News & Security Advice

New South Wales

Major Changes to NSW Workers Compensation

icare is the new State Government authority that administers Workers Compensation in NSW. icare now handle all policy underwriting and billing – meaning clients will receive renewal documentation directly from icare and they must pay icare directly.

Insurers, acting as agents for the scheme now only take care of claims handling. However, CGU and QBE are not renewing their agreements at the end of the year meaning the number of insurer “agents” will be reduced to: Allianz, Employers Mutual Limited and GIO.

Any employers with policies with CGU and QBE will be transferred to one of the above, for claims handling.

Members can obtain further information at https://www.icare.nsw.gov.au/our-services/workers-insurance.

ASQA cancels registration of three NSW security training providers

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has cancelled the registration of three registered training organisations that were delivering security training in New South Wales.

The providers are Sage Academy Training Pty Ltd, Premier Training Institute and Safety and First Aid Education Pty Ltd.

Read the full ASQA media release here for more information> 

Fair Work Ombudsman recovers almost $30,000 from a NSW security company

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured almost $30,000 for five underpaid employees of a NSW-based security services company.

The five security guards were underpaid a total of $29,690 when they were employed by Unimet Security Pty Ltd, which provides security services at a variety of different sites.

The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated after receiving requests for assistance from two guards.

The guards were paid flat rates of $20 to $22 an hour, which were insufficient to cover their minimum entitlements under the Security Services Industry Award.

As casual employees, they were entitled to a minimum Award hourly rate of $24.28 for ordinary hours, a night rate of $28.49, weekend rates of up to $43.70 and up to $53.41 on public holidays.

The largest underpayments were $12,086 for a guard who worked at the Stockland Shellharbour Shopping Centre and $6454 for a guard who was placed by Unimet at a Centrelink site at Corrimal in Wollongong.

Unimet co-operated with the Fair Work Ombudsman, including conducting a self-audit to help identify the full extent of underpayments and promptly back-paying workers in full.

The company has also entered into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman aimed at encouraging behavioural change and future compliance.

Under the EU, the company has agreed to donate $1000 to the Mt Druitt & Area Community Legal Centre in Western Sydney and to commission external professional audits of its compliance with workplace laws over the next three years and promptly rectify any underpayments discovered.

The company will also terminate its contract with any contractor it finds has breached workplace laws; apologise to the underpaid workers; display workplace notices detailing its contraventions; and register with the Fair Work Ombudsman’s My Account portal.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the case illustrates the dangers of paying flat rates of pay, without reference to the applicable Award.

“Improving compliance in the security industry continues to be a focus for us and employers in this sector need to realise it is unlawful to pay flat rates that undercut award entitlements, even if employees say they agree to it,” Ms James said.

Resources available at www.fairwork.gov.au include a template questionnaire for security contractors vying for work, sample clauses to include in contracts and tools for determining minimum employees pay rates, including penalties and overtime.

NSW introduces digital licence for RSA/RCG competency cardholders

In a first for Australia, Liquor & Gaming NSW in partnership with Service NSW has introduced a digital licence for Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) competency cardholders.

Individuals can now download the digital version of their card on any smartphone or tablet.

Benefits of the digital competency card

  • It is available for existing and new cardholders, providing a convenient, secure digital licence that can be downloaded on smartphone or tablet. The app will work even when network coverage is unavailable.
  • The digital competency card solves the issue of employees losing their card or leaving it at home.  It can be quickly displayed on any smartphone or tablet when you or inspectors need to check it.
  • The digital card provides real time updates, and displays renewal reminders and a history of checks by compliance officers.

While it is up to the licensee as to where staff keep their phones while working, it is recommended that phones are easily accessible in case of an inspection.

The digital licence is initially being introduced as an optional extra to the physical card.

Cardholders should check with their employer about the use of digital licences and accessibility while at work and decide whether the physical competency cards should also be carried.

The digital competency card is available to download through the MyServiceNSW app, available on the iTunes Store or Google Play.

More information on the RSA/RCG competency card digital licence and how to apply for one, is available on the Liquor & Gaming NSW website.

NSW Police Community Portal

The NSW Police Force Community Portal gives the public the option to report lost property, intentional damage or graffiti and theft, via a secure, efficient and convenient website.

Use of the portal, which is linked to a MyServiceNSW account, also allows people who report non-urgent crime to make and receive updates and to be contacted directly by police if further information is required.

To use the portal, people simply create a MyServiceNSW account on the Service NSW website, or from the home page of the NSW Police Force Community Portal, to successfully complete a report.

You can create a new MyServiceNSW account directly from the home page of the NSW Police Force Community Portal:https://portal.police.nsw.gov.au/ or via the Service NSW website: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/.

If you're already a registered user, simply logon to the NSW Police Force Community Portal using your MyServiceNSW account and you will be re-directed to Service NSW to link to the NSW Police Force.

