Below is a summary of some the key changes since our September 2023 newsletter. Please note that this isn’t necessarily a complete list of all law changes relevant to your organisation.

What laws have changed recently?

To get full clarity about legislative changes affecting your organisation, dial up the ‘clarity of change’ function in your ComplyWith Obligations Register.


While you’re there, turn on law change notifications for yourself and remember that in the ComplyWith Admin module you can set up tailored law change notifications for anyone in your organisation who will benefit from being kept up to date about law changes relevant to their role.

Key changes for all sectors

  • On 6 October 2023, the Code of Good Faith in Collective Bargaining was updated to reflect the extension of the time limit for raising a personal grievance involving sexual harassment from 90 days to 12 months.
  • On 5 October 2023:
    • The Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Act 2023 came into force and introduced new requirements for withholding retention money under construction contracts.
    • The Imports and Exports (Restrictions) Prohibition Order (No 2) 2004 Amendment Order 2023 came into force and expanded the list of chemicals that can only be exported when permitted by the EPA.
  • On 2 October 2023, the Financial Markets Conduct (Climate-related Disclosures) Amendment Regulations 2023 specified the way climate-related disclosure (CRD) records must be kept and made available for inspection.
  • On 1 October 2023, the Land Transport (Road User) Amendment Rule 2023 and Land Transport (Motor Vehicle Registration and Licensing) Amendment Regulations 2023 came into force.

Changes for local government

  • On 4 October 2023, the remaining provisions of the Water Services Act 2021 came into force requiring wastewater network operators to prepare and implement a wastewater risk management plan, review the plan every 5 years, and to keep certain records.

Changes for the electricity industry

  • On 1 October 2023, the Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Default Transmission Agreement) 2023 came into force. It replaced the benchmark agreement with a new default transmission agreement template and made changes to settlement residue payment adjustments.

Changes for the health sector

  • On 29 October 2023, certain provisions of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment Act 2021 came into force removing indefinite compulsory treatment orders.
  • On 5 October 2023, the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Regulations (No 2) 2023 came into force adding new opioid prescribing limits.
  • On 1 October 2023, tramadol became a Class C2 controlled drug and was added to the list of controlled drugs that can be prescribed by designated prescriber nurses and pharmacists.

Changes for the education sector

  • On 30 September 2023, the Education (National Student Numbers) Notice 2023 expanded the purposes for which national student numbers can be used to include making sure employers and students receive appropriate resourcing and support for work-based training.

Changes for organisations with animals

  • On 5 October 2023, the Resource Management (Stock Exclusion) Amendment Regulations 2023 came into force. The changes included adding an exception to the 3-metre setback rule and excluding certain land from the definition of low slope land.

Changes for incorporated societies

  • On 5 October 2023, the Incorporated Societies Act 2022 came into force. Existing societies incorporated under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 must reregister under the 2022 Act by 5 April 2026.

Changes for registered charities

  • On 5 October 2023, further provisions of the Charities Amendment Act 2023 came into force.

What’s coming up?

While we're likely to see some urgent law changes being made when the new government finally gets going, we’ve set out below a summary of other key law changes we know are coming up. For more about changes the new government will likely make please see our Post-election law change forecast article

  • On 11 December 2023, further provisions of the Local Electoral Amendment Regulations 2023 come into force.
  • On 1 January 2024:
    • The remaining provisions of the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Act 2020 come into force.
    • The Financial Markets Conduct (Climate-related Disclosures and Fees) Amendment Regulations 2023 come into force.
    • The Education (Domestic Tertiary Student and International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme) Rules 2023 will replace the Education (Domestic Tertiary Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme) Rules 2021 and the International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme Rules 2016.
    • Further provisions of the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2022–23, Platform Economy, and Remedial Matters) Act 2023 come into force.
  • On 6 January 2024, the Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Employees) Act 2023 comes into force.



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