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Monday, 29 August 1994
Page: 503

Senator COLLINS (Minister for Primary Industries and Energy) (5.05 p.m.) —I move:

  That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard

  Leave granted.

  The speech read as follows—

The purpose of the Environment, Sport and Territories Legislation Amendment Bill 1994 is to repeal obsolete legislation and to make minor amendments to other legislation.

The bill repeals the Seat of Government (Administration) Acts of 1930 and 1933. These acts, which were amendment Acts to the Principal Act, the Seat of Government (Administration) Act 1910, are entirely spent. The Principal Act will remain in force.

The bill also repeals the National Fitness Act 1941. This Act was enacted because of concerns over the physical fitness of Australian youth for military service during the Second World War. The Act established a National Fitness Council to advise the Minister and a Trust Account, the National Fitness Fund, for monies appropriated for the purpose of furthering the objects of the Act including setting up State Fitness Councils.

The act fell into disuse during the 1970s when the functions of the Commonwealth and State Fitness Councils were taken over by other bodies. The National Fitness Council was phased out in 1975 and the National Fitness Fund was last used in 1986.

The bill provides for the balance in the National Fitness Fund, currently $129.00, to be transferred to Consolidated Revenue.

The bill also:

amends the Christmas Island Act 1958 and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act 1955 to enable the Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Territories or another Minister to exercise the powers of the Minister under these Acts. Currently powers under Western Australian laws in force in the Indian Ocean Territories are vested exclusively in the responsible Minister who delegates the powers to the Parliamentary Secretary. This amendment will simplify administration matters when there is a change of Minister or Parliamentary Secretaries.

makes three amendments to the Endangered Species Protection Act 1992. Firstly to make it clear that the definition of `Commonwealth Agency' does not include any person in the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory or Norfolk Island Governments and their instrumentalities. Secondly, the bill provides that it is not compulsory to make regulations to extend the criteria in the definition of `ecological community', as there is currently no need to extend the criteria. Thirdly, the bill removes a contradiction in the act with reference to the review function.

amends two references in the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975 to the `Uluru—Kata Tjuta National Park' by replacing the old name with the new. The name was changed by proclamation from `Uluru (Ayers Rock-Mount Olga) National Park' on 27 May 1993. The bill also corrects an incorrect reference to a section number.

repeals obsolete parts of the Urban and Regional Development (Financial Assistance) Act 1974. The National Estate Grants Program operated under the authority of this Act. Following amendments to the Australian Heritage Commission Act 1975, the Program has operated under the latter Act since the 1991-92 Financial Year.

  Debate (on motion by Senator O'Chee) adjourned.