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Our experienced lawyers share their unique perspectives on the latest market news and trends. Moulis Legal and our lawyers are highly ranked by respected peer review agencies Chambers & Partners, Who’s Who Legal and Best Lawyers. Our recognitions include consistent Band 1 recognition by Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific, and as one of Australia’s top 20 law firms (Chambers & Partners, 2015).

A warning for SMEs – the “effects test” will apply to your market power too

In what is the biggest shake up of competition law in Australia for many years, the Australian Government has announced that it will amend the legal test to determine whether a business has misused its market power. If the proposed changes are passed, the scope of activities constituting a misuse of market power will be significantly broadened. 

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Iran back in vogue

Australia’s exports to the Islamic Republic of Iran were, at one time, valued at over AUD 1 billion and covered a range of industrial and consumer goods and services. After years of nuclear based sanctions, Australia’s total trade and investment with Iran is valued at less than AUD 300 million and is limited to wheat and related products. 

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Canberra’s mixed use development laws – uncool in the capital

Canberra’s ambition to be the “coolest little capital” depends on bringing variety and vibrancy into its urban environments. Mixed use developments are on the up. Residential owners are being injected into adaptively re-used commercial precincts, and vice versa. 

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Petroleum Contract Series – carrying too much liability under carrier agreements

Australia’s downstream petroleum industry is continuing its evolution into a complex commercial environment that combines sophisticated multinationals, emerging national fuel businesses and local goods and service providers. 

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Investor State Dispute Settlement – a critical tool in the international investment toolkit

Australia’s free trade agreement with China, the highly debated Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Australia’s recent dispute with big tobacco in Singapore have drawn public and political attention to Investor State Dispute Settlement, or ISDS. Characterisations of ISDS have included it being an attack on democracy, a threat to national sovereignty or a panacea that protects all international investment. 

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Negotiating civil penalties with regulators – High Court changes stop to go

After a year of uncertainty, the High Court’s decision in CFMEU v Director, Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate & Anor (“the CFMEU case”) has restored and validated the long held practice in regulatory matters for parties to agree on a civil penalty to submit for approval by the Court. 

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NSW court holds directors liable for contamination clean-up costs

The NSW Land and Environment Court has handed down a decision with significant implications for directors and managers of companies that operate environmentally sensitive businesses, such as service stations, petroleum storage facilities and depots.

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Ethanol Mandate Act passed by Queensland Parliament

On 1 December 2015, the Liquid Fuel Supply (Ethanol and Other Biofuels Mandate) Amendment Act 2015 was passed by the Queensland Parliament (“the Ethanol Mandate Act”). The Ethanol Mandate Act imposes a biobased petrol and diesel mandate to commence on 1 January 2017.

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Business critical investment issue – can you get your money out of China?

Against the backdrop of the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (“CHAFTA”), an increasing number of Australian businesses are investing in the Chinese market, especially in the growing area of professional services. Traditionally one of the biggest challenges for foreign investors into China has been getting profits and payments past the labyrinth of China’s financial, taxation and exchange regulations. 

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Heritage approvals get modernised in Canberra

Owners and developers of heritage-listed properties in the Australian Capital Territory can now undertake minor development under a very much streamlined approval process. Changes to procedures introduced by the ACT Government in September, now in effect, allow owners of heritage sites to pursue minor developments without a development application (“DA”) if, in the opinion of the ACT Heritage Council, the development proposal is of no significance to the existing heritage values of the site. 

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