergency Services Levy [post_excerpt] => Councils and union happy, insurance companies not. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 27268 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-02 11:33:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-02 01:33:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27268 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27264 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-05-30 12:48:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-30 02:48:56 [post_content] =>   By Andy Young The NSW Liquor Amendment (Reviews) Bill, which was passed by the State Parliament last week, will see strikes recorded against licensed venues removed. The changes to the laws will see strikes now recorded against the licensee rather than the venue, as The Shout reported earlier this week. Minister Paul Toole said it would be “impractical” for the previous strikes to remain in place when moving forward with the new scheme as it would mean that two different schemes would be in place at the same time. Arthur Laundy, whose hotel The Steyne in Manly received a strike, told TheShout that he felt "vindicated in as much as right from the start I have said that I don’t believe this is a fair rule". "I’ve said it right from the start, the government got it right with the clubs, but they didn’t get it right with the hotels," Laundy said. As I explained to someone yesterday who was struggling to understand the issue: you own a trucking company and you employ drivers, if a driver goes out and has a serious accident, who should get the penalty? The driver of the truck, or the owner of the truck? He said, good analogy, I understand." He added: "I own the hotel, but I’m not at the hotel. I’m not the licensee. I’ve never considered it was a fair rule. I’ve argued now for some years on exactly that line. People have called me this morning to say it was a good victory, and I’ve said it was fair. I don’t think I asked for anything that was unfair." Read more here. This story first appeared in The Shout.  [post_title] => New rules see licence strikes cleared [post_excerpt] => Pubs vindicated. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 27264 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-30 12:48:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-30 02:48:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27264 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27259 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-05-30 12:38:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-30 02:38:43 [post_content] => NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts. Pic: Facebook     The Greens have come out swinging against the NSW government’s proposal to devolve local council’s planning powers on big projects to independent panels. The reforms, which Planning Minister Anthony Roberts will take to Cabinet on Thursday, state that development applications over a certain [as yet unspecified] value will be taken out of the hands of metropolitan councils and given to Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs). Cabinet will also decide on the value of DAs to be decided by IHAPs. However, there is talk that smaller regional councils may be able to choose whether to use IHAPs or not. The IHAPs are currently optional but are used by larger metro councils, such as Canterbury Bankstown. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian will be hoping the move – touted as a probity measure - will allow the government to outwit Opposition Leader Luke Foley, who has been pushing hard for developers and real estate agents to be banned from standing for local council election, sparked by former Auburn Deputy Mayor and property developer Salim Mehajer’s windfall from DA decisions he voted on while on council. Labor banned property developers from standing for pre-selection at any level of government in 2013, precipitated by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s intervention in the NSW branch to stamp out corruption. Last year NSW Premier Mike Baird banned councillors from voting on DAs where they could benefit financially, reverting to how the situation had been before 2012. But Greens MP and Planning spokesperson David Shoebridge said stripping councils of their planning powers would ‘do nothing to restore integrity or accountability to the NSW planning system’ and was ‘a real step backwards’. “Councillors are elected by their local community to make the tough decisions about their local area in a way that is transparent and accountable. This is directly contrary to that,” Mr Shoebridge said.  “This is yet another example of the Coalition government stripping democratically elected councils of their decision-making and authority.” He said that the changes would give the government the chance to handpick people from the property industry to make decisions on DAs. Instead, he said the government should ban property developers and real estate agents from standing for office. Local Government NSW, the peak body for councils in the state, is opposed to IHAPs being mandatory for councils. LGNSW President Keith Rhoades said in January this year that he was concerned they would create another layer of administration and decision-making.  “We’re concerned about the Planning Minister being given powers to impose local planning panels on councils, and about excluding councillors from those panels, because being the voice of the community is what they were elected to do,” Mr Rhoades said.  “We are opposed to any persistent erosion of the rights of communities and councils to have a real say in the future of their neighbourhoods via local planning powers.  “It is not clear what the criteria for replacing councillors with a local planning panel would be, and this needs clarification so there is no risk of arbitrary decisions.” [post_title] => NSW metro councils set to lose planning powers on big DAs [post_excerpt] => Cabinet decides on Thursday. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 27259 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-31 11:23:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-31 01:23:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27259 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27233 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-05-26 05:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-25 19:00:00 [post_content] =>   By Andy Young The Liquor Stores Association NSW (LSA NSW) has welcomed the proposed changes to the state’s Three Strikes Disciplinary Scheme, which are currently before Parliament as part of the Liquor Amendment (Reviews) Bill 2017. The Bill is the State Government’s response to the comprehensive review undertaken by the Hon Ian Callinan AC QC last year, which recommended a range of reforms to NSW’s liquor laws, including changes to the Three Strikes Scheme. LSA NSW Executive Director Michael Waters has welcomed the proposed changes, calling them “sensible and pragmatic”. “The proposed changes to the Three Strikes Scheme as part of the Liquor Amendment (Reviews) Bill 2017 are sensible, pragmatic, and have been long-awaited by industry," Waters said. “Having provision for a proper appeals process, and strikes for serious breaches of liquor laws to be incurred by individual licensees, rather than being attached to the actual licence, are important and common sense improvements that reinforces the importance of making servers directly accountable for their actions.     