Allens

Government

Our experienced Government legal team regularly publishes articles and updates – the full list of publications appears below. These publications provide a snapshot of the latest legislation, court cases, policy changes and contentious issues affecting Government. If you'd like to be notified when we add new Government publications to the site, please go to our subscription page to sign up for email alerts or, alternatively, you can subscribe to our RSS feed.

Read about Allens' track record in this dynamic area.

Government Publications

  • Allens insights: Implementation of Australia's PCEHR system reviewed

    11 August 2014

    At the end of 2013, the Federal Minister for Health announced a panel review into Australia's Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) system to consider implementation and uptake issues. The subsequent report, made public in May 2014, puts forward 38 recommendations to address the issues identified, which includes the recommendation that the PCEHR system should be transitioned to an opt-out model.

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  • Focus: First steps in Constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

    25 July 2014

    The Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples has released its interim report. The report indicates that there is likely to be bipartisan support for constitutional amendments giving specific recognition to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It appears unlikely, however, that there will be bipartisan support for a constitutionally entrenched anti-discrimination provision. Partners Malcolm Stephens and Ian McGill report.

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  • Unravelled: Increasing ASIC's enforcement powers

    8 July 2014

    In its submission to the Financial System Inquiry, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission has again raised the issue of the penalties that are available to it to punish and deter corporate wrongdoing. ASIC's submission recommends that a 'holistic review' be conducted into the availability and adequacy of penalties available under ASIC-administered legislation.

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  • Unravelled: ASIC's proposed competition objective

    8 July 2014

    In its submission to the Financial System Inquiry, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has proposed the addition of a statutory objective to enable ASIC to consider the impact of its decision making on competition when exercising its statutory powers and functions. This paper explores some of the potential implications if this proposal were to be accepted. It also considers ASIC's proposal within the broader context of the Harper review of competition policy currently underway, which may review ASIC's powers, functions and objects as part of its review of the institutional framework for competition regulation.

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  • Client Update: Senate report card on ASIC

    30 June 2014

    While the media has focused on the more sensational recommendations of last week's Senate report on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, there are a number of other interesting comments and themes that provide some clues about future regulation by the Federal Government, surveillance by the commission and enforcement action. It also poses real questions about whether the Future of Financial Advice laws can have any real impact on vertically integrated businesses. The Allens Financial Services Regulation team considers some of the report's findings.

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  • Focus: School chaplaincy program remains out of bounds of federal power

    26 June 2014

    In a decision that has potential implications for a raft of Federal Government programs, the High Court held that legislation, passed to authorise hundreds of government funding arrangements, is invalid insofar as it relates to the national schools chaplaincy program. The decision once again confirms that the Federal executive cannot enter into contracts or authorise spending on a subject matter that it does not have power to legislate for. Partner Paul Kenny and Lawyer Danielle Atkin report.

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  • Focus: Budget wrap - significant infrastructure investment and divestment

    24 June 2014

    Following last week's release of the New South Wales and South Australian budgets, it is clear that most state and territory budgets handed down since the Federal Budget have shown an alignment with the Federal Government's national agreement on infrastructure investment and asset recycling. Partner Paul Kenny and Senior Associates Emin Altiparmak and Penny Alexander and look at the implications of the policy.

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  • Focus: National Partnership Agreement on Asset Recycling

    14 May 2014

    The National Partnership Agreement on Asset Recycling between the Commonwealth and each of the states and territories firmly entrenches asset recycling for the next five years (at least). In last night's Budget, the Federal Budget announced $5 billion will be made available to fund payments to the states and territories. This could see existing state-owned infrastructure assets sold off to invest in significant major new works. Partner John Greig looks at the Agreement's implications.

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  • Focus: Australia releases model for implementing the Nagoya Protocol

    8 May 2014

    The Federal Government has released a model for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol that will have major implications for those who use genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge for biodiscovery. Partner Sarah Matheson and Lawyer Julieane Bull provide an overview of changes proposed by the new model and its implications for research and commercialisation pathways.

