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Thursday, 11 March 2004
Page: 21326


Senator IAN CAMPBELL (Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads) (9:57 AM) —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—

AUSTRALIAN SPORTS DRUG AGENCY AMENDMENT BILL 2004

The purpose of the Australian Sports Drug Agency Amendment Bill 2004 (the bill) is to enable the Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA) to perform particular functions required as a result of the introduction of the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code).

Australia's domestic anti-doping program has a reputation as a world leader. The Australian Government's Tough on Drugs in Sport policy provides a comprehensive framework in the fight against doping in sport.

The anti-doping framework includes effective anti-doping laws, policies and procedures; international best practice testing; education programs for athletes and sports as well as an anti-doping research program.

In recent times there has been a concerted effort to harmonise anti-doping policy and practice internationally. This work culminated in the development of the World Anti-Doping Code, released in March 2003 and now being implemented by sporting organisations worldwide.

The World Anti-Doping Code seeks to harmonise anti-doping policy and practice among sporting bodies and tighten the net on drug cheats. Importantly, the Code has been developed through collaboration between governments and sport to create an international level playing field.

This means that Australian athletes can have confidence that they will be competing in an environment free from performance enhancing drugs and doping methods.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already adopted the Code and all International Sports Federations, National Sporting Organisations and national anti-doping organisations are expected to also adopt the Code.

Australia, along with over 90 other countries supports the Code through the Copenhagen Declaration on Anti-Doping in Sport.

ASDA is recognised as a national anti-doping organisation under the Code and these amendments will enable ASDA to adopt and implement what is required of it under the Code by the commencement of the Athens Olympic Games in August 2004.

The proposed amendments have been guided by three elements of the Code: the recognition of international standards, new anti-doping rule violations, and the reporting and sharing of information.

The Code provides for the World Anti-Doping Agency to develop international standards for certain technical and operational aspects of anti-doping activities. These include standards for handling samples, use of certain substances for genuine therapeutic purposes, prohibited substances and methods, and standards for laboratory accreditation.

These amendments will enable ASDA and the Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee to comply with these standards when carrying out their functions under the Code.

The Code sets out the full range of circumstances that constitutes violations of anti-doping rules by competitors. This includes circumstances in addition to those covered by existing legislation. These additional circumstances are: the failure of a competitor to provide information about their whereabouts so that ASDA can locate the competitor to conduct drug testing; the deliberate evasion by a competitor of an attempt by ASDA to make a request to provide a sample for the purpose of detecting whether or not the competitor has used a banned drug or doping method; and tampering, or attempting to tamper with any part of the doping control process.

The effect of these proposed changes is that ASDA will be able to make an entry on the Register of Notifiable Events in relation to these additional circumstances as well as those currently provided for under the existing Act.

As is the case with existing doping violations, athletes will have the right to seek a review of ASDA's decision to enter these incidents on the Register through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

In order to achieve world-wide coordination of anti-doping efforts, the Code requires the sharing of information with other parties who are authorised to test athletes or undertake certain functions relating to the monitoring of test results and the implementation of exemptions for genuine therapeutic use of prohibited substances.

The proposed amendments will enable ASDA to disclose relevant information relating to Australian athletes, such as their whereabouts in order to administer an effective and efficient anti-doping regime. Depending upon circumstances, this information may be provided to the World Anti-Doping Agency, International Sports Federations, National Sports Federations, or national anti-doping organisations.

This is consistent with the principles of existing legislation providing for the sharing of relevant information with appropriate organisations.

In the interests of accountability and transparency, the Code requires public release of athletes' identities once a hearing has been completed.

Because results management is a shared responsibility between ASDA and sporting bodies, and in order to provide full accountability for its functions, it is proposed that the Act be amended to allow ASDA to add the names of competitors to the information on the Register available for public release. It is intended that this public release would only take place after the athlete has had their case heard and the sporting body involved has had adequate time to release the information.

The Code requires disclosure to certain sports administration bodies at an earlier point than currently provided for in the Act. Such early notification is necessary to enable sports to expedite the results management processes. For example, if a competitor returns a positive `A' sample on the eve of an important international competition, there may be compelling reasons for the relevant sport to deal with the matter prior to the event.

The Government believes that it is important to protect the rights of competitors in these circumstances. Therefore, it is proposed that ASDA will only provide `early notification' in circumstances where it is satisfied that the sporting organisation will not use or disclose the information in a way that would be unfairly prejudicial to the interests of the competitor.

