Sydney`s lockout laws were introduced by the New South Wales government from February 2014 to January 2020 in CBD and Oxford Street (and until March 2021 for Kings Cross) in an effort to reduce alcohol-related violence. The legislation required lockouts at 1.30am and last drinks at 3am in bars, pubs and clubs in Sydney`s central business district. The district was bordered by Kings Cross, Darlinghurst, Cockle Bay, The Rocks and Haymarket. In October 2018, it was reported that members of the New South Wales government were considering relaxing laws due to the negative impact on Sydney`s business and reputation for people looking to holiday in the city. In 2021, the COVIDSafe app was rarely used by the public or contract tracking groups. QR registration codes have been the preferred method of tracking COVID-19 transmission. In Western Australia, police accessed app data at least twice, prompting the Western Australian government to pass laws restricting access to it in June 2021. In Victoria, the police requested access to the data three times, but this was not granted by the Department of Health and the Victoria Department. However, the Victorian government had not introduced legislation limiting access to this data before the end of the collection period.18 In June 2021, after the collection period, the Online Safety Act was passed by both houses of the Australian Parliament. The law, which is expected to come into force in late 2021, builds on the Safer Online Act, 2015.2 While the law aims to improve online safety, for example by introducing protections against cyberbullying and child exploitation, it would expand the federal government`s ability to block certain online content and require its removal. Content covered by the law includes cyberbullying material targeting an Australian child, non-consensual shared intimate images, and cyberbullying material directed at an Australian adult.3 Under the law, users can file formal complaints about online content; The cyber security officer would then have the authority to investigate these complaints and issue referral notices. Providers, which include social media services, „relevant electronic services”, „designated Internet services”, hosting services and any end-user who posted the material, must remove Commissioner-approved content within 24 hours of receiving notice of removal. A major cyberattack in March 2021 targeted Parliament, causing employees to lose access to their emails for a limited period of time.
The government said no information had been compromised. Channel 9, a major Australian broadcaster, was hit by a similar attack in March, which led to interruptions in some programmes.3 Both South Australia and the Northern Territory Act refer to a „free and voluntary agreement”. The ATT government revises its laws after being determined to be the only state or territory without a legal definition of consent. In August 2021, after the reporting period, the Australian government passed the Surveillance (Identification and Disruption) Amendment Bill, which poses a threat to encryption as it allows authorities to take control of an individual`s social media account (see C5).5 Australian copyright laws are evolving in response to the dissemination of infringing material online. In December 2018, the Copyright Act was amended to expand its provisions, for example by extending orders to block websites hosting the material to search engine providers, who must take reasonable steps to block search results for infringing content.15 The amendment also allows for the extension of existing blocking orders without a new court order to „new domain names associated with the 16 A government awareness campaign called Make No Doubt aims to clarify the new laws. The new approval law will be revised in three years. On 28 November 2019, the New South Wales Government announced that lockout laws in Sydney`s central business district and Oxford Street would be repealed effective 14 January 2020.   On February 8, 2021, the New South Wales government announced that the lockout laws would be implemented from February 8, 2021. In March 2021, Kings Cross would be abolished from the remaining area.  Australia has a free press, and journalists cover most issues without restriction. However, concentration of ownership limits the diversity of the media landscape, both for online journalism and for traditional journalism (see B7).
In addition, whistleblower laws, defamation laws and suppression orders can impede reporting (see B4). Other important amendments to the schedules of the Act include the clarification of an offence not committed in the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) relating to forced marriage of children. The MS Act 2021 contains further provisions relating to the granting of recognition payments under the Victims` Rights and Support Act 2013 (NSW) for certain victims of modern slavery. The proposed laws in New South Wales were approved by Dr. Rachael Burgin, director of Rape and Sexual Assault Research and Advocacy, was hailed as a „leader in the country”. In any event, narrow orders suppressing coverage of ongoing court cases are often interpreted too broadly by the media to avoid ignoring charges before the courts.4 Some enforcement orders are themselves overly broad; Both types can have a deterrent effect on reporting. In June 2018, a judge in the state of Victoria issued a global order removing coverage of the trial of Cardinal George Pell to mitigate the risk of trial error in another related court case involving Pell, who was eventually convicted of sexual abuse in December of that year. Journalists criticized the suppression order for obstructing reporting on an issue of great public importance. Although the order was lifted in February 2019, contempt of court charges were filed in May 2020 against 19 journalists, 21 publications and 6 companies for non-compliance with the order.  The case was settled in February 2021, when prosecutors dropped all charges against those involved, allowing the media to plead guilty to: Violation of enforcement orders.6 As of June 2021 After the reporting period, 12 media outlets were fined a total of A$1.1 million (US$811,000) for covering the case.7 Recent lawsuits related to research findings and predictions of Google`s autocomplete sought to clarify how Australia`s defamation laws apply to online content.
In June 2018, the High Court of Australia ruled in favour of Milorad Trkulja in a defamation suit against Google.5 Although a lower court dismissed the case, the High Court agreed with the plaintiff that autocomplete predictions and image searches related to his name could convey to an ordinary and reasonable person that Trkulja was connected to the criminal underworld.6 that the case be referred to the Supreme Court of Victoria for trial. Although no results were reported by this court at the end of the reporting period.7 Online activities protected by international human rights standards are sometimes subject to criminal penalties in Australia, particularly through the country`s defamation laws.