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Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Bill 2015
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2013 - 2014 - 2015

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

OMNIBUS REPEAL DAY (SPRING 2015) BILL » 2015

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated with the authority of the Assistant Minister for Productivity, the Hon Dr Peter Hendy MP)





OMNIBUS REPEAL DAY (SPRING 2015) « BILL » 2015

Outline

The Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) « Bill » 2015 (the « Bill » ) is a whole of government initiative to amend or repeal legislation across 14 portfolios. The « Bill » brings forward a range of non-controversial measures to reduce regulatory burden for business, families, individuals and the community sector that are not the subject of individual stand-alone bills. For example, this « Bill » :

·          Amends the requirement in the Aged Care Act 1997 for approved providers to notify the Department, within 28 days, of any changes to key personnel in circumstances that do not materially affect the approved provider’s suitability to be a provider of aged care.

The « Bill » also includes measures that repeal redundant and spent Acts and provisions in Commonwealth Acts, and complements the measures included in the Statute Law Revision « Bill » (No.3) 2015 and the Amending Acts 1990 to 1999 Repeal « Bill » 2015. For example, this Omnibus « Bill » repeals:

·          The « Customs » (Tariff Concessions Validations) Act 1999 which validated decisions that relied on faulty delegations made in relation to Tariff Concession Orders. This Act has no operation in relation to decisions made after June 1999 and is therefore obselete.

 

·          Provisions in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 which are redundant now that the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) has assumed television production and supply activities previously undertaken by National Indigenous TV Limited.

In total, this « Bill » , the Statute Law Revision « Bill » (No.3) 2015 and the Amending Acts 1990 to 1999 Repeal « Bill » 2015 will repeal 905 Commonwealth Acts.

Repeal of these Acts ensures regulation is easily accessible, continues to deliver on policy outcomes and only remains in force for as long as necessary. Making regulation easily accessible means that business, individuals and community organisations spend less time trawling through regulations.

The explanatory notes mirror the « Bill » and are structured by portfolio. A brief outline is provided for each Schedule with explanatory notes for relevant items.



 

Financial Impact Statements

This « Bill » has no financial implications.

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

This « Bill » is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act « 2011 » .

See Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights at the « end » of this explanatory memorandum.



List of Abbreviations

 



Abbreviation

Full reference

ACMA

Australian Communications and Media Authority

ACTSG Act

Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988

Aged Care Act

Aged Care Act 1997

Agvet Admin Act

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992

Agvet Code

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994

AHRC Act

Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986

AIAC

Agriculture Industry Advisory Council

AMLI Act

Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997

ANR

Annual National Report on vocational education and training

APVMA

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

ASGR

A.C.T Self-Government (Consequential Provisions) Regulations

ATSIC

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission

ATSIC Act

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Act 1989

ATSICA Act

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission « Amendment » Act 2005

BC Act

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

CAR Act

Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Act 1991

CAR Council

Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation

Care Charges Act

Health and Other Services (Compensation) Care Charges Act 1995

CDEP

Community Development Employment Projects

CFI Act

Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act « 2011 »

Copyright Act

Copyright Act 1968

CPFCG Act

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995

CRPD

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

CTCSV Act

« Customs » (Tariff Concessions System Validations) Act 1999

CTV

Community television

Department

Unless specified, is as defined by section 19A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 in relation to the specified provision(s) or measure(s)

DPP Act

Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983

DSA Act

Disability Services Act 1986

EPBC Act

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

ETR

Education Tax Refund

FA Act

Fisheries Administration Act 1991

FMA Act

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

FOI Act

Freedom of Information Act 1982

FSANZ

Food Standards Australia New Zealand

FTB

Family Tax Benefit

HI Act

Health Insurance Act 1973

HOSC Act

Health and Other Services (Compensation) Act 1995

IA Act

Insurance Act 1973

IBRD

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

ICCPR

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

ICERD

International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination

ICESCR

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

IG Act

Interactive Gambling Act 2001

ITA Act 1936

Income Tax Assessment Act 1936

ITA Act 1997

Income Tax Assessment Act 1997

LI Act

Legislative Instruments Act 2003

Minister

Unless specified, is as defined by section 19A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 in relation to the specified provision(s) or measure(s)

MPN

Medicare Provider Number

MRC Act

« Military » Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004

MTRP

Medical Training Review Panel

National Health Act

National Health Act 1953

NITV Ltd

National Indigenous TV Limited

NMTAN

National Medical Training Advisory Network

NRAC

National Rural Advisory Council

NT

Northern Territory

NTS Admin Act

A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999

ORN Act

Ordinances and Regulations (Notification) Act 1978

PAAC Act

Public Accounts and Audit Committee Act 1951

PCT

Patent Cooperation Treaty

PCT Act

Patents « Amendment » (Patent Cooperation Treaty) Act 1979

PNGL Act

Papua and New Guinea Loan (International Bank) Act 1970

PWC Act

Public Works Committee Act 1969

RA Act

Rural Adjustment Act 1992

RC Act

Radiocommunications Act 1992

RT Act

Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973

SA Act                

Superannuation Act 1976

SAW Act

Skilling Australia’s Workforce Act 2005

SBS

Special Broadcasting Service Corporation

Secretary

Unless specified, is the Secretary of the Department responsible for administering the relevant Act or part of the Act in relation to the specified provision(s) or measure(s)

SF Act

Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act 2012

SOGA Act

Seat of Government (Administration) Act 1910

SRP Act

Statutory Rules Publication Act 1903

SS Act

Social Security Act 1991

SSA Act

Social Security (Administration) Act 1999

Stronger Futures NPA

National Partnership Agreement on Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory

TC Act

Telecommunications Act 1997

VE Act

Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986



Clause 1: Short Title

This specifies the short title of the Act as the Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Act 2015.

Clause 2: Commencement

The table in this clause sets out when the Act’s provisions will commence. The table provides that sections 1 to 3 (and anything else not covered in the table) will commence on the date the Act receives the Royal Assent.

Schedules 1 to 5 will commence the day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.

Schedule 6 Part 1 will commence the day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.

Schedule 6, Part 2 will commence the later of:

a)       1 July 2016; and

b)       the day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.

Schedule 7, Parts 1 and 2 will commence the day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.

Schedule 7, Part 3 will commence the later of:

a)       1 January 2016; and

b)       the day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.

Schedule 7, Part 4 will commence on the 28 th day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.

Schedule 7, Part 5 will commence the day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.

Schedules 8 and 9 will commence the day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.

Schedule 10 will commence on the 28 th day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.

Schedule 11 to 14 will commence the day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.

Clause 3: Schedules

(1)    Legislation that is specified in a Schedule to the Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to the Act has effect according to its terms.

 

(2)    The « amendment » of any regulation under subsection (1) does not prevent the regulation, as so amended, from being amended or repealed by the Governor-General.



Schedule 1 - Agriculture and Water Resources

Outline

Schedule 1 will repeal three Acts administered by the Agriculture and Water Resources portfolio. It will also abolish the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines (APVMA) Advisory Board and the Fishing Industry Policy Council. The schedule will make a minor « amendment » to the information that the APVMA is required to provide to Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) and amend the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 (the AMLI Act).

Part 1 - Repeals of Acts

Outline

Part 1 will repeal three Acts from the Agriculture and Water Resources portfolio.

Notes on Clauses

Division 1 - Repeals

Rural Adjustment Act 1992

Item 1: The whole of the Act

Item 1 will repeal the Rural Adjustment Act 1992 (the RA Act). The objectives of the Act were to foster the development of a more profitable farm sector that is able to operate competitively in a deregulated financial and market environment, and to improve the competitiveness of the farm sector in a sustainable manner. Provisions within the Act have been superseded and the advisory functions established under the Act are now carried out through other bodies.

The RA Act contains obsolete provisions relating to the Rural Adjustment Scheme and the Farm Business Improvement Program. The Rural Adjustment Scheme ceased in 1997 and all financial commitments were acquitted by 30 June 2000. Funding for the Farm Business Improvement Program ceased on 29 February 2008. The programs were superseded by new reforms for drought support as part of the Intergovernmental Agreement on National Drought Program Reform (agreed on 3 May 2013).

The RA Act also established the National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC). NRAC was established as a statutory body in December 1999 as a skills-based independent advisory council. As part of the Government’s Smaller Government - Towards A Sustainable Future , December 2014, the positions of NRAC members were allowed to lapse or were revoked on 30 June 2015. Information, advice and recommendations on issues affecting Australia’s agricultural, fishing, forestry and water sectors can now be fulfilled by the Agriculture Industry Advisory Council (AIAC).

The purpose of the AIAC is to provide the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources with information, advice and recommendations from a cross-section of industries and stakeholders on contemporary issues affecting Australia’s agricultural, fishing and forestry sectors.

 

 

Item 2: Transfer of records and documents to the Department

Item 2 is a transitional provision that provides for any records or documents that are held by NRAC immediately before the commencement of this Item to be transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Wool International Act 1993

Item 3: The whole of the Act

Item 3 will repeal the Wool International Act 1993 which is redundant. The Act provided equity to wool growers in respect of contributions made to WoolStock Australia Limited through payment of a wool tax and gave registered equity holders a right to a share in the surplus money of WoolStock Australia Limited. WoolStock Australia Limited was the private sector owner and manager of the wool stockpile. The Act is now redundant because WoolStock Australia Limited was wound up and delisted from the Australian Stock Exchange in 2001 following a major reduction in the wool stockpile.

Wool International Privatisation Act 1999

Item 4: The whole of the Act

Item 4 will repeal the Wool International Privatisation Act 1999 which is redundant. The Act provided for the privatisation of the statutory authority Wool International and the creation of WoolStock Australia Limited. The privatisation process is now complete and the privatised company, WoolStock Australia Limited, ceased to exist in 2001.

Division 2 - Amendments consequential on repeal of Rural Adjustment Act 1992

Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997

Item 5: Paragraph 18(b)

Item 6: Paragraph 18(d)

Item 7: Subsections 19(7) and 20(4)

Item 8: Section 49(heading)

Item 9: Subsections 49(4) and (5)

Items 5 to 9 will make consequential amendments to sections 18, 19, 20 and 49 of the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997 to remove references to the RA Act and make appropriate updates to punctuation and headings arising from the removal of these references.

Item 5 will update punctuation in paragraph 18(b). Item 6 will repeal paragraph 18(d). Item 7 will repeal subsections 19(7) and 20(4), excluding the notes. Item 8 will update the heading of section 49. Item 9 will repeal subsections 49(4) and (5).

 

Part 2 - Particulars under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code

Outline

Part 2 will reduce administrative complexity by removing the need to provide unnecessary information. The proposed « amendment » will limit the information required to be provided under the Agvet Code to the names of the active constituents of the chemical products, which reflects the information recorded in the Maximum Residue Limits Standard.

Section 8E of the Schedule to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 (the Agvet Code) sets out the information that the APVMA must give FSANZ if a decision of the APVMA could require a variation to the Maximum Residue Limits Standard. The Maximum Residue Limits Standard sets the residue limits for agricultural and veterinary chemicals in agricultural produce, particularly produce entering the food chain. Under the Agvet Code, the APVMA must give FSANZ a notice that includes all of the relevant particulars of the chemical products concerned, including information that is not relevant to the Maximum Residue Limits Standard.

The notice provided by the APVMA to FSANZ for a chemical product, or proposed chemical product details: the name or proposed name of the chemical product; the full chemical formulation including the ingredients and proportion of ingredients in the product; the net contents; the identifying information of the holder or proposed holder of the registration; the name and address of each manufacturer of, or proposed for the product; and the identifying information of any nominated agent.

Notes on Clauses

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994

Item 10: Subparagraph 8E(2)(b)(i) of the Code set out in the Schedule

Item 10 will repeal subparagraph 8E(2)(b)(i) of the Code set out in the Schedule to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 and insert a new subparagraph 8E(2)(b)(i) which will require that the notice provided by APVMA to FSANZ set out the names, or proposed names, of the active constituents concerned.

Item 11: Application provision

Item 11 provides that the « amendment » to section 8E of the Agvet Code, as set out in Item 10 above, will apply to notices given on or after the commencement of this Part.

Part 3 - Abolition of the APVMA Advisory Board

Outline

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 (the Agvet Admin Act) provides for the establishment of the APVMA Advisory Board. Its function is to provide advice and make recommendations to the Chief Executive Officer of the APVMA in relation to the APVMA’s activities.

Under the Agvet Admin Act, the APVMA Chief Executive Officer has the ability to consult widely with stakeholders beyond the APVMA Advisory Board when setting the strategic direction of the APVMA. The APVMA also has a range of communication mechanisms in place that allow stakeholders the opportunity to present their views on matters of chemical regulation.

The APVMA will still consult with stakeholders to obtain their views through: direct contact with peak bodies or individual entities and their members as appropriate; hosting or participating in information seminars, forums and workshops; business-as-usual activities including product registration and compliance; feedback and online communication with the community and other stakeholders through the Adverse Experience Reporting Program, public consultation and publication of key information via the APVMA’s website, Regulatory News and the APVMA Gazette. The APVMA Chief Executive Officer also has the ability to form consultative committees on as needs basis, to respond specific matters.

These other consultation mechanisms would not be affected by abolishing the APVMA Advisory Board.

The APVMA Advisory Board comprises nine members and, as the APVMA is fully cost recovered, board expenses are paid for by chemical companies through registration fees. Abolishing the APVMA Advisory Board is consistent with recommendations made by the National Commission of Audit for rationalising government bodies ( Towards Responsible Government , February 2014).

Notes on Clauses

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992

Item 12: Section 4

Item 12 will repeal obsolete definitions from the ‘Interpretation’ section of the Agvet Admin Act relating to the APVMA Advisory Board. The obsolete definitions being repealed are Advisory Board , Board member and Chair .

Item 13: Subsection 8(3)

Item 13 will repeal subsection 8(3) which provides that the APVMA does not consult the APVMA Advisory Board when the Chief Executive Officer requests advice from the Board.

Item 14: Part 3 (heading)

Item 14 will repeal the heading ‘Constitution of the APVMA and Advisory Board’ which is the heading to Part 3 of the Agvet Admin Act. Item 14 also inserts a new heading to Part 3 ‘Constitution of APVMA and committees’.

Item 15: Divisions 2, 3 and 4 of Part 3

Item 15 will repeal divisions 2, 3 and 4 of Part 3 to the Agvet Admin Act. Divisions 2, 3 and 4 contain provisions for the establishment of the APVMA Advisory Board, membership, functions, appointment and terms and conditions of members and the procedures of the APVMA Advisory Board.

Item 16: Subsection 28(2)

Item 16 will omit the words ‘(whether Board members or not)’ from subsection 28(2) of the Agvet Admin Act which deals with the establishment of committees.

Item 17 Subsections 29A(1) and ( 2)

Item 17 will omit the words ‘(other than a Board member)’ from subsections 29A(1) and (2) of the Agvet Admin Act. Section 29A deals with remuneration and allowances of committee members.

Item 18: Section 32A

Item 18 will repeal section 32A of the Agvet Admin Act. Section 32A provides for how the Chief Executive Officer of the APVMA is to work with the APVMA Advisory Board.

Item 19: Subsection 33(2)

Item 19 will repeal subsection 33(2) of the Agvet Admin Act. Subsection 33(2) provides that an APVMA Advisory Board member is not eligible for appointment as the Chief Executive Officer of the APVMA.

Item 20: Paragraph 69EP(7)(a)

Item 20 will repeal paragraph 69EP(7)(a) of the Agvet Admin Act. Section 69EP provides for the APVMA to hold hearings for the purposes of the performance or exercise of its functions or powers. Paragraph (7)(a) provides that, if part of a hearing is held in private, a person must not be present unless he or she is an APVMA Advisory Board member or the Chief Executive Officer of the APVMA. Item 20 also inserts a new paragraph (7)(a) to provide that, if part of a hearing is held in private, a person must not be present unless he or she is the Chief Executive Officer of the APVMA.

Item 21: Transfer of records and documents to the Department

Item 21 is a transitional provision that provides for any records or documents that are held by the APVMA Advisory Board immediately before the commencement of this Item to be transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Part 4 - Abolition of Fishing Industry Policy Council

Outline

Part 4 will make amendments to the Fisheries Administration Act 1991 (the FA Act) to repeal Part 3 of the Act, which establishes the Fishing Industry Policy Council. The council is redundant.

The Fishing Industry Policy Council is a ministerial advisory council. Its objectives are to facilitate an exchange of views between fishing industry stakeholders on matters affecting the industry and develop a unified approach to matters affecting the industry. Its functions include reporting to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources on a range of matters.

The council has not been convened since the legislation commenced in 1991. The same consultation and advice functions that the council was to provide advice on are being fulfilled by other working groups and committees. This includes fisheries management advisory committees and ad hoc representative committees, such as that formed for the reviews of the Commonwealth harvest strategy and bycatch policy. Direct consultation is also undertaken with stakeholders and their respective bodies, including the National Seafood Industry Alliance and the Commonwealth Fisheries Association. Additionally, the Government is supporting the development of sustainable mechanisms for strong representation through a new non-statutory national commercial fishing peak body.

The proposed repeal is consistent with recommendations made by the National Commission of Audit for rationalising government bodies ( Towards Responsible Government , February 2014). The repeal was also supported by the Review of Commonwealth Fisheries: Legislation, Policy and Management (December 2012).

National and major regional industry bodies have been consulted. No comments were received as a result of stakeholder consultation.

Notes on Clauses

Fisheries Administration Act 1991

Item 22: Title

Item 22 will delete ‘Fishing Industry Policy Council’ from the title at the beginning of the FA Act.

Item 23: Section 3

Item 23 will repeal section 3 ‘Objects of Act’ and insert a new simplified outline into the FA Act. This is consistent with Parliamentary Counsel Drafting Direction 1.3A.

Item 24: Subsection 4(1) (note)

Item 24 will repeal the note at the foot of subsection 4(1) that refers to Part 3. This part will be repealed by Item 25 below.

Item 25: Part 3

Item 25 will repeal Part 3 of the FA Act, which establishes the council.

Part 5 - Other amendments

Outline

Part 5 will make amendments to the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 (the AMLI Act) to repeal obsolete provisions that provide for payments to industry marketing and research bodies under several Acts (listed below) which were repealed in 1999.

Part 3, Division 3 of the AMLI Act provides for payments to industry bodies. Subsections 63(1) and 64(1) of the Act provide that payments to marketing bodies and industry research bodies are based on provisions of the following Acts:

·          Live-stock Transactions Levy Act 1997

·          Live-stock Slaughter (Processors) Levy Act 1997

·          Live-stock (Producers) Export Charges Act 1997

·          Live-stock (Exporters) Export Charge Act 1997

·          Beef Production Levy Act 1990

·          Cattle (Producers) Export Charges Act 1997

·          Cattle (Exporters) Export Charge Act 1997

·          Cattle Transactions Levy Act 1997 .

These Acts were repealed by the Primary Industries Levies and Charges (Consequential Amendments) Act 1999 and ceased to have effect on 1 July 1999. Payment of the amounts specified in the repealed Acts were finalised in 2008. There are no outstanding monies to be paid to or by the Commonwealth under these repealed Acts. Therefore, subsections 63(1) and 64(1) of the AMLI Act no longer operate and are obsolete.

Notes on Clauses

Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997

Item 26: Subsections 63(1) and 64(1)

Item 26 will repeal subsections 63(1) and 64(1).

Item 27: Subsection 65(1)

Item 28: Subsection 65(2)

Item 29: Subsection 65(2)

Item 30: Subsection 65(3)

Item 31: Subsection 65(3)

Item 32: Paragraph 66(2)(a)

Items 27 to 32 will update sections 65 and 66 to remove obsolete references arising from the repeal of subsections 63(1) and 64(1).

 

 



Schedule 2 - Attorney-General

Outline

Schedule 2 will repeal the Ordinances and Regulations (Notification) Act 1978 (the ORN Act).The ORN Act was enacted to address a situation in which copies of certain statutory instruments were not made available for purchase at specified places when notice of the making of those instruments was published in the Gazette. It was introduced in the context of High Court proceedings which raised the possibility that such instruments could be invalid. The ORN Act operated to remove the risk of invalidity.

The ORN Act only applies to statutory instruments made before commencement of the Act in 1978:

i) under the Seat of Government (Administration) Act 1910 (the SOGA Act), or

ii) to which the Statutory Rules Publication Act 1903 (the SRP Act) applied.

The SOGA Act relates to the government of the ACT. The SRP Act imposed obligations in relation to publishing statutory rules, and was repealed in 2005.

The publication of legislative instruments is now dealt with by the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 . This Act requires that legislative instruments be made publicly available by being registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments. Registered instruments can be accessed by members of the public on the ComLaw website.

Notes on Clauses

Ordinances and Regulations (Notification) Act 1978

Item 1: The whole of the Act

Item 1 will repeal the ORN Act. The most recent instruments that would be affected by the ORN Act would have been made before it commenced on 12 June 1978. It is unlikely that many such instruments would continue to be of effect and that an issue would arise now as to the availability of hard copies of those instruments prior to 1978. The online ComLaw database now contains all current legislative instruments, making it easy for members of the public to access those instruments. However, if an invalidity issue did arise, the saving provision in Item 2 would preserve the operation of the ORN Act to the extent that it was still required.

Item 2: Saving provision

Item 2 is a saving provision which provides for the continued operation of the ORN Act to the extent that this may still be required.

 



Schedule 3 - Communication and the Arts

Outline

Schedule 3 will amend legislation in the Communications and the Arts portfolio to repeal spent provisions, and to align and modernise statutory consultation and publication requirements.

Part 1 - Re-transmission of programs

Outline

Part 1 will repeal provisions in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BC Act) that are redundant now that the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) has assumed television production and supply activities previously undertaken by National Indigenous TV Limited (NITV).

