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Thursday, 23 June 2005
Page: 7


Senator PATTERSON (Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues) (9:38 AM) —I table the explanatory memoranda relating to the bills and 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—

MARITIME TRANSPORT AND OFFSHORE FACILITIES SECURITY AMENDMENT (MARITIME SECURITY GUARDS AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2005

The Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Amendment (Maritime Security Guards and Other Measures) Bill amends the Maritime Transport Security Act 2003 (the Act). Please be advised that the Act will change its title on passage and the Royal Assent of the Maritime Transport Security Amendment Bill 2005 which was introduced into the House of Representatives on 25 May 2005 and is expected to have passed both Houses of Parliament by the end of the current sittings of Parliament. The new title of the Act will be the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003.

The bill being introduced today will strengthen Australia’s maritime security by enhancing the capacity of ports and other maritime industry participants to deter and deal with unauthorised incursions into maritime security zones. Under the Act maritime security zones are established in security regulated ports or on board security regulated ships to prevent unauthorised access to areas requiring additional security measures. Maritime industry participants are required to monitor and control access to these zones, and strict liability offences apply under the Maritime Transport Security Regulations 2003 (the Regulations) to persons entering without authorisation.

Maritime security guards are deployed by maritime industry participants as part of their preventive security arrangements. In the course of his or her duties, a maritime security guard might detect a person who has entered a maritime security zone unlawfully. Under the Act, guards have the power to restrain an unauthorised person, and detain the person until a law enforcement officer—usually a State or Territory police officer—arrives. However, maritime security guards do not have the power to request identification from the person, ask the person why he or she is the zone, or request that the person move-on if it has been established that the person has breached the provisions concerning access to zones. Nor do maritime security guards have the power to remove occupied or unoccupied vehicles or vessels found without authorisation in zones. In these circumstances, they would have to call the police to arrange removal. This is not always a quick and convenient solution to effect the removal of a potential threat from a maritime security zone.

Following a comprehensive review of Australia’s maritime security policy settings conducted by the Secretaries’ Committee on National Security last year, the Australian Government decided to enhance the powers of maritime security guards under the Act through provision of limited move-on powers. These new powers are contained in Schedule 1 of the bill, as well as some powers incidental to the implementation of the move-on powers.

Under the new powers a maritime security guard may request that a person found within a maritime security zone provide identification and reason for being in the zone. When confronting the person the guard will be required to identify himself or herself, advise the person of his or her authority to request information, and tell the person that non-compliance is an offence under the Act. These safeguards are intended to provide a balance between the coercive nature of the move-on powers and the rights of individuals.

If a maritime security guard has established that a person is in the zone without authority, then the guard can request that the person leave the zone. The previously mentioned safeguards apply in these circumstances as well. If a person fails to comply, the maritime security guard may remove the person from the zone, but may not in the process use greater force, or subject the person to greater indignity, than is necessary.

Schedule 1 provides that a maritime security guard may remove, or cause to be removed, a vehicle or vessel found in a zone without authorisation. These provisions apply to occupied or unoccupied vehicles or vessels. There is a statutory obligation not to cause unreasonable damage to the vehicle or vessel being removed, and a requirement to notify the owner of the removal. Expenses incurred for the removal, relocation and storage may be claimed from the owner of the vehicle or vessel.

These powers acknowledge a key difference between airports and ports. Where persons can be prevented from unauthorised access to airports through traditional access control arrangements, such as fences and monitored gates, ports are, by their very nature, open on at least one side—the waterside. Providing maritime security guards with the means to request that waterside intruders move-on or else face removal and potential fines for non-compliance will address this natural weakness in port security.

It is expected that these new powers will complement the extensive waterside protection arrangements already in place, and enhance their deterrent effect. Of course, they will not eliminate the need for State or Territory police forces to respond to an incident or threat when called. But they will provide ports with an immediate response capability, and an ability to promptly deal with nuisance incursions into zones without having to call upon police resources.

Schedule 2 of the bill provides for a number of miscellaneous amendments to the Act which clarifies meaning, including an amendment which provides that a higher security level relevant to specified waters can be given to a regulated Australian ship.

The Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Amendment (Maritime Security Guards and Other Measures) Bill 2005 will strengthen Australia’s maritime security arrangements, providing for better security for our ports, port facilities and ships against the scourge of international terrorism, and enhancing the protection of both Australia’s maritime transport sector, and the Australian community.


