The official Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is menacing businesses with audits, “substantiation notices” and potentially stiff fines if they tell customers — even over the phone or in emails — that future price hikes on goods or services are the result of the nation’s newly adopted carbon tax. I discuss at Cato at Liberty (& Mark Hemingway, Weekly Standard).
Popular commentator Andrew Bolt “was found guilty Wednesday of breaking Australian discrimination law by implying that fair-skinned Aborigines chose to identify as indigenous for profit and career advancement.” A judge “said he will prohibit reproduction of the offending articles,” and “Bolt and his publisher must meet with the plaintiffs to discuss appropriate court orders that would reflect the judgment.” [AP, earlier, Volokh](& Popehat)
“In the first fall at 6pm on August 21, 2006, Ms Hargreaves was going to get cough medicine from the fridge in her sock-clad feet…. The tribunal found both falls ‘arose out of Ms Hargreaves’ employment with Telstra’ which made them workplace injuries. Legal experts said the ruling could force employers to conduct workplace health and safety audits in the homes of the one-in-four Queenslanders who regularly work from their private residence for lifestyle reasons.” A law professor said employers “should not enter lightly into home work arrangements” because homes are “inherently dangerous places,” while a labor union spokeswomen said employers should not be able to “contract out” of safety and health obligations. [Courier-Mail; my related take a while back]
Per some in Australia, it may be too dangerous an activity: “‘The mayor said they would like to issue us a permit but can’t because it raises health and safety issues, in case somebody fell over a child on the footpath or into the street,’ [a cafe owner] said.” [Free-Range Kids]
“Companies with more than 100 workers will face spot checks and mandatory reporting on the numbers of women they employ and their position under tough new measures aimed at boosting gender equality in the workplace.” [The Australian]
Plus, related: Case against UK quotas for women on corporate boards [Bainbridge]
Australian authorities dropped a criminal tax investigation of actor Paul Hogan, whose 1986 starring role did much for the nation’s image. Now Hogan, who lives in Los Angeles, says his reputation and career have suffered. [Lowering the Bar]
Australian writer David Broadbent explains to his daughter. [Free-Range Kids] Plus: Australian lawmaker told not to change lightbulb in his office.
According to Felix Salmon, the company that owns the trademark in most countries on “Ugg” for sheep-fleece footwear has used it in “extremely aggressive” fashion against competitors, most particularly against exports from Australia where the term is generic and small firms have produced boots and shoes under similar names for many years.
Qantas settled the American passenger’s complaint, so we never got to hear the battle of the experts about whether the 3-year-old’s screaming really caused blood to issue from her eardrum as alleged. [Suzanne Murray/CafeMom via Stoll and many readers]
Australia: “A Bundaberg school teacher who claims she damaged her larynx yelling at children, including some with special needs, is suing the State Government for more than $400,000.” [Queensland Sunday Mail]