This Part will repeal paragraph 212(1)(c) of the BC Act and make other consequential amendments.

Notes on Clauses

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Item 1: Subparagraph 212(1)(b)(ii)

Item 2: Paragraph 212(1)(c)

Item 3: Paragraph 212(3)(d)

Item 4: Paragraph 212(3)(e)

Item 2 will repeal paragraph 212(1)(c) of the BC Act to remove the reference to services that do no more than transmit program material supplied by NITV. Items 1, 3 and 4 are minor technical amendments consequential to Item 2.

The retransmission scheme under section 212 of the BC Act allows self-help providers, such as local councils and community groups, to improve or extend free-to-air radio and television reception to certain communities. Under that section, services that do no more than retransmit programs previously transmitted by a national broadcasting service, a commercial broadcasting licensee, a community broadcasting licensee, or a service that transmits program material supplied by NITV; are not subject to the regulatory regime established by the BC Act.

In 2012, the SBS assumed the television program production and supply activities previously undertaken by NITV. NITV no longer supplies television programs and is under external administration under the Corporations Act 2001 .

 

 

Part 2 - Amendments relating to consultation requirements

Outline

Part 2 will repeal various provisions in the Communications and the Arts portfolio legislation requiring rule-makers to consult before making certain legislative instruments, in particular industry standards. These consultation provisions are considered unnecessary in light of the separate consultation requirements in section 17 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 (the LI Act), which requires a rule-maker to be satisfied that appropriate and reasonably practicable consultation has been undertaken prior to making a legislative instrument.

Part 2 will repeal provisions in the BC Act, the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (the IG Act), the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the RC Act) and the Telecommunications Act 1997 (the TC Act) requiring the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to undertake consultation with specified parties before taking certain action.

These consultation provisions are considered unnecessary in light of section 17 of the LI Act, which requires a rule-maker, subject to limited exceptions, to be satisfied that appropriate and reasonably practicable consultation has been undertaken prior to making a legislative instrument.

The proposed repeals form part of a broader program of amendments to statutory consultation requirements in the Communications and the Arts portfolio. These reforms have previously been progressed in the Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Act 2014 and in other legislation. The provisions repealed previously and those currently proposed for repeal mandate a variety of inconsistent approaches with respect to the time and method of consultation. There is no policy rationale for this inconsistency, which introduces unnecessary inflexibility and cost without corresponding benefits above those supplied by the standard default consultation arrangements that apply to Commonwealth legislative instruments under Part 3 of the LI Act.

Notes on Clauses

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Item 5: Subsection 87A(9)

Item 5 will repeal subsection 87A(9) of the BC Act. This subsection currently requires the ACMA to seek public comment before imposing, varying or revoking a licence condition on a community television (CTV) licence under section 87A. A CTV licence is a community broadcasting licence allocated under Part 6 of the BC Act authorising a service that provides television programs (other than those targeted to remote indigenous communities). The current consultation provision is considered unnecessary in light of the consultation requirements in section 17 of the LI Act.

Despite the repeal of subsection 87A(9) of the BC Act, if the ACMA has commenced public consultation in relation to imposing, varying or revoking conditions of a CTV licence, before commencement of this Part, it will be required to complete that consultation process. This is due to the operation of the saving provision in Item 22, which has the effect that consultation processes begun, but not concluded, before the commencement of Part 2 of this Schedule, must be concluded as if the repeal of the relevant consultation requirements had not occurred.

Item 6: Section 126

Item 6 will repeal section 126 of the BC Act. Part 9 of the BC Act enables the ACMA to determine program standards. Section 126 requires the ACMA to seek public comment before determining, varying or revoking a program standard made under Part 9. These consultation provisions are considered unnecessary in light of the consultation requirements in section 17 of the LI Act.

Despite the repeal of section 126 of the BC Act, if the ACMA has commenced public consultation for program standards under Part 9, before commencement of this Part, it will be required to complete that consultation process due to the operation of the saving provision in Item 22.

Item 7: Subsections 130R(3), 130T(4), 130U(4), 130ZCA(5) and (6) and 130ZD(2)

Part 9B—Industry codes and industry standards

Item 7 will repeal subsections 130R(3), 130T(4) and 130U(4) of the BC Act. These provisions set out consultation requirements for the ACMA in determining industry standards under Division 5 of Part 9B of the BC Act.

Section 130R enables the ACMA to make an industry standard where a request for an industry code under section 130N is not complied with by a body or association representing a particular section of the industry. Subsection 130R(3) requires the ACMA to consult that body or association before determining the industry standard under section 130R.

Section 130T enables the ACMA to make an industry standard where an industry code is totally deficient. Subsection 130T(4) similarly requires the ACMA to consult the body or association that represents the relevant section of the industry before determining the industry standard under subsection 130T(3).

Section 130U enables the ACMA to make an industry standard where an industry code is deficient to the extent that it deals with one or more matters, but is not totally deficient for the purposes of section 130T. Subsection 130U(4) similarly requires the ACMA to consult the body or association that represents the relevant section of the industry before determining the industry standard under subsection 130U(3).

The consultation provisions contained in subsection 130R(3), 130T(4) and 130U(4) are considered unnecessary in light of the consultation requirements in section 17 of the LI Act.

Despite the repeal of subsections 130R(3), 130T(4) and 130U(4) of the BC Act, if the ACMA has commenced consultation for program standards under Division 5 of Part 9B before commencement of this Part, it will still be required to complete that consultation process due to the operation of the saving provision in Item 22.

 

Part 9C—Access to commercial television broadcasting services provided with the « use » of a satellite

Item 7 will also repeal subsections 130ZCA(5) and (6) and 130ZD(2) of the BC Act. These provisions set out consultation requirements for the ACMA in formulating conditional access schemes under Part 9C of the BC Act, which regulate access to services provided under a commercial television broadcasting licence allocated under section 38C (i.e. satellite services).

Subsection 130ZCA(2) enables the ACMA to formulate a conditional access scheme. Subsections 130ZCA(5) and (6) require the ACMA, before registering a conditional access scheme, to publish a draft of the scheme on its website, invite written submissions within a period not shorter than 14 days and have due regard to submissions received. The consultation provisions in subsections 130ZCA(5) and (6) are considered unnecessary in light of the consultation requirements in section 17 of the LI Act.

The repeal of subsection 130ZD(2) will be a minor « amendment » consequential to the repeal of subsections 130ZCA(5) and (6). Despite the repeal of subsections 130ZCA(5) and (6) and 130ZD(2) of the BC Act, if the ACMA, before commencement of this Part, has commenced consultation in relation to registering a conditional access scheme, it will still be required to receive submissions and give them due consideration, due to the operation of the saving provision in Item 22.

Item 8: Subclauses 68(3), 70(4) and 71(4) of Schedule 5

Item 9: Clause 77 of Schedule 5

Item 8 will repeal subclauses 68(3), 70(4) and 71(4) of Schedule 5 of the BC Act. Item 9 will repeal clause 77. These provisions set out consultation requirements for the ACMA in determining or varying industry standards under Division 5 of Part 5 of Schedule 5, which relate to the internet industry.

Clause 68 of Schedule 5 enables the ACMA to make an industry standard where a request for an industry code under subclause 63(1) is not complied with by a body or association representing a particular section of the internet industry. Subclause 68(3) requires the ACMA to consult that body or association before determining the industry standard under clause 68.

Clause 70 of Schedule 5 enables the ACMA to make an industry standard where an industry code is totally deficient. Subclause 70(4) requires the ACMA to consult the body or association that represents the relevant section of the internet industry before determining the industry standard.

Clause 71 of Schedule 5 enables the ACMA to make an industry standard where an industry code is deficient to the extent that it deals with one or more matters, but is not totally deficient for the purposes of clause 70. Subclause 71(4) requires the ACMA to consult the body or association that represents the relevant section of the internet industry before determining the industry standard.

Clause 77 of Schedule 5 requires the ACMA to consult with the designated body before determining, varying or revoking an industry standard. The Minister may, by legislative instrument under clause 58, declare a specified body or association to be the designated body.

The current consultation provisions contained in clause 77 and subclauses 68(3), 70(4) and 71(4) of Schedule 5 are considered unnecessary in light of the consultation requirements in section 17 of the LIA.

Despite the repeal of clause 77 and subclauses 68(3), 70(4) and 71(4) of Schedule 5 of the BC Act, if the ACMA, before commencement of Part 2 to the « Bill » , has commenced consultation in relation to industry standards, it will still be required to complete that consultation process due to the operation of the saving provision at Item 22.

Item 10: Clause 32 of Schedule 6

Item 10 will repeal clause 32 of Schedule 6, which requires the ACMA to seek public comment before determining, varying or revoking a standard made under clause 31, which relate to datacasting. The current consultation provision contained in clause 32 is considered unnecessary in light of the consultation requirements in section 17 of the LI Act.

Despite the repeal of clause 32 of Schedule 6 of the BC Act, if the ACMA, before commencement of this Part, has commenced public consultation for standards relating to datacasting, it will still be required to complete that consultation process due to the operation of the saving provision at Item 22.

Item 11: Subclauses 91(3), 93(4) and 94(4) of Schedule 7

Item 12: Clauses 99 and 100 of Schedule 7

Item 11 will repeal subclauses 91(3), 93(4) and 94(4) of Schedule 7 of the BC Act. Item 12 will repeal clauses 99 and 100 of Schedule 7. These provisions set out consultation requirements for the ACMA in determining or varying industry standards under Division 5 of Part 4 of Schedule 7, which relate to the content industry.

Clause 91 of Schedule 7 enables the ACMA to make an industry standard if a request for an industry code under subclause 86(1) is not complied with by a body or association representing a particular section of the content industry. Subclause 91(3) requires the ACMA to consult that body or association before determining the industry standard.

Clause 93 of Schedule 7 enables the ACMA to make an industry standard where an industry code is totally deficient. Subclause 93(4) requires the ACMA to consult the body or association that represents the relevant section of the content industry before determining the industry standard.

Clause 94 of Schedule 7 enables the ACMA to make an industry standard where an industry code is deficient to the extent that it deals with one or more matters, but is not totally deficient for the purposes of clause 93. Subclause 94(4) requires the ACMA to consult the body or association that represents the relevant section of the content industry before determining the industry standard.

Clause 99 of Schedule 7 requires the ACMA to conduct public consultation before determining or varying an industry standard. This requires the ACMA to make copies of the draft standard or variation available on its website, and publish a notice on its website inviting written comments about the draft for a period of at least 30 days. The ACMA must have due regard to comments received. Consultation is not required where a variation is of a minor nature.

Clause 100 of Schedule 7 requires the ACMA to consult with the designated body before determining, varying or revoking an industry standard. The Minister may, by legislative instrument under clause 79, declare a specified body or association to be the designated body.

The current consultation provisions contained in clauses 99 and 100 and subclauses 91(3), 93(4) and 94(4) of Schedule 7 are considered unnecessary in light of the consultation requirements in section 17 of the LI Act.

Despite the repeal of subclauses 91(3), 93(4) and 94(4), and sections 99 and 100 of Schedule 7 of the BC Act, if the ACMA, before commencement of this Part, has commenced consultation for industry standards under Division 5 of Part 4 of Schedule 7, it will still be required to receive submissions and give them due consideration, due to the operation of the saving provision at Item 22.

Interactive Gambling Act 2001

Item 13: Subsections 44(3), 46(4) and 47(4)

Item 13 will repeal subsections 44(3), 46(4) and 47(4) of the IG Act. These provisions set out consultation requirements for the ACMA in determining industry standards under Division 5 of Part 4.

Section 44 enables the ACMA to make an industry standard where a request under subsection 39(1) to develop an industry code is not complied with by a body or association representing internet service providers. Subsection 44(3) requires the ACMA to consult that body or association before determining the industry standard.

Section 46 enables the ACMA to make an industry standard where an industry code is totally deficient. Subsection 46(4) requires the ACMA to consult the body or association that represents internet service providers before determining the industry standard.

Section 47 enables the ACMA to make an industry standard where an industry code is deficient to the extent that it deals with one or more matters, but is not totally deficient for the purposes of section 46. Subsection 47(4) requires the ACMA to consult the body or association that represents internet service providers before determining the industry standard.

The consultation provisions contained in subsection 44(3), 46(4) and 47(4) are considered unnecessary in light of the consultation requirements in section 17 of the LI Act.

Despite the repeal of subsections 44(3), 46(4), and 47(4) of the IG Act, if the ACMA, before commencement of this Part, has commenced consultation with the relevant body or association for an industry standard, it will still be required to complete those consultation processes, due to the operation of the saving provision at Item 22.

 

 

Radiocommunications Act 1992

Item 14: Subsections 44A(5) and (7)

Item 14 will repeal subsections 44A(5) and 44A(7) of the RC Act, which respectively require that before preparing or varying a digital radio channel plan under subsection 44A(1) or 44A(6), the ACMA must publish a draft of the plan or variation on its website, invite members of the public to make submissions within a period of at least 30 days, and consider any submissions received. These current consultation provisions are considered unnecessary in light of the consultation requirements in section 17 of the LI Act.

Despite the repeal of subsections 44A(5) and 44A(7) of the RC Act, if the ACMA, before commencement of this Part, has published a draft on its website and commenced public consultation, it will still be required to receive submissions and give them due consideration, due to the operation of the saving provision at Item 22.

Telecommunications Act 1997

Item 15: Subsections 123(3), 125(4), 125AA(3), 125A(3) and 125B(3)

Item 15 will repeal subsections 123(3), 125(4), 125AA(3), 125A(3) and 125B(3) of the TC Act. These provisions set out consultation requirements for the ACMA in determining industry standards under Division 5 of Part 6.

Section 123 enables the ACMA to make an industry standard where a request under subsection 118(1) to develop an industry code is not complied with by a body or association representing a particular section of the telecommunications, e-marketing, telemarketing or fax marketing industry. Subsection 123(3) requires the ACMA to consult that body or association before determining the industry standard.

Section 125 enables the ACMA to make an industry standard where an industry code is deficient. Subsection 125(4) requires the ACMA to consult the body or association that represents the relevant section of the industry before determining the industry standard.

Section 125AA requires the ACMA to make an industry standard applying to a particular section of the telecommunications industry when directed to do so by the Minister. Subsection 125AA(3) requires the ACMA to consult the body or association that represents the relevant section of the industry before determining the industry standard.

Section 125A requires the ACMA to make certain industry standards relating to the telemarketing industry. Subsection 125A(3) requires the ACMA to consult a body or association that represents the relevant section of the industry before determining an industry standard.

Section 125B enables the ACMA to make certain industry standards relating to the fax marketing industry. Subsection 125B(3) requires the ACMA to consult a body or association that represents the relevant section of the industry before determining an industry standard.

The consultation provisions set out in subsections 123(3), 125(4), 125AA(3), 125A(3) and 125B(3) are considered unnecessary in light of the consultation requirements in section 17 of the LI Act.

Despite the repeal of subsections 123(3), 125(4), 125AA(3), 125A(3) and 125B(3) of the TC Act, if the ACMA, before commencement of this Part, has commenced public consultation for an industry standard under the relevant subclauses, it will be required to complete those consultation processes, due to the operation of the saving provision at Item 22.

Item 16: Sections 132 and 135

Part 6—Industry codes and industry standards

Item 16 will repeal sections 132 and 135 of the TC Act, which set out consultation requirements for the ACMA in determining or varying industry standards under Division 5 of Part 6 of the TC Act.

Section 132 requires the ACMA to conduct public consultation, including to make copies of the draft standard or variation available for inspection, and cause a notice to be published in newspapers in each state inviting written comments about the draft for a period of at least 30 days. The ACMA must have due regard to comments received. Consultation is not required where a variation is of a minor nature.

Section 135 of the TC Act requires the ACMA to consult at least one body or association that represents the interests of consumers before determining, varying or revoking an industry standard.

The consultation provisions set out in sections 132 and 135 are considered unnecessary in light of the consultation requirements in section 17 of the LI Act.

Despite the repeal of sections 132 and 135 of the TC Act, if the ACMA, before commencement of this Part, has caused a notice to be published and commenced consultation for an industry standard, it will still be required to receive these submissions and give them due consideration, due to the operation of the saving provision at Item 22.

Item 17: Subsections 378(1) and (5)

Item 18: Section 379

Item 19: Subsections 382(1) and (5), 386(1) and (5), 405(1) and (5), and 422(1) and (5)

Part 21—Technical regulations

Items 17 to 19 will repeal subsections 378(1) and (5), section 379, subsections 382(1) and (5), 386(1) and (5), 405(1) and (5), and 422(1) and (5) of the TC Act. These provisions set out public consultation requirements for the ACMA in making standards or rules for technical regulation.

The provisions to be repealed require the ACMA, before making a technical standard under section 376, a technical standard under section 376, a disability standard under section 380, a technical standard under section 384, connection rules under section 404 or cabling provider rules under section 421, to as far as is practicable try to ensure that interested persons have an adequate opportunity (of at least 60 days) to make representations about the proposed standard, and to give due consideration to any representations made.

The current requirements are considered unnecessary in light of the consultation requirements in section 17 of the LI Act, which provides a separate statutory mechanism for those with an interest in, or likely to be affected by those standards, to comment. For example, the views of persons with disabilities will still be sought and appropriately considered by the ACMA in making disability standards.

Section 379 of the TC Act exempts the ACMA from complying with subsection 378(1) in cases of urgency. The repeal of section 379, by Item 18, is consequential to the repeal of subsection 378(1) by Item 17.

Despite the repeal of subsections 378(1) and (5), section 379, subsections 382(1) and (5), 386(1) and (5), 405(1) and (5), and 422(1) and (5) of the TC Act, if the ACMA, before commencement of this Part, has commenced consultation for standards or rules for technical regulation, it will still be required to receive submissions and give them due consideration due to the operation of the saving provision at Item 22.

Item 20: Sections 460 and 464

Part 22—Numbering of carriage services and regulation of electronic addressing

Item 20 will repeal sections 460 and 464 of the TC Act, which set out consultation requirements for the ACMA before making or varying a numbering plan under section 455, or before determining or varying an allocation system under section 463. The numbering plan, made by the ACMA, sets out which numbers may be used in connection with the supply of carriage services to the public in Australia, including rules about the allocation, transfer, surrender, withdrawal, portability and « use » of numbers.

Section 460 requires the ACMA to conduct public consultation before determining or varying a numbering plan under section 455.

Section 464 of the TC Act requires the ACMA to conduct public consultation before determining or varying an allocation system under section 463 (which allocates specified numbers to carriage service providers).

The current consultation provisions set out in sections 460 and 464 are considered unnecessary in light of the consultation requirements in section 17 of the LI Act.

Despite the repeal of sections 460 and 464 of the TC Act, if the ACMA, before commencement of this Part, has commenced consultation for a numbering plan or an allocation system, it will still be required to receive submissions and give them due consideration, due to the operation of the saving provision at Item 22.

 

 

Item 21: Subsection 572E(8)

Item 21 will repeal subsection 572E(8) of the TC Act, which sets out consultation requirements for the ACMA before declaring a listed infringement notice provision under subsection 572E(7).

Subsection 572E(7) enables the ACMA to declare specified provisions in the TC Act to be listed infringement notice provisions, enabling the ACMA to then issue infringement notices where such provisions are breached. Subsection 572E(8) requires the ACMA to conduct public consultation before making or varying a declaration under subsection 572E(7).

The current consultation provision is considered unnecessary in light of the consultation requirements in section 17 of the LI Act.

Despite the repeal of subsection 572E(8) of the TC Act, if the ACMA, before commencement of this Part, has caused a notice to be published and commenced consultation on an infringement notice, it will still be required to receive submissions and give them due consideration, due to the operation of the saving provision at Item 22.

Item 22: Saving provision

Item 22 is a saving provision with the effect that consultation processes begun, but not concluded, before the commencement of this Part, must be concluded as if the repeal of the relevant consultation requirements had not occurred.

Part 3 - Amendments relating to publication requirements

Outline

Part 3 will amend Communications and the Arts portfolio legislation to modernise two statutory publication requirements. This will allow the ACMA to notify stakeholders of certain matters via its website and other readily accessible forms, providing the ACMA with increased flexibility to choose a method of publication that is most appropriate to reach the target audience.

Notes on Clauses

Division 1 - Amendments

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Item 23: Section 127

Item 24: Section 127

Item 25: Paragraph 127(b)

 

 

Item 26: At the « end » of section 127

Items 23 to 26 will amend section 127 of the BC Act. Currently, section 127 requires the ACMA to publish a notice in the Commonwealth Gazette when determining, varying or revoking a program standard made under Part 9.

Items 23 to 26 will amend section 127 to provide that the ACMA must instead publish a notice both “on the ACMA’s website” and “in one or more forms that are readily accessible to the public” (such as in a newspaper or another website). Item 25 has the effect that the notice must state where copies of the standard (or variation/revocation) may be accessed, rather than where they may be purchased. Notices under section 127 are intended to alert stakeholders to regulatory change, and the amendments will provide the ACMA with increased flexibility to choose a method of publication that is most appropriate to reach the target audience.

Item 27: Clause 33 of Schedule 6

Item 28: Clause 33 of Schedule 6

Item 29: Paragraph 33(b) of Schedule 6

Item 30: At the « end » of clause 33 of Schedule 6

Items 27 to 30 will amend clause 33 of Schedule 6 of the BC Act. Currently, clause 33 requires the ACMA to publish a notice in the Commonwealth Gazette when determining, varying or revoking a standard made under clause 31, which relate to datacasting. Items 27 to 30 provide that the ACMA must instead publish a notice both on the ACMA’s website and in one or more forms that are readily accessible to the public (such as in a newspaper or another website). Notices under clause 33 are intended to alert stakeholders to regulatory change. The amendments will provide the ACMA with increased flexibility to choose a method of publication that is most appropriate to reach the target audience.