MARITIME LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2005

The Maritime Legislation Amendment Bill 2005 makes a number of small but, in some cases, quite significant changes to four Acts, particularly to the Navigation Act. While I do not intend to mention all the amendments contained in this bill, I will make specific reference to a few of them.

A review of the level of penalties imposed by the Lighthouses Act and the Navigation Act has shown that many of the penalties contained in those Acts have little or no deterrent effect as they have not been revised for a considerable period of time. The bill will increase penalties to a more appropriate level.

For example, the current maximum penalty in the Lighthouses Act for damaging a marine navigational aid is only $220. The consequences of such damage may be an accident, such as the grounding of a ship which is relying on that aid for its navigation. This in turn may result in major environmental damage and possible loss of life. The bill will provide for a more appropriate and graduated series of offences for damaging a marine navigational aid. If the damage is the result of deliberate conduct, the maximum penalty will be imprisonment for ten years; if the damage is the result of reckless conduct, the maximum penalty will be imprisonment for seven years; if the damage is the result of negligent conduct, the maximum penalty will be a fine of $22,000. A similar approach of providing a graduated series of penalties for each particular offence has been adopted throughout the bill.

Military forces around the world now routinely operate some ships on a charter basis, rather than owning the ships. Such ships are not operated any differently to ships that belong to the military forces. An example is the Incat-owned vessel, HMAS Jervis Bay, which was chartered by the Royal Australian Navy and used to ferry people and goods between Australia and East Timor during the East Timor crisis.

Military ships traditionally are not subject to the laws applying to merchant ships. This is recognised in the Navigation Act which exempts ships belonging to the Defence Force of Australia or to foreign military forces from its application. To recognise modern chartering arrangements, the bill will extend the exemption provision to apply not only to ships belonging to military forces but also to ships operated by military forces.

Ship pilots provide a very important function in advising on the navigation of ships in areas where navigation is hazardous. The bill contains a number of amendments relating to pilotage.

Section 186D of the Navigation Act currently provides for the making of regulations relating to pilotage. That regulation-making power is being extended to pilotage providers, that is, the persons or organisations who assign a pilot to a ship. The sorts of matters that may be covered by regulations include the duties of pilotage providers.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act has requirements for compulsory pilotage in northern areas of the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. There are no requirements for compulsory pilotage in the Navigation Act. The regulation-making power in section 186D is to be further extended to allow regulations to be made declaring areas where pilotage is compulsory.

The master of a ship remains responsible for the ship at all times, even while a pilot is on board or the ship is subject to vessel traffic management arrangements, such as vessel traffic control within a port or other directions from another person not on board the ship.

Amendments to section 410B of the Navigation Act are intended to remove any doubt that, where a ship is subject to compulsory pilotage under an Australian law, the owner and master of the ship are responsible for any loss or damage caused by the ship. The pilot and the pilotage provider are immune from any civil claims for loss or damages that may arise.

This amendment will not mean that pilots will not take due care while they are working as pilots. The amendments do not provide any immunity from prosecution under criminal law. Further, in order to perform the duties of a coastal pilot, a person must be licensed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. A pilot’s licence may be cancelled, suspended or restricted in a number of circumstances, including if a pilot has demonstrated incompetence or misconduct relating to the performance of his or her duties as a pilot. A pilot who does not perform his or her duties in a competent manner therefore places his or her means of livelihood at risk.

As well as clarifying the immunity for pilots, the bill inserts a new section 411 into the Navigation Act to specifically provide that the master of a ship is not relieved from responsibility for the conduct and navigation of a ship by reason only of the ship being subject to vessel traffic management arrangements.

Where certain conditions are met, an unlicensed ship may be granted a continuing voyage permit to engage in trade between Australian ports. Subsection 286(4) of the Navigation Act provides that such a permit may be cancelled by the Minister, but the Minister must have given the master, owner or agent of the ship at least six months’ notice of his or intention to cancel the permit.

This provision is being amended to allow a continuing voyage permit to be cancelled in a much shorter time period if the Minister considers that such cancellation is in the public interest. The permit holder will be given an opportunity to show cause why the permit should not be cancelled and will be able to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for the review of a decision to cancel a permit.

