Norman Waterhouse
   
Norman Waterhouse

 

 

Normans Briefly

In this issue

Welcome to the January edition of our Local Government Briefly.

>   South Australia’s most valuable workplace seminar
>   Employment – Stealing the secret sauce: employee intellectual property theft
>   Governance – Informal gatherings to become more formal
>   GST – Should you bite the forbidden fruit?
>   Environment & Planning – Environment Protection (Water Quality) Policy 2015

South Australia’s most valuable workplace seminar

Walking the Talk is back in 2016 and Norman Waterhouse’s Employment and Industrial Relations Team will again take you through an in-depth analysis of the most important issues facing your workplace. Also, back by popular demand, our interactive Q&A session.

You will soon be receiving the program and registration information for Walking the Talk 2016. Thank you to all who have contributed with topics and comments. As always, the agenda for this full-day seminar is guided by you.

This is one seminar that Chief Executive Officers, human resource professionals and senior managers across State and Federal industrial regimes can’t afford to miss.

"It is the only conference that I MUST attend each year. You all continue to deliver a dynamic line up of subjects and presenters, well done."

"The best seminar I have attended in recent years."

Friday 1 April 2016 | Crowne Plaza Adelaide

Click here to add the calendar appointment to Outlook.


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Employment – Stealing the secret sauce: employee intellectual property theft

On 31 December 2015, BlueScope Steel (BlueScope) made an application for urgent and interim relief in the Federal Court of Australia to prevent an ex-employee from releasing BlueScope’s intellectual property to its competitors. It was alleged that Ms Chinnari Sridevi Somanchi (Ms Somanchi) had taken some of BlueScope’s intellectual property after her employment was terminated by BlueScope.

Ms Somanchi was an employee of BlueScope for 12 years. She had access to, and was involved in, the development of various pieces of BlueScope intellectual property. On 29 June 2015, Ms Somanchi’s employment was terminated.

Please click here to read more.



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Governance – Informal gatherings to become more formal

Among the vast suite of amendments under the yet-to-commence Local Government (Accountability and Governance) Amendment Act 2015 (the Amendment Act), one change of particular note will be the insertion of new requirements regarding ‘informal gatherings’ of council and committee members.

This amendment is significant, and will introduce additional requirements into an area which already proves problematic for many councils.

The current position

As all readers are aware, Section 90(1) of the Local Government Act 1999 (the LG Act) imposes a general requirement that a meeting of a council or a committee must be conducted in a place open to the public.

Please click here to read more.



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GST – Should you bite the forbidden fruit?

In July 2015 it was reported that Genesis Accounting had approached certain councils in South Australia (and across Australia), inviting them to join a potential class action (Class Action) involving the recovery of GST paid by councils on real property sales.

The basis for this Class Action is the purported invalidity of the GST as a result of section 114 of the Constitution, which provides that the Commonwealth cannot tax the property of a State. As councils should be considered part of the State (the argument goes), any transaction relating to the sale of council property cannot attract GST.

Please click here to read more.



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Environment & Planning – Environment Protection (Water Quality) Policy 2015

On 1 January 2016 the Environment Protection (Water Quality) Policy 2015 (2015 Policy) came into operation, replacing the Environment Protection (Water Quality) Policy 2003 (2003 Policy).

The 2015 Policy seeks to ensure greater uniformity in the regulation and management of water quality and pollution prevention in South Australia. It varies in a number of key ways from the 2003 Policy.

Some of the key changes include:

  • The exclusion of waters within pipes and closed tanks of a salt inception schemes from the application of the policy (Clause 8);
     
  • A definition of “public stormwater system” which includes catchment management infrastructure such as detention basins, artificial wetlands and equipment or infrastructure used to collect, treat or convey stormwater by a public authority (Clause 3);

Please click here to read more.



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