Division 2 - Application Provisions

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Item 31: Application of amendments—section 127 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Item 32: Application of amendments—clause 33 of Schedule 6 to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Items 31 and 32 ensure that the amendments to section 127 and clause 33 of Schedule 6 to the BC Act, made by Items 23 to 30 above, do not apply in relation to a determination, variation or revocation about which a notice was published in the Commonwealth Gazette prior to the commencement of Item 31 or 32, as applicable.



Schedule 4 - Education and Training

Outline

Schedule 4 will repeal one redundant Act administered in the Education and Training portfolio and make consequential amendments to the Social Security Act 1991 (the SS Act).

Part 1 - Repeals of Acts

Outline

Part 1 will repeal the now redundant Skilling Australia’s Workforce Act 2005 (the SAW Act) from the Education and Training portfolio.

Notes on Clauses

Skilling Australia’s Workforce Act 2005

Item 1: The whole of the Act

Item 1 repeals the SAW Act. The SAW Act was the vehicle for the then Government’s National Training Arrangements for the funding period 2005-2008. As this function has now been superseded by the National Agreements for Skills and Workforce Development, and all payments under the SAW Act have been made with no further financial actions needed to be undertaken. The Act is now redundant and suitable for repeal.

The SAW Act requires the tabling in the Parliament of an Annual National Report on vocational education and training (ANR). More timely versions of the performance data contained in the ANR are published by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. Therefore, the ANR is no longer regarded by the sector as being fit for purpose.

Part 2 - Other amendments

Outline

Part 2 contains consequential amendments to the SS Act to those made by Part 1 of this Schedule.

Notes on Clauses

Social Security Act 1991

Item 2: Subsection 23(1) (definition of VET provider )

Item 2 amends subsection 23(1) of the SS Act to substitute the reference to the SAW Act in the current definition of VET provider with a reference to the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act « 2011 » . This « amendment » is consequential to the repeal of the SAW Act by Item 1 of this Schedule.

 



Schedule 5 - Environment

Outline

Schedule 5 will amend and repeal provisions in two Acts administered in the Environment Portfolio, making minor technical amendments to streamline and clarify regulatory arrangements.

The proposed amendments in Part 1 will remove unintended consent requirements under the Emissions Reduction Fund so as to limit the need to obtain consents of eligible interest holders to sequestration offsets projects only, as originally intended and previously provided for by the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act « 2011 » (the CFI Act). It will achieve this by replacing the term ‘offsets project’ with the defined term ‘sequestration offsets project’ in the relevant paragraph.

The measure at Part 2 is a technical « amendment » to amend section 170CA of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) to clarify that the Minister can determine the amount of fees that may be charged for assessing the relevant impacts of an action as part of a strategic assessment process.

The measure at Part 3 will correct an error in the definition of “assessment documentation” in the EPBC Act.

The measure at Part 4 will amend section 74A of the EPBC Act to remove redundant and inaccurate publishing requirements in respect of decisions to accept a referral as part of a larger action.

Part 1 - Consent requirements

Outline

Part 1 will amend paragraph 28A(1)(a) of the CFI Act to correct a minor technical error in the drafting of the Carbon Farming Initiative « Amendment » Act 2014 .

This paragraph deals with the consent requirements of projects that can create carbon credits under the Emissions Reduction Fund.

The proposed « amendment » will replace the reference to ‘offsets project’ with the defined term ‘sequestration offsets project’ so that consents from eligible interest holders are only required for sequestration offsets projects, and not for all area-based offsets projects.

Notes on Clauses

Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act « 2011 »

Item 1: Paragraph 28A(1)(a)

Item 1 will amend paragraph 28A(1)(a) of the CFI Act to replace the term ‘offsets project’ with the defined term ‘sequestration offsets project’. It will limit the need of the project proponents to obtain consents of eligible interest holders to sequestration offsets projects only, as originally intended and previously provided for by the CFI Act.

Prior to amendments made to the CFI Act on 13 December 2014, paragraph 27(4)(k) of the CFI Act required that all eligible interest holders provide their consent to the making of an application for declaration of a ‘sequestration offsets project’. This consent requirement was limited to sequestration offsets projects because they are the only projects subject to a ‘permanence obligation’. A permanence obligation ensures that stored carbon is maintained for either 25 or 100 years. These long-term obligations can affect other eligible interest holders like financial institutions or, in the case of Crown Land, the relevant Minister.

The Carbon Farming Initiative « Amendment » Act 2014 of 13 December 2014 inserted a replacement provision requiring that a condition be imposed on a declaration that the consent of relevant eligible interest holders be obtained before the « end » of the first reporting period for the project, if those consents were not available at the time the project was declared.

However, the wording of paragraph 28A(1)(a) of the CFI Act is currently not limited to ‘sequestration offsets projects’. While the Explanatory Statement to the Carbon Farming Initiative « Amendment » « Bill » 2014 indicated an intention for this only to apply to sequestration offsets projects, the wording of paragraph 28A(1)(a) could be interpreted to include all ‘area-based emissions avoidance projects’ because they have a project area. Area-based emissions avoidance projects, such as savanna burning and irrigated cotton projects, are not subject to any permanence obligations and so there is no need for the consent of a wide range of eligible interest holders to be obtained. Were the « amendment » not made, area-based emissions avoidance offsets projects would unintentionally be subject to an unnecessary regulatory burden.

Item 2: Application provision

Item 2 will make it clear that the « amendment » applies to decisions made on or after the commencement of the « amendment » , even if the application for a declaration was made before the « amendment » had commenced.

Item 3: Transitional provisions

Item 3 will remove the effect of any conditional declarations for non-sequestration offsets projects made after the commencement of the 2014 amendments and the date of the « amendment » to paragraph 28A(1)(a) by this Schedule.

In particular, if a conditional declaration was made, subitem (2) will deem that condition satisfied and subitem (3) requires the Clean Energy Regulator to remove the condition from the declaration. This applies whether or not the consents were obtained.

Accordingly, non-sequestration offsets projects with conditional declarations will not be disadvantaged compared to equivalent offsets projects registered before the 2014 amendments or after the amendments proposed in this Schedule.

Part 2 - Inquiries and strategic assessments

Outline

Part 2 will amend section 170CA of the EPBC Act to correct a reference to strategic assessments being a process that occurs after a controlled action decision.

Currently section 170CA allows the Minister to determine the amount of fees that may be charged for assessing the relevant impacts of an action. Subsection 170CA(1) incorrectly makes a reference to strategic assessments being a process that occurs after a controlled action decision.

A controlled action decision is defined in section 67 (and relates to actions which are assessed and approved under Part 7-Part 9 of the EPBC Act). The strategic assessment process works differently and is set out under Part 10 of the EPBC Act. It does not include a controlled action decision, but commences following agreement between the Minister and a person responsible for a policy, plan or programme under section 146 of the EPBC Act.

This technical measure will correct the existing inaccuracy. The proposed « amendment » will remove the reference to strategic assessments being a process that occurs after a controlled action decision. It will enable the Minister to determine the amount of fees that may be charged for a strategic assessment that is provided for under Part 10, following a strategic assessment agreement made under section 146 of the EPBC Act.

This measure provides clarity, resolves uncertainty and does not impose any additional burden or impost.

Notes on Clauses

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Item 4: Subsections 170CA(1) and (2)

Item 4 will amend subsection 170CA(1) to remove the reference to strategic assessments being a process that occurs after a controlled action decision. The amended subsection will properly describe strategic assessments as being made under section 146 of the EPBC Act, for the purposes of determining fees for cost recovery under subsection 170CA(1).

Item 5: Saving provision

Item 5 is a saving provision to ensure that a determination made under section 170CA continues in force despite the amendments to subsections 170CA(1) and (2). This is to ensure that any obligations relating to fees are retained.

Part 3 - Assessment documentation

Outline

Part 3 will amend the definition of ‘assessment documentation’ in sections 133 and 136 of the EPBC Act to correct an error.

‘Assessment documentation’ is defined for the purposes of each assessment process in subsection 133(8). It is also defined for the purposes of general considerations for the Minister to take into account in subsection 136(2). However, the definitions do not currently accord with the documentation required to be produced by the proponent for an assessment on preliminary documentation. That is, it does not refer to the specified information published by the proponent under subsection 95(2) or 95A(3), and only includes the documents which relate to comments on the assessment documents in subsection 95B(1) or 95B(3).

Subparagraphs 133(8)(c)(i) and 136(2)(bc)(i) provide definitions of ‘assessment documentation’ in relation to assessment on preliminary documentation. Both subparagraphs currently provide that ‘assessment documentation’ only includes statements and documents related to comments on the assessment documentation (under subsections 95B(1) and 95B(3)), and not the substantive assessment documentation itself. The amendments would correct this so that the definition of ‘assessment documentation’ includes the substantive assessment documentation itself under subsection 95(2) or 95A(3). The amendments would, therefore, make these subsections consistent with the documentation required to be produced by the proponent under assessment on preliminary documentation in Division 4 of Part 8 of the EPBC Act.

The Minister is already required to take into account the information provided under subsections 95(2) or 95A(3) as relevant considerations for an approval decision where the assessment approach is assessment on preliminary documentation.

This measure provides clarity, resolves uncertainty and does not impose any additional burden or impost.

Notes on Clauses

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Item 6: Subsection 133(8) (before subparagraph (c)(i) of the definition of assessment documentation )

Item 6 will amend subparagraph 133(8)(c)(i) so that the definition of ‘assessment documentation’ includes the specified information published by the proponent in accordance with a direction under either subsection 95(2) or subsection 95A(3) (whichever is relevant).

Item 7: Before subparagraph 136(2)(bc)(i)

Item 7 will amend subparagraph 136(2)(bc)(i) so that the definition of ‘assessment documentation’ includes the specified information published by the proponent in accordance with a direction under either subsection 95(2) or subsection 95A(3) (whichever is relevant).

Item 8: Application provision

Item 8 is an application provision that makes clear that the amendments made by this Part apply in relation to approvals granted on or after the commencement of this Part.



 

Part 4 - Removal of notification and publishing requirement

Outline

Part 4 will amend section 74A of the EPBC Act to remove redundant and inaccurate publishing and notice requirements.

Subsection 74A(1) provides that the Minister may decide not to accept a referral that is part of a larger action. Subsection 74A(4) then provides that “if the Minister decides to accept a referral under subsection (1)”, the Minister must publish a copy of the decision. Since the Minister is not required by section 74A(1) to make a decision to accept such a referral, the reference in subsection (4) is redundant and inaccurate.

The proposed « amendment » will remove the existing requirements in subsection 74A(4) for the Minister to publish or give notice of a decision to accept a referral as this duplicates the publication requirement for inviting public comment at section 74(3). Under section 74(3), as soon as practicable after receiving a referral, the Minister is required to publish the referral and invite public comment on whether the proposed action is a controlled action.

The publishing requirements for a Ministerial decision not to accept a referral that is part of a larger action are set out and will remain. As required under section 74(3) the Minister will continue to publish all referrals on the Department of the Environment website for public comment .

Notes on Clauses

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Item 9: Subsection 74A(4)

Item 9 will repeal subsection 74A(4) so the Minister is not required to publish or give notice of a decision to accept a referral under subsection 74A(1). The Minister does not make and is not required to make such a decision under subsection 74A(1).

 



Schedule 6 - Finance

Outline

Schedule 6 will clean up the Statute book and facilitate better management of appropriations. The measures in this Schedule continue the strong budget management practice set in place by the previous repeals, by allowing entities’ access to annual appropriations for up to three financial years. Entities have been notified of the repeals proposed in this Schedule.

Part 1 - Repeals of 2012-2013 Acts

Outline

Part 1 will repeal a number of 2012-2013 Appropriation Acts.

Notes on Clauses

Appropriation Act (No. 1) 201 2-2013

Appropriation Act (No. 2) 201 2-2013

Appropriation Act (No. 3) 201 2-2013

Appropriation Act (No. 4) 201 2-2013

Appropriation (Implementation of the Report of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers) Act (No. 1) 201 2-2013

Appropriation (Implementation of the Report of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers) Act (No. 2) 2012-2013

Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Act (No. 1) 201 2-201 3

Item 1: The whole of the Act

Item 2: The whole of the Act

Item 3: The whole of the Act

Item 4: The whole of the Act

Item 5: The whole of the Act

Item 6: The whole of the Act

 

 

Item 7: The whole of the Act

Items 1 to 7 repeal annual Appropriation Acts relating to the 2012-2013 financial year, commencing the day after the Royal Assent of the Repeal « Bill » .

Part 2 - Repeals of 2013-2014 Acts

Outline

Part 2 will repeal a number of 2013-2014 Appropriation Acts.

Notes on Clauses

Appropriation Act (No. 1) 2013-2014

Appropriation Act (No. 2) 2013-2014

Appropriation Act (No. 3) 2013-2014

Appropriation Act (No. 4) 2013-2014

Appropriation Act (No. 5) 2013-2014

Appropriation Act (No. 6) 2013-2014

Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Act (No. 1) 2013-2014

Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Act (No. 2) 2013-2014

Item 8: The whole of the Act

Item 9: The whole of the Act

Item 10: The whole of the Act

Item 11: The whole of the Act

Item 12: The whole of the Act

Item 13: The whole of the Act

Item 14: The whole of the Act

Item 15: The whole of the Act

Items 8 to 15 repeal annual Appropriation Acts relating to the 2013-2014 financial year, commencing the later of 1 July 2016 or the day after the Royal Assent of the Repeal « Bill » .



Schedule 7 - Health

Outline

Schedule 7 will amend four Acts administered within the Health portfolio. It will abolish the Medical Training Review Panel, remove requirements for redundant reviews of Medicare provider number legislation, simplify approved provider obligations in areas of aged care, and make consequential amendments to remove reference to redundant terms in Acts.

Part 1 - Abolition of Medical Training Review Panel

Outline

Part 1 will amend the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the HI Act) to repeal section 3GC. The repeal of section 3GC will abolish the Medical Training Review Panel (the MTRP). The main function of the MTRP is to provide a comprehensive overview of medical education and training, supplemented with other data on the medical workforce supply, through the annual MTRP report.

In October 2014, MTRP members identified an overlap between its functions and those of the National Medical Training Advisory Network (the NMTAN). The members agreed that the MTRP could be ceased with the NMTAN undertaking the responsibility of overseeing the production of an annual report on medical education and training. The NMTAN has since agreed to oversee the production of such a report and has updated its Terms of Reference to reflect this. The NMTAN is a non-statutory body that was transferred to the Department of Health from the former Health Workforce Australia. Its main function is to provide advice on medical workforce planning and to produce medical training plans to inform government, employers and educators.

The consolidation of MTRP functions with that of the NMTAN will provide a more integrated approach to workforce planning and aligns with the recommendations of the National Commission of Audit report: ‘ Towards Responsible Government - The Report of the National Commission of Audit , Phase Two, March 2014’.

Notes on Clauses

Health Insurance Act 1973

Item 1: Section 3GC

Item 1 will repeal section 3GC of the HI Act, abolishing the MTRP.

Part 2 - Reports by Minister

Outline

Part 2 will « amendment » to the HI Act to repeal section 19AD. The repeal of section 19AD will remove the requirement for the Minister for Health to review the operation of sections 19AA, 3GA and 3GC (proposed to be repealed in Part 1 to this Schedule) of the HI Act, collectively known as the Medicare provider number legislation (the MPN legislation), every five years.

The repeal of section 19AD of the HI Act is the result of previous reviews conducted in 2003, 2005 and 2010 which have not identified any anomalies or unintended consequences relating to the introduction of the MPN legislation. Additionally, previous reviews have indicated a general acceptance and satisfaction by stakeholders with the operation and intent of the MPN legislation.

Previous reviews have been costly, time consuming and resource intensive and have not provided any new information or resulted in any operational improvements regarding the operation of the MPN legislation. The most recent review in 2010 was non-contentious and demonstrated that the MPN legislation and related programmes were functioning as intended, and with the support of doctors, employers and recruitment agencies.

Furthermore, Medicare access is continually reviewed holistically, and as such, there is no need to review sections 19AA, 3GA and 3GC of the HI Act separately.

An additional section 19AD review will be both costly and resource intensive, and is not expected to identify any major point of concern regarding the application of the MPN legislation.

The repeal of section 19AD of the HI Act will remove the requirement to conduct additional reviews. However, it will not affect the operation of any of the programmes approved under section 3GA of the HI Act, nor will it affect any processes for obtaining or conditions for holding Medicare provider numbers.

Notes on Clauses

Health Insurance Act 1973

Item 2: Section 19AD

Item 2 will repeal those paragraphs and remove the requirement for a review of the MPN legislation to be undertaken every five years and for the Minister for Health to table a report.

Paragraphs 19AD(1)(a) and (b) of the HI Act currently provide that a report on the operation of the MPN legislation must be tabled in Parliament by the Minister for Health on or before 31 December 2010 and by the « end » of each successive period of five years after 31 December 2010.

Part 3 - Adviser and administrator panels

Outline

Part 3 will remove the requirement for approval by the Secretary of advisers that assist with conducting care recipient appraisals under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Aged Care Act). In place, the proposed amendments provide for restrictions on who can be an adviser to be set out in the Classifications Principles 2014.

The measure will also remove the adviser and administrator panels currently used when approved providers are given a sanction. Rather than a pre-approved panel of providers, the proposed amendments provide for restrictions on who can be an adviser or administrator to be set out in the Sanctions Principles 2014.

Providing the capacity for restrictions to be set out in the Classifications Principles 2014 and Sanctions Principles 2014 allows for the efficient and timely management of risks to care recipients and approved providers. Classes of persons will be restricted if they are likely to pose a risk if they take up that role, for example, those who are insolvent under administration may be excluded from being administrators.

There are two circumstances where advisers or administrators are used under the Aged Care Act .

Assisting with appraisals

To receive care an aged care recipient must be appraised and classified based on their care needs. Approved providers can conduct the necessary appraisals (and reappraisals) for the care recipients to which they provide care in certain circumstances. They then provide this information to the Department.

The Secretary can suspend approved providers from making appraisals (and reappraisals) if false, misleading or inaccurate information is provided for the purposes of classification.

When given the option by the Secretary, an approved provider can retain its ability to make appraisals (and reappraisals) if it agrees to appoint an adviser to assist it in conducting its appraisals (and reappraisals).

Currently, the adviser must be approved by the Secretary, but does not have to be drawn from the adviser panel (see below).

The amendments will remove the need for the Secretary to approve the adviser, but provide for restrictions on who can be an adviser to be set out in the Classification Principles 2014.

Assistance to avoid the revocation of approved provider status

When an approved provider of aged care services has been non-compliant with one of its responsibilities it can have its approval under Part 2.1 of the Aged Care Act revoked. Rather than having its approved provider status revoked, the Secretary can offer the approved provider the option of agreeing to appoint an administrator and/or adviser to assist its return to compliance.

Under current arrangements, approved providers must select an administrator/adviser from panels that the Secretary manages. The Secretary also approves the administrator and/or adviser chosen by the approved provider.

The amendments in Part 3 of this Schedule will remove the panels and the need for the Secretary to approve the adviser or administrator. Under the amendments restrictions on who can be a relevant adviser or administrator can be set out in the Sanctions Principles 2014.

Notes on Clauses

Aged Care Act 1997

Item 3: Paragraph 25-4A(1)(b)

Item 3 removes the requirement that the adviser be approved by the Secretary.

Item 4: Subsection 25-4A(2)

Item 4 will remove the requirement for the approved provider to give information to the Secretary about a proposed adviser. This is consistent with there no longer being the requirement for approval of the adviser by the Secretary.

Item 5: Subsection 25-4A(3)

Item 5 will amend the reference to the approval of the Secretary in determining the timeframe in which the adviser must be appointed. Following the « amendment » , the approved provider will need to appoint the adviser within the period specified in the agreement they enter to appoint an adviser. This is consistent with there no longer being the requirement for approval of the adviser by the Secretary.

Item 6: At the « end » of section 25-4A

Item 6 will add two additional subsections to section 25-4A of the Aged Care Act. Subsection (4) provides that the Classification Principles may exclude a class of persons from being appointed as an adviser. Subsection (5) provides that the Classification Principles may specify matters to be taken into account in specifying the timeframe within which an adviser must be appointed.

Item 7: Paragraph 25-4B(1)(a)

Item 7 will amend paragraph 24-4B(1)(a) in line with the repeal of subsection 25-4A(2).

Item 8: Subparagraphs 66-2(1)(a)(iii) and (iv)

Item 8 will remove the requirement that the adviser or administrator be approved by the Commonwealth.

Item 9: Subsections 66-2(2) and (3)

Item 9 will add to the current restriction preventing the Commonwealth from being appointed an adviser or administrator. The provision now also explicitly prevents Commonwealth officers or employees from being appointed.

Item 10: Division 66A (heading)

Item 10 will repeal the current heading and substitutes a new heading consistent with subsequent changes to the Division.

Item 11 : Section 66A-1, 66A-2 and 66A-3

Item 11 will repeal sections 66A-1, 66A-2 and 66A-3 and substitutes new sections 66A-2 and 66A-3.

The repeal of section 66A-1 removes the requirement to establish a panel and removes consequent provisions.

Proposed sections 66A-2 and 66A-3 will no longer require notification to the Secretary of a proposed adviser or administrator. These sections will also no longer require approval by the Secretary of an appointment.

The new provisions will provide new eligibility requirements for being appointed an adviser or administrator consistent with the removal of the adviser and administrator panel. The sections provide that the Sanctions Principles may exclude a class of persons from being appointed and that a person is not eligible to be appointed if they are within a class of persons listed.

These new provisions will also provide that an approved provider must appoint the adviser or administrator within the time period specified in their agreement to appoint (section 66-2 of the Aged Care Act refers). This new provision provides that the Sanctions Principles may specify matters for the Secretary to take into account when setting the period in which an adviser or administrator must be appointed.

