Electricity charges in lease agreements: competing interpretations

Electricity charges in lease agreements: competing interpretations

Consumer, NZ Energy Compliance
A recent judgment handed down by the High Court of New Zealand highlights the need for exercising extreme care when drafting and reviewing lease agreements. Volumex Nominees Limited V The Attorney-General [2018] NZHC 647 concerned an agreement between landlord and tenant in a seven-story building in New Plymouth. The dispute was about the amount of electricity charges to be paid by the tenant. We take a look at electricity charges in lease agreements. Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash By Alex Silcock, Compliance Quarter Electricity charges in lease agreements - Background: The case was brought before the court in an application for summary dismissal. Associate Judge Johnston, at the beginning of his reasons, noted that ‘at the heart of this case is a humble comma’. The particular clause that provided for the payment of…
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Six Questions Every Director Should Be Asking About Compliance

AU Energy Compliance, Building and Construction, Consumer, Financial Services, NZ Energy Compliance
The obligation to ensure adherence to general and specific laws applying to your company’s operations is at the heart of your responsibilities as a company director – both under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and at common law. The most recent set of hearings before the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (Royal Commission) are a sage reminder of the need for organisations (of all sizes) to reflect on how they are managing issues of governance and compliance within their business. You can follow some of our previous coverage of the Royal Commission here (https://www.compliancequarter.com.au/three-financial-services-compliance-lessons-from-the-royal-commission/#_ftn1). By The consequences of failing to meet your obligations as a director can potentially expose the organisation to actions by shareholders, along with civil penalty enforcement action by the…
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GDPR Countdown 2: How to get consumer consent and when is it required?

GDPR Countdown 2: How to get consumer consent and when is it required?

Consumer
In today’s article, part 2 of our countdown to GDPR on May 25, we look at what the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) says about consumer consent. For a discussion of when the GDPR can apply to Australian businesses see https://www.compliancequarter.com.au/understanding-gdpr-opportunities-risks/.   By Dr Drew Donnelly, Compliance Quarter. Consent Defined The definition of consent in article 4(11) of the GDPR provides that it be “any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject's wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her”. Compared to the existing EU data protection rules, and the definition in the Australian Privacy Act 1988, there is a greater emphasis in the…
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Government Confirms New Framework for Data Availability and Use

Government Confirms New Framework for Data Availability and Use

AU Energy Compliance, Consumer
Government Confirms New Framework for Data Availability and Use - We have discussed the Federal Government’s response to the Productivity Commission’s proposed new Consumer Data Right before (see https://www.compliancequarter.com.au/new-consumer-data-right-2018-know-far/). Now that the Government has released its formal response to the Productivity Commission’s (the Commission’s) inquiry report Data Availability and Use[1], it’s worth looking in more detail at the Data Right and other proposed data reforms. There are three planks to the Government’s reforms: A Consumer Data Right; A National Data Commissioner; Legislative and governance arrangements for data sharing and release.   [caption id="attachment_4256" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo by Hunter Harritt on Unsplash[/caption] By Dr Drew Donnelly, Compliance Quarter. We discuss each of these changes in turn and contrast the Government’s changes with some of the recommendations from the Commission. The Consumer…
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ACCC Gas Inquiry April 2018 Interim Report

Consumer
By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter.  The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released its third interim report in relation to gas supply arrangements in Australia; Gas Inquiry April 2018 Interim Report (the report). The report covers three topics: an update on gas prices, which confirms the recent fall in gas commodity price offers for 2018 and 2019 and that prices struck under gas supply agreements (GSAs) remain generally higher in the Southern States than in Queensland; the ACCC decision to publish on its website an LNG netback price series to improve gas price transparency and assist commercial and industrial (C&I) users in negotiating for gas supply; and the ACCC assessment of new reporting in relation to transportation services for non-scheme pipelines, which questions whether early information on standing offers…
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GDPR Australia: When can EU personal data be transferred to Australia?

