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PRODUCT STEWARDSHIP BILL 2011

Order of the day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Senator Ludwig)—That this bill be now read a second time.

Debate resumed.

Question put and passed.

Bill read a second time.

The Senate resolved itself into committee for the consideration of the bill.

In the committee

Bill taken as a whole by leave.

Senator Ludlam moved the following amendment:

 Clause 4, page 7 (line 30), at the end of subclause (3), add:

 ; and (c) to contribute to reducing the amount of virgin resources used in products by preferencing recyclate.

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put and negatived.

On the motion of Senator Birmingham the following amendment was debated and agreed to:

 Clause 5, page 8 (lines 1 to 34), omit the clause, substitute:

  

5 Product stewardship criteria

   The product stewardship criteria are satisfied in relation to a class of products if:

 (a) the products in the class are in a national market; and

 (b) at least one of the following applies in relation to the products in the class:

 (i) the products contain hazardous substances;

 (ii) there is the potential to significantly increase the conservation of materials used in the products, or the recovery of resources (including materials and energy) from waste from the products;

 (iii) there is the potential to significantly reduce the impact that the products have on the environment, or that substances in the products have on the environment, or on the health or safety of human beings.

   Note: Whether the product stewardship criteria are satisfied in relation to a class of products is relevant for determining whether:

(a) to accredit a voluntary arrangement in relation to that class of products (see subsection 13(3)); or

(b) regulations can be made under this Act in relation to the class of products (see sections 19 (co-regulatory product stewardship—liable parties for class of products) and 39 (mandatory product stewardship requirements)).


On the motion of Senator Ludlam the following amendments, taken together by leave, were debated and agreed to:

 Clause 6, page 9 (after line 9), after the definition of administrator, insert:

   Advisory Group means the Product Stewardship Advisory Group established by subsection 108B(1).

 Page 92 (after line 27), after clause 108, insert:

  

108B Product Stewardship Advisory Group

   Establishment

  (1) The Product Stewardship Advisory Group is established by this subsection.

   Function

  (2) The Advisory Group's function is to provide advice to the Minister:

 (a) at the Advisory Group's own initiative—in relation to the performance of the Minister's function under subsection 108A(1) (products being considered for accreditation or regulation); and

 (b) when requested to do so by the Minister—in relation to the performance of the Minister's functions under this Act.

   Further provisions about the Advisory Group

  (3) Schedule 1 contains further provisions about the Advisory Group.

 Page 93 (after line 20), at the end of the bill, add:

 Schedule 1—Product Stewardship Advisory Group

Note: See subsection 108B(3).

 

1 Membership of Advisory Group

  (1) The Advisory Group consists of the following members:

 (a) at least 5, and no more than 9, members appointed under clause 2;

 (b) a Chair appointed under clause 3.

  (2) The performance of the functions of the Advisory Group is not affected by reason only of the number of Advisory Group members falling below 6 for a period of not more than 6 months.

   

2 Appointment of members of Advisory Group (other than the Chair)

  (1) An Advisory Group member (other than the Chair) is to be appointed by the Minister, by written instrument, on a part-time basis.

   Note: The Chair of the Advisory Group is appointed under clause 3.

  (2) A person must not be appointed under this clause unless the Minister is satisfied that the person has appropriate qualifications, knowledge or experience.

  (3) Before appointing a person under this clause, the Minister must consult with:

 (a) one or more groups from among each of the following:

 (i) groups with technical and scientific expertise;

 (ii) industry and business groups;

 (iii) environmental groups;

 (iv) consumer groups;

 (v) groups representing local government interests; and


 (b) State and Territory governments.

  (4) An Advisory Group member appointed under this clause holds office for the period specified in his or her instrument of appointment. The period must not exceed 3 years.

   Note: For reappointment, see the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

    

3 Appointment of Chair of Advisory Group

  (1) The Minister must appoint a person (other than an Advisory Group member appointed under clause 2) as the Chair of the Advisory Group, by written instrument, on a part-time basis.

  (2) A person must not be appointed as the Chair of the Advisory Group unless the Minister is satisfied that the person has appropriate qualifications, knowledge or experience.