Item 12 : Application provisions

Item 12 relates to application provisions that set out when the amendments to sections 25-4A, 25-4B and 66-2 apply to the Aged Care Act.

Part 4 - Approved provider obligations

Outline

Part 4 will amend approved provider obligations under the Aged Care Act for an approved provider of aged care to notify the Secretary of certain changes to any of its key personnel. The Aged Care Act currently requires approved providers to notify the Department, within 28 days, of any changes to key personnel. The proposed changes will reduce administrative burden by making this a requirement only when the change in personnel would materially affect the provider’s suitability to be a provider of aged care.

Notes on Clauses

Aged Care Act 1997

Item 13: Subsection 9-1(1)

Item 14: Subsection 9-1(3)

Item 15: Subsection 9-1(3A)(a)

Item 16: Subsections 9-1(6), (7) and (8)

Items 13 to 16 will amend or repeal sections of the Aged Care Act that impose a regulatory duty on approved providers of aged care to notify the Department of any changes in key personnel. Currently an approved aged care provider must notify the Department of any changes in key personnel within 28 days of the change occurring.

Item 17: Application provision

Item 17 is an application provision setting out when the amendments to section 9-1 apply to the Aged Care Act.

 

Part 5 - Other amendments

Outline

Part 5 will make minor and consequential changes to the Health and Other Services (Compensation) Act 1995 (the HOSC Act) and the Health and Other Services (Compensation) Care Charges Act 1995 (the Care Charges Act). In « 2011 » , amendments were made to the National Health Act 1953 (the National Health Act) as a result of amendments to aged care arising under the Aged Care « Amendment » Act « 2011 » . The concepts of ‘nursing home care’ and ‘nursing home benefit’ were removed from the National Health Act. However, those changes were not reflected in the HOSC Act or the Care Charges Act. This schedule addresses this issue and removes the redundant terms from both acts.

Notes on Clauses

Health and Other Services (Compensation) Act 1995

Item 18: Subsection 3(1) (paragraph (b) of the definition of eligible benefit )

Item 19: Subsection 3(1) (definition of nursing home benefit )

Item 20: Subsection 3(1) (definition of nursing home care )

Items 18 to 20 will repeal the terms ‘nursing home benefit’ and ‘nursing home care’ where they appear in the definitions section. Subsection 3(1) of the HOSC Act sets out the definitions of various terms used throughout that Act.

Item 21: Division 2 of Part 2 (heading)

Item 22: Paragraph 9(1)(b)

Item 23: Paragraph 9(1)(b)

Item 24: Paragraph 9(3)(a)

Item 25: Paragraph 9(3)(aa)

Item 26: Paragraph 9(3)(aa)

Item 27: Paragraph 9(3)(b)

Item 28: Subsection 9(3)

Items 21 to 28 will make changes to section 9 of the HOSC Act to remove all references to ‘nursing home benefit’ and ‘nursing home care’. Section 9 of the HOSC Act sets out the circumstances in which an individual may be liable to repay the Commonwealth for the contribution towards the provision of care when that care is related to a compensable injury.

Item 29: Section 10 (heading)

Item 30: Paragraph 10(1)(b)

Item 31: Paragraph 10(1)(ba)

Item 32: Paragraph 10(1)(ba)

Item 33: Paragraph 10(1)(c)

Item 34: Subsection 10(1)

Item 35: Paragraph 10(3)(a)

Items 29 to 35 will make changes to section 10 of the HOSC Act to remove all references to ‘nursing home benefit’ and ‘nursing home care’. Section 10 of the HOSC Act sets the circumstances and limits on the Commonwealth’s recovery of contributions towards care when that care is related to a compensable injury.

Item 36: Paragraph 17(1)(b)

Item 37: Subparagraph 21(7)(b)(ii)

Item 38: Paragraph 23(5)(b)

Item 39: Paragraphs 23(7)(b) and (c)

Item 40: Subsection 23B(5)

Item 41: Subparagraph 24(9)(b)(ii)

Items 36 to 41 will make changes to the HOSC Act to remove the redundant reference to ‘nursing home care’. Sections 17, 21, 23, 23B and 24 of the HOSC Act set out the information regarding various notices the Chief Executive Medicare can issue to claimants from time to time.

Health and Other Services (Compensation) Care Charges Act 1995

Item 42: Section 7 (heading)

Item 43: Paragraph 7(1)(b)

Item 44: Paragraph 7(2)(a)

Item 45: Paragraph 7(2)(aa)

Item 46: Paragraph 7(2)(aa)

Item 47: Paragraph 7(2)(b)

Item 48: Subsection 7(2)

Items 42 to 48 will remove references to ‘nursing home care’ and ‘nursing home benefit’ wherever they occur in section 7 of the Care Charges Act. Section 7 of the Care Charges Act provides that a charge is created over reimbursements to a claimant of particular care expenses in favour of the Commonwealth.

Item 49: Section 8 (heading)

Item 50: Paragraph 8(1)(b)

Item 51: Paragraph 8(1)(ba)

Item 52: Paragraph 8(1)(ba)

Item 53: Paragraph 8(1)(c)

Item 54: Subsection 8(1)

Item 55: Paragraph 8(3)(a)

Items 49 to 55 will remove references to ‘nursing home care’ and ‘nursing home benefit’ wherever they occur in section 8 of the Care Charges Act. Section 8 of the Care Charges Act provides that a charge is created over compensation payments that include past payments of care expenses.



Schedule 8 - Immigration and Border Protection

Outline

Schedule 8 will repeal a redundant Act administered in the Immigration and Border Protection portfolio and provide for transitional arrangements consequential to that repeal.

Part 1 - Repeal of Act

Outline

The « Customs » (Tariff Concessions System Validations) Act 1999 (the CTCSV Act) was enacted in November 1999. Its purpose was to validate decisions in relation to the making of tariff concession orders that were based on incorrect delegations or the lack of appropriate delegations. The decisions were made during the period between 15 July 1996 and 31 May 1999.

Notes on Clauses

« Customs » (Tariff Concession System Validations) Act 1999

Item 1: The whole of the Act

Item 1 will repeal the stand-alone CTCSV Act which relates to decisions with a discrete three year timeframe. As the Act is now 15 years old, it is now obsolete.

Part 2 - Saving provisions

Outline

Part 2 contains consequential savings provisions .

Notes on Clauses

Item 2: Saving Provisions

Item 2 is a savings provision to ensure the continued operation of the CTCSV Act’s validation function.

 



Schedule 9 - Industry, Innovation and Science

Outline

Schedule 9 will repeal the now redundant Patents « Amendment » (Patent Cooperation Treaty) Act 1979 (the PCT Act) from the Industry, Innovation and Science portfolio.

Notes on Clauses

Patents « Amendment » (Patent Cooperation Treaty) Act 1979

Item 1: The whole of the Act

Item 1 repeals the PCT Act as it is spent. The PCT Act amended the Patents Act 1952 to implement Australia’s domestic legal obligations under the Patent Cooperation Treaty of 19 June 1970 ([1980] ATS 6) (the PCT). The amending Act was spent once it amended the principal Act. Furthermore, the Patents Act 1952 has since been repealed and replaced by the Patents Act 1990 , which has specific provisions implementing Australia’s obligations under the PCT.

 



Schedule 10 - Infrastructure and Regional Development

Outline

Schedule 10 will amend a number of Acts to incorporate modifications made by the A.C.T Self-Government (Consequential Provisions) Regulations (the ASGR).

The ASGR made modifications to a number of Commonwealth Acts following the establishment of self-government in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), as set out in Schedule 1 to the ASGR. These modifications were made to reflect the establishment of the ACT as a self-governing territory and to ensure that Commonwealth legislation operates in the self-governing ACT in the same way it operates in the states and other self-governing mainland territories. While some of the modifications made by the ASGR were subsequently incorporated into relevant Commonwealth Acts, others were not.

The purpose of the proposed amendments in Schedule 10 is to make the remaining modifications to the relevant Commonwealth Acts, thereby allowing the repeal of regulation 2, and schedule 1 to, the ASGR. This will simplify the legal structure of the legislative framework, by eliminating the existing structure under the ASGR, but will not impact the policy intent or the effect of the modified Commonwealth legislation.

The amendments made by schedule 1 to the ASGR were made in order to ensure that existing Commonwealth laws applied in an appropriate manner to the ACT following the ACT’s move to self-government. Many of the amendments, for example to the Copyright Act 1968 (the Copyright Act), simply include the ACT in the definition of a State, to bring the ACT’s status as a self-governing territory into line with that applied in the Northern Territory (NT). While some of these amendments were made to primary legislation since self-government, some were not.

These proposed amendments will ensure that all other remaining modifications are made to the primary legislation, simplifying the legal framework and making it easier for users to interpret and apply.

Part 1 - Amendments of Acts

Outline

Part 1 amends various Commonwealth Acts to incorporate modifications made by the ASGR.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975

Item 1: After section 36A

Item 1 will amend the definitions of Attorney-General and Cabinet in sections 36B, 36C and 36D of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 to include the relevant ACT Minister or Executive body, unless the contrary intention appears.

 

 

Air Accidents (Commonwealth Government Liability) Act 1963

Item 2: After subsection 11(3)

Item 2 will modify subsection 11(3) to extend application of Part III of the Air Accidents (Commonwealth Government Liability) Act 1963 to employees of the ACT Government, ensuring continuity of the application of these workplace provisions, which apply to Commonwealth employees, after commencement of self-government.

Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975

Item 3: Subsection 19(3)

Item 3 will amend subsection 19(3) of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975, which establishes the Australian Statistics Advisory Council, to extend Council membership to include members nominated by the Chief Minister of the ACT.

Item 4: Subsection 19(3)

Item 4 will replace the second reference to the Northern Territory (NT) in subsection 19(3) with a reference to ‘that Territory’.

Australian Grape and Wine Authority Act 2013

Item 5: Subsection 41A(9)

Item 5 will repeal and substitute subsection 41A(9) of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority Act 2013 to incorporate new definitions of Parliament and State that include the ACT Legislative Assembly, and the ACT, respectively.

Commonwealth Motor Vehicles (Liability) Act 1959

Item 6: Subsection 3(1) (definition of Commonwealth authority )

Item 6 will amend the definition of Commonwealth Authority in subsection 3(1) of the Commonwealth Motor Vehicles (Liability) Act 1959 to be a body corporate incorporated for a public purpose by a law of the Commonwealth or of a Territory other than the ACT and the NT.

Copyright Act 1968

Item 7: Subsection 10(1) (definition of the Crown )

Item 7 will amend the definition of the Crown in subsection 10(1) of the Copyright Act to include the Crown in right of the ACT.

Item 8: Paragraph 10(3)(e)

Item 8 will amend the definition of the Crown in paragraph 10(3)(e) of the Copyright Act so that the right of a State includes the ACT.

Item 9: Paragraph 10(3)(n)

Item 9 will amend paragraph 10(3)(n) of the Copyright Act so that the definition of a State includes the ACT.

Item 10: Paragraph 10(3)(n)

Item 10 will amend the reference to a Territory to be read as not including a reference to the ACT.

Item 11: Subsection 182B(1) (note to the definition of government )

Item 11 will amend subsection 182B(1) of the Copyright Act to remove the reference to the modification made by the A.C.T. Self - Government (Consequential Provisions) Regulations ( « Amendment » ) (Statutory Rules 1989 No. 392) in the note to the definition of government.

Item 12: Subsection 183(11)

Item 12 will amend subsection 138(11) of the Copyright Act to include reproduction, copying or communication of the whole or a part of a work or other subject matter for educational purposes by an educational institution under control of the ACT.

Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983

Item 13: Subsection 3(1) (before paragraph (a) of the definition of law of the Commonwealth )

Item 14: Subsection 3(1) (paragraph (c) of the definition of law of the Commonwealth )

Items 13 and 14 will amend the definition of the law of the Commonwealth to also exclude the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 (the ACTSG Act) and laws made under that Act. The definition of law of the Commonwealth in subsection 3(1) of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983 (the DPP Act) includes a law of a territory with the exception of the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978 and Norfolk Island Act 1979 and any laws made under those Acts.

Item 15: Subsection 3(1) (definition of State )

Item 16: Subsection 3(1) (definition of Territory )

Items 15 and 16 will extend the definition of State and Territory in subsection 3(1) of the DPP Act to include the ACT.

Disability Services Act 1986

Item 17: Section 7 (definition of State )

Item 17 will repeal and substitute the definition of State in section 7 of the Disability Services Act 1986 (the DSA Act) so that it also includes the ACT.

Item 18: Subsection 23(10)

Item 18 will amend subsection 23(10) of the DSA Act that binds the Crown in right of the Commonwealth, the States and the NT and Norfolk Island, so as to include the ACT.

Item 19: Subsection 27(5)

Item 19 will amend subsection 27(5) of the DSA Act that binds the Crown in right of the Commonwealth, the States and the NT and Norfolk Island, so as to include the ACT.

Freedom of Information Act 1982

Item 20: After section 16

Item 20 will amend the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) to insert section 16A, so that requests transferred under the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (ACT) become requests under the FOI Act at the time of receipt by an agency.

Home and Community Care Act 1985

Item 21: Subsection 3(4)

Item 21 will amend subsection 3(4) of the Home and Community Care Act 1985 so that the definition of a State includes the ACT.

Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986

Item 22: Section 4

Item 22 will amend section 4 of the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 that binds the Crown in right of the Commonwealth, the States and the NT and Norfolk Island, so as to include the ACT.

Public Accounts and Audit Committee Act 1951

Item 23: Paragraph 8(2)(a)

Item 23 will amend paragraph 8(2)(a) of the Public Accounts and Audit Committee Act 1951 (the PAAC Act) so as to exclude an examination of the financial affairs of the ACT from the duties of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit.

Item 24: Subparagraph 8(2)(b)(i)

Item 24 will amend paragraph 8(2)(b)(i) of the PAAC Act so as to exclude an examination of a report of the Auditor-General that relates to the financial affairs of the ACT from the duties of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit.

 

 

Item 25: Subsection 8(6) (definition of State )

Item 25 will amend subsection 8(6) of the PAAC Act so that the definition of a State includes the ACT.

Public Lending Right Act 1985

Item 26: Subsection 8(2)

Item 26 will amend subsection 8(2) of the Public Lending Right Act 1985 pertaining to the functions of the Public Lending Right Committee, so that it may consult or cooperate with any person or body established by the ACT that may be able to provide assistance to that Committee.

Public Works Committee Act 1969

Item 27: Section 5 (at the « end » of the definition of authority of the Commonwealth )

Item 27 will amend the definition of authority of the Commonwealth in section 5 of the Public Works Committee Act 1969 (the PWC Act) so as to exclude bodies established by or under an enactment within the meaning of section 3 of the ACTSG Act.

Item 28: Section 5 (definition of State )

Item 28 will amend the definition of State in section 5 of the PWC Act to include the ACT.

Item 29: Before paragraph 6(2)(a)

Item 29 will amend the section covering extension of the PWC Act to Territories so as to exclude a work proposed to be carried out by or for the ACT.

Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Item 30: Section 6

Item 30 will amend section 6 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 that binds the Crown in right of the Commonwealth, the States and the NT and Norfolk Island, so as to include the ACT.

Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973

Item 31: Subsection 3(1)

Item 31 will amend subsection 3(1) of the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 (the RT Act) to include a definition of enactment to have the same meaning as in section 3 of the ACTSG Act.

Item 32: Subsection 3(1) (at the « end » of the definition of public statutory corporation )

Item 32 will amend subsection 3(1) of the RT Act so that the definition of public statutory corporation to exclude corporations established for a public purpose by a law of the ACT.

 

Item 33: Paragraph 3(4)(b)

Item 33 will amend paragraph 3(4)(b) of the RT Act so that the reference to a public office excludes offices established by, or appointments made under, laws of a Territory enactment.

Item 34: After paragraph 3(4)(fa)

Item 34 will amend paragraph 3(4) of RT Act so that the reference to public office includes an executive education office.

Seat of Government (Administration) Act 1910

Item 35: Paragraph 12(2)(b)

Item 36: After subsection 12(2)

Items 35 and 36 will amend paragraph 12(2) of the SOGA Act so as to establish the day on which Ordinances that make provisions in relation to the establishment of the Territory as a body politic under the Crown take effect.

Superannuation Act 1976

Item 37: Subparagraph 120(a)(i)

Item 37 will amend subparagraph 120(a)(i) of the Superannuation Act 1976 (the SA Act) to extend the persons to whom the part of the Act applies to include a candidate for election as a member of the Legislative Assembly of the ACT.

Item 38: Subsection 125(3)

Item 38 will amend subsection 125(3) of the SA Act to also extend the provision allowing for membership by a person of the Legislative Assembly of the ACT to be treated as if it were employment of the person by the Commonwealth.

Superannuation (Productivity Benefit) Act 1988

Item 39: Subsection 3(1) (paragraph (c) of the definition of qualified employee )

Item 39 will amend subsection 3(1) paragraph (c) of the Superannuation (Productivity Benefit) Act 1988 so that the definition of qualified employee includes a person who is the holder of an office established by an enactment of the ACT.

Urban and Regional Development (Financial Assistance) Act 1974

Item 40: Section 3

Item 40 will amend section 3 of the Urban and Regional Development (Financial Assistance) Act 1974 so that the definition of State includes the ACT.

 

Part 2 - Amendments of Regulations

Outline

Part 2 provides for the repeal of regulation 2 of the ASGR. Regulation 2 gives effect to Schedule 1 of the ASGR, which is also proposed to be repealed by this Schedule.

These provisions in the ASGR made modifications to a number of Commonwealth Acts following the establishment of self-government in the ACT. While some of the modifications made by Schedule 1 of the ASGR were incorporated into primary legislation, others were not. The proposed amendments in Part 1 of this Schedule make the remaining modifications to allow for the repeal of regulation 2.

Repeal of regulation 2 will allow repeal of Schedule 1 of the ASGR and reduce the range of legislative instruments that need to be consulted in order to understand the applicability of Commonwealth legislation in the ACT. This will ensure that Commonwealth legislation which applies to ACT is more easily accessible and fit for purpose for business, individuals and community organisations.

Notes on Clauses

A.C.T Self-Government (Consequential Provisions) Regulations

Item 41: Regulation 2

Item 41 will repeal regulation 2 of the ASGR, which gives effect to Schedule 1 of the ASGR.

Item 42: Schedule 1

Item 42 will repeal Schedule 1 of the ASGR, which made modifications to a number of Commonwealth Acts following the establishment of self-government in the ACT. While some of the modifications made by Schedule 1 were incorporated into primary legislation, others were not. Proposed amendments in Schedule 10 will make the remaining modifications to allow for the repeal of Schedule 1 of the ASGR.



Schedule 11 - Prime Minister

Outline

This schedule will repeal redundant legislation that sits within the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio. It will also make a consequential « amendment » to remove obsolete references to repealed legislation.

Part 1 - Repeals of Acts

Outline

Part 1 will repeal one redundant Act from the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio.

Notes on Clauses

Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Act 1991

Item 1: The whole of the Act

Item 1 will repeal the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Act 1991 (the CAR Act). The CAR Act was introduced as a result of cross-party support for the establishment of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (the CAR Council), and included a sunsetting provision so that it ceased from 1 January 2001.

Each of the provisions in the CAR Act are specific to either the establishment, processes or requirements relating to the operation of the CAR Council, whose functions and powers were limited to activities related to reconciliation such as consulting, undertaking certain initiatives, promoting and fostering discussion, providing advice, reports as well as the development of strategic plans to promote the process of reconciliation.

The CAR Council produced its final report in 2000. There are no ongoing arrangements, appointments or other measures under the CAR Act.

Part 2 - Amendments consequential on repeals of Acts

Outline

Part 2 contains a consequential « amendment » to the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (the AHRC Act) resulting from the repeal of the CAR Act.

Currently, subsection 46C(4)(c) of the AHRC Act requires the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner to have regard to the object of the CAR Act when performing functions under section 46C.

 

 

Notes on Clauses

Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986

Item 2: Paragraph 46C(4)(b)

Item 3: Paragraph 46C(4)(c)

Items 2 to 3 will amend section 46C of the AHRC Act to remove the requirement for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commission to refer to ceased legislation resulting from the repeal of the CAR Act in Item 1 of this Schedule.

Part 3 - Other amendments

Outline

Part 3 will make minor amendments and repeals provisions in Acts administered in the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio.

Notes on Clauses

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission « Amendment » Act 2005

Item 4: After subitem 200(1) of Schedule 1

Item 4 will insert new subitem 200(1A) into Schedule 1 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission « Amendment » Act 2005 (the ATSICA Act). This will enable the appropriate consenting authority to waive the exercise of its statutory consent power by providing written notice to the organisation concerned that consent is no longer required.

Before its abolition in 2005, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) had powers under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Act 1989 (the ATSIC Act) to:

·                 make certain grants (including grants of money and interests in land), or to make a loan of money, to individuals or bodies (section 14 of the ATSIC Act refers); and

·                 guarantee due payment of a loan made to individuals or bodies (section 15 of the ATSIC Act refers)

for the purpose of furthering the social, economic or cultural development of Aboriginal persons or Torres Strait Islanders.

ATSIC exercised these powers to assist organisations to acquire an interest in land for a broad range of activities (e.g. pastoral services, health services, housing, and business development). In practice, ATSIC assisted organisations, typically Indigenous community organisations, rather than individuals.

Prior to the abolition ATSIC in 2005, an organisation that acquired an interest in land with ATSIC assistance could not dispose of the interest without ATSIC’s consent (ATSIC Act, section 21). Following ATSIC’s abolition, the ATSICA Act vested ATSIC’s statutory consent power in the ‘appropriate consenting authority’ (the Commonwealth, Indigenous Business Australia, or the Indigenous Land Corporation, depending on the nature of the interest) (Schedule 1, subitem 200(2) of the ATSICA Act refers).

