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Tuesday, 28 June 1994
Page: 2096


Senator COLSTON —On behalf of the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances, I give notice that, 15 sitting days after today, I shall move:

No. 1—That the Veterans' Entitlements (Rehabilitation Allowance) Regulations, as contained in Statutory Rules 1994 No. 107, and made under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986, be disallowed

No. 2—That the Industrial Relations Court Rules, as contained in Statutory Rules 1994 No. 110 and made under the Industrial Relations Act 1988, be disallowed.

No. 3—That the Protection of the Sea (Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Regulations, as contained in Statutory Rules 1994 No. 126 and made under the Protection of the Sea (Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Act 1993, be disallowed.

I seek leave to make a short statement about the committee's concerns with this legislation.

  Leave granted.


Senator COLSTON —The committee's concerns with these instruments include a discretion which may not be subject to review, possible invalidity, breach of personal rights and possible self-incrimination. As usual, I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard a short summary of the matters raised by the committee.

  Leave granted.

  The document read as follows—

Veterans' Entitlements (Rehabilitation Allowance) Regulations Statutory Rules 1994 No 107

The Regulations provide for eligibility for payment of a rehabilitation allowance and for the manner of assessing the level of such an allowance.

R.5(a)(ii) refers to a program of vocational rehabilitation approved by the Repatriation Commission. This appears to imply that the Commission may exercise a discretion to approve or reject courses or presumably approve courses previously rejected or reject courses previously approved. This could have important financial and other consequences for veterans. The Committee has written to the Minister seeking advice on whether r.5(a)(ii) is the only legislative reference to approval of courses and whether there is AAT review of decisions to reject courses.

Industrial Relations Court Rules Statutory Rules 1994 No 110

The Rules provide for the practice and procedure of the Industrial Relations Court.

The Rules include numbers of drafting deficiencies. More importantly, however, the Rules may be invalid under subsection 48(2) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 because of prejudicial retrospectivity. The Committee has written to the Chief Justice.

Protection of the Sea (Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Regulations Statutory Rules 1994 No 126

Among other things, the Regulations provide for the registration of foreign judgements against the Oil Pollution Compensation Fund and for the payment of subscriptions to the Fund.

Regulation 24 provides that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority may give notice requiring a person to produce a document or a copy of a document that is relevant to ascertaining the liability of a person to make a contribution to the fund. Failure to comply is an offence. These measures appear to involve self-incrimination. The Committee has written to the Minister seeking advice on the reason for such provisions, which may infringe personal rights.