GDPR Australia: When can EU personal data be transferred to Australia?

Consumer
GDPR Australia: The EU Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on 25 May 2018. In order to ensure that you are GDPR compliant we are offering a series of articles responding to some key questions you might have with respect to the GDPR. For a general overview of the GDPR and whether it might apply to your organisation see https://www.compliancequarter.com.au/understanding-gdpr-opportunities-risks/. You should also check out the comprehensive resource created by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at https://oaic.gov.au/agencies-and-organisations/business-resources/privacy-business-resource-21-australian-businesses-and-the-eu-general-data-protection-regulation. Access our Exclusive & Free GDPR Australia checklistSimply provide your details below to be sent our free GDPR Self Assessment Checklist.Today we ask: When can personal data of EU origin be transferred to an organisation based in Australia?We divide the justifications provided by the GDPR for transfer to any other country…
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OAIC releases first quarterly statistics report under the NDB Scheme

Consumer, Uncategorized
By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter.  Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash The OAIC has published its first quarterly statistics report under the NDB Scheme, Notifiable Data Breaches Quarterly Statistics Report: January 2018 – March 2018. It is interesting to note that the total number of breaches received for the first quarter was 63. Remember that the NDB only commenced at the end of February 2018. The report provides useful snapshots of the findings such as the top five industry sectors where an NDB occurred: The most common type of personal information revealed was contact information. It is perhaps of some concern that the next two most common types of information disclosed were financial details and health information: Although 73% of the eligible data breaches involved the personal information of fewer…
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ACCC compliance and enforcement priorities for 2018 include energy

AU Energy Compliance, Consumer, Uncategorized
In this article, we examine ACCC compliance and enforcement priorities for 2018, including energy and the consumer data right. By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter.  Mr Rod Sims, Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched the ACCC’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy for 2018. One of the key areas of focus in 2018 will be energy and its affordability. Also relevant in 2018 will be the introduction of the Consumer Data Right. In his speech to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) on 20 February 2018, Mr Sims said: ‘As I have repeatedly said, Australia faces an energy affordability crisis. This has upended one of Australia’s core sources of competitive advantages and caused significant consumer harm. The ACCC’s retail electricity pricing inquiry report and the ACCC’s wholesale gas…
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Window safety devices in common areas

Consumer, Uncategorized
By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter.  Owners corporations must ensure that all windows fitted to common property, above the ground floor, comply with the window safety devices legislation by 13 March 2018. This is a mandatory requirement which is imposed on the Owners Corporation. It is contained in the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW) (SSMA) and the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016 (NSW) (SSMR). Section 118 of the SSMA sets out the requirements for window safety devices – child safety. Rule 30 of SSMR provides information regarding what is a building, window and screen for the purposes of s 118. Note that subsection 118(4) of the SSMA applies to an owner of a lot who installs a window safety device. If the owner installs the device then he or she…
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Consultation on Exposure Draft on Australian Consumer Law (ACL) Amendments

Consultation on Exposure Draft on Australian Consumer Law (ACL) Amendments

Consumer, Uncategorized
The Government recently released an exposure draft of a Bill (the draft Bill) capturing many of the recommendations of 2017’s Australian Consumer Law (ACL) Review (https://treasury.gov.au/consultation/t257313). Today we look at the key proposals contained in the draft Bill and point out how where they differ from the recommendations that resulted from the review. [caption id="attachment_3055" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo by Luke Palmer on Unsplash[/caption] By Dr Drew Donnelly, Compliance Quarter. Background In mid-2015 the Commonwealth, State and Territory Consumer Affairs Ministers (Joint Ministers) asked Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand to initiate a broad-reaching review of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), the ‘ACL Review’. As well as generally looking at whether the Australian Consumer Law was still fit-for-purpose, the Australian Consumer Law Review looked at where it would be appropriate to…
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