Read more here.  This story first appeared in The Shout.  [post_title] => Changes to NSW Three Strikes Scheme welcomed [post_excerpt] => Breaches attached to licensees, not licenses. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => changes-nsw-three-strikes-scheme-welcomed [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-25 16:01:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-25 06:01:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27233 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27154 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-05-18 10:46:53 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-18 00:46:53 [post_content] =>     Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim. Pic: YouTube. A new Australian Public Service (APS) Privacy Code covering the data citizens give to the federal government will be in place by 2018, prompted by the outcry over Centrelink robo debt and data matching. Today’s [Thursday] joint announcement by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) said the two would work collaboratively on the new code, which aims to ensure a balance between data protection and privacy and data innovation and its use by Commonwealth agencies. Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim told the Senate Community Affairs References Committee, which is conducting a public hearing into the Department of Human Services’ Online Compliance Initiative (OCI) in Canberra today, that the code would cover how data should be ‘respected, protected’ and regulated into the future, consistent with community expectations. Mr Pilgrim said the code would be binding and failure to comply would be a breach of the Privacy Act. The current guidelines are voluntary. He said penalties could range from asking for a written undertaking that an organisation would change their processes and comply - ultimately enforceable in the federal court – to civil penalties in a federal court which could reach up to $1.8 million for serious breaches. The OAIC will lead on the code’s development due to the organisation’s specific privacy expertise and the code will be implemented APS-wide. All agencies will also need to have a privacy management plan in place under the new code. The Department and the OAIC said the code was vital to maximise the value of publicly held data. “The code can therefore be a catalyst to transform the Australian government’s data performance – increasing both internal capacity and external transparency to stakeholders,” they said. Commissioner Pilgrim said the code would ‘support government data innovation that integrates personal data protection’ while giving the APS the ‘skills and capabilities’ it needed to manage personal information. A storm over data privacy occurred after Fairfax published a piece by blogger Andie Fox in February which was highly critical of the DHS’ automated debt recovery drive, designed to claw back more than $1.5 billion over five years. In her article, Ms Fox claimed she had been pursued and ‘terrorised’ by DHS for money she did not owe after a relationship breakdown. In response, DHS disputed Ms Fox’s account and leaked some of her personal information to a journalist, including her Family Tax Benefit claims and relationship details. The government later defended itself arguing that it was allowed to release personal information to correct inaccurate public statements under social security legislation. Federal Labor MP Linda Burney later referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police but the AFP concluded that Human Services Minister Alan Tudge had not breached Commonwealth legislation. The government said the new privacy code would be developed in close collaboration with the APS and data stakeholders and it would apply to all Australian Government entities subject to the Australian Privacy Act 1988.   [post_title] => New APS privacy code on the back of Centrelink robo debt [post_excerpt] => Penalties of up to $1.8m for serious breaches. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => new-aps-privacy-code-back-centrelink-robo-debt [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-19 10:51:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-19 00:51:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27154 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27069 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-05-05 15:44:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-05 05:44:58 [post_content] => Aldi WA store wins appeal to sell alcohol, provided it doesn't chill it.      By James Wells  The WA Premier Mark McGown said he is “uncomfortable” that Aldi has successfully won an appeal to sell liquor in its Harrisdale store after an appeal. The Premier made the comments after the Aldi store at Harrisdale won an appeal to sell liquor – making it the third store within the German supermarket chain’s stores in Western Australia. "The Liquor Commission and the Director of Liquor Licensing are independent and make these decisions, but personally I'm uncomfortable with it," Mr McGowan was reported to have said. "The Director of Liquor Licensing takes into account all the community feedback and the like before making these decisions, but personally as I said I don't like alcohol been sold in supermarkets but it's something outside my control,” McGowan said. The Aldi Harrisdale store, located in a suburb in south-eastern Perth with a population of 3807 people, initially had its proposal to sell wine as low as $2.79 across three different SKUs, even though a licence in the same area was granted to Woolworths.   Read more here. This story first appeared in The Shout.  [post_title] => WA premier ‘uncomfortable’ with Aldi liquor win [post_excerpt] => But beer can't be cold. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => wa-premier-uncomfortable-aldi-liquor-win [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-05 15:44:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-05 05:44:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27069 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27064 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2017-05-05 15:27:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-05 05:27:36 [post_content] =>
[caption id="attachment_27066" align="alignnone" width="700"] The World Trade Organisation has reportedly rejected a case against Australia’s plain packaging laws.[/caption]
  By Lucy Marrett The ABC has reported on a rumour that the Australian Government has won a dispute regarding international tobacco plain packaging.
