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Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Page: 762


Mr CIOBO (MoncrieffParliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer) (09:52): I present the explanatory memorandum to this bill and move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Prime Minister announced on 18 September 2013 that he would recommend to the Governor-General that the Australian Agency for International Development, AusAID, be integrated into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, DFAT.

The abolition of AusAID as an Executive Agency on 1 November 2013 marked a significant milestone for Australia's international engagement and a new era in diplomacy. DFAT is now responsible for development policy and the delivery of Australia's aid program. This major change will see the alignment of Australia's foreign, trade and development policies and programs.

Integration of AusAID with DFAT will promote Australia's national interests, by contributing to international economic growth and poverty reduction, and support Australia's foreign and trade policy.

This machinery of government change means that certain legislation will need to be updated to substitute references to AusAID and specific positions in AusAID with references to DFAT and positions in DFAT.

The Australian Civilian Corps Act 2011, and the regulations and legislative instruments made pursuant to that Act, are examples of such legislation.

The Australian Civilian Corps Act 2011 establishes the Australian Civilian Corps and sets out the legal framework for the employment and management of Australian Civilian Corps employees.

The Director-General of AusAID was responsible for the management of the Australian Civilian Corps. The Director-General of AusAID had a range of specific functions and powers under the act including, on behalf of the Commonwealth, all the rights, duties and powers in respect of Australian Civilian Corps employees.

The bill amends the act in two main ways.

First, it transfers the powers and functions of the Director-General of AusAID under the act to the Secretary of DFAT.

Second, it substitutes other references to AusAID and the Director-General of AusAID with DFAT and the Secretary of DFAT, respectively.

The bill also makes consequential amendments to the Australian Civilian Corps Regulations 2011, the Prime Minister's Australian Civilian Corps Directions 2012 and the Director-General's Australian Civilian Corps Directions 2011.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.