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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 368


Senator FIERRAVANTI-WELLS (New South WalesMinister for International Development and the Pacific) (17:44): I move:

That these bills be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speeches incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speeches read as follows—

HAZARDOUS WASTE (REGULATION OF EXPORTS AND IMPORTS) AMENDMENT BILL 2016

The purpose of this Bill is to improve the efficiency of the hazardous waste permit scheme and to ensure it is fully cost recovered.

The permit scheme regulates the import and export of hazardous waste to ensure it is disposed of appropriately. Appropriate disposal is important so that people and the environment are not exposed to hazardous waste and are therefore protected from its harmful effects. The permit scheme implements Australia's obligations under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.

The Amendment Bill introduces a modest set of efficiency reforms that focus on removing duplicative and unnecessary permit processes, thereby reducing delays and costs to business and Government. The reforms have been designed to ensure that the standard of environmental and human protection provided by the Hazardous Waste Act remains high.

Currently, the Government only recovers approximately 30 percent of the costs it incurs administering the permit scheme.

Several amendments to the Hazardous Waste Act, as well as the imposition of a flat rate levy on permit applications under a new Levy Bill, are required to implement full cost recovery.

These cost recovery reforms ensure that those who use the permit scheme pay for its administration, rather than the community.

The cost recovery reforms may also help discourage the generation of hazardous waste and encourage the establishment of domestic disposal facilities.

Together, the efficiency and cost recovery reforms in the Bills represent an important step in the modernisation of the Hazardous Waste Act and its permitting scheme.

HAZARDOUS WASTE (REGULATION OF EXPORTS AND IMPORTS) LEVY BILL 2016

The purpose of this Bill is to ensure the hazardous waste permit scheme can be fully cost recovered. The Bill introduces a flat rate levy on permit applications.

These amendments support the cost recovery amendments introduced in the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Export and Imports) Amendment Bill 2016.

Debate adjourned.