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The federal government today released a discussion paper seeking feedback on measures to improve super fund governance, finish outstanding Stronger Super transparency measures and enhance competition in the default super market.
The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) is due to replace the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 on 1 July 2014. Rules to support the new framework for Commonwealth agencies, authorities and companies will be made under the PGPA Act. The Department of Finance has released the first set of draft rules for consultation.
On 27 November 2013 ASIC released its updated Information Sheet 155: Complying with requirements for superannuation products and simple managed investment schemes (INFO 155) The updated INFO 155 follows an ASIC industry review of shorter PDSs issued since the commencement of the shorter PDS regime in June 2012 and provides some useful comments as to how ASIC interprets and intends to regulate some of the more technical requirements and lodgement protocols of this regime.
This month, the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance released the Intellectual Property Guidelines for the Victorian Public Sector.
Labour market testing was introduced on 23 November 2013 by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as a mandatory requirement for all standard business sponsors who wish to nominate a position under the 457 visa program. Nominations that do not supply evidence of LMT and are not exempt from LMT will not be approved by the DIBP.
The government has released the draft Terms of Reference for the Financial System Inquiry and announced that it will be headed by David Murray, former CEO of the Commonwealth Bank. The Inquiry has one year to deal with a very large agenda covering all aspects of the Australian financial system.
While the majority of the Stronger Super reforms have now commenced, a number of changes are due to come into effect at the end of 2013. With this date now rapidly approaching, we wanted to provide you with the tools for a Stronger Super 'health check' to make ensure sure you are prepared to start the new year in strong form.
The federal government has announced a Productivity Commission inquiry into the funding of public infrastructure signalling its intention to lower costs and drive investment into the construction industry.
On 12 November 2013, the Minister for Education announced a review of the demand driven funding system for higher education to be completed by mid-February 2014. It will be spearheaded by former Howard Government education minister, the Hon Dr David Kemp, and notable tertiary education academic, Andrew Norton. The review will focus on legislative reforms which commenced in 2012 to deregulate the allocation of undergraduate student places at universities and move to a demand driven funding system.
The Queensland Government continues to implement its 10 Point Action Plan with the passing of legislation to amend the licensing requirements under the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 (QLD). This marks the next step in the plan aimed at overhauling the state's building regulations (Review Licensing and Compliance), and driven by the government's commitment to developing the construction industry as one of the 'four pillars' of the Queensland economy.
The recent launch of Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone (SHFTZ) is set to bring great business opportunities for both foreign and domestic investors in relation to their inbound and outbound investments.
On 7 November 2013, the Australian Taxation Office issued Practice Statement Law Administration 2013/5, outlining its policy on the collection of group tax liabilities from head companies of consolidated groups, subsidiary members and entities that have left the consolidated group.
On 6 November 2013 the government announced its position on 92 previously announced but unlegislated tax and superannuation measures. The announcement provides a timetable and process to implement (or abandon) previously announced reforms and will provide greater certainty for the business sector on the fate of some important tax measures.
The Full Federal Court handed down its appeal decision in MBI Properties Pty Limited v Commissioner of Taxation  FCAFC 112 on 18 October 2013, regarding the GST consequences arising from the sale of leased residential property as a going concern.
The Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment Bill 2013 had its second parliamentary reading on 24 October. If passed, the SOPA Amendments will change the way the NSW construction industry makes its payments.
The Queensland Parliament passed the Directors’ Liability Reform Amendment Bill 2012 (Amended Bill) on 16 October 2013, to reform Queensland's laws imposing personal liability on directors for corporate fault.
On Friday 18 October the Full Federal Court handed down the latest decision (MBI Properties Pty Limited v Commissioner of Taxation  FCAFC 112) in the long running GST saga associated with the South Steyne Development at Manly Beach. In a surprise move, the court allowed the taxpayer's appeal by accepting that the application of the going concern concession to the sale of a leased residential building did not trigger a Division 135 adjustment for the purchaser.
A recent decision of the Supreme Court of Western Australia reinforces the need for parties to clearly state what they mean when seeking to exclude liability for 'consequential loss'.
On 15 October 2013, a Bill to amend the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) was introduced into Parliament, outlining significant changes to the current scheme. In particular, the introduction of a threshold of more than a 5 per cent permanent impairment for an injured worker to be able to claim common law damages against their employer.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released class order relief for AQUA market exchange traded funds (ETFs) as proposed and described in its consultation paper (CP196) released in December 2012.