You can also access the NSW Police Force Community Portal and learn more about the platform by visiting the NSW Police Force home page: www.police.nsw.gov.au.

New South Wales Mutual Recognition Licence Applications

The NSW Police Security Licensing Enforcement Directorate (SLED) has identified a spike in the number of mutual recognition applications during the first quarter of 2016. 50-55% of all new applications are under mutual recognition principles, with 90% of these from Queensland.

Interstate licence applicants for Queensland licences must now be fingerprinted in that State, except with prior approval from the Office of Fair Trading.

Use of drug detection dogs by the NSW security industry

The NSW Police Security Licensing Enforcement Directorate reminds security licensees that amendments to the Security Industry Act 1997 (the SI Act) commenced on 8 January 2015 in relation to the use of dogs while carrying on security activity.  These amendments are contained within sections 11(3) and 23F of the SI Act.

Section 11 (3)  of the SI Act states:  "A class 1A, class 1B, class 1C, class 1E or class 1F licence does not authorise the licensee to carry on a security activity with a dog."

Section 23F of the SI Act states: "It is a condition of every class 1A, class 1B, class 1C, class 1E or class 1F licence that the licensee must not carry on the security activity authorised by the licence with a dog."

As a consequence of this legislation, the screening of persons seeking entry to any licensed premises, public entertainment venue or public or private event or function with a dog, including a drug detection dog, is a contravention of the SI Act.

In a statement released on 11 December 2015, NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police, the Hon Troy Grant, said:

"Police often use drug detection dogs at events including music festivals as they are a very useful tool in detecting illicit drugs.  However, their use must be closely controlled to ensure searches are conducted properly, lawfully and with police oversight scrutiny in the case of complaints by members of the public about their use.

That’s why it’s crucial that the operation of drug detection dogs is retained by police who have the full resources, powers and ability to train the animals with real illicit drugs and also to search, arrest and charge people with drugs possession if drugs are found.

This is why the amendments were made to the Security Industry Act 1997, taking effect in January this year, as prior to that the use of drug detection dogs by private operators was unregulated.

There are no plans to amend the legislation."

Dogs may only be used by class 1D licensees and only to carry on activities authorised by that licence subclass(ie patrol, protect or guard property with a dog).

Sydney Trains – Security Services Tender

Sydney Trains (ST), including NSW TrainLink, has released a request for proposal (RFP) for the provision of security services for up to the next eight years (4+2+2). The tender will close 10am on 24/12/2015.

Scope Headlines:

  • Security Officers to provide security at Maintenance Centres, Stabling Yards, Stations and the rail corridor and at Special Events when requested.
  • Mobile, static and foot patrols of ST and NSW TrainLink locations, partnering with ST Security and NSW Police.
  • The option of providing Canine (Dog Handling) and other specialist security services, e.g. alarm monitoring
  • Employ Mobility Technology to improve the detection and reporting of security incidents and the management of Security Officers.

We are looking for companies with proven experience, capacity and capability to handle a large body of employed Security Officers, with a strategic vision heavily influenced by technology and provision of high quality services.  We expect proactive suppliers driving continuous improvement and optimising available resources, while still achieving better outcomes.

More information

Sydney Light Rail Construction – CBD Access and Road Closures

The first closure of George Street to general traffic for the construction of Sydney Light Rail will occur at 8:00pm this Friday, 23 October, between Market and King streets.

The attached maps show the new George Street access arrangements and key freight and servicing routes into and out of the CBD.

City Access Inbound/Outbound Map

George Street Access Map

A few key points to remember:

  • Access to driveways on George Street between Market and King streets is controlled and only permitted southbound from King Street.
  • Only those drivers delivering to loading docks in the block, making service calls, residents, car space owners and emergency vehicles will be given access.
  • If you are not accessing those driveways you will not be permitted to enter this section of the street.
  • Please plan ahead and follow the signs and directions from traffic controllers.

Mysydney.nsw.gov.au remains the best place to get the latest information on the upcoming changes across the CBD.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Michael Stokoe, Project Director CBD Freight and Servicing on CBDfreight@transport.nsw.gov.au.

Certificate IV Security Risk Management Qualification Change

SPAAL identified that Certificate IV Security Risk Management only allows the ability to assess not write a report and leaves a serious gap in the NSW 2A consultancy licence unless two units from the Diploma of Security Risk Management are included as additional core units.

SPAAL made a submission to the Security Licensing Enforcement Directorate (SLED). SLED agreed that it would be beneficial to add the two suggested elective units from the Diploma of Security Risk Management:

CPPSEC5004A Prepare security risk management plan
CPPSEC5005A Implement security risk management plan

Accordingly, from 1 January 2016, applicants for a Class 2A licence will be required to complete the two units from the Diploma. The SLED will publish the revised requirements on its website.

SLED thanked SPAAL for our interest in assisting the NSW Police Force's efforts to further strengthen the professionalism, competence and integrity of the NSW security industry.