The Amending WIC Act: Upcoming regulatory changes for water infrastructure in New South Wales (including recycled water, stormwater and wastewater)

The Amending WIC Act: Upcoming regulatory changes for water infrastructure in New South Wales (including recycled water, stormwater and wastewater)

Uncategorized
Last week we talked about the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal NSW (IPART) Review of Compliance and Enforcement Policy (read the full story here). We mentioned there that a key compliance and enforcement responsibility of IPART relates to Water Industry Competition Act 2006 (WIC Act) licensing. [caption id="attachment_2555" align="alignnone" width="640"] WIC Act[/caption] Today, we look at the upcoming reform of WIC Act licensing contained in the Water Industry Competition Amendment (Review) Act 2014 No 57 (the ‘Amending WIC Act’). This amending Act, while passed into law in 2014, does not come into effect until an associated regulatory framework is ready to be enforced. Last month IPART gave an information session on progress to date, with the scheme intended to come in to effect in 2019. Today we summarise the key…
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How minority shareholders might take action against corporation wrongdoing

How minority shareholders might take action against corporation wrongdoing

Uncategorized
In the past, we have looked at some of the existing powers and proposed powers that the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has with respect to corporate wrongdoing (see our previous article here). Today we take a look at a remedy which can be taken by minority shareholders and members of a company when the company’s affairs have been conducted in an “oppressive, unfairly prejudicial or unfairly discriminatory manner” against members of the company. The so-called ‘oppression remedy’. This provides an option for redress for minority shareholders even where some conduct is approved or instigated by majority shareholders. [caption id="attachment_2551" align="alignnone" width="640"] minority shareholders[/caption] Note, these introductory notes do not constitute legal advice. For advice on your particular situation, please get in touch with us and we can refer…
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The Australia/NZ FinTech collaboration: Three things to bear in mind if offering FinTech services across the Tasman

The Australia/NZ FinTech collaboration: Three things to bear in mind if offering FinTech services across the Tasman

Uncategorized
On 19 October, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) “re-affirmed” a commitment to collaboration and cooperation on the expanding opportunities in FinTech collaboration and innovation. [caption id="attachment_2545" align="alignnone" width="640"] fintech-collaboration[/caption] However, in that media release, there is little detail on what practical opportunities this may provide for Australian business. In today’s article, we describe how this announcement might present a change for Australian businesses and point out three things that an Australian business needs to take into account when considering whether to offer a FinTech service in New Zealand. Fintech collaboration - What’s changed? The ASIC/FMA announcement is more than just a “re-affirmation” of the existing relationship between the two regulators. The existing Memorandum of Understanding between the regulators in both countries…
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Innovative demand response programs being trialled for the upcoming summer

Innovative demand response programs being trialled for the upcoming summer

AU Energy Compliance, Uncategorized
On 11 October, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) jointly announced that 10 pilot projects have been awarded funding under the new ‘demand response initiative’. This is an initiative designed to manage electricity supply during times of intense pressure on the system. [caption id="attachment_2541" align="alignnone" width="640"] Demand Response Initiative[/caption] Today we take a look at some of the innovative and varied response programs that are being trialled through this initiative including programs offered being provided by energy distributors, retailers and customers. Background to the demand response initiative The Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market (the ‘Finkel Report’), released earlier this year, emphasised that the continuing retirement of older energy generators will place increasing pressure on the National Energy…
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AER seeking feedback on revised Draft Retail Exempt Selling Guideline

Uncategorized
By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter.    On 6 November 2017 the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) released a revised Draft Retail Exempt Selling Guideline version 5 (Draft Guideline). The proposed changes to the Guideline are to: improve dispute resolution options for residential exempt customers by requiring exempt sellers with residential customers to be members of, or subject to, a relevant energy ombudsman scheme where they can be accommodated by the scheme, place a clear obligation on exempt sellers to have complaints and dispute handling procedures, and align a number of customer protections within the Guideline with the National Energy Retail Law. The AER has invited submissions to be lodged by 19 December 2017. There is also a stakeholder forum due to be held on 14 December 2017. To attend the forum…
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ASIC Enforcement Review: Strengthening Penalties for Corporate and Financial Sector Misconduct

ASIC Enforcement Review: Strengthening Penalties for Corporate and Financial Sector Misconduct

Financial Services
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce (the taskforce) recently released a positions paper 'Strengthening Penalties for Corporate and Financial Sector Misconduct' (the positions paper) which it seeks public comment on. Today we summarise that report, setting out the positions that ASIC seeks feedback on. [caption id="attachment_2522" align="alignnone" width="640"] ASIC Corporate & Financial Misconduct[/caption] Background to ASIC Enforcement Concerns have been raised in a number of quarters that the penalties regime in legislation administered by ASIC is not fit-for-purpose, does not reflect the seriousness of some offending, and is inconsistent with the penalties for offending of similar seriousness in other financial contexts (such as penalties for insider trading). For further elaboration on these concerns see our previous piece Financial crime doesn’t pay – three ways in which…
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ASIC Annual Report: Current and future directions for compliance

ASIC Annual Report: Current and future directions for compliance

Uncategorized
On Thursday, 26 October, the Annual Report of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) was tabled in the House of Representatives. As one of the chief compliance authorities for business in Australia, it is worth taking a look at ASIC’s report with a focus on ASIC’s current and future compliance activities. We look at four areas identified in that report which will be most relevant to business compliance: regulatory reform, enforcement activities, supporting innovation and ASIC technology and processes. Regulatory Reform ASIC notes several areas of regulatory change that ASIC has implemented or been actively involved (see Annual Report, p3). Some of these we have commented on over the last six months including: Client money reforms (see An update on the OTC derivative client money reforms: be ready for…
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Data Protection Officer – Which Businesses Need One & What do they do?

Data Protection Officer – Which Businesses Need One & What do they do?

Uncategorized
We have previously looked at the sweeping changes to privacy laws coming into effect in the EU. These laws will have an impact on a number of Australian businesses. One of the first steps towards GDPR compliance is to identify whether your business is captured under Article 37 and requires the appointment of a Data Protection Officer ('DPO'). Reading this article will give you the option of downloading our free report on DPO, written by Dr. Drew Donnelly, Compliance Quarter. Download our free report for further details on the DPO by following the instructions in the popup box. Alternatively, you can complete our FREE GDPR Readiness Questionnaire so that we can help you assess where you stand with GDPR and the work required. Our initial assessment and response is free…
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