Legal Updates

Analysis of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment Act 2013 (NSW)

In this article we provide our analysis of some of the key features of the new reforms, some practical concerns with aspects of the legislation and some recommendations for how principals and head contractors should prepare.

Prompt payment

  • The new regime is designed to enhance the flow of cash through the supply chain and to start the faster flow of cash from the top of that contractual chain.  It is designed to alleviate some of the financial pressure on subcontractors by removing the widespread practice (as found by the Collins Inquiry) of unacceptably long payment terms to subcontractors (often 90 or more days after the work is completed). More…
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Fine tuning the cost of residential care

The Government has recently confirmed the appointment of the Aged Care Pricing Commissioner and indicated it wants a process for setting accommodation payments that has less red tape, is transparent, open and fair.  One of the major steps is raising the level above which accommodation payments will require approval by the Aged Care Pricing Commissioner to $550,000.

On 20 November, the Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield, issued a media release setting out the Government’s reform agenda in this area. More…

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It matters on which side of the fence you fall

Magistrates Court of Victoria
PAOLO ALOI v VICTORIAN WORKCOVER AUTHORITY (31 October 2013)

FACTS

The Plaintiff was a construction labourer, employed by Edcor Constructions working on site at the Swinburne Campus in Hawthorn.

At the end of his shift on 27 January 2010, the Plaintiff assisted in closing up the worksite by installing orange safety netting, with one side facing towards the worksite and the other side facing a public street, namely, William Street. More…

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Cash-Flow Cops, prompt payment cycles and the statutory retention trust

The commercial construction industry in NSW is bracing for significant changes to existing contractual payment procedures as the NSW Government begins to deliver on planned reforms following the Collins Inquiry into NSW Construction Industry Insolvency earlier in the year.

The changes were introduced via amendments to the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 NSW (SOPA) in an amending Act which received Royal Assent last week. More…

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Final draft Australian Privacy Principles guidelines released for comment

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has issued the final draft guidelines detailing how it will interpret and apply the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) when exercising its functions under the amendments to the Privacy Act which come into effect on 12 March 2014.
The third and final tranche of draft guidelines can be accessed here. More…

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Doing Business in Australia

Doing Business in Australia has been designed to assist investors and businesses explore business opportunities in Australia.

It addresses the most common questions asked by investors, provides an introduction to the most relevant areas of law, and outlines the regulatory frameworks operating in Australia.

Please do not hesitate to contact Gadens partners Kym Livesley or Andrew Lind if you have any questions or would like a briefing on any of the areas covered by the guide.

Click here to read Doing Business in Australia.

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We’ll skip the race to tie banks’ hands on property debt

(This article was first published in The Weekend Australian on 24 November 2013)

Governments and central banks have more than one ‘monetary policy’ lever available to tame a property boom and our neighbours have demonstrated that they are not afraid to use them. With neighbouring New Zealand recently imposing loan to value (LTV) restrictions on housing loans will Australia follow? More…

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Warranties: Commercial intention

The Court of Appeal judgment in Belfairs Management Ltd v Sutherland and another (Belfairs) looked at the interpretation of warranties given in connection with the sale of shares in a company.

On a sale of shares a seller will commonly be asked to give warranties, which are essentially a set of confirmations as to the nature and state of the business of the company to which the shares relate. To the extent that a warranty is not true, the seller will have an opportunity to disclose that fact prior to the sale of the shares in a disclosure letter to the buyer. Provided that a disclosure against a warranty is in sufficient detail and fair, generally speaking, it will prevent a buyer from bringing a claim against the seller for breach of warranty in respect of the matter disclosed. More…

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TRIBUNAL DECISION IN BORNISH WIND FARM PROVIDES APPROVAL HOLDERS WITH INSIGHT IN ADDRESSING “SPECIES OF SPECIAL CONCERN”

A Renewable Energy Approval (“REA”) was issued by the Ministry of Environment’s Director in April of this year for a Class 4 wind facility with 45 turbine generators and a total capacity of 72.9 megawatts. It was appealed by the Municipality of North Middlesex on the basis of harm to human health and by Robert Lewis on the basis of harm to the environment. The Municipality’s appeal was dismissed on August 6, 2013. Mr. Lewis’ appeal was dismissed on November 12, 2013 and is the subject of the following discussion. More…

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CSA to Regulate Proxy Advisory Firms

On June 21, 2012, the Canadian Securities Administrators (the “CSA”) published for comment Consultation Paper 25-401 Potential Regulation of Proxy Advisory Firms (the “Consultation Paper”). The purpose of the Consultation Paper was two-fold: (i) to obtain information about the concerns raised by market participants; and (ii) to outline possible regulatory responses and frameworks, and to obtain feedback on such proposals. More…

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