Late payers put on notice

Original article by Robert Gottliebsen
The Australian – Page: 21 : 25-Jun-20

The federal government proposes to introduce a new supplier payments disclosure regime for businesses with turnover of $100m or more. They will be required to submit regular reports on how quickly they pay the invoices of small business suppliers. The disclosure regime takes effect at the start of 2021, but the 3,000 or so large enterprises that will be affected need to start preparing for it immediately. The proposed Payment Times Reporting Regulator will be responsible for enforcing the legislation and determining whether a supplier is a small business for the purposes of the disclosure regime.

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APRA probes super fund pain

Original article by Gerard Cockburn
The Australian – Page: 16 : 25-Jun-20

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority will increase its oversight of the nation’s superannuation funds in response to the coronavirus pandemic. APRA will require super funds to provide it with a range of data on both a monthly and quarterly basis for the duration of the health crisis. Amongst other things, APRA is concerned about the impact of the federal government’s early access scheme is having on super funds, with almost $16bn having been withdrawn to date.

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AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY

Australian privacy watchdog launches court action against Facebook over Cambridge Analytica access

Original article by Jack Snape, Ariel Bogle
abc.net au – Page: Online : 10-Mar-20

The Australian Information Commissioner has taken social media firm Facebook to the Federal Court for allegedly breaching the privacy of around 311,127 Australians in regard to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The Commissioner has stated that the court can impose a fine of up to $1.7 million for each "serious and repeated" offence. The UK privacy watchdog has previously fined Facebook Stg500,000 billion ($998,000) over the Cambridge Analytica episode, while a US Federal Trade Commission investigation resulted in Facebook paying US5 billion ($7.64 billion) over allegations that it duped users over their ability to control personal information.

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AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN INFORMATION COMMISSIONER, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA LLC, UNITED STATES. FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

Agent of interference: How Labor’s top lawyer steered bureaucrats against ex-PM

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 31-Jan-20

Andrew Cooper, the Australian organiser of the 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference, was asked to register under the federal government’s Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme. The request was made by the Attorney General’s Department. According to documents released under freedom of information laws, Labor frontbencher Mark Dreyfus encouraged department officials to investigate whether the CPAC would trigger registration requirements under the scheme at a meeting in July. The Department also asked former prime minister Tony Abbott to register under the scheme as he was to speak at the event; both Cooper and Abbott rejected the requests. A spokesperson for Dreyfus says the opposition cannot tell public servants to do anything.

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AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Westpac told of payments weeks ago

Original article by Michael Roddan, Bridget Carter
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 29-Nov-19

Westpac has claimed that it was not aware of Austrac’s allegations regarding payments linked to child exploitation until 20 November, when the scandal was exposed. However, Austrac’s statement of claim shows that it specifically requested information from Westpac about such payments at least six weeks earlier. Meanwhile, Westpac has advised that it will allow retail investors to withdraw from a share purchase plan that was announced a week before Austrac filed civil proceedings against the bank.

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WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, CLIME CAPITAL LIMITED – ASX CAM

Judge’s news dictate sets risky precedent

Original article by Nicola Berkovic
The Australian – Page: 3 : 20-Nov-19

A Curtin University academic has expressed concern about a court ruling about disclosing the identify of a psychologist who was found guilty of professional misconduct. The Family Court of Western Australia ruled that ‘The Australian’ must submit a draft article for its approval before the story can be published, as the Family Law Act prevents the identification of witnesses in family law proceedings. Associate professor of journalism Joseph Fernandez says the ruling is "troubling" and has implications for freedom of the press.

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FAMILY COURT OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA, CURTIN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, ONE NATION PARTY, AUSTRALIAN LAW REFORM COMMISSION

Banks should explain credit card fine print

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 20-Aug-19

Research involving almost 400,000 Commonwealth Bank of Australia credit card users suggests that there are benefits to be had by being more transparent with customers. Harvard researchers found that CBA customers who were provided with more transparency about their credit cards spent 9.9 per cent more each month, and were much less likely to cancel their accounts. In announcing the results of their study, authors Ryan W. Buell and MoonSoo Choi called for more research into transparency and customer engagement.

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COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, HARVARD UNIVERSITY

Tax office targets lawyers’ privileges

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 7 : 22-Jul-19

The Australian Taxation Office is hoping a new industry code of conduct that is being developed with the Law Council of Australia and other professional bodies will lead to improved auditing of multinationals. The ATO is finding it difficult to conduct such audits because lawyers are making blanket claims that documents being sought are subject to legal privilege. ATO second commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn says law firms have no interest in seeing privilege claims that turn out to be false, as this could put the concept of privilege at risk.

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AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, COMMOTION SYSTEMS, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

How Twitter drip-fed Watergate

Original article by Aaron Patrick
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 36 : 3-May-19

The ‘Watergate’ saga that has embroiled Energy Minister Angus Taylor has arguably changed the rules when it comes to news reporting in Australia. The story was sparked by an anonymous Twitter account in early April, which implied that Taylor had benefited from the sale of water rights to the federal government by Eastern Australia Agriculture in 2017. The rights related to two Queensland cotton farms; Taylor had advised Eastern Australia Agriculture on the purchase of these farms a decade earlier. Although journalists have historically relied on anonymous sources, it is extremely rare for them to use sources that they cannot identify.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, EASTERN AUSTRALIA AGRICULTURE PTY LTD, TWITTER INCORPORATED

AMP and Clayton Utz roll over for ASIC

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 12-Mar-19

An AMP spokesperson has confirmed that it has withdrawn its claim of legal and professional privilege over documents sought by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission regarding the fee-for-no-service scandal. Clayton Utz had been involved in the claim; the documents in question included notes taken by Clayton Utz in interviews with AMP employees over the scandal. ASIC deputy commissioner Daniel Crennan attacked AMP for trying to delay its investigation, although he said it was pleased that the sought documents had now been released.

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AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, CLAYTON UTZ