The rumoured ruling in Australia’s favour is set to give the green light to other countries to roll out similar laws. A British American Tobacco (BAT) spokesperson said the news regarding the ruling was “speculation”. “However, we can say that there is still no proof to show that plain packaging is meeting the objectives set out by the government,” he said. Cancer Council Victoria said it welcomed recent findings by an independent study released in April which they said found that plain packaged tobacco products “may” reduce the prevalence of smoking.   Read more here.
  This story first appeared on C&I Week. [post_title] => WTO to rule on Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws [post_excerpt] => Other countries likely to follow suit. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => wto-rule-australias-tobacco-plain-packaging-laws [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-05 15:27:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-05 05:27:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27064 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27457 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-06-22 13:45:57 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-22 03:45:57 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27458" align="alignnone" width="279"] Julie Inman Grant is the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.[/caption] The Federal Government will rename the Children’s eSafety Commissioner just the eSafety Commissioner, entrusting the office to “enhance online safety for all Australians and provide clarity for reporting online safety issues”. The changes allow the eSafety Commissioner to be tasked with improving the digital confidence and skills of senior citizens as well, and to establish a national online complaints mechanism where victims can report cases of intimate photos or videos being posted without consent (image-based abuse) and access support. The changes will make it easier for the public to identify where they can seek assistance and advice on a range of online safety issues. The amendments only relate to the general functions of the commissioner and do not relate to the cyberbullying complaints scheme, which addresses material that is targeted at children. Prior to the last election, the Liberals promised to spend $50 million to improve the digital literacy of seniors and improve their safety online, by developing a digital inclusion and online safety strategy for them. The digital literacy strategy’s aim is to complement existing programs and draw on the expertise and knowledge of the community sector to develop an appropriate package of support to improve the digital literacy and safety of seniors online. It targets seniors who have access to existing devices and aims to support them to learn how to take full advantage to keep in touch and stay connected, without exposing themselves to online abuse. The government had also promised to spend $10 million on:
  • Establishing a national online complaints mechanism where victims can report cases of intimate photos or videos being posted without consent (‘revenge porn’) and access immediate and tangible support.
  • Countering the impact of pornography in society with targeted information and educational resources to shift attitudes and behaviours in young people.
  • Identifying gaps in, and impediments to, information sharing about victims and perpetrators of domestic, family and sexual violence between jurisdictions.
  • Strengthening research and data collection around the forms of violence experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
These initiatives will now also fall under the authority of the eSafety Commissioner. Feedback sought In addition, the government is currently seeking feedback on implementing civil penalties for the non-consensual sharing of intimate images (‘revenge porn’). Submissions can be made through the Department of Communications and the Arts’ ‘Have your say’ website. [post_title] => Children’s eSafety Commissioner to look after all ages [post_excerpt] => The Children’s eSafety Commissioner will be renamed just the eSafety Commissioner, to “enhance online safety for all Australians”. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => childrens-esafety-commissioner-look-ages [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-23 13:41:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-23 03:41:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27457 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 410 [max_num_pages] => 30 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => 1 [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 6cc18bc2eb8dce9c53053bca6ce67b67 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )

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