As with a decision under subitem 200(2) of the ATSICA Act, the appropriate consenting authority will have the flexibility to consider a broad range of factors when deciding whether to remove the consent requirement in a particular case.

Item 5: Subitem 200(2) of Schedule 1

Item 6: Subitem 200(5) of Schedule 1

Item 7: Subitem 200(12) of Schedule 1

Item 8: Subitem 200(13) of Schedule 1 (paragraphs (b) and (c) of the definition of appropriate consenting authority )

Items 5 to 8 will make consequential amendments to Item 200 of Schedule 1 of the ATSICA Act, as a result of new subitem 200(1A).

Item 7 is included to make it clear that any notice provided by the appropriate consenting authority under subitem 200(1A) would not be a legislative instrument within the meaning of section 5 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 (the LI Act).

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995

Item 9: Section 114

Item 9 will repeal section 114 of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (the CPFCG Act).

Section 114 of the CPFCG Act provides for an independent review of the operation of the ‘prohibited material’ measure in Part 10 of the CPFCG Act. Part 10 makes it an offence to possess or control prohibited material in a prohibited material area, or to supply (or prepare, transport, guard, conceal or possess with intention to supply) prohibited material in, or to, a prohibited area. Prohibited material includes material that is pornographic or excessively violent.

The prohibited material measure in Part 10 of the CPFCG Act is part of a package of legislative measures related to the former National Partnership Agreement on Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory (Stronger Futures NPA).

In 2014-15, the Commonwealth Government, in collaboration with the Northern Territory Government, undertook a formal revision of the Stronger Futures NPA.

The Commonwealth Government has previously considered review provisions in Part 10 of the CPFCG Act to be redundant and unnecessary. The repeal of these provisions could not be effected prior to having to satisfy legislated timing requirements for an independent review . That independent review under Part 10 of the CPFCG Act has now been completed, and a final report was tabled in both Houses of the Parliament of Australia on 16 September 2015.

Given these developments, section 114 is redundant and suitable for repeal in order to clarify and remove unnecessary legislation from the Commonwealth statute book.

Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act 2012

Item 10: Section 3

Item 11: Section 3

Item 12: Section 6

Item 13: Section 6

Items 10 to 13 will make consequential amendments to the guide to the SF Act and Part 2, as a result of the repeal of Divisions 5 and 8 of Part 2 and section 117 in Items 14 to 16 below.

Item 14: Divisions 5 and 8 of Part 2

Item 14 will repeal Divisions 5 and 8 of Part 2 of the SF Act.

Division 5 of Part 2

Division 5 gives the Minister the power to request the Northern Territory Minister to appoint an assessor to conduct an assessment in relation to licensed premises in certain circumstances. The Minister does not have any power to enforce a request.

The Northern Territory Minister and the Northern Territory Licensing Commission are responsible for monitoring and regulating the activities of licensed premises in the Northern Territory under Northern Territory laws, including the Liquor Act (NT) and the Northern Territory Licensing Commission Act (NT).

Given the Minister cannot enforce a request, Division 5 is of limited impact. Repeal of Division 5 will clarify and clean up the legislation and reduce Commonwealth interference in Northern Territory regulatory processes and policy.

Division 8 of Part 2

Division 8 requires the Minister, and the Northern Territory Minister, to cause an independent review to be undertaken of the operation of Commonwealth and Northern Territory laws relating to alcohol.

In 2014-15, the Commonwealth Government, in collaboration with the Northern Territory Government, undertook a formal revision of the Stronger Futures NPA. The revision provided equivalent levels of scrutiny as the review provisions set out in Division 8 of Part 2 of the SF Act.

The Commonwealth Government has previously considered review provisions in Division 8 of the SF Act to be redundant and unnecessary. The repeal of these provisions could not be effected prior to having to satisfy legislated timing requirements for an independent review . That independent review under Division 8 or Part 2 of the SF Act has now been completed, and a final report was tabled in both Houses of the Parliament of Australia and also in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly on 16 September 2015.

Given these developments, Division 8 is redundant and suitable for repeal in order to clarify and remove unnecessary legislation from the Commonwealth statute book.

Item 15: Section 111

Item 15 makes a consequential « amendment » to the guide to Part 5 of the SF Act as a result of the repeal of section 117 in Item 16 below.

Item 16: Section 117

Item 16 will repeal section 117 of the SF Act . Section 117 requires the Minister to cause an independent review of the first 3 years of the operation of the SF Act.

In 2014-15, the Commonwealth Government, in collaboration with the Northern Territory Government, undertook a formal revision of the Stronger Futures NPA. In light of this, any further review of the operation of the SF Act would be unnecessary and duplicative.

The governments are currently negotiating a new National Partnership Agreement, which will continue measures underpinned by the SF Act, and which will also include specific review points of the operation of those measures with an equivalent level of scrutiny.



Schedule 12 - Social Services

Schedule 12 will make minor amendments and repeals provisions in Acts administered in the Social Services portfolio.

Part 1 - « Use » or disclosure of personal information

Outline

Part 1 makes an addition to paragraph 202(2)(e) of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 (the SSA Act) to allow a person to disclose (or further « use » or record) protected information that has been disclosed to them under subsection 202(2C) of the Act for the purpose of research, statistical analysis or policy development, where it is consistent with the purpose of the initial disclosure. This eliminates the burden on researchers having to seek permission to do so, and enhances the social and economic value of public sector information.

Notes on Clauses

Social Security (Administration) Act 1999

Item 1: Paragraph 202(2)(e)

Item 1 will in sert a reference to subsection 202(2C) in paragraph 202(2)(e). Subsection 202(2C) provides that a person may obtain, record, disclose or « use » protected information if the Secretary believes that it is reasonably necessary for the purposes of research, statistical analysis or policy development. Paragraph 202(2)(e) provides that a person may further disclose, « use » or record protected information if the further disclosure, recording or « use » is made for the purpose for which the information was originally disclosed to the person under subsection 202(2C) of the SSA Act.

The purpose of this « amendment » is to allow a person to disclose (or further « use » or record) protected information that has been disclosed to them under subsection 202(2C) for the purposes of research, statistical analysis or policy development.

Further disclosure, « use » or recording is currently permitted if the disclosure is made under a public interest certificate for a public interest purpose. This measure will align research disclosures with the treatment of information disclosed under a public interest certificate and aims to allow researchers to do with protected information what is necessary to conduct their research project.

Item 2: Application provision

Item 2 will provide that the « amendment » made by this part will apply in relation to protected information originally disclosed to a person under subsection 202(2C) for research, statistical analysis or policy development purposes, on or after the commencement of this Item.



 

Part 2 - Removal of spent social security payments

Outline

Part 2 will repeal redundant provisions related to various ‘spent social security payments’. These include:

  • various one-off payments to the aged, older Australians and carers;
  • economic security strategy payments;
  • training and learning bonus;
  • farmers hardship bonus;
  • mature age allowances;
  • special needs age pension, special needs sole parent pension and special needs wife pension;
  • Northern Territory Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) transition payment; and
  • clean energy advance.

Removing these redundant provisions will simplify the social security legislation and make it more accessible for individuals wishing to interpret current provisions .

One-off payments to aged and older Australians

Various one-off payments to the aged and older Australians will be repealed. Qualification for these payments was linked to circumstances on a test day in 2001, 2006, 2007 and 2008. No person is able to qualify for these payments since the 2008 test day.

One-off payments to carers eligible for carer payment or carer allowance

Various one-off payments to carers eligible for carer payment or carer allowance will be repealed. Qualification for these payments was linked to circumstances on a test day in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. No person is able to qualify for these payments since the 2008 test day.

Economic security strategy payments

Various economic security strategy payments will be repealed. Qualification for this lump sum payment was linked to a test day of 14 October 2008. No person is able to qualify for these payments since the 2008 test day.

Training and learning bonus and farmers hardship bonus

The training and learning bonus and farmers hardship bonus will be repealed. These payments were linked to a test day of 3 February 2009. No person is able to qualify for these payments since the 2009 test day.

Mature age allowances and mature age partner allowance

Mature age allowance was introduced in 1994 as an interim measure to assist older unemployed people facing difficulties obtaining work in a tight labour market. From 1 July 1996, mature age allowance was modified and became a permanent payment. Recipients of mature age allowance as at 30 June 1996 continued to receive the pension under savings provisions. New grants of mature age allowance between 1 July 1996 and 19 September 2003 were assessed under the allowance income and assets tests. There have been no new grants of mature age allowance since 20 September 2003.

Special needs age pension, special needs sole parent pension and special needs wife pension

Special needs pension was closed to new claimants with no new claims possible after 30 June 1995 (special needs wife pension), 20 March 1998 (special needs sole parent pension) or 20 September 2000 (for other special needs pensions). There are no longer any recipients of special needs age pension and special needs wife pension.

Northern Territory CDEP transition payment

The Northern Territory CDEP transition payment will be repealed. This payment was no longer payable from 1 July 2008.

Clean Energy Advance

The Clean Energy Advance will be repealed. This payment ceased on 31 December 2013.

Notes on Clauses

Division 1 - Main Amendments

Social Security Act 1991

Item 3: Subsection 4(6)A (table item 7)

Item 3 will repeal subsection 4(6)A (table item 7) which refers to the mature age allowance, as people can no longer qualify for this allowance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 4: Paragraph 8(8)(jab)

Item 4 will repeal paragraph 8(8)(jab) which refers to spent one-off payments to families and carers that people can no longer qualify for or continue to receive.

Item 5: Paragraphs 8(8)(jac) to (jaf)

Item 6: Paragraphs 8(8)(ya), (yc), (ye), (yg), (yi) and (yj)

Item 5 and 6 will remove references to spent social security payments that people can no longer qualify for or continue to receive, including various payments to the aged, older Australians and carers, as well as economic security strategy payments.

Item 7: Subsection 12C(5) (paragraph (ca) of the definition of couple’s assets deeming provisions )

Item 7 will repeal paragraph (ca) of subsection 12C(5) from the definition of couple’s assets deeming provisions . This « amendment » is consequential to the removal of Part 2.12B (mature age allowance).

Item 8: Paragraphs 16A(3)(b) and (4)(b)

Item 8 will omit “mature age allowance under Part 2.12B”, as people can no longer qualify for this allowance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 9: Subsection 17(1) (paragraphs (h), (i) and (j) of the definition of compensation affected payment )

Item 9 will repeal paragraphs (h), (i) and (j) of subsection 17(1) relating to the special needs disability support wife pension, the mature age allowance and the mature age partner allowance from the definition of compensation affected payment, as people can no longer qualify for these allowances and no person continues to receive them.

Item 10: Subsection 17(1) (definition of special needs disability support wife pension )

Item 10 will repeal the definition of special needs disability support wife pension from Subsection 17(1), as people can no longer qualify for this pension and no person continues to receive it.

Item 11: Paragraphs 19C(2)(c) and (3)(c)

Item 11 will repeal paragraphs 19C(2)(c) and (3)(c) as they both relate to the mature age allowance which people can no longer qualify for or continue to receive.

Item 12: Paragraph 19C(8)(d)

Item 12 will omit “, partner allowance and mature age allowance under Part 2.12B”, and substitute with “or partner allowance” as people can no longer qualify for the mature age allowance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 13: Subsection 19D(5) (subparagraph (f)(v) of the definition of maximum payment rate )

Item 14: Subsection 19D(5) (paragraphs (g) and (j) of the definition of maximum payment rate )

Items 13 and 14 will remove references to the mature age allowance from the definition of maximum payment rate, as people can no longer qualify for this allowance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 15: Subsection 21(1) (definition of partner bereavement payment )

Item 16: Subsection 23(1) (definition of advance qualification day )

Item 17: Subsection 23(1) (definition of clean energy advance )

Item 18: Subsection 23(1) (definition of clean energy advance daily rate )

Item 19: Subsection 23(1) (definition of clean energy advance period )

Item 20: Subsection 23(1) (paragraph (a) of the definition of clean energy bonus )

Item 21: Subsection 23(1) (paragraph (a) of the definition of clean energy payment )

Item 22: Subsection 23(1) (definition of clean energy qualifying payment )

Item 23: Subsection 23(1) (definition of mature age allowance )

Item 24: Subsection 23(1) (paragraph (d) of the definition of newly arrived resident’s waiting period )

Item 25: Subsection 23(1) (definition of Northern Territory CDEP transition payment )

Item 26: Subsection 23(1) (definition of number of advance days )

Item 27: Subsection 23(1) (paragraph (ea) of the definition of social security benefit )

Item 28: Subsection 23(1) (paragraph (j) of the definition of social security entitlement )

Item 29: Subsection 23(1) (paragraphs (k) and (l) of the definition of social security entitlement )

Item 30: Subsection 23(1) (paragraph (i) of the definition of social security pension )

Item 31: Subsection 23(1) (paragraphs (d) and (e) of the definition of special employment advance qualifying entitlement )

Item 32: Subsection 23(1) (definition of transition day )

Item 33: Subsection 23(1) (paragraph (ff) of the definition of waiting period )

Items 15 to 33 will make amendments consequential to the repeal of the spent social security payments, by repealing references to the spent payments in the definitions in subsection 23(1).

Item 34: Part 2.2B

Item 34 will repeal part 2.2B which sets out qualification requirements for various lump sum payments to aged and older Australians that people can no longer qualify for or continue to receive.

Item 35: Part 2.5A

Item 35 will repeal Part 2.5A which sets out qualification requirements for one-off payments to carers eligible for carer payment that people can no longer qualify for or continue to receive.

Item 36: Section 573A (table item 5)

Item 36 will omit “Part 2.12A or 2.12B”, and substitute with “former Part 2.12A or 2.12B”.

 

 

 

Item 37: Parts 2.12A and 2.12B

Item 37 will repeal Part 2.12A which provides for mature age allowances before 1 July 1996 and Part 2.12B which provides for the mature age allowance after 1 July 1996, as people can no longer qualify for this allowance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 38: Subparagraph 771HA(1)(c)(i)

Item 39: Paragraph 771NU(1)(e)

Items 38 and 39 will omit “mature age allowance,” as people can no longer qualify for this allowance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 40: Paragraph 771NU(3)(e)

Item 41: Subsection 771NX(1) (method statement, step 4, note)

Item 42: Subsection 771NX(6)

Items 40 to 42 will omit “disability support pension or mature age allowance”, and substitute with “or disability support pension”, as people can no longer qualify for the mature age allowance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 43: Division 1A of Part 2.16

Item 43 will repeal Division 1A of Part 2.16 relating to the time limit on granting of the special needs wife pension, as people can no longer qualify for this pension and no person continues to receive it.

Item 44: Section 771PA

Item 44 will omit “a special needs age pension,” from section 771PA, as people can no longer qualify for this pension and no person continues to receive it.

Item 45: Sections 772 and 774

Item 45 will repeal sections 772 and 774 relating to the qualification requirements for the special needs age pension and the special needs wife pension, as people can no longer qualify for these pensions and no person continues to receive it.

Item 46: Paragraphs 796(1)(a) and (c)

Item 46 will repeal paragraphs 796(1)(a) and (c) as they relate to the special needs age pension and the special needs wife pension which people can no longer qualify for or continue to receive.

Item 47: Subsection 796(4)

Item 47 removes a reference to special needs sole parent pension from subsection 796(4), as people can no longer qualify for this pension and no person continues to receive it.

 

Item 48: Point 796-B5 (heading)

Item 49: Paragraph 796-B5(a)

Item 50: Paragraph 796-B5(c)

Item 51: Point 796-B6 (heading)

Item 52: Paragraph 796-B6(a)

Item 53: Subparagraphs 796-B6(d)(i) and (ii)

Items 48 to 53 will remove references to the special needs age pension, as people can no longer qualify for this pension and no person continues to receive it.

Item 54: Point 796-B7

Item 54 will repeal Point 796-B7 which relates to the special needs wife pension, as people can no longer qualify for this pension and no person continues to receive it.

Item 55: Point 796-B8 (heading)

Item 55 will repeal the heading Australian working life residence (recipient of special needs sole parent pension or widow B pension) , and substitute with Australian working life residence (recipient of special needs widow B pension) , as people can no longer qualify for the special needs sole parent pension and no person continues to receive it.

Item 56: Paragraph 822(1)(a)

Item 56 will omit “age,” from paragraph 822(1)(a), as people can no longer qualify for the special needs age pension and no person continues to receive it.

Item 57: Paragraph 822(1)(a)

Item 57 will omit “or wife” from paragraph 822(1)(a), as people can no longer qualify for the special needs wife pension and no person continues to receive it.

Item 58: Parts 2.17 and 2.18

Item 58 will repeal the Parts 2.17 and 2.18. These parts outline the qualifications for the economic security strategy payment and the training and learning bonus, as well as the amount of economic security strategy payment and the training and learning bonus individuals are eligible for. People can no longer qualify for these payments and no person continues to receive them.

Item 59: Division 1 of Part 2.18A

Item 59 will repeal Division 1 of Part 2.18A, which relates to the necessary qualifications for the clean energy advance and the amount paid. People can no longer qualify for this payment and no person continues to receive it.

 

Item 60: Part 2.19A

Item 60 will repeal Part 2.19A, which outlines eligibility and amounts payable for one-off payments to carers eligible for carer allowance. People can no longer qualify for this payment and no person continues to receive it.

Item 61: Section 1047 (paragraph (b) of the definition of designated social security payment )

Item 61 will repeal paragraph (b) relating to the mature age allowance from the definition of designated social security payment , as people can no longer qualify for this allowance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 62: Subsection 1061EE(1)

Item 62 will omit “, mature age allowance under Part 2.12B” from subsection 1061EE(1), as people can no longer qualify for this payment and no person continues to receive it.

Item 63: Subsection 1061EE(3) (heading)

Item 63 will repeal the heading Formula for maximum amount of advance: widow allowance and mature age allowance , and substitute with Formula for maximum amount of advance: widow allowance, as people can no longer qualify for the mature age allowance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 64: Subsection 1061EE(3)

Item 65: Subsection 1061EE(6) (paragraph (b) of the definition of fortnightly payment rate )

Items 64 and 65 will omit references to the mature age allowance as people can no longer qualify for this payment and no person continues to receive it.

Item 66: Subsection 1061EN(2)

Item 67: Subsection 1061EX(7)

Items 66 and 67 will omit “, 660YCH” as it relates to the mature age allowance which people can no longer qualify for or continue to receive.

Item 68: Subsection 1061JU(4) (subparagraph (f)(v) of the definition of maximum basic rate )

Item 69: Subsection 1061JU(4) (paragraphs (g) and (j) of the definition of maximum basic rate )

Items 68 and 69 will repeal the paragraphs relating to the mature age allowance and the mature age partner allowance, which people can no longer qualify for and no person continues to receive.

Item 70: Subsection 1061Q(3B)

Item 70 will repeal subsection 1061Q(3B). This subsection relates to the mature age allowance, which people can no longer qualify for and no person continues to receive.

 

Item 71: Paragraph 1061Q(3C)(a)

Item 72: Paragraph 1061Q(3C)(b)

Item 73: Paragraph 1061Q(3C)(e)

Item 74: Paragraph 1061Q(3C)(e)

Items 71 to 74 will remove references to the mature age allowance in relation to qualification for telephone allowance, as people can no longer qualify for the mature age allowance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 75: Subparagraph 1061T(1)(a)(ii)

Item 75 will omit “a mature age allowance,” from subparagraph 1061T(1)(a)(ii) as people can no longer qualify for this payment and no person continues to receive it.

Item 76: Part 2.27

Item 76 will repeal Part 2.27. This Part outlines qualification for, payability of, and rate of Northern Territory CDEP Transition Payment. People can no longer qualify for this payment and no person continues to receive it.

Item 77: Subsection 1061ZA(1)

Item 78: Subsection 1061ZA(1A)

Items 77 and 78 will remove references to the mature age allowance in relation to qualification for the pensioner concession card, as people can no longer qualify for allowance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 79: Section 1061ZB

Item 79 will repeal Section 1061ZB, which outlines the extended qualification rule for former recipients of mature age allowance, as people can no longer qualify for this payment and no person continues to receive it.

Item 80: Subsection 1061ZC(3)

Item 81: Subsection 1061ZD(5)

Item 82: Subsection 1061ZE(5)

Item 83: Subsection 1061ZEA(4)

Items 80 to 83 will omit “or a mature age allowance under Part 2.12B”, as people can no longer qualify for this allowance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 84: Subparagraph 1061ZUC(1)(a)(i)

Item 84 will make an « amendment » consequential to the removal of section 1061ZB.

Item 85: Paragraph 1064(1)(d)

Item 85 will omit “and” from paragraph 1064(1)(d).

Item 86: Paragraphs 1064(1)(f) and (g)

Item 86 will repeal paragraphs 1064(1)(f) and (g), which relate to the mature age allowance and the mature age partner allowance, as people can no longer qualify for these payments and no person continues to receive them.

Item 87: Subparagraphs 1064(5)(b)(v) and (7)(b)(v)

Item 87 will repeal subparagraphs 1064(5)(b)(v) and (7)(b)(v) which relate to the mature age allowance, as people can no longer qualify for this payment and no person continues to receive it.

Item 88: Paragraph 1064-E3(a)

Item 88 will omit “, carer pension, mature age allowance under Part 2.12A or mature age partner allowance”, and substitute with “or carer pension” from paragraph 1064-E3(a), as people can no longer qualify for the mature age allowance or the mature age partner allowance and no person continues to receive them.

Item 89: Point 1066-A1 (note 3)

Item 89 will make an « amendment » consequential to the removal of Part 2.5A (One-off payments to carers eligible for carer payment).

