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Published on May 3, 2012 by Howard Harrison

Recently, I chaired a session at the NSW State Legal Conference on Legal Issues for Not-For-Profit bodies. As you may be aware the Federal Government has issued the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Exposure Draft Bill 2011. This Bill establishes the Australian Not-for-Profits Commission which aims to simplify interactions with Government and promote good governance, accountability and transparency. Josephine Heesh, one of our senior lawyers delivered a paper on this topic which she presented at the State Legal Conference ‘The Establishment and Role of the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission and the Statutory Definition of “Charity”’  I recommend the paper to you which will be published in a shortened version to our website soon.

I am pleased to announce the firm is adopting a formal sustainability policy that creates a framework for greater understanding and management of the firm’s environmental impact. The policy will encourage greater participation and new initiatives by all members in the firm to help reduce our ecological footprint. By introducing a more focused, targeted effort, we believe we will be able to maximise our efforts by promoting a strong environmental ethic as part of the firm’s culture. As part of the policy, we will join the Australian Legal Sector Alliance(AusLSA) an alliance of law firms who work together to promote sustainable practices across the legal sector. In addition, we will participate in the Sustainability Advantage Program, a business support service run by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. As members of these two organisations, we will be required to annually report on our environmental impact and progress.

This month, the firm will be hosting Greg Smith SC, as part of our Lunchtime Speaker Series on 31 July. Greg is the former MP for Epping and is currently appointed as Attorney General and Minister of Justice. After hundreds of criminal prosecutions, appearing in the High Court and other appellate courts, Greg has had a vibrant career in criminal law. Greg will talk on his commitment to policies that promote rehabilitation and reduction in reoffending numbers and his work towards the harmonisation of laws with his Federal and State counterparts.
Our Wollongong office is busy as major works are now underway on the West Keira development project. The $200 million, 18,000 sqm development set over three retail levels, with 80 speciality stores will transform Wollongong’s city centre into a vibrant new hub. With a vast array of shopping, fresh produce, fast food and café and dining options, the development will create hundreds of new construction jobs and later hundreds more retail positions.

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