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Wednesday, 3 December 2003
Page: 23649

Mr RUDDOCK (Attorney-General) (4:32 PM) —I move:

That government amendments (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) be agreed to.

(1) Clause 2, page 2 (table item 1), omit “Sections 1 and 2”, substitute “Sections 1, 2 and 2A”.

(2) Clause 2, page 2 (at the end of the table), add:

3. Schedule 1

Immediately after the commence-ment of Schedule 1 to the Legislative Instruments (Trans-itional Provisions and Cons-equential Amendments) Act 2003

(3) Page 2 (after line 19), after clause 2, insert:

2A Schedule(s)

Each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

(4) Clause 12, page 16 (line 30) to page 17 (line 9), omit subclause (2), substitute:

(2) A legislative instrument, or a provision of a legislative instrument, has no effect if, apart from this subsection, it would take effect before the date it is registered and as a result:

(a) the rights of a person (other than the Common-wealth or an authority of the Commonwealth) as at the date of registration would be affected so as to disadvantage that person; or

(b) liabilities would be imposed on a person (other than the Commonwealth or an authority of the Commonwealth) in respect of anything done or omitted to be done before the date of registration.

(5) Page 63 (after line 17), at the end of the Bill, add:

Schedule 1Amendment of other legislation

There are five new government amendments that have been prepared to enable the government to insist on a proposed change dealing with the date of effect of subordinate instruments whether legislative or non-legislative. When this legislation was before the Senate, amendments dealing with this matter were defeated. The legislation has now been returned to the House. Because the transitional and consequential amendments bill is returned unamended, it is necessary to amend the Legislative Instruments Bill 2003 so that the change made indirectly to the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 by the Legislative Instruments (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2003 is now made directly by an amending schedule to the Legislative Instruments Bill 2003.

Amendments (1), (2) and (3) are merely technical to facilitate that change. In relation to amendments (1) and (2), let me just say they provide that the amendments to the Acts Interpretation Act made by schedule 1 commence immediately after the enactment of the transitional provisions and consequential amendments bill. Amendment (3) is technical, inserting reference to the new schedule.

Amendment (4) replaces the existing provision with a provision based on the existing words in the Acts Interpretation Act 1901. This amendment restores the status quo and reflects the current operation of the Acts Interpretation Act. It has always been the government's intention that this provision should apply to the commencement of legislative instruments under the Legislative Instruments Bill in the same way that the Acts Interpretation Act provision operates for regulations and other disallowable instruments. This means that when an instrument is to commence on a particular date, it commences at the beginning of that date. This provides certainty as to when an instrument commences. It avoids the law changing part way through a day. This is the effect of the existing provision of the Acts Interpretation Act and it provides certainty as to an instrument commences. Redrafting, in an effort to modernise the provision in the Acts Interpretation Act, has caused an unintended error in the current provisions set out in the bill. The need to revisit this provision was foreshadowed by government officials in answers to questions on notice when there was a hearing by the Senate Regulations and Ordinance Committee on 10 September 2003.

Amendment (5) inserts a new schedule 1 in the Legislative Instruments Bill. Schedule 1 will amend the Acts Interpretation Act, which was amended by the Legislative Instruments (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill, to replace the existing provision dealing with commencement with a provision based on the Acts Interpretation Act. The reasons for the amendment are the same as for government amendment (4).