While abuse of alcohol or other drugs on ships is not a significant problem, it is important that there be provision to detect any such abuse as even one crew member of a ship being unable to perform his or her duties may have catastrophic results. The Navigation Act already provides for breath testing to determine blood alcohol content but, because of inconsistency in the use of terms within the Act, the necessary associated regulations to determine precisely how breath testing is to occur have not been able to be made. This bill will ensure that terminology is consistent.

The Navigation Act is also being amended to allow for the taking of mouth swabs to enable testing for the presence of drugs.

The last amendment which I will mention is an amendment to the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act which will require Australian chemical tankers to prepare and carry a Marine Pollution Emergency Plan for Noxious Liquid Substances. Carriage of such a plan on board a chemical tanker will provide a ready reference for the crew in case of a pollution incident involving hazardous liquids.

The requirement to carry a Marine Pollution Emergency Plan for Noxious Liquid Substances is in accordance with the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. Ships are already required to carry similar plans setting out procedures in cases of pollution by oil and the management of shipboard waste.

This bill continues the Government’s efforts to enhance Australia’s shipping safety and pollution prevention regimes.


HIGHER EDUCATION LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (2005 MEASURES No. 3) BILL 2005

Before I introduce the specific measures in this bill I’d like to recap some of our achievements in higher education reform to date.

The Australian Government’s priorities for higher education are to ensure that universities continue to diversify and that teaching and research are fostered whilst addressing stakeholder needs. We want an internationally competitive higher education system with our best universities in the top tier of world rankings.

Laying the foundation for this is an increase in public investment in the sector of around $11 billion over 10 years from 2005 to 2014. The Australian Government is providing record numbers of opportunities for students with almost 410,000 student places being provided in 2005.

This package of higher education reforms now being implemented provides Australian higher education institutions with additional resources to equip them to face international challenges. Underpinning the reforms are the key principles of sustainability, quality, equity, diversity, choice and consistency.

The reforms are enabling universities and students to make informed choices, supported by new co-financing arrangements, increased funding, subsidised loans and scholarships. In particular, the approval of new higher education providers has given students more diverse choices for study.

The reforms have provided greater scope for diversity within the higher education system through initiatives such as partial fee deregulation; access to some Commonwealth support for a greater range of higher education institutions; and performance and incentive based funding to encourage universities to differentiate their missions and to achieve reform in areas of learning and teaching, equity, workplace productivity, and collaboration.

This bill builds on these achievements.

This bill now before us contains measures which will enhance the legislative framework under which Australia’s higher education system now operates.

In particular the bill will strengthen the accountability arrangements already in place under the Higher Education Support Act 2003, so that the Australian Government and Australian students can be assured that all higher education providers have structures and procedures in place which are fair, transparent and accountable.

The bill will clarify the fairness requirements in the Act to ensure that higher education providers’ selection procedures are based on merit in the providers’ ‘reasonable view’. This amendment reflects the Australian Government’s policy that all higher education providers, public and private, must have open, fair and transparent selection procedures in relation to students.

The bill will provide for ministerial discretion to require an audit to be conducted on the operation of non-Table A providers to determine their adherence to the financial viability, fairness, compliance and contribution and fee requirements of the Act. It is envisaged that such compliance audits would be conducted on an ‘as required’ basis, rather than a regular or cyclical basis.

The bill will also clarify the requirements that need to be satisfied before a person is taken to be a Commonwealth supported student.

These measures are designed to make certain that students are properly informed and protected about decisions made by higher education providers which affect them.

The bill will also make some minor technical revisions to the Higher Education Support Act 2003 including amending it to reflect the new business name of Open Learning Australia: Open Universities Australia, clarifying that the guidelines for ‘incidental fees’ and fees in respect of overseas students are to be specified in the Higher Education Provider Guidelines rather than the Commonwealth Grant Scheme Guidelines, and clarifying the definition of Student Load as it relates to a bridging course for overseas-trained professionals.

The bill also amends the Australian National University Act 1991 to repeal an obsolete heading.

Full details of the measures in the bill are contained in the explanatory memorandum circulated to honourable Senators.

I commend the bill to the Senate.


CIVIL AVIATION LEGISLATION AMEND-MENT (MUTUAL RECOGNITION WITH NEW ZEALAND) BILL 2005

The Civil Aviation Legislation Amendment (Mutual Recognition with New Zealand) Bill 2005 (the bill) amends the Civil Aviation Act 1988 to put into effect an historic joint Australian and New Zealand commitment to mutually recognise each other’s aviation-related safety certification.