Item 90: Section 1067G (table items 8 and 9 in Module L of the Youth Allowance Rate Calculator)

Item 90 will repeal table items 8 and 9 in Module L of the Youth Allowance Rate Calculator from section 1067G, thereby removing references to the mature age allowance and mature age partner allowance, as people can no longer qualify for these allowances and no person continues to receive them.

Item 91: Section 1068 (heading)

Item 92: Paragraph 1068(1)(ca)

Item 93: Subsection 1068(3) (note 1)

Item 94: Point 1068-B1

Item 95: Point 1068-B1 (table item 5A)

Item 96: Point 1068-B1B

Item 97: Subparagraph 1068-D1(c)(ia)

Item 98: Paragraph 1068-G8A(a)

Item 99: Paragraph 1070(e)

Item 100: Section 1070H (heading)

Item 101: Section 1070Q (heading)

Item 102: Paragraph 1073(2)(f)

Item 103: Subsection 1161(4)

Items 91 to 103 will remove references to the mature age allowance, as people can no longer qualify for this allowance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 104: Subsection 1161(7)

Item 104 will repeal subsection 1161(7), and substitute with:

             (7)  Despite subsection (1), Division 4 does not apply to a disability support wife pension received by a person if:

                     (a)  the compensation was received by the person on or after 1 May 1987 but before 1 January 1994; and

                     (b)  the claim for the pension was made on or after 1 May 1987 but before 1 January 1994.

This will remove reference to a special needs disability support wife pension, as people can no longer qualify for this pension and no person continues to receive it.

Item 105: Subsection 1185(5) (paragraph (b) of the definition of dependency-based payment )

Item 105 will repeal paragraph (b) of subsection 1185(5) relating to the mature age allowance from the definition of dependency-based payment , as people can no longer qualify for this allowance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 106 : Subparagraph 1187(1)(a)(vi)

Item 107: Subparagraphs 1187(1)(a)(vii) and (viii)

Item 108: Subparagraph 1187(1A)(a)(iva)

Item 109: Subparagraph 1187(1A)(a)(va)

Item 110: Subparagraph 1187(2)(a)(i)

Item 111: Subparagraph 1187(2)(a)(iii)

Item 112: Subparagraph 1187(2)(c)(ii)

Item 113: Subparagraph 1187(2)(c)(iii)

Item 114: Subparagraphs 1188C(1)(a)(x) and (xi)

Item 115 Subparagraph 1188C(3)(a)(vi)

Item 116: Subsection 1188C(5) (table items 13, 14, 15, 29 and 30)

Item 117: Subparagraphs 1188D(2)(a)(ix) and (x)

Item 118: Subparagraph 1188F(2)(a)(vi)

Item 119: Subparagraph 1188F(2)(a)(vii)

Item 120: Subparagraphs 1188F(2)(b)(ix) and (x)

Item 121: Section 1190 (table item 28, column 4)

Item 122: Section 1217 (table items 16 and 17)

Item 123: Subsection 1218A(1)

Items 106 to 123 will remove references to the newstart allowance, mature age allowance and mature age partner allowance, as people can no longer qualify for these allowances and no person continues to receive them.

Item 124: Sections 1223ABAA, 1223ABA and 1223ABAAA

Item 124 will repeal sections 1223ABAA, 1223ABA and 1223ABAAA. This will remove references to redundant one-off payments to older Australians, redundant one-off payments to carers, and debts arising in respect of redundant economic security strategy payments.

Item 125: Section 1223ABAAB

Item 125 will repeal section 1223ABAAB. This will remove references to the training and learning bonuses, as people can no longer qualify for these bonuses and no person continues to receive them.

Item 126: Section 1224

Item 126 will repeal section 1224 which relates to debts associated with the clean energy advance. People can no longer qualify for this advance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 127: Paragraph 1231(1AA)(b)

Item 127 will omit “an economic security strategy payment,” from paragraph 1231(1AA)(b), as people can no longer qualify for this payment and no person continues to receive it.

Social Security (Administration) Act 1999

Item 128: Sections 12A, 12AAA, 12AA, 12AB and 12K

Item 128 will repeal sections 12A, 12AAA, 12AA, 12AB and 12K. This will remove references to redundant one-off payments to the aged; redundant one-off payments to older Australians; redundant one-off payments to carers; the redundant economic security strategy payment or training and learning bonus; and the redundant clean energy advance.

Item 129: Paragraphs 37(4)(a) and (b)

Item 129 will repeal paragraphs 37(4)(a) and (b) to remove references to mature age allowance, as people can no longer qualify for this allowance and no person continues to receive it.

Item 130: Subsection 47(1) (paragraphs (g), (ga), (gb) and (gc) of the definition of lump sum benefit )

Item 131: Subsection 47(1) (paragraphs (h) to (hs), (ht), (hu) and (k) of the definition of lump sum benefit )

Item 132: Sections 47A, 47AA, 47B, 47C and 47D

Items 130 to 132 will repeal sections 47A, 47AA, 47B, 47C and 47D to remove references to redundant one-off payments.

Item 133: Paragraphs 52(1)(e) and (f)

Item 133 will repeal paragraphs 52(1)(e) and (f) to remove the references to the mature age allowance and mature age partner allowance, as people can no longer qualify for these allowances and no person continues to receive them.

Item 134: Paragraph 52(1)(k)

Item 134 will make a technical « amendment » to paragraph 52(1)(k).

Item 135: Paragraph 52(1)(l)

Item 135 will repeal paragraph 52(1)(l) to remove a reference to the Northern Territory CDEP transition payment, as people can no longer qualify for this payment and no person continues to receive it.

Item 136: Paragraphs 66(1)(f) and (i)

Item 136 will repeal paragraphs 66(1)(f) and (i) to remove references to the special needs age pension and the special needs wife pension, as people can no longer qualify for these pensions and no person continues to receive them.

Item 137: Section 123TC (paragraph (r) of the definition of category I welfare payment )

Item 138: Section 123TC (paragraph (a) of the definition of clean energy income-managed payment )

Item 139: Section 123TC (definition of economic security strategy payment )

Item 140: Section 123TC (definition of household stimulus payment )

Item 141: Section 123TC (paragraph (k) of the definition of social security bereavement payment )

Items 137 to 141 will make consequential to the repeal of the spent social security payments, by repealing references to spent payments in the definitions in section 123TC.

Item 142: Subdivision DB of Division 5 of Part 3B

Item 142 will repeal Subdivision DB of Division 5 of Part 3B, removing the reference to redundant economic security strategy payments and household stimulus payments that people can no longer qualify for or continue to receive .

Item 143: Paragraph 144(daa)

Item 143 will repeal Paragraph 144(daa) to remove the reference to the Northern Territory CDEP transition payment, as people can no longer qualify for this payment and no person continues to receive it.

Item 144: Subclause 1(1) of Schedule 1 (paragraph (j) of the definition of social security periodic payment )

Item 144 will repeal subclause 1(1) of Schedule 1 (paragraph (j) of the definition of social security periodic payment ), to remove reference to the Northern Territory CDEP transition payment, as people can no longer qualify for this payment and no person continues to receive it.

Division 2 - Other Amendments

Income Tax Assessment Act 1936

Item 145: Subsection 160AAA(1) (paragraph (a) of the definition of rebatable benefit)

Item 146: Subsection 160AAA(1) (paragraph (d) of the definition of rebatable benefit)

Items 145 and 146 will make amendments consequential to the removal of the mature age allowance and the Northern Territory CDEP transition payment. These amendments are required as the provisions in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (the ITA Act 1936) providing that the mature age allowance and the Northern Territory CDEP transition payment are a rebatable benefit are now redundant.

Income Tax Assessment Act 1997

Item 147: Section 11-15 (table item headed “social security or like payments”)

Item 148: Section 11-15 (table item headed “social security or like payments”)

Item 149: Section 11-15 (table item headed “social security or like payments”)

Item 150: Section 11-15 (table item headed “social security or like payments”)

Item 151: Section 11-15 (table item headed “social security or like payments”)

Item 152: Section 11-15 (table item headed “social security or like payments”)

Item 153: Paragraphs 52-10(1)(ba) to (w)

Item 154: Paragraphs 52-10(1)(x) and (y)

Item 155: Subsections 52-10(1CA) to 1E)

Item 156: Subsections 52-10(1F) and (1G)

Item 157: Section 52-10 (table items 15.1, 16.1, 17.1, 26.1 and 30.1 to 30.4)

Item 158: Section 52-15 (table item 1)

Item 159: Section 52-15 (table item 1)

Item 160: Subsection 52-20(3) (table items 7 and 8)

Item 161: Subsection 52-25(1) (table)

Item 162: Subsection 52-25(1) (table)

Item 163: Subsection 52-30(1) (table)

Item 164: Section 52-40 (table items 15, 16, 17, 26 and 30)

Item 165: Sections 52-160 and 52-165

Items 147 to 165 will make amendments consequential to the removal of the spent social security payments. These amendments are required as there is no longer a need to give special tax treatment to these redundant payments.

Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986

Item 166: Paragraph 5H(8)(pab)

Item 167: Subsection 118ND(4) (paragraph (k) of the definition of bereavement payment provisions )

Items 166 and 167 will make amendments consequential to the removal of spent one-off payments to carers eligible for carer payment or carer allowance, and mature age allowances and mature age partner allowance.

Division 3 - Saving provisions

Item 168: Savings provisions

Subitem 168(1) provides that chapter 5 of the Social Security Act 1991 (the SS Act) (which provides for overpayments and debt recovery) will continue to apply in relation to the following payments:

·          one-off payments to the aged and older Australians,

·          one-off payments to carers eligible for carer payment and carer allowance,

·          economic security strategy payment,

·          training and learning bonus;

·          farmers hardship bonus,

·          mature age allowances,

·          special needs age pension and special needs wife pension,

·          Northern Territory CDEP transition payment; and

·          clean energy advance.

This is intended to ensure that the capacity to recover and waive debts in relation to people who may owe debts relating to these spent payments are preserved.

Subitem 168(2) provides that Subdivision DE of Division 5 of Part 3B of the SSA Act (which provides for income management deductions from clean energy payments) continues to apply. Clean energy payments may be payable on or after the commencement of this Part only in the situation where a person sought review of an original decision regarding the clean energy advance that was made before commencement of this Item. If such a review resulted in a decision favourable to the customer, the ability to make a clean energy advance on or after commencement is preserved.

This is to preserve the capacity to make deductions under the income management regime in relation to clean energy advance payments.

Subitem 168(3) provides that Part 3B of the SSA Act (which provides for income management of social security payments) continues to apply in relation to the following payments:

  • an economic security strategy payment;
  • a household stimulus payment; and
  • a Northern Territory CDEP transition payment;

that was made before the commencement of this Item.

This is to preserve the capacity for income management to apply in relation to these payments, if the payments were made before commencement.

Subitem 168(4) provides that Part 4 of the of the SSA Act (which provides for review of decisions) continues to apply in relation to a decision made by the Secretary relating to the payment to a person of clean energy advance, where the decision is made before the commencement of this Item.

This is to preserve the right of a person to seek a review of a decision in relation to the payment of clean energy advance, if the decision was made before the commencement of this Item.

Subitem 168(5) provides that section 47D (which provides for payment of clean energy advance) of the SSA Act continues in effect in relation to a decision made by the Secretary relating to the payment to a person of clean energy advance, if the decision is made on or after the commencement of this Item.

Subitem 168(6) provides that subsection 52-10(1L) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (the ITA Act 1997) (which provides that clean energy advances are exempt from the income test) continues to apply in relation to a payment of clean energy advance.

Subitem 168(7) provides that Subdivision B of Division 17 of Part III of the ITA Act 1936 (which relate to tax rebate) continues to apply in relation to any payment under Part 2.12B or 2.27 of the SSA Act, including mature age allowance and the Northern Territory CDEP transition payments, that were made before the commencement of this Item.

Part 3 - Removal of spent family assistance payments

Outline

This part repeals provisions in relation to the following spent family assistance payments:

  • one-off payment to families;
  • economic security strategy payment to families;
  • back to school bonus and single income family bonus;
  • schoolkids bonus;
  • Education Tax Refund (ETR) payment; and
  • clean energy advances.

Removing these redundant provisions to payments that people can no longer qualify for or continue to receive will simplify legislation and make legislation more accessible for individuals wishing to interpret current provisions

Notes on Clauses

Division 1 - Main Amendments

A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999

Item 169: Subsection 3(1) (definition of back to school bonus )

Item 170: Subsection 3(1) (definition of clean energy advance )

Item 171: Subsection 3(1) (definition of economic security strategy payment to families )

Item 172: Subsection 3(1) (definition of ETR payment )

Item 173: Subsection 3(1) (definition of one-off payment to families )

Item 174: Subsection 3(1) (definition of single income family bonus )

Items 169 to 174 will make amendments consequential to the repeal of the spent family assistance payments, by repealing references to the spent payments in the definitions in subsection 3(1).

Item 175: Parts 5 to 8

Item 175 will repeal Part 5 to Part 8 of the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999 , which sets out the qualification criteria, rate calculation and other provisions relating to the following spent family assistance payments:

  • one-off payment to families (Part 5);
  • economic security strategy payment to families (Part 6);
  • back to school bonus and single income family bonus (Part 7);
  • ETR payment (Part 7A); and
  • clean energy advances (Part 8).

A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999

Item 176: Subsection 32A(3)

Item 176 will remove references to spent clean energy advances relating to Family Tax Benefit (FTB) reconciliation in subsection 32A(3).

Item 177: Divisions 4A, 4B, 4C, 4CA and 4D of Part 3

Item 177 will repeal the following Divisions of Part 3, which provide for the payment of spent family assistance payments:

  • Division 4A-One-off payment to families,
  • Division 4B-Economic security strategy payment to families,
  • Division 4C-Back to school bonus and single income family bonus,
  • Division 4CA-ETR payment, and
  • Division 4D-Clean energy advances

Item 178: Paragraph 66(1)(fb)

Item 179: Paragraphs 66(1)(g) to (k)

Items 178 to 179 will remove references to the spent family assistance payments in relation to inalienability of payments in subsection 66(1).

 

Item 180: Section 70

Item 181: Section 70

Item 182: Sections 71I, 71J, 71K, 71L and 71M

Item 183: Paragraph 74(a)

Item 184: Subsection 82(3) (paragraph (a) of the definition of debt )

Item 185: Subsection 93A(6) (paragraph (bf) of the definition of family assistance payment )

Item 186: Subsection 93A(6) (paragraphs (c) to (g) of the definition of family assistance payment )

Items 180 to 186 will remove references to the spent family assistance payments in relation to debts in sections 70, 71I, 71J, 71K, 71L and 71M, paragraph 74(a) and subsections 82(3) and 93A(6).

Item 187: Subsection 106(3)

Item 188: Subsection 109D(4)

Item 189: Paragraph 109D(5)(a)

Items 187 to 189 will remove references to the spent family assistance payments in relation to review of decisions in subsections 106(3) and 109D(4) and paragraph 109D(5)(a).

Item 190: Section 219TA (paragraph (hb) of the definition of relevant benefit )

Item 191: Section 219TA (paragraphs (i) to (m) of the definition of relevant benefit )

Items 190 to 191 will remove references to the spent family assistance payments in relation to payment nominees in section 219TA.

Division 2 - Other Amendments

Income Tax Assessment Act 1997

Item 192: Section 11-15 (table item headed “family assistance”)

Item 193: Section 11-15 (table item headed “family assistance”)

Item 194: Section 11-15 (table item headed “family assistance”)

Item 195: Section 11-15 (table item headed “family assistance”)

Item 196: Section 11-15 (table item headed “social security or like payments”)

Item 197: Section 52-150

 

 

Item 198: Section 52-162

Items 192 to 198 will make amendments consequential to the removal of spent family assistance payments. These amendments are required as the various provisions in the ITA Act 1997 giving special tax treatment to the spent family assistance payments are now redundant.

Social Security Act 1991

Item 199: Paragraph 8(8)(jaa)

Item 200: Paragraph 8(8)(jaba)

Item 201: Paragraph 916D(5)(b)

Items 199 to 201 will remove references to the spent family assistance payments from the list of amounts that are excluded from the concept of income in subsection 8(8) and paragraph 916D(5)(b).

Social Security (Administration) Act 1999

Item 202: Section 123TC (paragraph (c) of the definition of clean energy income-managed payment )

Item 203: Section 123TC (definition of ETR income-managed payment )

Items 202 and 203 will remove references to clean energy advances and ETR payments in definitions relating to income management in section 123TC.

Item 204: Subdivision DF of Division 5 of Part 3B

Item 204 will repeal subdivision DF of Division 5 of part 3B which provides for deductions from ETR income-managed payments.

Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986

Item 205: Paragraph 5H(8)(paa)

Item 206: Paragraph 5H(8)(zzb)

Item 207: Paragraph 5H(8)(zzh)

Items 205 to 207 will make amendments consequential to the removal of spent family assistance payments, by removing references to the spent family assistance payments from the list of amounts that are excluded from the concept of income.

 

 

 

Division 3 - Saving provisions

Item 208: Savings provisions

Subitem 208(1) provides that Divisions 4CA and 4D of Part 3 (child care rebate) and Part 8B (nominees) of the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999 (the Family Assistance Administration Act) continue to apply for the purposes of any payment of clean energy advance or ETR payment.

Subitem 208(2) provides that Part 4 of the Family Assistance Administration Act (overpayment and debt recovery) continues to apply in relation to a payment of one-off payment to families, economic security strategy payment to families, back to school bonus and single income family bonus, ETR payment or clean energy advance.

This is to ensure the capacity to recover and waive debts in relation to people who owe debts relating to these payments is preserved.

Subitem 208(3) provides that Part 5 of the Family Assistance Administration Act (review of decisions) continues to apply in relation to a decision relating to the payment to a person of clean energy advance or ETR payment.

This is to preserve the right of a person to seek a review of a decision in relation to the payment of clean energy advance or ETR payment.

Subitem 208(4) provides that sections 52-150 and 52-162 of the ITA Act 1997 continue to apply in relation to a payment of clean energy advance or schoolkids bonus.

The effect of this savings provision is to preserve the exemption from income tax of the clean energy advance and the schoolkids bonus.

Subitem 208(5) provides that paragraphs 8(8)(jaa) and (jaba) of the SS Act continue to apply in relation to a payment of clean energy advance or ETR payment or the schoolkids bonus, made before, on or after commencement. That is, these payments will continue to be excluded from the definition of ‘income’ for the purposes of the SS Act.

Subitem 208(6) provides that paragraph 916D(5)(b) of the SS Act (which is about the excluded payment requirement under the qualification for low income supplement) continues to apply in relation to a day occurring before commencement.

Subitem 208(7) provides that subdivision DE of Division 5 of Part 3B of the SSA Act (which provides for deductions from clean energy income-managed payments) continues to apply in relation to a clean energy advance.

This is to preserve the capacity to make deductions under the income management regime in relation to clean energy advance payments.

 

Subitem 208(8) provides that subdivision DF of Division 5 of Part 3B of the SSA Act (which provides for deductions from ETR income managed payments) continues to apply in relation to an ETR income-managed payment.

This is to preserve the capacity to make deductions under the income management regime in relation to ETR income-managed payments.

Subitem 208(9) provides that paragraphs 5H(8)(paa) and (zzh) of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (the VE Act) continue to apply in relation to a payment of clean energy advance or ETR payment or the schoolkids bonus. The effect is that these payments will continue to be excluded from the definition of ‘income’ for the purposes of the VE Act .

 



Schedule 13 - Treasury

Outline

Schedule 13 will repeal inoperative Acts and provisions and make a number of consequential amendments to other Acts so as to remove references to those inoperative Acts. These measures remove unnecessary laws to make the stock of Commonwealth legislation easier to « use » . This is consistent with the Government’s Regulatory Reform Agenda to cut unnecessary and ineffective legislation.

Part 1 - Repeals of Acts and related provisions

Outline

Part 1 will repeal the Papua and New Guinea Loan (International Bank) Act 1970 (the PNGL Act), Statistical Bureau (Tasmania) Act 1924 , Statistics (Arrangement with States) Act 1956 , Termination Payments Tax (Assessment and Collection) Act 1997 and the Termination Payments Tax Imposition Act 1997.

Notes on Clauses

Division 1 - Repeal of Acts

Papua and New Guinea Loan (International Bank) Act 1970

Item 1: The whole of the Act

Item 1 will repeal the PNGL Act. The Act approved a Commonwealth guarantee of US$4.5 million on a loan made to Papua New Guinea by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and came into effect on 31 December 1973.

The PNGL Act prescribes the terms of the guarantee agreement between the Australian Government and the IBRD, as well as the terms of the loan agreement between Papua New Guinea and the IBRD (both signed on 24 June 1970). Under the loan amortisation schedule, the longest dated loan covered under the loan agreement was scheduled to mature on 15 June 1994. The IBRD has confirmed that the loan has been repaid in full.

Statistical Bureau (Tasmania) Act 1924

Item 2: The whole of the Act

Item 2 will repeal the Statistical Bureau (Tasmania) Act 1924 . The Act approved an agreement made between the Commonwealth of Australia and Tasmania to facilitate the integration of the statistical office of Tasmania into the Commonwealth, and for the Commonwealth to compile and issue statistics specifically for Tasmania. This Act is now redundant due to the completion of the integration.

 

Statistics (Arrangement with States) Act 1956

Item 3: The whole of the Act

Item 3 will repeal the Statistics (Arrangement with States) Act 1956 . The enabling provisions of this Act are duplicated in other legislation, mainly section 6 of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 and section 6 of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 . As a result, this Act is considered redundant.

Termination Payments Tax (Assessment and Collection) Act 1997

Item 4: The whole of the Act

Termination Payments Tax Imposition Act 1997

Item 5: The whole of the Act

Items 4 and 5 will repeal the Termination Payments Tax (Assessment and Collection) Act 1997 and the Termination Payments Tax Imposition Act 1997 . The Acts were enacted in 1997 when the termination payments tax was introduced and formed part of a package of legislation designed to give a legislative framework for the introduction of a superannuation contributions surcharge for high income earners.

