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Infrastructure Victoria has recently released an updated 30-year Infrastructure Strategy which the Victorian Government is currently considering. Following remarks from the Treasurer, we anticipate the Victorian Government to issue its response to IV’s stated infrastructure priorities within the next 12 months.

The privilege against self-incrimination has long been a feature of Australia’s common law and recognises the important concept that individuals should not be compelled to incriminate themselves. The privilege has also been protected by legislation, including in sections 128 & 128A of the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth). A recent High Court decision in Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Zu Neng Shi [2021] HCA 22 considered whether disclosure of privileged information was in the interests of justice.

On 2 September 2021, the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill 2021 was passed by both the Senate and the House or Representatives. Once it receives royal assent, it will operate to amend the following pieces of legislation: the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986, the Fair Work Act 2009, and the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.

The Online Safety Act 2021 (Cth) (“Act”) passed Parliament on 23 July 2021 and commences on 24 January 2022 (being six months after it received royal assent, unless proclaimed earlier). A key element of the Act is the proposed “basic online safety expectations” (“Expectations”), which specify the core expectations (to be determined by the Minister) for:
• social media services;
• relevant electronic services (services that allow communication with other end-users e.g., email, IM, chat and certain gaming services); and
• designated internet services (including, with a few exceptions, those that deliver or allow access to material via an internet carriage service).

On 4 August 2021, the High Court overturned the Full Federal Court’s decision in Rossato (and the findings in Skene), holding that Mr Rossato was, in fact, a casual employee. The result is that Mr Rossato was found not to be entitled to any back payments. The decision represents a shift in how Courts have approached issues related to casual employment and provides employers with comfort in relation to casual employment arrangements.

The Australian Treasury has released an exposure draft of legislation, which, if implemented, would require operators of electronic platforms to report to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) identification and payment information regarding the sellers that participate on their platforms (“Sellers”).

With a recent influx of federal and state government funding, and the world’s largest green hydrogen project pipeline in place, Australia is well positioned to become a leading hydrogen producer and exporter. However, one outstanding aspect of this nascent industry – which could influence its future success – is the development of an internationally recognised certification scheme.