: DUAO - Vol 38(3)

DUAO - 2013 - Vol 38(3)

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Developments around the country

DownUnderAllOver is a round-up of legal news from both State and federal jurisdictions, and contains topical articles and short pieces from Alternative Law Journal committees around the country.

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Land and Environment Court protects cultural knowledge

Elaine Johnson
New South Wales

On 26 June 2013, the NSW Land and Environment Court made special orders to protect culturally sensitive information in documents produced under subpoena in Hunter Environment Lobby v Minister for Planning and Ashton Coal.

The case is a merits appeal against approval of Ashton Coal’s proposed South East Open Cut coal mine in the Hunter Valley by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission.

One of the key issues for determination by the Court in this merits appeal is whether the open cut mine should be allowed to go ahead over an area that Ashton Coal’s own consultant says is of high Aboriginal cultural significance. The hearing is to be held in September 2013.

(2013) 38(3) AltLJ 194

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Child changes name without parental consent

Kate Duffy and Qwayne Guevara
New South Wales

Case Note: ‘A’ bhnf Kim Marie Wilson; Case No - 2013/85381

The Supreme Courts in all states and territories of Australia have an inherent jurisdiction to make orders to protect children in circumstances where a child has no parent or guardian. This is known as the parens patriae jurisdiction.

On 20 May 2013, the Supreme Court of NSW held that the exercise of its parens patriae jurisdiction allows it, where a child has a genuine fear of harm, to grant a child’s application for a change of name without parental consent.

(2013) 38(3) AltLJ 194

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Mandatory rehabilitation commences 
in the Territory

Sue Erickson
Northern Territory

The Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Act 2013 (NT) (‘the Act’) commenced on 1 July 2013, and provides for a person who has been placed in protective custody three times in two months to be assessed by a Tribunal, who will decide whether or not the person is eligible to undertake a 12-week rehabilitation program. The person is not entitled to leave the rehabilitation facility during this 12-week period and may be charged with a criminal offence if the person absconds three times in that period.

(2013) 38(3) AltLJ 195

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News from Queensland

Allan Ardill
Queensland

Amid the turmoil of thousands of redundancies, cuts to everything from legal services to health services, a refusal to grant pay increases above 2.2 per cent for government employees other than police, a review of the Crime and Misconduct Commission, the LNP government claimed it 
was powerless to avoid a Parliamentarian pay rise that would have seen the Premier paid an additional $118 000 and 
back-benchers an extra $57 000 a year. The government backed away from the scandal with the return of the Premier from overseas. Prior to this the government had adopted a decision of the Remuneration Tribunal, which ruled the former Bligh government’s 2009 freeze on MP salaries was unlawful.

In other news, former Court of Appeal Justice Margaret White has commenced an inquiry into Queensland’s racing industry. In her opening remarks on 15 July 2013 she pointed out how it has been marred by controversy for decades. The inquiry will focus on activities between 2007 and 2012 and recommendations are expected by September 2013.

(2013) 38(3) AltLJ 195

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Raw milk raid at Willunga Hill: Enforcing food safety

Paul Marks
South Australia
The battle between consumer choice and public health reared its head again when officers of Biosecurity SA and the Dairy Authority of South Australia raided Mark Tyler’s Willunga Hill dairy during May this year. Biosecurity SA’s concern is public health and the enforcement of food safety policy. They want Tyler to register his dairy operation. Tyler, however, claims the policy does not apply to his operation because he is not a milk producer. Instead, he simply looks after a small herd of dairy cows for other people.
(2013) 38(3) AltLJ 196

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