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Monday, 27 August 2001
Page: 30319


Mr ABBOTT (Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business) (10:10 PM) —by leave—I move government amendments 1 to 12 and 14:

(1) Clause 61, page 64 (after line 4), after subclause (2), insert:

(2B) It is a defence to an offence against subsection (2) if the person had a reasonable excuse for not complying with a requirement made under subsection (1).

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter mentioned in subsection (2B), see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

(2) Clause 112, page 107 (line 3), at the end of subclause (1), add “The expenses of conducting such a ballot are to be borne by the Commonwealth.”.

(3) Clause 113, page 108 (after line 6), after subclause (2), insert:

(2B) It is a defence to an offence against subsection (2) if the person had a reasonable excuse for not complying with a requirement made under subsection (1).

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter mentioned in subsection (2B), see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

(4) Clause 140, page 131 (after line 7), at the end of the clause, add:

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(d), rules of an organisation are taken not to discriminate on the basis of age if the rules do not prevent the organisation setting its membership dues by reference to rates of pay even where those rates are set by reference to a person's age.

(5) Clause 180, page 171 (line 8), at the end of subclause (1), add “The expenses of conducting such an election are to be borne by the Commonwealth.”.

(6) Clause 191, page 177 (after line 24), after subclause (2), insert:

(2C) It is a defence to an offence against subsection (2) if the person had a reasonable excuse for not complying with a direction under subsection (1).

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter mentioned in subsection (2C), see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

(7) Clause 197, page 184 (after line 30), after subclause (3), insert:

(3A) It is a defence to an offence against subsection (3) if the organisation had a reasonable excuse for contravening subsection (1) or (2).

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter mentioned in subsection (3A), see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

(8) Clause 197, page 184 (after line 33), at the end of the clause, add:

(4A) It is a defence to an offence against subsection (4) if the officer or employee had a reasonable excuse for contravening subsection (1) or (2).

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter mentioned in subsection (4A), see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

(9) Clause 200, page 187 (after line 10), after subclause (5), insert:

(5B) It is a defence to an offence against paragraph (5)(a) if the person had a reasonable excuse for contravening a requirement made under subsection (2).

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter mentioned in subsection (5B), see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code.

(10) Clause 261, page 238 (line 29), omit all the words from and including “employer” to the end of subclause (6), substitute:

employer of:

(a) the member making the application for information; or

(b) the member at whose request the application was made.

(11) Clause 262, page 239 (after line 8), at the end of subclause (1), add “This subsection is subject to subsections (2) and (2A).”.

(12) Clause 262, page 239 (after line 18), after subclause (2), insert:

(2A) The Commission may only make an order authorising the inspection of financial records that relate to the suspected breach mentioned in paragraph (2)(b).

(14) Clause 338, page 291 (line 16), at the end of paragraph (2)(f), add:

; and (g) pecuniary penalties not exceeding:

(i) in the case of a body corporate—25 penalty units; or

(ii) in any other case—5 penalty units;

for contravening civil penalty provisions in the regulations.

These amendments are highly technical amendments and cover a number of subjects. These amendments are designed to clarify that the government does, in fact, bear the cost of any disamalgamation ballot that takes place, will insert reasonable excuse defences in relation to strict liability offence provisions and will clarify the intended operation of the relevant part of the act to provide for access by members to the financial records of reporting units. I commend the amendments to the House.