The bill has been developed in close consultation with New Zealand. New Zealand’s corresponding legislation was introduced and passed by their Parliament in March last year.

This bill and its associated regulations represent the first step in mutual recognition of aviation safety certificates between Australia and New Zealand. The bill permits the mutual recognition of Air Operators Certificates (AOCs) for operation of aircraft of more than 30 seats or 15,000kg, as issued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in Australia and the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAANZ).

Extension of mutual recognition of certificates beyond AOCs for the operation of large aircraft will be effected through amendments to legislation. This follows the recommendation made by the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee in June 2004.

This provides for a safe and measured introduction of the initiative that can gradually be extended, as both countries consider appropriate. This also provides Parliament with a level of transparency that is fitting to such an important initiative.

AOCs permit a person or organisation to conduct commercial activities and are issued only if the aviation safety regulator is satisfied about the matters specified in the legislation.

On that basis, under the new mutual recognition arrangements, CASA will be able to approve an AOC for an Australian operator that will authorise operations in both Australia and New Zealand and will be accepted for use by New Zealand authorities. This particular AOC will be termed an Australian AOC with ANZA privileges, where ANZA means Australia and New Zealand Aviation.

The aviation authority that issues the AOC with ANZA privileges will be the one to regulate its use by the operator, whether its operations are in Australia or New Zealand. This means that Australian operators opting to hold an AOC with ANZA privileges issued by CASA will be subject to regulatory oversight by CASA even when operating in New Zealand, and vice versa.

It is important to note, however, that although the operator will be overseen by the authority that issued the AOC, it will also be required to comply with the general laws and rules of the air applicable to operations in the country in which they are operating. For example, New Zealand operators conducting passenger services in Australia using an AOC with ANZA privileges issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, will have to comply with Australian laws with respect to the environment, curfew, aviation security and carrier’s liability.

The New Zealand legislation has a similar provision in relation to the ability of the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand to issue an AOC with ANZA privileges to New Zealand operators that wish to operate in Australia as well as New Zealand.

There are three important aspects of this proposal.

The first and most important, is that there will be no effect on the safety of aircraft operations in either Australia or New Zealand.

The second is that mutual recognition is expected to reduce administrative costs of airlines, because they will no longer have to hold and comply with dual certification issued in both countries. This in turn will remove a barrier to airlines taking up commercial opportunities available under trans-Tasman air services arrangements.

The third is the fact that this initiative is a major step forward in the integration of the trans-Tasman aviation market and marks an historic development in the aviation relationship between Australia and New Zealand.

With regard to safety, consideration has been given to the issue of whether safety would be compromised by the adoption of mutual recognition. It has been concluded that it will not, because it has been recognised and accepted that Australia and New Zealand have aviation safety standards that are each consistent with the International Civil Aviation Organisation standards for airline operations using large capacity aircraft.

It is also important to note that mutual recognition is not about harmonisation of Australian and New Zealand safety standards. Australia and New Zealand recognise that there are differences between our two systems, including in particular standards, but these can be accepted, as it is the overall safety outcome achieved by each system that is being recognised.

Notwithstanding this, by way of added guarantee, further measures have been built into this bill to ensure that safety is maintained at current high levels. One example is a provision that ensures that the regulator most effectively able to monitor the activities of the operator will be the one to issue the AOC with ANZA privileges. In nearly all cases this will, of course, be the operator’s home regulator as determined by a number of set criteria.

Another provision allows a regulator to issue a temporary stop notice to an operator holding an AOC with ANZA privileges issued by the other regulator, who is normally responsible for regulating the safety of its operations. Temporary stop notices would only be issued if the safety regulator considered there was a serious risk to flying safety. The provision builds in a strong safeguard that may never be needed but is nevertheless available to both regulators. The temporary stop notice will be in force for a maximum period of seven days, during which time the regulator that issued the AOC will consider what action should be taken in relation to the operator in question.

Strong communication and cooperation between CASA and the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand will underpin mutual recognition and are provided for by the provisions of this bill. Indeed mutual recognition has only been possible because of the joint understanding and commitment of the two regulatory agencies to continued safe practice.