The termination payment tax applied to termination payments made after 7:30pm, by legal time in the Australian Capital Territory, on 20 August 1996 and before 1 July 2005.

A termination payment is generally the taxable component of certain types of employment termination payments.

It has almost been 10 years since the last termination payment was made that was subject to the tax. Relevant assessments have been issued and the general « amendment » period has expired for almost all taxpayers. The termination payments tax Acts have become inoperative and are therefore being repealed.

Division 2 - Amendments consequential on repeal of statistical legislation

Long Service Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1976

Item 6: Paragraph 24(3)(c)

Item 6 will update the Long Service Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1976 by amending the reference to the Statistics (Arrangement with States) Act 1956 to reflect the proposed repeal of the Statistics (Arrangement with States) Act 1956 .

Division 3 - Amendments consequential on repeal of Termination Payments Tax legislation

Income Tax Assessment Act 1936

Item 7: Paragraph 202(l)

Item 8: Subsection 202DH(1)

Item 9: Subsection 202DJ(1)

Income Tax Assessment Act 1997

Item 10: Section 12-5 (table item headed “termination payments surcharge”)

Item 11: Section 26-65

Item 12: Subsection 995-1(1) (table item 30 in the definition of assessment )

Retirement Savings Accounts Act 1997

Item 13: Section 16 (paragraph (d) of the definition of Superannuation Acts )

Item 14: Section 16 (paragraph (e) of the definition of Superannuation Acts )

Item 15: Section 16 (definition of Surcharge Acts )

Item 16: Subsection 136(1)

Item 17: Subsections 147A(2) and (3)

Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993

Item 18: Section 299W (paragraph (d) of the definition of Superannuation Acts )

Item 19: Section 299W (paragraph (e) of the definition of Superannuation Acts )

Item 20: Section 299W (paragraph (b) of the definition of Surcharge Acts )

Item 21: Section 299W (paragraph (c) of the definition of Surcharge Acts )

Taxation Administration Act 1953

Item 22: Subsection 8AAB(4) (table items 50 and 51)

Item 23: Subsection 250-10(2) in Schedule 1 (table item 145)

Taxation (Interest on Overpayments and Early Payments) Act 1983

Item 24: Part IID

Items 7 to 24 will amend various taxation and superannuation Acts to remove references to the Termination Payments Tax legislation repealed in Items 4 and 5 of this Schedule.

Division 4 - Savings provisions relating to repeal of Termination Payments Tax legislation

Item 25: Object

Item 26: Making and amending assessments, and doing other things, in relation to past matters

Item 27: Saving of provisions about effect of assessments

Item 28: Saving of provisions about general interest charge, failure to notify penalty or late reconciliation statement penalty

Item 29: Repeals disregarded for the purposes of dependent provisions

Item 30: Division does not limit operation of section 7 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901

Items 25 to 30 will provide for transitional and savings provisions. The transitional and savings provisions applying to the repeal of the termination payments tax ensure that the administration, collection and recovery of liabilities under those provisions relating to past tax years can still occur despite the repeal of those provisions. They also preserve the rights and obligations of taxpayers relating to past years and of the Commissioner of Taxation in relation to those past years.

Part 2 - Other amendments

Outline

Part 2 will repeal the standing appropriation in subsection 92Q(5) of the Insurance Act 1973 (the IA Act) which is redundant.

Notes on Clauses

Insurance Act 1973

Item 31: Subsection 92Q(5)

Item 31 will repeal the standing appropriation in subsection 92Q(5) of the IA Act.

Under section 92Q of the Act, Lloyd's, or a company nominated by Lloyd's, is required to make a security deposit of A$2 million with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. The deposit is intended to meet administrative costs in administering the judicial trusteeship of security trust funds.

Section 92Q also requires the return of any interest on the A$2 million security deposit on application by Lloyd's. This requirement to pay interest is intended to maintain equality of treatment between Lloyd's and other corporate insurers who under the Act are free to invest the solvency margin amount and take the benefits from the investment.

Section 92Q(5) provides that the Consolidated Revenue Fund is to be appropriated for payment of interest to Lloyd’s. This standing appropriation is no longer necessary. This is as a result of Financial Management and Accountability Determination 2006/26 - Lloyd’s Deposit Trust Special Account Establishment 2006, a determination under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (the FMA Act) . This determination, in conjunction with the provisions of the FMA Act, provides the requisite appropriation authority to pay interest to Lloyds consistent with section 92Q(5) of the IA Act.



Schedule 14 - Veterans’ Affairs

Outline

Schedule 14 will repeal redundant and spent provisions to Acts administered in the Veterans’ Affairs portfolio, concerning benefits that are no longer payable, and make amendments consequential to those repeals. The Schedule will also make some minor corrections to clarify existing provisions of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 ( the VE Act) .

Part 1 - Removal of spent veterans’ affairs payments

Outline

Part 1 will repeal redundant and spent provisions related to various one-off payments made between 2006 and 2013 and correct minor errors in existing provisions in the VE Act. Part 1 will also make consequential amendments to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (the ITA Act 1997), the Social Security Act 1991 (the SS Act) and the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 (the SSA Act) resulting from the repeal of redundant and spent provisions of the VE Act.

Notes on Clauses

Division 1 - Main amendments

Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986

Item 1: Paragraphs 5H(8)(zzaa to zzag)

Item 2: Paragraph 5H(8)(zzai)

Item 3: Paragraphs 5H(8)(zzc) to (zzg)

Items 1 to 3 will repeal paragraphs that refer to the various one-off payments repealed by Item 8 of this Part, and equivalent payments payable under provisions of other Acts that are to be repealed by this « Bill » .

Item 4: Subsection 5Q(1) (definition of clean energy advance )

Item 5: Subsection 5(Q)(1) (paragraph (a) of the definition of clean energy bonus )

Item 6: Subsection 5(Q)(1) (paragraph (a) of the definition of clean energy payment )

Items 4 to 6 will repeal the definition of “clean energy advance” and remove references to the payment in the definitions of “clean energy bonus” and “clean energy payment”. The clean energy advance will no longer be payable as a result of the repeal of Division 1 of Part IIIE by Item 7 of this Part. People can no longer qualify for these payments and no person continues to receive them.

Item 7: Division 1 of Part IIIE

Item 7 will repeal the redundant and spent Division 1 of Part IIIE, which provides for the payment of a clean energy advance to persons who were in receipt of a payment under the VE Act during the period from 14 May 2012 to 19 March 2013. People can no longer qualify for these payments and no person continues to receive them.

Item 8: Parts VIID to VIIH

Item 8 will repeal Parts VIID to VIIH, which provided for the payment of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 one-off payments to older Australians, the economic security strategy payment and the Educational Tax Refund (ETR) payment.

The current provisions are redundant as the spent payments were all payable on a one-off basis by being linked to eligibility for a payment under the VE Act on particular days during the years 2006 to 2013.

Division 2 - Other amendments

Notes on Clauses

Income Tax Assessment Act 1997

Item 9: Section 11-15 (table item headed “social security or like payments”)

Item 10: Section 11-15 (table item headed “social security or like payments”)

Item 11: Paragraphs 52-65(1)(d) and (da)

Item 12: Subsections 52-65(1D) and (1H)

Item 13: Section 52-75 (table items 5B and 5C)

Items 9 to 13 are consequential amendments to repeal items and provisions of the ITA Act 1997 that refer to the economic security strategy and ETR payments made under Parts VIIG and VIIH of the VE Act (repealed by Item 8 of this Part).

Social Security Act 1991

Item 14: Subparagraph 8(8)(y)(ia)

Item 15: Paragraphs 8(8)(yb), (yd), (yf), (yh) and (yhb)

Items 14 and 15 are consequential amendments to the SS Act to repeal provisions that provide that certain payments made under the VE Act (repealed by Item 8 of this Part) are exempt income for the purposes of the SS Act. People can no longer qualify for these payments and no person continues to receive them.

 

 

 

Social Security (Administration) Act 1999

Item 16: Section 123TC (paragraph (b) of the definition of clean energy income-managed payment )

Item 16 is a consequential « amendment » to remove a reference to the “clean energy advance” that was payable under the VE Act. The payment is no longer payable as a result of the repeal of Division 1 of Part IIIE of the VE Act (repealed by Item 7 of this Part). People can no longer qualify for these payments and no person continues to receive them.

Division 3 - Saving provisions

Item 17: Saving provisions

Item 17 is a saving provision. Despite the repeal of provisions and the amendments made by this Part, the provisions continue to apply on and after the commencement of this Item, in relation to payments of the clean energy advance, one-off payments, economic security strategy payments or an ETR payment for the following purposes:

  • payments of clean energy advance made under Subdivision D of Division 1 of Part IIIE of the VE Act;
  • recovery of debts concerning clean energy advances determined under Subdivision E of Division 1 of Part IIIE of the VE Act;
  • payments of the ETR payment under section 118ZZVH of the VE Act;
  • recovery of debts concerning payments under Parts VIID to VIIH under sections 205 and 206 of the VE Act;
  • tax exemption for the purposes of the ITA Act 1997 under subsections 52-65(1G) and (1H) for clean energy advances and ETR payments;
  • income test exemption for ETR payments for the purposes of the VE Act under paragraph 5H(8)(zzai);
  • income test exemption for ETR payments for the purposes of the SS Act under paragraph 8(8)(yhb); and
  • classification of a clean energy advance under Division 1 of Part IIIE of the VE Act as a “clean energy income-managed payment” for the purposes of Subdivision DE of Division 5 of part 3B of the SSA Act.

 

 

 

Part 2 - Removal of spent « military » rehabilitation and compensation payments

Outline

Part 2 will repeal redundant and spent provisions in the « Military » Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (the MRC Act) related to the payment of the clean energy advance for the period from 2012 to 2013. Part 2 also makes consequential amendments to the ITA Act 1997 resulting from the amendments to repeal redundant and spent provisions of the MRC Act.

Notes on Clauses

Division 1 - Main amendments

« Military » Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004

Item 18: Subsection 5(1) (definition of clean energy advance )

Item 19: Subsection 5(1) (paragraph (a) of the definition of clean energy bonus )

Item 20: Subsection 5(1) (definition of clean energy payment )

Items 18 to 20 will repeal the definition of “clean energy advance” and remove references to the payment in the definitions of “clean energy bonus” and “clean energy payment” as it will no longer be payable as a result of the repeal of Divisions 1 to 5 of Part 5A of Chapter 11 (repealed by Item 23 of this Part). People can no longer qualify for these payments and no person continues to receive them.

Item 21: Subsection 415(2)

Item 22: Subsection 415(2) (note)

Items 21 and 22 are consequential amendments to remove references to “section 424K” which is located in Division 5 of Part 5A of Chapter 11 (repealed by Item 23 of this Part).

Item 23: Divisions 1 to 5 of Part 5A of Chapter 11

Item 23 will repeal the redundant and spent Divisions 1 to 5 of Part 5A of Chapter 11 which provides for the payment of a clean energy advance to persons who were eligible for compensation under Part 2 of Chapter 4 of the MRC Act during the period from 14 May 2012 to 30 June 2013.

Division 2 - Other amendments

Income Tax Assessment Act 1997

Item 24: Section 52-114 (table item 22)

Item 24 is a consequential « amendment » to repeal a reference to a clean energy payment made under Part 5A of Chapter 11 of the MRC Act (repealed by Item 23 of this Part). People can no longer qualify for these payments and no person continues to receive them.

Division 3 - Saving provisions

Item 25: Saving provisions

Item 25 is a saving provision. Despite the repeal of provisions and the amendments made by this Part, the provisions continue to apply, on and after the commencement of this Item, in relation to payments of clean energy advance for the following purposes:

  • payments of clean energy advance under Division 4 of Part 5A of Chapter 11 of the MRC Act;
  • recovery of debts concerning clean energy advances determined under Division 5 of Part 5A of Chapter 11; and
  • tax exemption for the purposes of the ITA Act 1997 under table item 22 in sections 52-114 for clean energy advances.

Part 3 - Other amendments

Outline

Part 3 makes minor and technical amendments to the VE Act to clarify and implement the purpose of the provisions being amended.

Notes on Clauses

Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986

Item 26: Subsection 52B(4)

Item 26 is a minor correction to subsection 52B(4) to replace a reference to the “Commission” with a reference to the “Minister”. Subsection 52B(3) refers to a valuation being determined by the “Minister” under subsection 52B(4). A consequential « amendment » to subsection 52B(4) incorrectly replaced an earlier reference to the “Minister” with the reference to the “Commission”.

Item 27: Subsection 213(2)

Item 28: Subsection 213(4)

Items 27 and 28 correct an ambiguity in section 213 concerning a delegation by the Repatriation Commission of its powers and functions under the VE Act and its subordinate legislation.

Section 213 had originally provided for the delegation by the Repatriation Commission of its powers and functions under VE Act, the Regulations and other specified Acts.

Subsection 213(1) was subsequently amended to also provide for the delegation of the powers and functions of the Repatriation Commission under a legislative instrument made under the VE Act.

For the « amendment » to be clearly effective, consequential amendments should have been made to subsections 213(2) and (4).

The amendments made by Items 27 and 28 to subsections 213(2) and (4) make it clear that the legislation under which a delegation can be made will also include a legislative instrument made under the VE Act.

Item 29: Subsection 214(2)

Item 30: Subsection 214(4)

Items 29 and 30 correct an ambiguity in section 214 concerning a delegation by the Secretary of his or her powers and functions under the VE Act and its subordinate legislation.

Section 214 had originally provided for the delegation by the Secretary of his or her powers and functions under VE Act or the Regulations.

Subsection 214(1) was subsequently amended to also provide for the delegation of the powers and functions of the Secretary under a legislative instrument made under the VE Act.

For the « amendment » to be clearly effective, consequential amendments should have been made to subsections 214(2) and (4).

The amendments made by Items 29 and 30 to subsections 214(2) and (4) make it clear that the legislation under which a delegation can be made will also include a legislative instrument made under the VE Act.





Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act « 2011 » .

Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) « Bill » 2015

This « Bill » is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act « 2011 » .

Overview of the « Bill »

The Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) « Bill » 2015 (the « Bill » ) is a whole of government initiative to amend or repeal legislation across fourteen portfolios. The « Bill » brings forward measures to reduce regulatory burden for business, individuals and the community sector that are not the subject of an individual stand-alone « bill » .

Human rights implications

Schedule 1, Part 1

The proposed repeal of the Rural Adjustment Act 1992 does not engage any of the applicable human rights or freedoms because the Rural Adjustment Scheme and the Farm Business Improvement Program provided for under the Act have been superseded and the advisory functions of National Rural Advisory Council (the NRAC) can be carried out by the Agriculture Industry Advisory Council (AIAC).

The Proposed repeal of the Wool International Act 1993 and the Wool International Privatisation Act 1999 does not engage any applicable human rights because the Acts are is inoperative following the winding up of WoolStock Australia Limited.

Schedule 1, Part 2

The amendments to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 relating to the information that the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) must provide to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) do not engage any applicable human rights because the APVMA will still be required to provide all relevant information in relation to a proposal to vary the Maximum Residue Limits Standard.

Schedule 1, Part 3

The abolition of the APVMA Advisory Board, as proposed by the « Bill » , does not engage any applicable human rights. The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 contains a range of mechanisms for consultation with stakeholders that will not be affected by the abolition of the APVMA Advisory Board.

Schedule 1, Part 4

The proposed repeal of Part 3 of the Fisheries Administration Act 1991 , relating to the establishment of the Fishing Industry Policy Council does not engage any applicable human rights. A Fishing Industry Policy Council has never been convened since the Act commenced in 1991.

Schedule 1, Part 5

The proposed repeal of subsections 63(1) and 64(1) of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 relating to the provision of payments to industry marketing and research bodies, does not engage any applicable human rights because the Acts on which these provisions are based have been inoperative since 1 July 1999 and payments of the amounts specified in the repealed Acts listed above were finalised in 2008.

Schedule 2

The repeal of the Ordinances and Regulations (Notification) Act 1978 (the ORN Act) does not engage any applicable human rights. The ORN Act provides for the application of notification and publication requirements for certain instruments, such as ordinances, made before the Act commenced in 1978. It has the effect that for relevant instruments, Commonwealth or Australian Capital Territory laws governing the publication or notification of statutory instruments are not breached merely because a notice was published in the Gazette stating where copies of the instrument would be (and subsequently were not) made available.

Schedule 3, Part 1

The proposed repeal of provisions in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BC Act) to remove the reference to services that do no more than transmit program material supplied by National Indigenous TV Limited (NITV) does not engage any applicable human rights because these provisions are redundant now that the SBS has assumed television production and supply activities previously undertaken by NITV.

Schedule 3, Part 2

Part 2 of Schedule 3 to the « Bill » may engage the following human right:

General obligation to consult and actively involve persons with disabilities

The proposed amendments to consultation processes relating to the making of disability standards for telecommunications related customer equipment (Item 19 in Part 2 of Schedule 3) potentially engages the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The CRPD describes the elements that state parties are required to take into account to ensure the right to equality and

non-discrimination. Sub-Article 4(3) of the CRPD guarantees a right for persons with disabilities to be consulted and be actively involved in the development and implementation of legislation and policies to implement the CRPD, and in other decision-making processes concerning issues relating to persons with disabilities.

While the repeal of subsections 382(1) and (5) of the Telecommunications Act 1997 (the TC Act) will remove the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA’s) obligation under that Act to provide interested persons with an adequate opportunity to comment on proposed disability standards, it will not affect the separate consultation requirements contained in section 17 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 (the LI Act).

That section requires a rule-maker, subject to limited exceptions, to be satisfied that appropriate and reasonably practicable consultation has been undertaken prior to making a legislative instrument. In determining whether any consultation is appropriate, the rule-maker would have regard to the extent to which the consultation drew on the knowledge of persons with expertise in fields relevant to the proposed instrument; and ensured that persons likely to be affected by the proposed instrument had an adequate opportunity to comment (subsection 17(2) of the LI Act refers).

Accordingly, section 17 of the LI Act provides a separate statutory mechanism for those with an interest in disability standards, including persons with disabilities, to comment on those standards, notwithstanding the repeal of subsections 382(1) and (5) of the TC Act. While not identical, both consultation mechanisms are framed in terms of “practicable” consultation. Under section 382 of the TC Act, the ACMA must “ so far as is practicable, try to ensure that ” adequate consultation is undertaken. Under section 17 of the LI Act, a rule-maker must be satisfied that any consultation that is considered by the rule-maker to be “ appropriate ” and “ reasonably practicable ” has been undertaken before making a legislative instrument.

As a matter of practice, the LI Act consultation requirements will ensure that the views of persons with disabilities continue to be appropriately considered by the ACMA in the making of disability standards. Adequate consultation will also be necessary for practical reasons, to ensure the effectiveness of any standard in providing for features of customer equipment that cater for the special needs of persons with disabilities.

Part 5 of the LI Act also sets out a tabling and disallowance regime to facilitate parliamentary scrutiny of legislative instruments. In the present case, the consultation undertaken by the ACMA with respect to a disability standard must be set out in the associated explanatory statement that is tabled in Parliament. This provides an additional protection in the sense that, were Parliament dissatisfied with the level of consultation, the instrument may be disallowed.

Schedule 3, Part 3

The proposed repeal and « amendment » of provisions in the BC Act will modernise publication requirements, allowing the ACMA to notify stakeholders of certain matters via its website and other readily accessible forms. This does not engage any applicable human rights.

Schedule 4, Part 1

The proposed repeal of the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Act 2005 (the SAW Act) does not engage any applicable human rights. All payments under the SAW Act have been made with no further financial actions needed to be undertaken and the Act is now redundant.

Schedule 4, Part 2

The proposed « amendment » to the definition of “VET provider” in the Social Security Act 1991 is machinery in nature due to the repeal of the SAW Act in Part 1 of Schedule 4, and does not engage any applicable human rights.

Schedule 5

Schedule 5 makes minor and technical amendments and repeals a redundant provision of Environment legislation. The measures in Parts 1 to 4 improve the ease of administering legislation by reducing duplication and providing clarity around existing requirements. They do not engage any human rights issues.

Schedule 6

Schedule 6 seeks to repeal 15 annual Appropriation Acts. The High Court has emphasised that Appropriation Acts do not create rights and nor do they, importantly, impose any duties . Given that the legal effect of Appropriation Acts is limited in this way, the repeal of Appropriation A ctsis not seen as engaging, or otherwise affecting, any applicable human rights.

Schedule 7, Part 1

The repeal of section 3GC of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the HI Act) would abolish the Medical Training Review Panel (the MTRP). The main function of the MTRP is to provide a comprehensive overview of medical education and training, supplemented with other data on the medical workforce supply, through the annual MTRP report.

In considering whether the repeal of section 3GC of the HI Act engages any applicable rights or freedoms, particular consideration has been given to the rights to education, equality and non-discrimination, health and social security.

Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights establishes the right to education, which the UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights has stated requires, among other things, functioning educational institutions and programs have to be available in sufficient quantity within a country. The right to education extends to higher (tertiary) education.

The right to equality and non-discrimination is contained in articles 2, 16 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights , and the rights of women are additionally protected by articles 10 and 14(2)(d) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women .

The MTRP reports on medical education and training opportunities in Australia and data on workforce supply, including in relation to university, vocational and prevocational education and training. Its reports include data on the number and distribution of medical training undertaken in Australia. The data is provided in total, by rural distribution, domestic and international student numbers, gender, age and by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status.

However, the MTRP has no powers in relation to medical education or training. It does not establish standards for educational or training institutions or provide for resourcing of those institutions, set qualifications or increase or restrict the number of training placements in general or for particular groups such as international medical graduates or for women.

