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Thursday, 27 March 2003
Page: 10379


Senator TROETH (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) (1:11 PM) —The Family and Community Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2003 contains a number of non-budget measures that will assist in more effective and efficient administration of the social security law and family assistance law. There are technical amendments, as have been described, minor amendments and also some minor policy changes. In addition, the bill repeals the First Home Owners Act 1983, which is now redundant, given that no new applications have been permitted under that act since 1991.

I am aware that two sets of amendments are being moved in relation to the bill. The first set concerns several items in the bill which relate to the recalculation of the rate of youth allowance and the recovery of ensuing debts. The opposition has made some suggestions in relation to these items. Rather than delay the passage of the bill, the government has decided to accede to the opposition's amendments which will remove those items from the bill. Further consideration will be given to those items by the government. The second set of amendments relates to the payment of child-care benefit for care provided to foster children after 1 July 2000. The government has been committed to the passage of legislation to validate such payments. The amendments moved by the Democrats give effect to that commitment, and the government is happy to agree to their passage. I thank all senators for their contributions to the bill and commend it to the Senate.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.