An advantage of mutual recognition is the fact that operators will be able to use both Australian and New Zealand registered aircraft, regardless of which authority provides their AOC with ANZA privileges, providing the aircraft is included on the certificate. This will allow airlines to cross-utilise their aircraft and will provide increased flexibility for their operation.

These efficiencies are likely to have flow on savings to the wider community, through the airlines concerned, either by reduced fares or through greater choice as a result of competition.

Mutual recognition arrangements will, however, remain optional. An operator will therefore have the flexibility to continue to hold two separate AOCs if they wish.

This said, operators who do opt for an AOC with ANZA privileges from its home regulator will not be able to hold an AOC issued by the other. This is because it is important that all parties understand what AOC is in force and which regulator is ensuring compliance with it.

Mutual recognition is an undertaking by both Governments that arose as a result of the Open Skies Air Services Agreement between Australia and New Zealand.

The Open Skies Agreement was itself an important step in the further development of closer economic relations with New Zealand, intended to promote competition and build upon the principles contained in the Australia-New Zealand Single Aviation Market arrangements.

When the Open Skies Agreement was negotiated in November 2000, the overall value of the Australia-New Zealand Single Aviation Market was estimated at $6.8 billion (NZ$8.7 billion). Mutual recognition will create opportunities for our airlines that will add further value to the relationship between our two countries.

It will help to ensure that the benefits of the integration of our two aviation markets continue, making it easier for Australian and New Zealand airlines to operate services in both countries, to integrate their fleets and achieve operating efficiencies.

Australia is committed to the implementation of this important initiative.


BROADCASTING LEGISLATION AMEND-MENT BILL (No. 1) 2005

The Broadcasting Legislation Amendment Bill (No 1) 2005 amends the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA) and the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (Radcoms Act) to provide a framework for the conversion of commercial television broadcasting services in regional and remote areas of Western Australia from analogue to digital.

Significantly, the provisions will allow the commercial licensees in regional and remote WA, WIN and Prime, to provide a new, third digital service for people living outside Perth, alongside their two current services. For the first time, regional Western Australians will be able to enjoy a level of television services similar to those currently enjoyed by viewers in Perth.

The BSA currently does not specify detailed measures for the introduction of digital television services in remote areas. This was in recognition of the need to give consideration to the special circumstances of remote areas. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which will be established on 1 July, merging the Australian Communications Authority with the Australian Broadcasting Authority, is required to make a legislative instrument—a Commercial Television Conversion Scheme—to set out the terms of that conversion process.

In addition, section 38B of the BSA allows commercial broadcasters in licence areas with only two commercial licences to jointly (or one broadcaster individually) elect to provide a third, digital-only service. Where they elect to do so jointly, they must provide each of the digital versions of their analogue services, and the new joint service, on a separate television channel, and provide high definition television (HDTV) programs.

Items 1 to 8 of Schedule 1 to the bill contain amendments to the BSA that define the circumstances where remote area licensees can elect to provide a section 38B service. Remote area licensees who have elected to provide jointly a section 38B service will be able to multichannel the three commercial digital services on a single radiofrequency channel, with exemption from HDTV quotas. Similarly, if the section 38B service is provided by only one of the two licensees, that licensee will be able to multichannel the digital version of their analogue service, and the section 38B service on a single digital channel.

This represents a significant saving for the licensees concerned. Instead of having to establish and maintain two or three sets of digital transmission infrastructure, with capacity for HDTV, they will be able to establish only one, shared set of infrastructure, without the additional cost of investing in HDTV equipment.

Items 9 to 11 of Schedule 1 to the bill contain corresponding amendments to the Radcoms Act relating to the transmitter licences that authorise the operation of those transmitters.

Passage of this legislation will enable the ACMA to proceed to develop the Commercial Television Conversion Scheme for Western Australian regional and remote areas, allowing digital broadcasting to commence in these areas and the new service to be provided.

The digital television conversion model which would be enabled by passage of the bill represents a balance between public interest considerations and the special circumstances of remote area commercial television broadcasters. These broadcasters face significant cost pressures due to the wide geographic area they service, and the sparse population. Delivery of HDTV to all viewers in this market would be a very significant cost to broadcasters. Viewers will benefit from the new third digital service, delivering a substantially increased range of information and entertainment.

Nevertheless, the bill makes specific provision for remote commercial broadcasters to change their digital transmission arrangements in the future to provide HDTV services, if they choose to do so.