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  • Focus: Warkworth mine - another victim of over-regulation

    29 April 2014

    The NSW Court of Appeal has upheld the Land and Environment Court's refusal of the proposed Warkworth mine expansion. This case highlights the complexity and onerous nature of the environmental assessment regime for major projects in NSW, which empowers the courts to overturn a project approval despite a project having already undergone three levels of environmental assessment. Partner Jim Parker and Lawyer Naomi Bergman report.

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  • Client Update: PNG's ownership of minerals and hydrocarbons

    29 April 2014

    The Papua New Guinea Constitution will be amended to reflect the state's ownership of hydrocarbons and minerals, under proposals to be put before the PNG Parliament. Partner Vaughan Mills and Senior Associate Sarah Kuman report on the implications of these amendments.

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  • Focus: Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement: strengthening cross-border investment

    23 April 2014

    The landmark Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement is expected to further strengthen the established complementary economic relationship between the two countries, and to provide new opportunities for cross-border investment and trade. Partner David Wenger and Senior Associate John Koshy from Allens and Partner Stephen Le Vesconte and Managing Associate Joo Hee Lee from Linklaters report on the Agreement and its implications for both Australian and Korean industry sectors.

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  • Focus: Draft legislation released to improve corporate law compliance burden

    17 April 2014

    An exposure draft of proposed legislative amendments designed to reduce the compliance burden for businesses has been released by the Federal Government. The amendments include long-awaited changes to the dividend payment rules, the abolition of the 100 member rule and updates to remuneration disclosure obligations. Partner Wendy Rae, Senior Associate Emin Altiparmak and Lawyer Liz Clark discuss the corporate law aspects, while Partner Martin Fry reports on the tax and franking aspects.

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  • Focus: Productivity Commission - third party litigation funding and contingency fees

    17 April 2014

    The Productivity Commission's draft report on its inquiry into Australia's system of civil dispute resolution has now been released. The comprehensive review focuses on ways to constrain costs and promote access to justice. One of the areas the Productivity Commission is examining is Australia's private funding for litigation regime, focusing on third party litigation funding and contingency fees. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Senior Associate Tim Maxwell and Lawyer Simone Kaser report

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  • Focus: Draft NSW Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects

    16 April 2014

    The NSW Government has released a draft Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects that will apply to the assessment of State Significant Development and State Significant Infrastructure. Partner Paul Lalich, Senior Associate Trent March and Lawyer Dennis Smith consider the implications of the draft policy in the context of the State Government's ongoing planning reforms.

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  • Client Update: Competition policy 'root and branch' review issues paper released

    16 April 2014

    Following the release of the final terms of reference for the 'root and branch' review of Australia's competition law and policy, the review panel has released an issues paper and a fact sheet about the review. Partner Kon Stellios reports.

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  • Focus: The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement

    15 April 2014

    Australia and Japan have recently concluded negotiations on an economic agreement which will reduce tariff barriers on the majority of Australian exports to Japan. In contrast to the recently concluded Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement, it does not include an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Senior Associate Hilary Birks and Lawyer Anna McMahon report.

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  • Focus: Draft planning policy framework for Victoria - open for comment

    11 April 2014

    The Ministerial Advisory Committee appointed to review the Victorian State Planning Policy Framework has released a draft version of a new Planning Policy Framework that reorganises the policy framework into themes and updates the policy content to include new policies to support Plan Melbourne and the Regional Growth Plans. Special Counsel Meg Lee summarises the key changes.

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  • Focus: Important changes to BCIPA in Queensland

    11 April 2014

    Queensland's Department for Housing and Public Works has released details of fundamental amendments to the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act, proposed to come into effect this year. Partner Dan Young and Overseas Practitioner Andrew Middleton report on the key reforms proposed and their implications should they be enacted in their current form.

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  • Client Update: Release of 3rd Edition Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations

    10 April 2014

    The ASX Corporate Governance Council has released the 3rd edition of its Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations. Although the 3rd edition largely reflects the amendments proposed in the earlier consultation draft released in August 2013, a number of new amendments have been added that will have implications for listed entities' corporate governance practices. Partner Robert Pick and Senior Associate Hannah Biggins discuss these key changes.