Further, the role of the MTRP does not include setting policy on medical education or workforce training or making recommendations to the Australian government on those matters.

The functions of the MTRP in collecting data and reporting on medical education and training will be continued by the National Medical Training Advisory Network (the NMTAN). Unlike the MTRP, the key functions of the NMTAN also include providing advice on medical workforce planning and producing medical training plans to inform government, employers and educators. This broader field of operations of the NMTAN will provide a more integrated approach to health education and workforce planning.

The repeal of section 3GC of the HI Act does not engage the rights to health and social security protected under the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights . The MTRP has no effect on the capacity of health professionals to provide, or patients to receive, medical services for which Medicare benefits are payable.

Therefore the repeal of section 3GC of the HI Act does not engage any applicable human rights.

Schedule 7, Part 2

Section 19AD of the HI Act requires the Minister for Health to review and report on the operation of sections 3GA, 3GC and 19AA of the HI Act every five years. It also requires the MTRP to invite student representatives from university medical schools and a representative from the National Rural Health Network to meet to discuss the Minister’s report. Both the Minister’s report and a record of the proceedings of the meeting must be tabled in the Parliament.

Sections 3GA, 3GC and 19AA are together known as the ‘Medicare provider number legislation’. Central to the Medicare provider number legislation is section 19AA, which prevents the payment of Medicare benefits for services provided by a doctor unless the doctor is: recognised as a specialist; consultant or general practitioner under the HI Act; is on the Register of Approved Placements established under section 3GA; or is a temporary resident who holds an exemption from the ten year moratorium on Medicare access for doctors who are foreign graduates of accredited medical schools; or overseas trained doctors.

The repeal of section 19AD does not engage the rights to health and social security. Section 19AD does not itself provide individuals with any rights or entitlements, or protect any rights or freedoms. The repeal of the section will not affect the operation of sections 19AA or 3GA of the HI Act. The ability of doctors to provide and patients to receive Medicare-eligible services will not change in any way as a result of the repeal.

The measure in Part 2 of Schedule 7 is therefore is compatible with human rights as the removal of section 19AD of the HI Act does not engage any applicable human right.

Schedule 7, Part 3

This measure in Part 3 of Schedule 7 will abolish the adviser and administrator panel arrangements set out in the Aged Care Act 1997 . Approved providers under sanction would be able to choose their own advisers and administrators. The measure also includes the removal of the requirement that the Secretary approve advisers that assist with Aged Care Funding Instrument assessments for approved providers who are to be suspended from this activity.

Approved providers would be required to have the adviser and/or administrator appointed and on site within a specified timeframe, to mitigate risks to care recipients. The Secretary and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency will retain capacity to monitor the approved provider, including during the sanction period. Further, the Secretary will still have the ability revoke approved provider status and withdraw Commonwealth funding.

The removal of the adviser and administrator panels used when providers are issued with a sanction will not engage with any applicable human rights.

The removal of the need for the Secretary to approve advisers that assist with conducting care recipient appraisals will not engage with any applicable human rights.

Schedule 7, Part 4

This measure will amend the obligations in the Aged Care Act 1997 for approved providers to notify the Secretary of certain changes to any of its key personnel in circumstances that do not materially affect the approved provider’s suitability to be a provider of aged care. The removal of these provisions will not engage with any applicable human rights.

Schedule 7, Part 5

The proposed repeal of the terms ‘nursing home benefit’ and ‘nursing home care’ in the Health and Other Services (Compensation) Act 1995 and the Health and Other Services (Compensation) Care Charges Act 1995 are consequential amendments to remove redundant references in those Acts following amendments made to the National Health Act 1953 in « 2011 » . The proposed repeals do not engage any applicable human rights because those provisions are inoperative.

Schedule 8

The proposed repeal of the « Customs » (Tariff Concessions System Validations) Act 1999 does not engage any applicable human rights, because the Act does not have any ongoing effect. The Act relates to decisions with a discrete three year timeframe. As the Act is 15 years old, it is now obsolete.

Schedule 9

The proposed repeal of the Patents « Amendment » (Patent Cooperation Treaty) Act 1979 does not engage any applicable human rights. The Act is redundant as it is now spent.

Schedule 10, Part 1

The A.C.T Self Government (Consequential Provisions) Regulations (the ASGR) made modifications to a number of Commonwealth Acts following the establishment of self-government in the ACT (Schedule 1 of the ASGR refers). While some of the modifications made by Schedule 1 of the ASGR were incorporated into the primary legislation, others were not. The proposed amendments of Acts follow the previous modifications made by Schedule 1 to the ASGR to relevant Commonwealth Acts, and do not engage any applicable human rights.

Schedule 10, Part 2

The proposed repeal of regulation 2 and Schedule 1 of the ASGR does not engage any applicable human rights. Repeal of regulation 2, which gives effect to Schedule 1, will provide clarity and make regulation more easily accessible to stakeholders.

Schedule 11, Parts 1 and 2

The Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) « Bill » 2015 will repeal the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Act 1991 (the CAR Act). The Act established and regulated the operation of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (the Council). The Council was established to promote the process of reconciliation and to foster an understanding of, and cooperation to address, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage.

The CAR Act ceased to be in force on 1 January 2001 by virtue of the sunset clause in section 32 of the CAR Act. An independent foundation, Reconciliation Australia, was established separate to this legislative framework to further the promotion of reconciliation from 1 January 2001. No ongoing arrangements, appointments or other measures have been entered into or commenced under the CAR Act since 2001.

The repeal of the CAR Act requires the consequential « amendment » of paragraph 46C(4)(c) of the Australian Human Rights Act 1986 , which requires the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner to have regard to the object of the CAR Act in the performance of their statutory functions.

Repeal of the CAR Act does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms. The CAR Act established the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, whose functions were subsumed into Reconciliation Australia from 1 January 2001. Repeal of the CAR Act will have no legal effect on the operation and functions of Reconciliation Australia. The statutory functions of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner are not affected by the consequential « amendment » to the Australian Human Rights Act 1986.

Schedule 11, Part 3

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission « Amendment » Act 2005

The proposed amendments to subitem 200 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission « Amendment » Act 2005 (the ATSICA Act) would enable an appropriate consenting authority to waive the exercise of its statutory consent power by providing written notice to the organisation concerned that consent is no longer required. As the proposed amendments are machinery in nature, the proposed amendments do not engage any applicable human right.

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995

The policy objective of Part 10 of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (the CPFCG Act) is to reduce the risk of children in certain Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory from being exposed to sexually explicit and very violent material.

Part 10 of the CPFCG Act constitutes a ‘special measure’ within the meaning of Article 1(4) of the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). Article 2 of the ICERD provides that ‘special measures’ may, when the circumstances so warrant, be taken to ensure the protection of certain racial groups.

The proposed repeal of the section 114 of the CPFCG Act requiring the Minister to cause an independent review of the operation of the ‘prohibited material’ measure in Part 10 of the CPFCG Act is machinery in nature.

The prohibited material measure in Part 10 is part of a package of legislative measures related to the former National Partnership Agreement on Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory (Stronger Futures NPA). In 2014-15, the Commonwealth Government, in collaboration with the Northern Territory Government, undertook a formal revision of the Stronger Futures NPA.

As per legislative requirements in section 114 of the CPFCG Act, the Australian Government has already caused an independent review to be undertaken, and the report of the review was tabled in both Houses of the Parliament of Australia on 16 September 2015. Repeal of now-redundant section 114 of the CPFCG Act helps to remove redundant and inoperative legislation from the Commonwealth statute book. It does not engage any applicable human rights because it removes a legislated requirement that has been met and is minor or machinery in nature.

Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act 2012

The policy objective of the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act 2012 (the SF Act) is to support Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory to live strong, independent lives, where communities, families and children are safe and healthy. The specific policy objective of provisions relating to alcohol is to reduce alcohol-related harm to Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.

The measures contained in the SF Act, including provisions relating to alcohol, constitute ‘special measures’ within the meaning of Article 1(4) of the ICERD . Article 2 of the ICERD provides that ‘special measures’ may, when the circumstances so warrant, be taken to ensure the protection of certain racial groups.

The proposed repeals and « amendment » will remove provisions that:

·          enable the Minister to request the Northern Territory to appoint an assessor to conduct an assessment in relation to licensed premises (Division 5 Part 2 of the SF Act);

·          provide for review of Commonwealth and Northern Territory alcohol laws (Division 8 Part 2 of the SF Act); and

·          provide for review of the operation of the SF Act (Section 117 of the SF Act).

The proposed « amendment » relating to the Minister’s power to request the appointment of an assessor to conduct an assessment in relation to licensed premises does not engage any applicable human right, as any changes to licensing arrangements following an assessment remains the responsibility of the Northern Territory Government and the Northern Territory Licensing Commission.

As per legislative requirements in the SF Act, the Commonwealth Government, jointly with the Northern Territory Government, caused a review of the operation of Commonwealth and Northern Territory laws relating to alcohol. A report of the review was tabled in both Houses of the Parliament of Australia and also in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly on 16 September 2015. In addition, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs recently completed an inquiry into the harmful « use » of alcohol in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Submissions specifically relating to Northern Territory alcohol laws were provided for the inquiry’s consideration by the Northern Territory Government, private individuals and a range of stakeholder groups. This report was tabled on 25 June 2015.

Repeal of the Division 8 from the SF Act will remove redundant legislation from the statute book. It does not engage any applicable human rights because it removes a legislated requirement that has been met and is machinery in nature.

The provisions relating to alcohol in the SF Act are part of a package of legislative measures related to the former Stronger Futures NPA. In 2014-15, the Commonwealth Government, in collaboration with the Northern Territory Government, undertook a formal revision of the Stronger Futures NPA.

The Australian Government, with the Northern Territory Government, is currently negotiating a new National Partnership Agreement as a result of the formal revision of the Stronger Futures NPA. The new National Partnership Agreement will continue measures underpinned by the SF Act, and will also include specific review points of the operation of those measures with an equivalent level of scrutiny. This makes the provisions under section 117 in the SF Act redundant.

Repeal of the review and reporting provisions under section 117 of the SF Act will provide clarity by removing duplicative requirements from the Commonwealth statute book. It is compatible with human rights, as to the extent that the SF Act engages human rights the repeal does not place any limitations on those rights.

Schedule 12, Part 1

The measure in Part 1 of Schedule 12 will make an addition to paragraph 202(2)(e) of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 (the SSA Act) to allow a person to disclose (or further « use » or record) protected information that has been disclosed to them under subsection 202(2C) for the purposes of research, statistical analysis or policy development, but only where the further disclosure, « use » or recording is consistent with the purpose for the initial disclosure. This will ensure that researchers can effectively undertake their research project as, in practice, researchers often collaborate with others to conduct research or statistical analysis.

This measure is consistent with the right to protection against arbitrary or unlawful interferences with privacy under article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the ICCPR). The « use » of the term “arbitrary” in Article 17 means that any interference with privacy must be in accordance with the provisions, aims and objectives of the ICCPR and should be reasonable in all the circumstances.

A threshold issue is the relationship between “protected information” and personal privacy. Unlike the definition of “personal information” as dealt with in section 6 of the Privacy Act 1988 , the term “protected information” as defined in the social security law is not necessarily information from which an individual can be identified. Frequently, information provided to researchers under subsection 202(2C) is “de-identified” but is still “about a person” who cannot be identified, meaning that the information is likely to be “protected information” for social security purposes even where it is not “personal information” for privacy purposes. For example, it is common for the Department of Social Services to provide information that is about a person, in a form in which it is impossible to actually identify that person. In these circumstances, the right to privacy will not be engaged.

However, there may be occasions where the “protected information” is also information from which a person’s identity can be ascertained. The proposed amendments are still considered reasonable on these occasions as they clarify that, following a disclosure of protected information for research, statistical analysis or policy development purposes, further disclosure, « use » or recording of the information is only permissible for the purpose for which the initial disclosure was made. Researchers will have no expanded scope, as a result of this measure, to further disclose, « use » or record protected information for purposes unrelated to the purpose for which the initial disclosure was made.

In short, the measure is reasonable because it will reduce the regulatory burden on researchers who will no longer have to seek permission to further disclose the information to third parties, if it is for the same purpose for which the information was originally disclosed to the researcher by the Secretary under subsection 202(2C). An example that highlights this is where the Department of Social Services discloses protected information to a researcher at a university to conduct analysis of social security information, in consultation with a state Department of Housing, for the purposes of developing social security policy and reporting back to the Department of Social Services. In this example, following the Secretary of the Department of Social Services deciding that the information could be disclosed to the university for the purposes of the collaborative research project with the state Department, a further disclosure by the university and « use » of that information for the same research purpose to and by the state Department to enable the collaboration will also be permissible.

The « amendment » is necessary because it clarifies an anomaly in the protected information provisions in the social security law and enables the current policy of subsection 202(2C) to operate effectively. The law, as stated prior to these amendments, is unclear on whether, if a decision is made to disclose protected information to a researcher under subsection 202(2C), subsequent uses and disclosures (and recording) of the information to give effect to the research project can be carried out. The « amendment » clarifies this. Further, where information is disclosed for a public interest purpose, in accordance with a public interest certificate made under section 208 of the SSA Act, further « use » , recording and disclosure for that purpose is permissible under paragraph 202(2)(e).

The proposed « amendment » will align disclosures made for research (or statistical analysis or policy development purposes) with the treatment of disclosures made for public interest purposes. The « amendment » will also ensure that disclosure for research or statistical purposes under the SSA Act aligns with current arrangements under the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999 (the NTS Admin Act). Under the family assistance law, research disclosures are made under public interest guidelines (under sections 168 and 169 of the NTS Admin Act), and, as a result, further « use » or disclosure for the purpose of an initial disclosure is permissible (because of paragraph 162(2)(e) of the NTS Admin Act). The proposed « amendment » will therefore ensure that where protected information is disclosed for research or statistical purposes under both the social security and family assistance law, further uses and disclosures of that information are treated in the same way.

This measure is proportionate because the further disclosure of information is restricted to the same purpose for which information was disclosed to the person under subsection 202(2C). Subsection 202(2C) is precisely defined to allow a person to obtain and « use » protected information only if:

·          the Secretary has reasonable grounds to form a belief; and

·          the belief is that the proposed obtaining, disclosure or « use » is reasonably necessary for a certain purpose; and

·          that purpose falls within the purpose of: research into matters of relevance to a Department that is administering any part of the social security law; statistical analysis of matters of relevance to a Department that is administering any part of the social security law; or policy development.

That is, it is not permissible for the person obtaining information under subsection 202(2C) to disclose the information to other parties unless the disclosure is for the same purpose as the purpose for which the Secretary disclosed the information to them.

In addition, the following safeguards are in place, which ensure that disclosures under this provision do not constitute arbitrary interferences with a person’s privacy:

  • the Department of Social Services ensures that protected information disclosed under subsection 202(2C) is accompanied by additional measures to further protect the information. Such measures would include ensuring that persons who handle information enter into deeds of confidentiality and ensuring that researchers enter into contracts or Memoranda of Understanding which outline obligations or expectations about the « use » and protections that must be afforded to information as part of a research project; and
  • the Privacy Act 1988 continues to apply in relation to the management of protected information in cases where a person’s identity could be ascertained from the information (where the protected information is also “personal information” for privacy purposes). The proposed « amendment » will provide authority under law for the purposes of disclosures or « use » of the information under Australian Privacy Principle 6, however the collection of information following a disclosure would still be subject to the requirements in Australian Privacy Principle 5 (including the obligation to notify individuals of certain matters about the « use » of their information).

Schedule 12, Parts 2 and 3

The measures in Part 2 of Schedule 12 seek to repeal the following spent social security payments:

  • various one-off payments to the aged, older Australians and carers;
  • economic security strategy payments;
  • training and learning bonus;
  • famers hardship bonus;
  • mature age allowances;
  • special needs age pension and special needs wife pension;
  • Northern Territory CDEP transition payment; and
  • clean energy advance.

The measures in Part 3 of Schedule 12 will also repeal the following family assistance payments:

  • one-off payment to families;
  • economic security strategy payment to families;
  • back to school bonus and single income family bonus;
  • Education tax refund (ETR) payment; and
  • clean energy advance.

The proposed repeal of the provisions associated with these payments would remove redundant provisions from the social security and family assistance law and simplify the relevant acts.

These parts do engage the following applicable rights:

Right to social security

Article 9 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) recognises the right of everyone to social security. As people can no longer qualify for the social security and family assistance payments to be repealed in Parts 2 and 3 of Schedule 12, repealing these payments would not have any effect on an individual’s right to social security.

Additionally, as these payments are no longer payable, the relevant provisions do not serve a purpose remaining in the respective pieces of legislation.

Right to education

Article 13 of the ICESCR recognises the right to education. Although certain provisions to be repealed relate to payments that could, at one time, have enhanced an individual’s right to education (for example, back to school bonus, training and learning bonus and education tax refund), these payments are no longer payable and no longer have an effect on an individual’s right to education.

Additionally, as these payments are no longer payable, the relevant provisions do not serve a purpose remaining in the respective pieces of legislation.

Right to adequate standard of living

Article 11(1) of the ICESCR recognises the right to an adequate standard of living. Certain payments that are being repealed (for example, clean energy advance and education tax refund) were designed to help families meet certain costs, thereby helping to ensure an adequate standard of living. However, these payments are no longer payable and no longer have an effect on an individual attaining an adequate standard of living.

Additionally, as these payments are no longer payable, the relevant provisions do not serve a purpose remaining in the respective pieces of legislation.

Schedule 13, Part 1

The proposed repeal of Acts in Part 1 of Schedule 13 does not engage any applicable human rights, as those Acts being repealed are inoperative, and the consequential amendments and savings provisions only relate to the repeal of those Acts.

Schedule 13, Part 2

The proposed « amendment » to the Insurance Act 1973 in Part 2 of Schedule 13 does not engage any applicable human rights, as that « amendment » only removes a standing appropriation from consolidated revenue that is redundant and no longer necessary.

Schedule 14, Part 1

Part 1 of Schedule 14 potentially engages the following human rights:

Right to social security

Article 9 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (the ICESCR) recognises the right of everyone to social security.

The proposed amendments to the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 ( the VE Act) may engage the right to social security by repealing:

·          Division 1 of Part IIIE providing for the payment of a “clean energy advance” during a period before 1 July 2012;

·          Parts VIID, VIIE and VIIF providing for one-off payments to older Australians in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively; and

·          Part VIIG providing for the payment of an economic security strategy payment in 2008.

The proposed repeal of these provisions will have no impact on the right to social security. The provisions are spent and redundant as they relate to one-off payments that are no longer payable. People no longer qualify for these payments and no person continues to receive them.

In some circumstances a person may be found to have been eligible for one of the payments because of a retrospective assessment of pension. Following the repeal, such a person will retain eligibility to receive the payment on the basis that they were eligible for the underlying payment during the relevant period the repealed legislation was still in force.

Right to education

Article 13 of the ICESCR recognises the right of everyone to education.

The amendments to the VE Act potentially engages the right to education by repealing Part VIIH, which provided for the payment of an ETR payment on the basis that a person was in receipt of an education allowance in 2012.

The proposed repeal of these provisions will have no impact on the right to education. People no longer qualify for the payment under Part VIIH and no person continues to receive the payment.

Following the repeal, such a person who is found to be eligible for the ETR payment will retain eligibility on the basis that they were eligible during the relevant period the repealed legislation was still in force.

Schedule 14, Part 2

Part 2 of Schedule 14 potentially engages the following human rights:

Right to social security

Article 9 of the ICESCR recognises the right of everyone to social security.

The amendments to the MRC Act may engage the right to social security by repealing Divisions 1 to 5 of Part 5A of Chapter 11 providing for the payment of a “clean energy advance” during a period from 14 May 2012 to 30 June 2013.

The repeal of the clean energy advance provisions will have no impact on the right to social security. The provisions are spent and redundant as they relate to a payment during a period which finished more than a year ago.

In some circumstances a person may be found to have been eligible for the payment because of a retrospective assessment of compensation. Following the repeal, such a person will retain eligibility on the basis that they were eligible during the relevant period the repealed legislation was still in force.

Schedule 14, Part 3

The amendments made by Part 3 of Schedule 14 are technical corrections and technical improvements to legislation. The amendments improve the ease of administration of legislation by making it more efficient to « use » as they do not engage any human rights issues.

Conclusion

Schedules 1 and 2, Schedule 3 (parts 1 and 3), Schedules 4-10, Schedule 11 (Parts 1 and 2, Part 3 Items 1-8), Schedule 13 and Schedule 14 (Part 3) are compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act « 2011 » .

Part 2 of Schedule 3 is compatible with human rights because to the extent that it may engage human rights, the changes made by that Part are reasonable, necessary and proportionate to the goal of rationalising regulatory requirements with respect to statutory consultation.

The proposed repeals of Part 10 of the CPFCG Act, Division 5 and Division 8 of Part 2 of the SF Act in Items 9-14 of Part 3 of Schedule 11 to this « Bill do not engage any applicable human rights because they remove legislated requirements which have now been met or are minor and machinery in nature.

The proposed repeal of the provision in section 117 of the SF Act in Part 3 of Schedule 11 (Items 15-16) is also compatible with human rights, as to the extent that the SF Act engages human rights, the repeal does not place any limitations on these rights.

The measure in Part 1 of Schedule 12 is compatible with human rights. To the extent that the right to privacy is limited, those limitations are reasonable, necessary and proportionate, and appropriate safeguards are in place.

Parts 2 and 3 of Schedule 12 are compatible with human rights because to the extent that they may engage human rights, the changes made by those Parts are reasonable, necessary and proportionate to the goal of removing spent payments.

Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 14 are compatible with human rights because to the extent that they may engage human rights, the changes made by these Parts are reasonable, necessary and proportionate to the goal of removing spent payments.