This model also achieves significant cost savings in respect of the public purse because funding assistance to the broadcasters under the Government’s Regional Equalisation Plan is reduced, corresponding with the reduced digital conversion costs to broadcasters.


ARTS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (MARITIME MUSEUM AND FILM, TELEVISION AND RADIO SCHOOL) BILL 2005

The Arts Legislation Amendment (Maritime Museum and Film, Television and Radio School) Bill 2005 (the bill) provides flexibility for certain functions of the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

The Australian Film, Television and Radio School is the nation’s flagship training institution for our film and broadcasting industry practitioners. The School provides high quality, up-to-date training for emerging and established film and broadcasting industry professionals.

The proposed amendments will afford the School and its Council an appropriate level of discretion in determining how the School’s curriculum can best serve the film and broadcasting industries, practitioners and students.

The film and broadcasting industries are operating in a dynamic and rapidly changing environment. The proposed amendments to the Australian Film, Television and Radio School Act 1973 will also ensure the School is able to respond to the needs of industry promptly and effectively.

Currently, the School can only award degrees, diplomas and certificates provided by the regulations. This requires that regulations be made and/or revoked each time a new course is offered or an old course withdrawn.

The process is time consuming and cumbersome. The process does not allow the School to rapidly respond to the needs of the film and broadcasting industries, practitioners and students.

The effect of the proposed amendments will be that the School would, for example, be able to offer new courses and then award relevant degrees, diplomas or certificates as the School believes is appropriate. This will ensure that the approval process is faster and more streamlined.

For the Australian National Maritime Museum, whose responsibility it is to manage and care for the national maritime collection, the proposed minor amendments have the potential to provide greater flexibility in how museum entry charges can be fixed, and also to clarify the Museum’s power to fix charges for entry to special exhibitions and events.

The present arrangements have lead to a lack of flexibility and clarity in relation to fixing entry charges at the Museum.

At present, the Governor-General may make regulations fixing charges for entering the Museum’s premises. The Act also provides that the Museum can fix charges for entry to special exhibitions and events, in addition to those charges fixed by the Governor-General.

The proposed amendments would allow the Governor-General to delegate the power to fix entry charges. If that power was delegated to the Museum, it would be able to identify and vary charges for different premises and special exhibitions and events in a more responsive fashion, without the need for amendments to the Australian National Maritime Museum Regulations 1991.

The proposed amendments would also have the effect of bringing the arrangements for Australian National Maritime Museum into line with those for other national institutions in the arts portfolio such as the National Museum of Australia.

These proposed minor amendments would provide greater flexibility and clarity of process for both of these cultural agencies. They would provide each agency with the ability to respond to public and industry demand in a flexible and timely way, allowing them to best meet their objectives to enrich our cultural landscape.


ACTS INTERPRETATION AMENDMENT (LEGISLATIVE INSTRUMENTS) BILL 2005

The main purpose of this bill is to insert a new interpretive provision, section 15AE, into the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

New section 15AE will explain what is meant when a provision of a law provides for the making of an instrument which is described as being a legislative instrument and what is meant when a provision of a law provides for the making of an instrument which is described as not being a legislative instrument. New section 15AE was requested by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel and will make clear that wherever the term `legislative instrument’ appears in legislation, it has a particular meaning.

The amendments operate from the commencement of the legislative instruments legislation (1 January 2005) and have no adverse effects. Including the new provision of `legislative instrument’ in the Acts Interpretation Act will preclude the need to define the term every time it is used in legislation. The new definition has no substantive effect, as it is a definitional section and thus a shortening device.

The bill also makes a number of consequential amendments to provisions in Part XI of the Acts Interpretation Act. The provisions in that part were inserted by the Legislative Instruments (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2003 to preserve the operation of the Acts Interpretation Act in relation to non-legislative instruments. The provisions in Part XI have parallel provisions in the Legislative Instruments Act in relation to legislative instruments.

The proposed consequential amendments to these provisions of the Acts Interpretation Act are drafting changes only in consequence of the insertion of new section 15AE and make no substantive changes to the Acts Interpretation Act.

Ordered that further consideration of these bills be adjourned to the first day of the next period of sittings, in accordance with standing order 111.

Ordered that the bills be listed on the Notice Paper as separate orders of the day.