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environmental crime, environment, environmental law, protection, polluter, pollution, anti-pollution, Environment Protection Authority, clean-up notice, asbestos, mulch, chemicals, recycling, name and shame, disposal, waste, penalty
24 May 2024

Tougher penalties for environmental crime now in force in NSW

The recent discovery of asbestos-contaminated mulch across Sydney has highlighted the fact that NSW’s existing environmental laws do little to protect our surroundings from environmental crime and fail to deter would-be offenders and polluters. New legislation increases penalties for environmental crime Put simply, the existing penalties for committing an environmental crime in NSW were shamefully […]
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cartel conduct, cartel, price fixing, bid rigging, demolition waste, skip bin, Bingo Industries, Aussie Skips, ACCC
17 May 2024

Cartel conduct in waste disposal industry ends in criminal convictions

The words “cartel conduct” usually bring to mind violent international drug crime gangs. But cartels can also mean you pay more when you renovate, repair or build a home, buy a vehicle or just go shopping. Steep penalties for cartel conduct by two bin operators In February 2024, the Federal Court handed down a sentencing […]
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ethical fund, ethical investment, investing, investor, green, greenwashing, environment, sustainable, ASIC, ACCC, fund manager, misleading, Vanguard
16 May 2024

Successful prosecution of “ethical” fund for greenwashing

The Federal Court has ruled a major fund management corporation misled investors about its $1 billion ethical fund, which the company claimed was screened to ensure investments went into environmentally and socially beneficial projects. Fund manager accused of misleading investors over ethical fund It was the first major victory for the Australian Securities & Investments […]
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payment redirection, scam, Scamwatch, scammer, hacker, email, email scam, business email compromise, payment, money
03 Apr 2024

Protect yourself against payment redirection scams

According to the latest figures from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, in 2022 Australians lost more than $3 billion to scammers, including losses due to payment redirection scams – and that is only the losses that were reported to the ACCC. How common are payment redirection scams? As house prices soar, scammers are employing […]
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disconnect, right to disconnect, Fair Work, workplace, Closing Loopholes, employer, employee, employment, job, unreasonable
28 Mar 2024

What is the new right to disconnect?

It’s nine o’clock at night and you are relaxing at home watching a movie before heading to bed. Suddenly the phone rings. It’s the boss calling to discuss a meeting to be held tomorrow at work. You sigh – wishing you could disconnect from your work at this late hour – but you take the […]
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sexual harassment, workplace, work health and safety, WHS, Respect at Work, employer, employee, PCBU, sex discrimination, victim, hostile, prevention, reasonably practicable
26 Mar 2024

New laws preventing and addressing sexual harassment in Australian workplaces

Recently there has been a lot of publicity about new Commonwealth laws, taking effect toward the end of 2023, aimed at preventing and addressing sexual harassment in Australian workplaces. Recurring themes in this publicity are the stimulus for these laws, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report (2020); and the phrase […]
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small business, unfair, contract, unfair contract, unfair contract terms, employee, turnover, ASIC, standard form contract, bargaining power, imbalance, penalty, breach, PayPal
22 Mar 2024

Unfair contract laws now apply to expanded category of small business

In November 2023 changes to the law on unfair contract terms came into force, applying to a significantly expanded category of small business. Small business definition changes to include larger businesses The legal definition of a “small” business rose from one with fewer than 20 employees, or annual turnover up to $3 million, to a […]
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images on social media, social media, Facebook, Meta, Instagram, copyright, Copyright Act, terms of service, intellectual property, content, ownership, photo, photography, photographer
14 Mar 2024

Who owns images on social media?

Who owns all of the images on social media? All those holiday snaps, happy family memories and eyewitness videos of crazy happenings and crimes that are uploaded daily… Do we still own the images we post on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat? Terms of service and images on social […]
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industrial manslaughter, negligent, negligence, boss, employer, liable, penalty, death, scaffolding, workplace, construction, safety, worker, employee
08 Mar 2024

Negligent bosses in NSW to face 20 years in jail for industrial manslaughter

Employers found liable for industrial manslaughter could face up to 20 years in jail under tough new negligence laws to come into operation in NSW in 2024. New industrial manslaughter laws following worksite deaths NSW Industrial Relations Minister Sophie Cotsis has said she will bring in new industrial manslaughter laws which will significantly increase penalties […]
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coal mines, coal, gas, climate change, environment, ECoCeQ, Plibersek, Narrabri, Hunter Valley, emissions, mines, anthropogenic, net zero, threatened species, fossil fuel, fossil fuel projects
29 Feb 2024

