: DUAO - Vol 38(4)

DUAO - 2013 - Vol 38(4)

DownUnderAllOver Cartoon

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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Green tape

Kate Galloway and Allan Ardill
Queensland

The new federal government has opened the way for further winding back ‘green tape’, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Queensland under which the state has power to make approvals under Commonwealth environmental legislation achieving a ‘one-stop shop to reduce red tape and provide certainty to business while maintaining the rigorous federal environmental standards.’ Welcomed by the Minerals Council of Australia as a ‘breakthrough’, the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland sees the move as a ‘retrograde step’.

(2013) 38(4) AltLJ 279

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Workers Compensation

Kate Galloway and Allan Ardill
Queensland

Protests followed the introduction of the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013, limiting the rights of injured workers to sue employers for compensation. Aiming to placate business which ‘pays the premiums’, the government acknowledges that it fails to meet the expectations of the legal profession it perceives to have a ‘vested interest’ in retaining common law rights. Despite a committee recommending the law not be changed, the Bill was introduced with little time for debate so that the changes have ‘escaped scrutiny’.

(2013) 38(4) AltLJ 279

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Red Tape

Kate Galloway and Allan Ardill
Queensland

While winding back civil liberties, on 16 October 2013 the Attorney-General also wound back directors’ accountabilities through the Directors’ Liability Reform Amendment Bill 2012. Mr Bleijie said, ‘We’ve reduced directors’ liabilities in this bill from 3800 directors’ liabilities to 100 and I think that’s a great result.’

(2013) 38(4) AltLJ 279

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Juvenile Justice

Kate Galloway and Allan Ardill
Queensland

Queensland is to pass new legislation naming and shaming juvenile offenders as a ‘deterrent’. This forms part of a suite of legislation designed to ‘get tough’ on youth crime including boot camps, and a proposal to incarcerate 17-year-old offenders in adult prisons despite this breaching international human rights conventions.

(2013) 38(4) AltLJ 278

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Sex Offenders’ Indefinite Detention

Kate Galloway and Allan Ardill
Queensland

The Criminal Law Amendment (Public Interest Declarations) Amendment Bill 2013 shifts sentencing from the courts to the Attorney-General. On its own admission, the Bill ‘potentially departs from fundamental legislative principles’ because it implements ‘a community expectation that Government will ensure the safety, welfare and order of the community.’ The ‘public interest expectation’ is to be determined by Governor in Council; and the accused is denied natural justice to question indefinite incarceration.

(2013) 38(4) AltLJ 278

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