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Monday, 22 August 2011
Page: 8912

Mr KEENAN (Stirling) (16:04): I rise to speak on the Legislative Instruments Amendment (Sunsetting) Bill 2011, although I do so relatively briefly because it is one of the administrative bills that we often deal with in this House that has the support of both sides of the parliament. I do not think it requires me to give an enormously long speech. The coalition support this bill in principle, although we note that it is still before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs. It is right that the parliament wait to see the results of its report before we finally pass this bill through both houses of parliament. The intention of the proposed amendment seems rational in that legislative instruments will sunset 10 years from the time of their legal commencement. The effect of the current wording of section 50 of the principal act is that instruments with a retrospective commencement date can sunset before that time or can, in some cases, sunset before they are made because they need to operate longer than 10 years into the past. Routine review of legislation will act as a way to ensure that it remains current, clear and relevant. It is important that the status of legislative instruments is easily ascertainable. However, the number of retrospective instruments is not stated in the proposed amendment and there may be a number of instruments which will have their lives significantly extended by this amendment.

As I said at the beginning, I only wish to speak very briefly on this bill. We are interested in what the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs finds when it inquires into this bill and we reserve our right to make any amendments in the Senate if it were to find something that we believe requires action but, considering that the inquiry is still ongoing, I do commend this bill to the House.