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Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Page: 1846


Mr BURKE (WatsonMinister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities) (09:40): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Amendment (Registration Fees) Bill 2013 amends the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Act 2005. This bill complements the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (Registration Fees) Bill 2013.

Background

The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards, or WELS, scheme was established in 2005 as part of the Council of Australian Governments' National Water Initiative.

The WELS Act 2005 provides for charging of fees only in relation to a service. The effect of this is that only the costs of registration related activities may be recovered through fees charged in relation to registration of WELS products.

Other activities of the scheme, including compliance and enforcement, communications, and product standard development, may only be taken into account in scheme fees when authorised by a cost-recovery taxing statute.

Purpose of the bill

This bill is complementary to and introduced with the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (Registration Fees) Bill 2013.

The bill makes the necessary consequential amendments to the WELS Act 2005to ensure that registration fees set under the Registration Fees Bill will be able to be collected and appropriately administered by the WELS regulator.

Conclusion

This bill is integral to the success and long term viability of the WELS scheme, as it makes essential amendments to the WELS Act to allow the proper collection and administration of WELS administration fees, which will be able to recover any or all costs of the WELS scheme.

Debate adjourned.