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Tuesday, 14 May 1985
Page: 1888

Senator BUTTON (Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce)(3.32) —On behalf of the Government I move:

Page 20, the Schedule, before the amendment to section 25 of the Customs Tariff Act 1982, insert the following amendment of that Act:

'After section 2- Insert the following section:

General administration of Act ''2A. The Comptroller has the general administration of this Act.''.'.

Senator Chaney —Was that circulated?

Senator BUTTON —Yes. I think probably that amendment was circulated when we started with the Bill rather than today. The purpose of the amendment is to correct a drafting omission from the proposed amendments to the Customs Tariff Act 1982, as set out in the Schedule to the Bill. As indicated in the second reading speech, the main purpose of the Bill is to invest the general administration of the legislation to be administered by the Australian Customs Service in the Comptroller-General of Customs. To this end the Schedule to the Bill contains a list of that legislation and proposes to amend each enactment expressly to provide for the Comptroller-General of Customs to have the general administration of each Act. Such a provision has been omitted from the Customs Tariff Act. This amendment proposes to correct that deficiency.

I say also that of course in the Schedule to this Bill there are a number of discretions which are now exercised by the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce which have been invested in the Comptroller-General. They are mainly-I am saying this in relevance to something Senator Chaney said earlier-discretions under a series of excise Acts. This certainly relieves the Minister of some responsibility. I will give an example. Each month the Minister signs an instrument of delegation under, for example, the petroleum trade subsidy legislation delegating his powers to various people in remote areas of Australia. I do not think the Minister is ever in a position of knowing who those people are or what precisely is being delegated. So there are discretions of that kind in the Schedules to this Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Bills reported with an amendment; report adopted.