Court says coal mines can be approved without considering climate change

In a significant legal blow to environmentalists, in 2023 the Federal Court ruled that the federal environment minister does not have to consider climate change when approving coal mines. Environmental group claims minister did not consider climate change The Environment Council of Central Queensland (ECoCeQ) mounted a legal challenge to minister Tanya Plibersek’s assessment of […]
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business disruption, damages, road works, construction, delay, inconvenience, compensated, class action, lawsuit, trackwork, avoidable, unreasonable, light rail, unreasonable interference, private nuisance
01 Feb 2024

Success in class action for business disruption due to Sydney light rail roadworks

A recent Supreme Court judgment may open the way for businesses to claim damages from the government if they lose income due to business disruption as a result of major road works. Construction of light rail causes significant business disruption Two Sydney small business owners took Transport for NSW to court after they lost income […]
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generative AI, artificial intelligence, AI, large language model, ChatGPT, Bing Chat, writing, intellectual property, copyright, Copyright Act, creative concept, human author, writer, fair dealing, OpenAI
08 Dec 2023

Can I claim copyright if I write a novel or research paper using generative AI?

Are there rules around claiming copyright if I write a novel or a research paper using generative AI? If I ask a large language model like ChatGPT or Bing Chat to put together a paragraph or two on some topic and include it in my writing, can I claim it as all my own work? […]
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Sending an innocent emoji in a text message could land you in court, because the law could see it as a threat or an acceptance of a contract.
30 Nov 2023

How an emoji can land you in court

We often add an emoji to our emails and text messages to bring a bit of levity to otherwise dull communications, but beware – icons such as the thumbs up, smiley face or gun could land you in trouble with the law. Legal impact of using emojis An emoji is an image used in texting […]
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outsourcing, employer, employee, ground crew, Qantas, sacked, dismissed, industrial action, enterprise bargaining, Fair Work Act, penalty, restructure, workforce
23 Nov 2023

Qantas acted illegally in sacking 1700 ground crew and outsourcing their jobs

The recent unanimous High Court ruling declaring Qantas’s actions illegal in sacking nearly 1700 workers and outsourcing their roles is very significant, although possibly not for the reasons most people might think. Outsourcing as a strategy to avoid industrial action The judgment does not mean employers cannot reduce the size of their workforce by outsourcing […]
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return to the office, office, work from home, WFH, employer, company, employee, worker, productivity, employment, contract, disciplinary action, dismissal, workplace, flexible work, Fair Work Act
31 Oct 2023

Can the boss force you to return to the office?

While Covid lockdowns are a thing of the past, many Australians have subsequently opted to not return to the office. The latest statistics show that on average, city workers spend one third of their work week at home, with many working from home full-time. Companies introduce mandatory office days This leaves offices largely deserted, but […]
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nuclear waste, nuclear waste dump, traditional owner, Barngarla, Kimba, South Australia, Lucas Heights, ballot, Federal Court, waste dump, consult, consultation, storage, radioactive, enriched waste, submarine, AUKUS
11 Oct 2023

Court rejects nuclear waste dump after challenge by traditional owners

Coalition government claimed dump site had support of local community When the previous coalition government announced a national nuclear waste dump would be built on a 211-hectare farm near Kimba in South Australia, it proclaimed it had the support of local people. The dump would take low-level radioactive medical waste and temporarily store intermediate-level nuclear […]
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identity theft, ID theft, stolen identity, damages, trademark, infringement, cybersquatting, PayPal, Adidas, NBA, Medibank, password, hacking, debtor, jurisdiction, enforce, seizure, counterfeit
22 Sep 2023

Australian victim of identity theft receives US$1.2 million damages bill from US court

An Australian woman who was a victim of identity theft was shocked when she received a legal notice from the United States ordering her to pay Adidas and the US National Basketball Association a total of US$1.2 million in damages. Identify theft victim told to pay US$1.2m in damages Without her being present or even […]
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directors duties, director, company, business, listed, ASX-listed, stock exchange, ASX, continuous disclosure, ASIC, penalty, Australian Securities & Investments Commission, overseas, abroad, care, diligence
09 Aug 2023

Warning – directors duties still apply when touting for business overseas

While it may be tempting for company directors to somewhat exaggerate their company’s assets and abilities when promoting their firm overseas to garner fresh business investment, it is important to note that directors duties still apply. Dangers of breaching directors duties while abroad A company director might, for instance, tell prospective foreign investors that their […]
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