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  • Focus: Asia Pacific international arbitration update

    9 April 2014

    We look at the inclusion of investor-state arbitration provisions in the recent Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement and the possible inclusion of such provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership; a Singapore Court of Appeal decision that means parties challenging the jurisdiction of a tribunal have a choice of remedies; the ICC's new mediation rules; the commencement of the UNCITRAL Transparency Rules; recent investor state arbitrations involving Papua New Guinea; the termination by Indonesia of its Bilateral Investment Treaty with the Netherlands; appeal mechanisms in arbitration; and some recent Australian court decisions concerning arbitration.

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  • Focus: Recent anti-corruption developments in Papua New Guinea

    8 April 2014

    The Papua New Guinean Government has continued to take significant steps in progressing its anti-corruption agenda in the first quarter of 2014. Partner Allan Mana, Senior Associates Sarah Kuman and Michael Gomm and Lawyer Anthony Graham report on recent developments in Papua New Guinea and their implications.

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  • Allens insights: A new framework to assess unsolicited infrastructure proposals in Victoria

    24 March 2014

    The Victorian Government has recently published guidelines that frame how it will assess unsolicited proposals for infrastructure projects pitched to it by the private sector. At a time in the economic cycle where investment in infrastructure is becoming more critical to Australia's economic story, this is a very positive step towards encouraging private sector development of innovative and more efficient ways to deliver critical infrastructure projects for the benefit of Government and ultimately the public.

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  • Focus: Carbon pollution reduction schemes? - China one way, Australia the other?

    20 March 2014

    As part of its commitment to solving serious air pollution problems, the Chinese Government has launched a variety of pilot schemes that will eventually pave the way for the establishment of a national emissions trading market. These steps are in marked contrast to the position in Australia, where the Coalition Government plans to repeal the carbon pricing scheme from 1 July 2014. Partners Kate Axup and Grant Anderson and Lawyer Shona Shang look at the Chinese schemes and the different approaches to emissions reduction being taken in China and Australia.

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  • Focus: Investor-State dispute settlement under the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement

    6 March 2014

    In a shift from the previous Australian Government's position, a free trade agreement between Korea and Australia, which was recently concluded by the new Coalition Government will include investor-state dispute settlement clauses. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Senior Associate Hilary Birks and Lawyer Anna McMahon report.

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  • Focus: Workplace Relations

    27 February 2014

    We look at a union's contravention of the general protection laws; new legislation that will expand the powers of the federal building industry regulator; the Fair Work Commission's ruling on urine testing and its implications for employers; a Fair Work Commission ruling affirming reinstatement as the primary remedy in cases of unfair dismissal; a decision supporting state governments' building and construction codes of conduct; discerning adverse action from lawful industrial action; and guidance on requiring compliance with a social media policy applying outside the workplace.

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  • Client Update: Update on the new costs rules in the Queensland Planning and Environment Court

    12 February 2014

    A recent Queensland Planning and Environment Court decision sheds light on the application of the new rules for awarding costs following a trial. Special Counsel Rosanne Meurling and Lawyer David Thorpe consider the recent judgment and provide an update regarding the implications for parties to proceedings.

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  • Focus: Government abandons some not-for-profit sector tax reforms

    3 February 2014

    The Federal Government has announced that it will proceed with only one of the backlog of 'announced but unlegislated' reforms to the taxation of charities and other not-for-profit entities proposed by previous governments. Special Counsel Glenys Hodges and Lawyer Scott Lang report on the fate of the reforms.

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  • Focus: More certainty for foreign corporations under Alien Tort Claims Act

    28 January 2014

    Since a landmark decision has narrowed available claims against defendants under the Alien Tort Claims Act for alleged violations of customary international law, US courts have sought to clarify exactly what geographical connection is required to justify a claim against corporate defendants. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Hilary Birks and Lawyer Freya Dinshaw look at a recent US Supreme Court decision that tests the waters of the new framework.

