Copyright is the legal protection of a writer’s work, which prevents others from copying or reproducing it without permission.
It does not protect an idea or the way that idea has been expressed. In Australia, copyright is automatically protected and you do not need the copyright symbol ©, the name of the copyright owner, and the year of first publication on your manuscript, although a lot of writers choose to do so as a reminder and to flag who the author is. As Australia is a signatory to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works written material is automatically protected. Copyright lasts for 70 years beyond the death of the creator or 70 years from the end of the year the material was first made public. Some countries, for example Canada and the USA, allow for the registration of copyright and there can be benefits to doing this in certain cases. Australian copyright law updates can be obtained from the Federal Attorney-General’s Department, while the Australian Copyright Council provides comprehensive information on the subject.
There's also the Copyright Agency, which is a non-profit rights management organisation. They collect, and distribute to rightsholders, copyright fees for text and images.
The Australian Copyright Council website has a news page, where you can subscribe to their monthly newsletter.