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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 318


Senator WILLIAMS (New South WalesNationals Whip in the Senate) (15:39): I give notice of my intention at the giving of notice of motions on the next sitting day to withdraw business of the Senate notices of motion Nos 1, 2 and 3 standing in my name for 9 February proposing the disallowance of three instruments made under the Migration Act 1958; business of the Senate notice of motion No. 1 standing in my name for 15 February 2017 proposing the disallowance of the Aboriginal Land Grant (Jervis Bay Territory) By-laws 2016; and business of the Senate notice of motion No. 4 standing in my name for 30 March 2017 proposing the disallowance of the Private Health Insurance (Prostheses) Amendment Rules 2016 (No. 3). I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator WILLIAMS: I will be as quick as I can. With regard to my intention to withdraw notices of motion proposing the disallowance of three instruments made under the Migration Act 1958, when these instruments were received by the parliament they had been incorrectly listed as being exempt from disallowance, and were thereby tabled as 'exempt from disallowance'. To ensure the effective oversight of the instruments by parliament, the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances reported on the matter and, as a protective measure, gave notices of motion to disallow each of the instruments, thereby providing an additional 15 sitting days after the notices of motion were given to resolve the issue.

Following correspondence with the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the committee concluded that the incorrect classification of these instruments was an isolated error and noted that the explanatory statements to the instruments correctly stated that the instruments were subject to disallowance. The committee's final report on this matter is contained in Delegated Legislation Monitor 8 of 2016.

The committee remains concerned more generally about the classification process for instruments and the potential for administrative errors to hinder the effective oversight of instruments by parliament. In this respect there may be circumstances in which the committee considers that the incorrect classification of an instrument as exempt from disallowance may warrant its urgent remaking.