It is important to note that, other than the proposed new range of disclosures to be authorised under the Act, the Act has been amended to ensure the operation of the Privacy Act 1988 is not limited. It is intended that the privacy aspects of the amendments to the Act would be reviewed three years after they come into force.

This bill has been developed after careful analysis of the World Anti-Doping Code's requirements and having regard to Australia's existing procedures, structures and legal system.

These amendments will advance Australia's existing anti-doping framework to meet the challenges in the lead up to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and beyond and will affirm Australia's commitment to achieving a sporting environment free from performancing drugs and doping methods.

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CUSTOMS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (APPLICATION OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE MODERNISATION AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2003

The Customs Legislation Amendment (Application of International Trade Modernisation and Other Measures) Bill 2003 is an omnibus bill that contains amendments to the Customs Act 1901, the Customs Legislation Amendment and Repeal (International Trade Modernisation) Act 2001, the Customs Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 2002, the Import Processing Charges (Amendment and Repeal) Act 2002 and the Migration Act 1958.

The amendments in this bill clarify the operation of the legislation that implements Customs International Trade Modernisation, enhance Customs border controls and clarify cargo reporting requirements and calculation of Customs duties on alcoholic beverages.

This bill is cognate with the Import Processing Charges (Amendment and Repeal) Amendment Bill 2003.

The most significant part of this bill is the transitional arrangements for the handling of imports during the transition between the Customs legacy electronic systems and the new Integrated Cargo System.

The current legislation provides for no overlap in the operation of the two systems and assumes that transition occurs immediately upon turning off the legacy systems.

Consultation with industry has identified that the nature of the import business requires that there be a period of time for finalisation of import transactions commenced in the legacy system as well as early access to the Integrated Cargo System to allow for compliance with reporting requirements.

These amendments will ensure that importers can continue to operate during the transition without undue administrative burden or interruption to the flow of international trade.

The bill proposes amendments that deal with self-assessed clearance declarations.

A self-assessed clearance declaration is a new communication to be introduced with the Integrated Cargo System and applies to certain low value goods.

Information provided in the self-assessed clearance declaration enables the goods to be assessed by Customs and Quarantine for compliance with prohibitions and restrictions and collection of duties and taxes where required.

These amendments will provide certainty in how the electronic communication is processed and how the release of the goods is communicated to the owner.

The bill also proposes minor amendments concerning the import and export of goods which will clarify the operation of the International Trade Modernisation legislation.

The bill proposes amendments to the Customs Act to allow the Minister to prevent the delivery of certain restricted imports into the Australian community, if the delivery of the goods is not in the public interest.

The provision would operate only in relation to imported goods that are already restricted by the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956. These are dangerous goods such as firearms.

The provision would allow the Minister to detain the goods for a specified period, allow incremental release of the goods or allow the importer to re-export the goods.

If detention of the goods results in the acquisition of property, then compensation on just terms will be made.

It is expected that the power to detain goods in the public interest would be exercised by the Minister only in limited or exceptional circumstances and the Prohibited Import Regulations would remain the principal means to prohibit or restrict the entry of goods into Australia. The power cannot be delegated.

The bill also clarifies record retention obligations, certain maritime powers in the Customs Act and Migration Act, existing impoundment provisions and the charges payable in respect of in-transit cargo reports.

Finally the bill introduces a clearer basis for calculating duty on certain alcoholic beverages and also provides authority to vary the timing of outward manifest reports by regulation.

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IMPORT PROCESSING CHARGES (AMENDMENT AND REPEAL) AMENDMENT BILL 2003

The Import Processing Charges (Amendment and Repeal) Amendment Bill 2003 supports the import transition arrangements outlined in the Customs Legislation Amendment (Application of International Trade Modernisation and Other Measures) Bill 2003.

It will ensure that cost recovery charges will continue to be payable during the transition period between the Customs legacy electronic systems and the new Integrated Cargo System.

It will also ensure importers and industry will not pay higher cost recovery charges for making documentary entries and reports after the legacy electronic systems are turned off. The lower charges for electronic entries and reports will be applied to documentary entries and reports made when the Customs legacy import systems are no longer available for use by importers and industry.

Debate (on motion by Senator Mackay) adjourned.

Ordered that the resumption of the debate be made an order of the day for a later hour.

Ordered that the Australian Sports Drug Agency Amendment Bill 2004 be listed on the Notice Paper as a separate order of the day.