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Australia: Introduction of Seasonal Worker Program

(Aug. 29, 2008) Australia is introducing a three-year Seasonal Worker Pilot Program, under which workers from Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, and Vanuatumay work for up to seven months a year in the horticulture industry. Under the program, as many as 2,500 visas will be available over a three-year period. The pilot program will operate […]

Australia; United States: Mutual Recognition of Securities Regulation Arrangement

(Aug. 29, 2008) Australia and the United States have signed a mutual recognition arrangement regarding recognition of financial services regulation. This arrangement will permit investors and brokers to comply primarily with their home jurisdiction regulations, but obtain recognition in the alternate market, thus providing greater access to the respective markets by each country. (Press Release, […]

Samoa: New Companies Act Introduced

(Aug. 29, 2008) Samoa has introduced a new company law regime via the implementation of the Companies Act 2001. Commencing from July 2008, the new Act is a simplified version of New Zealand's Companies Act, 1993. It clarifies the corporate governance framework and simplifies the processes for incorporation and management of companies. (Companies Act 2001.)

Cook Islands: Chiefs Seek to Dissolve Elected Parliament

(July 2, 2008) Media reports stated recently that traditional Chiefs of the Cook Islands (members of the House of Ariki) are meeting in an attempt to resolve questions surrounding the previous dismissal by the Chiefs of the Queen of New Zealand's representative and government. The legality of the proclamation effecting the dismissal is also being […]

Australia; Indonesia: Carbon Trading Agreement

(July 2, 2008) On <?June 13, 2008, Australia and Indonesia signed a new Indonesia – Australia Forest Carbon Partnership to support emerging forest-carbon trading initiatives. According to a press release, the Partnership is intended to assist in the areas of: policy development and capacity building to support participation in international negotiations and future carbon markets; […]

Australia: Compulsory Dispute Resolution for All Parenting Orders

(July 2, 2008) From July 1, 2008, all persons in Australia applying for a Parenting Order (Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) Pt VII) must attend family dispute resolution (other than in instances of violence, child abuse, or urgency). Parenting Orders are court directions regarding parental responsibilities. (Press Release, Attorney General of Australia, Family Dispute Resolution […]

Indonesia: Supreme Court Investigated for Corruption

(July 2, 2008) Media reports have indicated that Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission has commenced an investigation into the embezzlement of administrative fees by the Supreme Court. It is reported that the Commission will review several Supreme Court bank accounts, including an account in the name of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Bagir Manan. […]

Australia; New Zealand: Mutual Recognition of Securities

(July 2, 2008) From July 2008, New Zealand and Australia will implement a Mutual Recognition of Securities Offerings (MRSO) that will permit issuers to use a single prospectus to offer shares, debentures, or managed or collective investment schemes to investors in both New Zealand and Australia. (Securities Commission New Zealand & Australian Securities and Investments […]

Australia: 2008-2009 Budget Passed

(June 2, 2008) The Australian Parliament has passed six appropriations bills to implement the government's 2008-2009 budget. The budget will amend legislation to provide for, among other things: • amendments to increase the personal income thresholds; • an increase in the Child Care Tax Rebate (from 30 to 50 percent); • amendments to Australia's universal […]

New Zealand: Securities Prosecution to Be Funded

(June 2, 2008) It was announced on May 21, 2008, that the New Zealand government is implementing amendments to permit the use of the Securities Commission's Litigation Fund for criminal prosecutions (under the Securities Act) brought against finance companies that have misled investors. Previously this fund could only be used in relation to civil litigation. […]