  (3) The Minister may, by written instrument, appoint an Advisory Group member to act as the Chair:

 (a) during a vacancy in the office of Chair (whether or not an appointment has previously been made to the office); or

 (b) during any period, or during all periods, when the Chair:

 (i) is absent from duty or from Australia; or

 (ii) is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office.

   Example: The Chair would be unable to perform the duties of the office if required not to be present during a deliberation by the Advisory Group, and not to take part in any decision of the Advisory Group, under subclause 8(4) or (5) (disclosure of interests to Advisory Group).

  (4) Anything done by or in relation to a person purporting to act under an appointment is not invalid merely because:

 (a) the occasion for the appointment had not arisen; or

 (b) there was a defect or irregularity in connection with the appointment; or

 (c) the appointment had ceased to have effect; or

 (d) the occasion to act had not arisen or had ceased.

 

4 Remuneration

  (1) An Advisory Group member is to be paid the remuneration and allowances (if any) that are prescribed by the regulations.

  (2) The office of an Advisory Group member is not a public office within the meaning of the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973.

   

5 Leave of absence

  (1) The Chair of the Advisory Group may grant leave of absence to another Advisory Group member on the terms and conditions that the Chair determines.

  (2) The Minister may grant leave of absence to the Chair of the Advisory Group on the terms and conditions that the Minister determines.

   


6 Procedures of Advisory Group

  (1) The Advisory Group may determine the way in which it is to perform its function (including when and where it meets and procedures to be followed in relation to its meetings).

  (2) However, subclause (1) applies subject to any written directions given to the Advisory Group by the Minister for the purposes of this subsection.

  (3) The Minister must not give directions under subclause (2) about the content of any advice that may be given to the Minister by the Advisory Group.

  (4) A direction given under subclause (2) is not a legislative instrument.

   

7 Disclosure of interests to the Minister

   An Advisory Group member must give written notice to the Minister of all interests, pecuniary or otherwise, that the member has or acquires and that conflict or could conflict with the proper performance of the member's functions.

    

8 Disclosure of interests to the Advisory Group

  (1) An Advisory Group member who has an interest, pecuniary or otherwise, in a matter being considered or about to be considered by the Advisory Group must disclose the nature of the interest to a meeting of the Advisory Group.

  (2) The disclosure must be made as soon as possible after the relevant facts have come to the member's knowledge.

  (3) The disclosure must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting of the Advisory Group.

  (4) Unless the Advisory Group otherwise determines, the Advisory Group member:

 (a) must not be present during any deliberation by the Advisory Group on the matter; and

 (b) must not take part in any decision of the Advisory Group with respect to the matter.

  (5) For the purposes of making a determination under subclause (4), the Advisory Group member:

 (a) must not be present during any deliberation of the Advisory Group for the purpose of making the determination; and

 (b) must not take part in making the determination.

  (6) A determination under subclause (4) must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting of the Advisory Group.

   

9 Resignation

  (1) An Advisory Group member may resign his or her appointment by giving the Minister a written resignation.

  (2) The resignation takes effect on the day it is received by the Minister or, if a later day is specified in the resignation, on that later day.

   


10 Termination of appointment

   The Minister may terminate the appointment of an Advisory Group member:

 (a) for misbehaviour or physical or mental incapacity; or

 (b) if the member:

 (i) becomes bankrupt; or

 (ii) applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors; or

 (iii) compounds with his or her creditors; or

 (iv) makes an assignment of his or her remuneration for the benefit of his or her creditors; or

 (c) if the member is absent, except on leave of absence, from 3 consecutive meetings of the Advisory Group; or

 (d) if the member fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with clause 7 (disclosure of interests to the Minister) or 8 (disclosure of interests to the Advisory Group).

 

11 Other terms and conditions

   An Advisory Group member holds office on the terms and conditions (if any) in relation to matters not covered by this Act that are determined by the Minister.

Explanatory memorandum: The Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water (Senator Farrell) tabled a supplementary explanatory memorandum relating to the government amendments to be moved to the bill.

On the motion of Senator Farrell the following amendments, taken together by leave, were debated and agreed to:

 Clause 9, page 13 (line 11), omit "(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), this Act", substitute "This Act".

 Clause 9, page 13 (line 15) to page 14 (line 23), omit subclauses (2) and (3).

