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Thursday, 24 May 2012
Page: 5528


Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyMinister for Health) (13:43): I present a supplementary explanatory memorandum to the bill and seek leave to move government amendments (1) to (21) together.

Leave granted.

Ms PLIBERSEK: I move government amendments (1) to (21) as circulated together:

(1) Schedule 1, item 27, page 10 (line 8), after "Part", insert "(other than in subsection 238(1))".

(2) Schedule 1, item 27, page 13 (line 9), after "monitor", insert "Commonwealth".

(3) Schedule 1, item 27, page 13 (lines 11 and 12), omit paragraph 238(1)(c).

(4) Schedule 1, item 27, page 13 (after line 17), at the end of subsection 238(1), add:

Note: The corresponding legislation of the States will provide that the functions of the Administrator include monitoring State payments into each State Pool Account for the purposes of Division 2 (or equivalent) and making payments from each State Pool Account in accordance with the directions of the State concerned.

(5) Schedule 1, item 27, page 13 (lines 32 to 34), omit subsection 238(5), substitute:

(5) To avoid doubt, this Part is not intended:

   (a) to give the Commonwealth ownership or control of money in a State Pool Account; or

   (b) to affect the obligation of the Administrator under the law of a State to make payments from the State Pool Account of the State in accordance with the directions of the State.

(6) To avoid doubt, the Administrator may have regard to information obtained in the exercise or performance of functions under the law of another jurisdiction in the exercise or performance of the Administrator's functions under Division 2.

(6) Schedule 1, item 27, page 17 (lines 11 to 13), omit subsection 245(3), substitute:

(3) The Administrator is required to provide to the responsible Ministers of all jurisdictions a copy of advice provided by the Administrator to the Treasurer of the Commonwealth about the basis on which the Administrator has calculated the payments to be made into State Pool Accounts by the Commonwealth.

(7) Schedule 1, item 27, page 18 (line 35) to page 19 (line 6), omit subsection 248(1), substitute:

(1) A National Health Reform law of a State may confer powers or functions, or impose duties, on one or more of the following if the powers, functions or duties relate to the exercise or performance of the functions of the Administrator (including the functions of the Administrator under a National Health Reform law of a State):

   (a) the Funding Body;

   (b) an officer of the Commonwealth.

Note: Section 250 sets out when such a law imposes a duty of the Funding Body or an officer of the Commonwealth.

(8) Schedule 1, item 27, page 19 (line 12), omit "Administrator", substitute "Funding Body".

(9) Schedule 1, item 27, page 19 (line 17), omit "Administrator", substitute "Funding Body".

(10) Schedule 1, item 27, page 19 (line 21), omit "Administrator", substitute "Funding Body".

(11) Schedule 1, item 27, page 19 (line 26), omit "Administrator", substitute "Funding Body".

(12) Schedule 1, item 27, page 19 (line 29), omit "Administrator", substitute "Funding Body or an officer of the Commonwealth".

(13) Schedule 1, item 27, page 20 (line 3), omit "Administrator", substitute "Funding Body".

(14) Schedule 1, item 27, page 20 (line 22), omit "Administrator", substitute "Funding Body or officer".

(15) Schedule 1, item 27, page 20 (line 24), omit "Administrator", substitute "Funding Body or officer".

(16) Schedule 1, item 27, page 20 (line 26), omit "Administrator", substitute "Funding Body".

(17) Schedule 1, item 27, page 20 (line 27), omit "Administrator", substitute "Funding Body".

(18) Schedule 1, item 27, page 20 (line 30), omit "Administrator", substitute "Funding Body".

(19) Schedule 1, item 27, page 21 (line 9), at the end of section 252, add "(including the Administrator's functions under a National Health Reform law of a State)".

(20) Schedule 1, item 27, page 21 (line 21), at the end of subsection 255(2), add "(if appointed)".

(21) Schedule 1, item 27, page 22 (line 14), at the end of subsection 256(2), add "(if appointed)".

Essentially, they are technical amendments in that they do not change the operation of the administrator of the National Health Funding Pool, just how the functions are conferred on the office. The bill as introduced reflected agreement by the Commonwealth and state officials that the totality of the administrator's functions should be conferred in both Commonwealth and in mirror state legislation. Agreement on this approach had underpinned the development of the legislation over a period of six months.

After the bill had been finalised for introduction, two jurisdictions changed their views. Rather than having all functions conferred under both Commonwealth and state law, the two states asked that state functions only be conferred under state law. Amendments (2) and (3) accommodate their wishes by removing from the Commonwealth law the functions of monitoring state payments into the National Health Funding Pool and making payments from the pool. These functions will now be conferred on the administrator under state law.

However, both Commonwealth and state law will still require the administrator to report monthly and annually on payments of Commonwealth and state funds to local hospital networks, resulting in unparalleled public access to information about how money flows through the public hospital system. Apart from amendments (20) and (21) the other amendments are consequential upon the splitting of the functions between Commonwealth and state law.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): Order! The debate is interrupted in accordance with standing order 43. The debate may be resumed at a later hour.