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Wednesday, 29 November 2000
Page: 20067


Senator NEWMAN (Minster for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women) (9:32 AM) —by leave—I move:

(1) Clause 2, page 2 (line 2), omit "8", substitute "8A".

(2) Schedule 1, item 20, page 14 (lines 15 to 18), omit the item, substitute:

20 Subsections 1231(2A) and (2B)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

(2A) Subject to subsections (2C), (2D) and (2E), action under this section for the recovery of a debt or overpayment is not to be commenced after the end of the period of 6 years starting on the first day on which an officer becomes aware, or could reasonably be expected to have become aware, of the circumstances that gave rise to the debt.

20A Paragraphs 1231(2C)(a), (2D)(a) and (2E)(a)

Omit "or (2B)".

(3) Schedule 1, item 21, page 14 (lines 19 to 22), omit the item, substitute:

21 Subsections 1232(2) and (3)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

(2) Subject to subsections (4), (5) and(6), legal proceedings for the recovery of the debt are not to be commenced after the end of the period of 6 years starting on the first day on which an officer becomes aware, or could reasonably be expected to have become aware, of the circumstances that gave rise to the debt.

21A Paragraphs 1232(4)(a), (5)(a) and (6)(a)

Omit "or (3)".

(4) Schedule 1, item 22, page 14 (lines 23 to 26), omit the item, substitute:

22 Subsections 1233(7A) and (7B)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

(7A) Subject to subsections (7C), (7D) and (7E), action under this section for the recovery of a debt is not to be commenced after the end of the period of 6 years starting on the first day on which an officer becomes aware, or could reasonably be expected to have become aware, of the circumstances that gave rise to the debt.

22A Paragraphs 1233(7C)(a), (7D)(a) and (7E)(a)

Omit "or (7B)".

(5) Schedule 3, page 25 (after line 21), after item 7, insert:

7A Subsections 86(1) and (2)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

(1) Subject to subsections (3), (4) and (5), action under section 84, 84A or 87A for the recovery of a debt is not to be commenced after the end of the period of 6 years starting on the first day on which an officer becomes aware, or could reasonably be expected to have become aware, of the circumstances that gave rise to the debt.

7B Paragraphs 86(3)(a), (4)(a) and (5)(a)

Omit "or (2)".

7C Subsection 87(3)

Omit "the day on which the debt arose", substitute "the first day on which an officer becomes aware, or could reasonably be expected to have become aware, of the circumstances that gave rise to the debt".

7D Paragraph 87(4)(b)

Omit "the day on which the debt arose", substitute "the first day on which an officer becomes aware, or could reasonably be expected to have become aware, of the circumstances that gave rise to the debt".

7E Subsections 88(2) and (3)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

(2) Subject to subsections (4), (5) and (6), legal proceedings for the recovery of the debt are not to be commenced after the end of the period of 6 years starting on the first day on which an officer becomes aware, or could reasonably be expected to have become aware, of the circumstances that gave rise to the debt.

7F Paragraphs 88(4)(a), (5)(a) and (6)(a)

Omit "or (3)".

7G Subsections 90(1) and (2)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

(1) Subject to subsections (3), (4) and (5), action under section 89 for the recovery of a debt is not to be commenced after the end of the period of 6 years starting on the first day on which an officer becomes aware, or could reasonably be expected to have become aware, of the circumstances that gave rise to the debt.

7H Paragraphs 90(3)(a), (4)(a) and (5)(a)

Omit "or (2)".

(6) Schedule 3, item 17, page 29 (line 28), omit "7, 8", substitute "7 to 8".

(7) Schedule 4, page 31 (after line 22), after item 5, insert:

5A Subsection 205(3)

Omit "or (3), as the case requires".

(8) Schedule 4, page 36 (after line 35), after item 8, insert:

8A Subsections 206(2) and (3)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

(2) Proceedings for the recovery from a person of any amount that is payable by the person to the Commonwealth under or as a result of this Act are not to be commenced after the end of the period of 6 years starting on the first day on which an officer becomes aware, or could reasonably be expected to have become aware, of the circumstances that gave rise to the debt.

(9) Schedule 4, item 9, page 39 (after line 2), at the end of the item, add:

(6) The amendments made by items 5A and 8A apply to:

(a) debts that are owed at the commen-ce-ment of 1 January 2001; and

(b) debts that arise after that time.

The government amendments correct a drafting error in the original debt recovery bill. The Parliamentary Library identified this error. The government amendments simply remove the two rules that are currently in the legislation and replace them with a new single rule. A number of provisions are amended to give effect to this approach and thus the number of amendments. Similar amend-ments are also made to the family assistance law and to the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

Amendments agreed to.