 Clause 17, page 21 (line 17), after "that", insert ", among other things".

 Heading to subclause 19(3), page 25 (line 1), at the end of the heading, add "etc.".

 Clause 19, page 25 (line 8), at the end of paragraph (3)(b), add "; and".

 Clause 19, page 25 (after line 8), after paragraph (3)(b), insert:

 (c) if regulations made for the purposes of subsection (1) are not already in force in relation to the class of products:

 (i) the class of products has been notified in accordance with subsection (3A) no later than 12 months beforehand; or

 (ii) there are special circumstances justifying the making of the regulations without that notification.


 Clause 19, page 25 (after line 10), after subclause (3), insert:

  (3A) For the purposes of subparagraph (3)(c)(i), a class of products must be notified by being included in a list or notice, published on the Department's website, of classes of products in relation to which the Minister is proposing to consider whether some form of accreditation or regulation under this Act might be appropriate.

  (3B) If the Governor-General makes regulations to which subparagraph (3)(c)(ii) applies in relation to a class of products, the regulations must, when laid before both Houses of Parliament under section 38 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003, be accompanied by a statement, prepared by the Minister, setting out the special circumstances mentioned in that subparagraph.

 Clause 36, page 41 (line 14), after "that", insert ", among other things".

 Clause 37, page 43 (line 28), omit "paragraph 39(c)", substitute "paragraph 39(1)(c)".

 Clause 39, page 44 (line 29), omit "Before", substitute "(1) Before".

 Clause 39, page 45 (line 13), at the end of subparagraph (c)(ii), add "; and".

 Clause 39, page 45 (after line 13), after paragraph (c), insert:

 (d) if regulations made for the purposes of section 37 are not already in force in relation to the class of products:

 (i) the class of products has been notified in accordance with subsection (2) no later than 12 months beforehand; or

 (ii) there are special circumstances justifying the making of the regulations without that notification.

 Clause 39, page 45 (line 18), at the end of the clause, add:

  (2) For the purposes of subparagraph (1)(d)(i), a class of products must be notified by being included in a list or notice, published on the Department's website, of classes of products in relation to which the Minister is proposing to consider whether some form of accreditation or regulation under this Act might be appropriate.

  (3) If the Governor-General makes regulations to which subparagraph (1)(d)(ii) applies in relation to a class of products, the regulations must, when laid before both Houses of Parliament under section 38 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003, be accompanied by a statement, prepared by the Minister, setting out the special circumstances mentioned in that subparagraph.

 Heading to clause 108, page 92 (line 1), omit "on Department's website", substitute "about arrangements".

 Page 92, (after line 27), after clause 108, insert:

  

108A Publishing material about products being considered for accreditation or regulation under this Act

  (1) The Minister must publish on the Department's website, before the end of each financial year that starts after the commencement of this Act:


 (a) a list of classes of products in relation to which the Minister is proposing to consider, during the next financial year, whether some form of accreditation or regulation under this Act might be appropriate; and

 (b) the reason (or reasons) why the Minister is proposing to give that consideration.

  (2) In preparing a list of classes of products as required by paragraph (1)(a), the Minister may have regard to any matter the Minister considers relevant, including:

 (a) whether the product stewardship criteria are satisfied in relation to those classes of products; and

 (b) whether one or more of the following apply in relation to the products in those classes:

 (i) reusing, recycling, recovering, treating or disposing of the products involves a significant cost to the Commonwealth, or State, Territory or local governments;

 (ii) the consumer is willing to pay for action that reduces the impact that the products have on the environment, or that substances contained in the products have on the environment, or on the health or safety of human beings;

 (iii) taking action to reduce those impacts will offer business opportunities that would make a contribution to the economy.

  (3) The Minister must cause to be tabled in both Houses of Parliament a list of classes of products published under paragraph (1)(a), accompanied by the reason (or reasons) in relation to that list published under paragraph (1)(b), within 15 sitting days after the day of that publication.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Bill to be reported with amendments.

The Acting Deputy President (Senator Hutchins) resumed the chair and the Temporary Chair of Committees reported accordingly.

On the motion of Senator Farrell the report from the committee was adopted and the bill read a third time.