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Question: the childcare centres act 2010 cth the act a fictional...

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The Childcare Centres Act 2010 (Cth) (the Act) [a fictional Act] creates the Childcare Centre Authority (the Authority). Relevantly, the Authority’s function is to consider and determine applications for licences allowing persons to operate childcare centres. The Act prescribes a number of matters the Authority must take into account in deciding whether to grant an applicant such a licence. One is that the applicant is a ‘fit and proper person’. Mr Liam Gray, who received his Australian citizenship by conferral, seeks a licence under the Act. His application appears to meet all criteria specified by the Act. During the course of its consideration of his application, however, it comes to the Authority’s attention, via an anonymous letter, that some twenty years ago Mr Gray was convicted of a number of burglary offences. A day after receiving the letter, the Authority, refuses to grant him a licence. It provides reasons for its decision which include this passage: Nevertheless, given the fact of Mr Gray’s burglary convictions in 1998 and tendency towards crime which appears common to people from his country of origin, the Authority is of the view that he is incapable of meeting the “fit and proper person” criterion in the Act, and accordingly his application for a statutory licence is refused.


1) Mr Gray approaches you. Advise him whether he may commence review proceedings challenging the Authority’s refusal to grant him a licence and, if so, where, and what issues are likely to arise.


Recall Mr Liam Gray from Question 1(A). Assume that the Authority’s initial consideration of his application did not uncover his 1998 burglary convictions and that his application duly proceeded to decision and he was granted a licence under the Act. 18 months after the grant of the statutory licence, the Authority receives anonymous information to the effect that Mr Gray is operating his licensed childcare centre contrary to the terms of his licence. The information suggests that children at the centre are insufficiently supervised and that some staff are insufficiently qualified. (For the purpose of the following analysis, assume that certain staffing ratios and certain staff qualifications are statutory conditions of Mr Gray’s licence). The Authority is concerned by the information. It decides to engage a firm of solicitors, Best & Co, to investigate Mr Liam Gray’s conduct of the centre and provide a report to the Authority.


2) Mr Liam Gray approaches you. He has heard rumours about the information but does not know exactly what it is or who provided it to the Authority. He is concerned that Best & Co’s investigation of him is going to be a “headache” for his business and prejudice its commercial reputation. He seeks your advice about whether he can “shut down” the Best & Co investigation.

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