Australian businesses prepare for the new privacy regime
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The Australian Government has launched another inquiry into the compulsory licensing provisions in the Patents Act 1990 (Cth). This alert outlines the scope of the inquiry by the Productivity Commission, and how you can make a submission.
Following discussions and consultation with the industry, the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC) has published its report on Managed Investment Schemes providing recommendations to the Government on various matters concerning the regulation of managed investment schemes under Chapter 5C of the Corporations Act.
This alert outlines some of the key proposals recommended by the CAMAC.
The recent NSW Supreme Court case of Print Mail Logistics Limited ( NSWSC 792) reconfirmed an old principle that the chair of a general meeting must demand a poll whenever it is necessary to find out the true will of the membership. A similar principle probably applies to other often apparently unfettered procedural discretions of the chair in a general meeting (for example, relating to adjournments or the maintenance of order). The case is a timely reminder for chairs and company secretaries as the AGM season gets underway.
On Tuesday 31 July, ASIC released enhanced financial requirements for Australian financial service licensees who issue over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives to retail clients. ASIC had found that poorly resourced issuers of retail OTC derivatives are less likely to carry out adequate supervisory measures and therefore more likely to have compliance breaches. The enhanced requirements are in response to ASIC's May 2011 consultation paper and have been introduced to ensure that licensees have adequate financial resources to better manage their operational risk. The new requirements commence on 31 January 2013.
The Government has recently issued a Green Paper which discusses a number of options and potential policies it may adopt in the development of a National Food Plan. In this alert, we outline the objectives of the National Food Plan and discuss the Green Paper's position on foreign investment in the agriculture sector. We also explain Australia's foreign investment rules for investments in agribusinesses and rural land.
A draft ruling issued by the Australian Taxation Office ('Income tax: debt and equity interests: when is a public unit trust in a stapled group a connected entity of a company for the purposes of paragraph 974-80(1)(b) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997) will significantly impact the tax consequences for past and present capital raisings for stapled groups
Yesterday, ASX made changes to its listing rules that are designed to improve access to capital for small to medium capitalisation enterprises, while maintaining a single quotation board and rule book.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced the outcomes of its recent review of responsible entities which addresses registered managed investment schemes in the unlisted property sector.
Recently, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission released Report 291: Custodial and Depository services in Australia, which sets out ASIC's views on 'good practice' for responsible entities, platform operators, brokers and custodians on a range of issues relevant to custody of assets. It also signals other matters that ASIC intends to consult on with a view to updating its current guidance. Shortly prior to the release of ASIC's Report, the European Commission released its proposal for amending Directive 2009/65/EC on the remuneration policies of management companies and depositary functions relevant to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities We summarise the issues and proposals raised in ASIC's Report and the EC's proposal in this update.
With a view to improve the protection of workers' rights and interests and better regulate the labour dispatch regime, on 6 July 2012, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China released the Draft Amendments to PRC Labour Contract Law. This Alert outlines the five primary modifications to the labour dispatch regime contained in the draft amendments.
Operators of retirement villages in Victoria should be aware that the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 (Vic) (ACLFTA) commenced on 1 July 2012. The ACLFTA repeals the Fair Trading Act 1999 (Vic) and re-enacts its provisions in a restructured and consolidated form. There are also some new provisions, such as increased capacity for disputes involving small businesses to be referred for conciliation or mediation by the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria.
A recent Western Australian supreme court case demonstrates there are limits on the effectiveness of a quorum – busting strategy.
On 3 July 2012, ASX issued a Consultation Paper Modernising the timetable for Rights Issues: facilitating efficient and timely rights issues. The Consultation Paper is the latest in a series of proposals by ASX to facilitate capital raisings, to address recent market developments, the needs of issuers and of shareholders, and to reflect the effect of regulatory innovations.
On 11 June 2012, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange of the PRC (SAFE) issued the Notice on Foreign Exchange Administration regarding Encouraging and Guiding the Healthy Development of Private Investment (Notice). As this alert explains, the Notice allows Chinese companies to use foreign currency loans obtained from domestic banks to fund offshore subsidiaries. The Notice also allows a Chinese national, as a joint security provider and together with a Chinese company, to provide security for offshore financing obtained by the Chinese company's offshore subsidiary
FMA and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) released yesterday mutual recognition arrangements for the financial adviser industry. These will come into effect on 6 July 2012. The regime will facilitate both Australian and New Zealand financial advisers to provide services in each other's countries based on the qualifications and experience they have gained in their home jurisdictions.
On 29 June 2012 legislation that amends the director penalty regime in the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) received royal assent. The amendments include extending the regime to cover the superannuation guarantee charge, changing the way the ATO can collect tax under the regime and changes to the available defences among others.
The State Taxation Acts Amendment Act 2012 received Royal Assent on 27 June 2012 and makes changes to the Duties Act 2000.
The new living away from home allowance (LAFHA) tax legislation was introduced into Parliament on 28 June 2012. While the legislation is generally consistent with previous announcements, there are several important changes that taxpayers need to be aware of.
ASIC has issued guidance to assist issuers of superannuation products and simple managed investment schemes comply with the shorter product disclosure statement (PDS) regime. The shorter PDS regime commences fully on 22 June 2012 and is designed to make PDSs shorter and simpler, and help consumers compare financial products more easily. Issuers of new products have been required to comply with the regime since 22 June 2011 and other product issuers have been able to voluntarily opt-in.
Yesterday the High Court delved into how the Australian Government should go about spending public funds to support its policies. The legal implications for future government policy implementation are unlikely to be significant but the practical implications are perhaps more interesting.