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Thursday, 24 May 2007
Page: 16


Mr JOHN COBB (Assistant Minister for the Environment and Water Resources) (9:55 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Product Stewardship (Oil) Act 2000 is designed to ensure the environmentally sustainable management, recycling and reuse of Australia’s used oil. It provides for the payment of benefits to used oil recyclers as an incentive to increase the volume of used oil collected and recycled in Australia.

The Product Stewardship (Oil) Act 2000 establishes the Oil Stewardship Advisory Council and provides that an independent review of the operation of the Product Stewardship (Oil) Act 2000 be undertaken every four years.

The purpose of the Product Stewardship (Oil) Amendment Bill 2007 is to amend the Product Stewardship (Oil) Act 2000 to give effect to the recommendations of the first review of the act.

In particular, this bill gives effect to the recommendations arising from that review concerning the constitution and operation of the Oil Stewardship Advisory Council, which provides advice on matters relating to product stewardship arrangements for oil.

The bill provides that the members of the Oil Stewardship Advisory Council, other than the members appointed to represent the Commonwealth and the Commissioner of Taxation, will be appointed on the basis of their knowledge of, or experience in, a range of prescribed subject areas relevant to product stewardship arrangements for oil. Currently members are appointed to the council as representatives of specified bodies relevant to the product stewardship for oil arrangements. This amendment will enable members with a wider range of expertise to be appointed to the Oil Stewardship Advisory Council than is the case at present.

In addition, the bill provides that the members of the Oil Stewardship Advisory Council appointed to represent the Commonwealth and the Commissioner of Taxation will become non-voting members. This amendment will remove the potential for these members to have a conflict of the interest between their roles as Commonwealth employees and as members of the Oil Stewardship Advisory Council.

Finally, the measures contained within the bill will provide clear and more rigorous procedures for the disclosure of pecuniary interests by members of the Oil Stewardship Advisory Council and for ensuring that any pecuniary interests that members may disclose do not compromise the advice provided by the Oil Stewardship Advisory Council.

This bill will strengthen the Oil Stewardship Advisory Council’s role as a source of independent expert advice, which in turn will enhance its contribution towards ensuring that the objects of the act are met.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Ms Plibersek) adjourned.