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  • Focus: Victoria implements new planning regime for native vegetation clearing

    24 January 2014

    Following on from our report in June 2013, reforms to the Victorian planning scheme provisions controlling clearance of native vegetation have now been implemented, through Planning Scheme Amendment VC105. Special Counsel Meg Lee and Lawyer Katherine Kirby outline the new regime.

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  • Client Update: Queensland releases a draft of its 30-year vision

    20 January 2014

    The Queensland Government has released a working draft of its 30-year vision for the state. Special Counsel Rosanne Meurling looks at those aspects of the plan that are relevant to development.

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  • Focus: Statutory definition of 'Charity' still to commence 1 January 2014

    23 December 2013

    The Federal Government has announced its intention to repeal legislation that introduces a statutory definition of 'charity' for the purposes of Commonwealth legislation. However, a Bill recently introduced to delay the commencement of the legislation failed to pass the Senate before Parliament rose for 2013, so the statutory definition will still commence on 1 January 2014. If and when the Government will be able to achieve its intention to repeal the legislation is currently unknown. Special Counsel Glenys Hodges and Lawyer Scott Lang report on the legislation, and the impact it will have on charities and prospective charities.

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  • Focus: Agents, airlines, and ash - the ACCC's 'A'-list bring less than 'A'-grade results

    12 December 2013

    The ACCC has had mixed results with some recent judgments in high profile competition cases. Partner Jacqueline Downes, Lawyer Emma Arbon and Knowledge Management Lawyer Julie Playfair report on the decisions which have important implications for businesses with agency arrangements and substantial market power.

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  • Client Update: Queensland consolidates state interests in land use planning and development

    3 December 2013

    The release of the State planning policy is another milestone in Queensland's planning reform agenda. It consolidates ten existing policies into a single document, which presents a consistent and coherent statement of the State's interest in land use planning and development. Special Counsel Rosanne Meurling and Senior Associate Michael Zissis look at the detail of the new policy.

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  • Client Update: NSW Planning Bill 2013 - Amended Bill stalls in Parliament

    28 November 2013

    Partner Paul Lalich and Senior Associate Trent March have been monitoring the progress of the Planning Bill 2013 through Parliament and report that the NSW Government has today deferred the debate until early March 2014.

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  • Client Update: One year on ... the new costs rules in the Queensland Planning and Environment Court

    27 November 2013

    One year has passed since the rules for awarding costs in the Queensland Planning and Environment Court were fundamentally changed. Special Counsel Rosanne Meurling, Senior Associate Michael Zissis and Lawyer David Thorpe discuss how the court has applied the new rules and the implications for parties to proceedings.

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  • Focus: The NSW Planning Bill 2013 - Part IV - appeals and enforcement

    19 November 2013

    In this fourth and final article in our series providing commentary on the NSW Planning Bill 2013, Partner Paul Lalich and Senior Associate Trent March discuss the appeals and enforcement provisions in the Bill that was recently introduced into Parliament.

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  • Focus: The NSW Planning Bill - Part III - infrastructure and development contributions

    30 October 2013

    In this third of our four-part series of articles providing commentary on the anticipated future direction of the NSW Planning Bill 2013, Partner Paul Lalich and Senior Associate Trent March discuss the infrastructure and development contributions regime proposed under the Bill.

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  • Focus: New authority launched and draft metropolitan planning strategy released

    22 October 2013

    The Victorian Minister for Planning has released a draft of the State Government's 40-year plan for Melbourne and, at the same time, has launched the new Metropolitan Planning Authority that is charged with implementing the plan. Special Counsel Meg Lee and Lawyer Will Duffy review the key features of the plan and the authority.

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  • Focus: The NSW Planning Bill - Part I - strategic planning

    3 October 2013

    In response to more than 4500 submissions to its new planning regime, as delineated in the White Paper - A New Planning System for NSW - and an exposure draft of new legislation, the NSW Government has deferred the introduction of the Planning Bill 2013. In the first of four articles that will look at various aspects of the Bill, Partner Paul Lalich and Senior Associate Trent March discuss the response of the public and industry on the current and likely future composition of the strategic planning framework provided for in the Bill.

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  • Focus: Innovative step on an unsure footing

    1 October 2013

    The Australian Government's Advisory Council on Intellectual Property is currently accepting submissions to its Review of the Innovation Patent System, in which it is considering making changes to the requirement that a valid innovation patent disclose an innovative step. The outcome of this review could have a significant impact on what constitutes a valid innovation patent, and may cut across a number of cases that have sought to clarify the innovative step requirement for these patents. Partner Sarah Matheson, Senior Associate Tom Reid and Law Graduate Israel Cowen report.

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  • Client Update: Queensland's 30-year electricity strategy

    16 September 2013

    The Queensland Government has released a discussion paper outlining how it proposes to meet the challenges facing the State's electricity sector in the immediate term and over the next 30 years. Partner John Greig and Senior Associate Damien Hughes report on the Government's specific proposals and reform agenda signalled in the paper.

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  • Focus: Now for the Direct Action Plan

    9 September 2013

    The Coalition's election victory means that, assuming it ultimately gains control of the Senate, or is otherwise able to garner sufficient votes from the non-Coalition parties in the Senate, the current carbon pricing scheme will soon be replaced with the Coalition's Direct Action Plan. Partner Grant Anderson reports.

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  • Focus: New whistleblower legislation

    15 July 2013

    Federal legislation providing protection for 'public officials' making public interest disclosures, and placing obligations on persons, companies and public agencies who receive public interest disclosures, has been passed, and can also extend to disclosures made in relation to conduct occurring outside Australia. Persons making and receiving public interest disclosures need to be aware of these protections and obligations, as Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Joel Phibbs and Lawyer Corin Morcom report.

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  • Focus: National infrastructure plan revealed

    5 July 2013

    Infrastructure Australia has released a 50-year plan for national infrastructure, including an update to the national infrastructure priority list. The plan identifies key infrastructure challenges, and what needs to be done to address them in the near and long-term future. Partner Emma Warren and Lawyer Freya Dinshaw report.

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  • Focus: Uncertain times ahead - the Queensland Building Services Authority no longer!

    20 June 2013

    The Queensland Government recently launched its 'Ten Point Action Plan' which it proposes will restructure the regulation of Queenland's construction industry. As part of that process, the Queensland Building Services Authority will be replaced by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission. Partner Ren Niemann and Lawyer Goran Gelic report on this development and its implications.

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  • Client Update: SCER announces reforms to limited merits review regime

    19 June 2013

    Following an independent expert panel's report, the Standing Council on Energy and Resources intends to implement a substantial range of reforms to the limited merits review regime for electricity and gas regulatory decisions. However, several of the expert panel's most significant recommendations will not be adopted. Partner Paul Kenny and Lawyer Ben Strate report.

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  • Focus: Aggressive regulation of consumer goods - is 'junk food' next?

    6 June 2013

    Governments and public health experts throughout Australia are turning their attention to the health impacts of excessive consumption of 'junk food'. Although the industry is currently subject to reasonably limited regulation, recent events both here and overseas suggest that the status quo may be under threat. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Senior Associates Susie Stone and Tim Maxwell and Lawyer Mark Hosking report.

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  • Focus: Key changes to working conditions for offshore oil and gas projects

    3 June 2013

    A proposed amendment to Australia's migration legislation seeks to ensure that foreign offshore oil and gas workers will require a 457 visa and be subject to Australian employment law. If this change is made, owners and operators of offshore oil and gas projects will need to ensure they and their contractors are aware of, and comply with, their obligations regarding visas and the application of Australian employment laws. The proposed amendment will also most likely increase the scope for union activity on these projects. Special Counsel Eleanor Jewell reports.

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  • Focus: Proposed changes to national access regime

    31 May 2013

    The Productivity Commission has released a draft report of its review of Australia's national access regime, which supports the retention of the regime but recommends a number of significant changes to its legal framework. Special Counsel Verity Quinn and Partner Ted Hill report.

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