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Rehab Service Reform Bill/Latest

Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                               

1............ Short title............................................................................................

2............ Commencement..................................................................................

Part 2—Transitional provisions relating to the corporatisation of the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service                                                                                                                                        

Division 1—Introduction                                                                                            

3............ Simplified outline...............................................................................

4............ Definitions..........................................................................................

5............ Nominated company..........................................................................

6............ Commonwealth-owned company......................................................

7............ Crown to be bound.............................................................................

8............ External Territories.............................................................................

9............ Extraterritorial operation....................................................................

Division 2—Transfers from the Commonwealth to the nominated company       

10.......... Transfer of assets...............................................................................

11.......... Transfer of contractual rights and obligations....................................

12.......... Transfer of liabilities..........................................................................

13.......... Transfers of land may be registered...................................................

14.......... This Division does not modify registers kept by land registration officials            

Division 3—Miscellaneous                                                                                     

15.......... Exemption of nominated company from State and Territory taxes.

16.......... Nominated company not to be an agency of the Commonwealth etc.

17.......... Compensation—constitutional safety-net.......................................

18.......... Application of the Legislative Instruments Act 1998 .......................

19.......... Regulations.......................................................................................

Part 3—Amendments                                                                                                          

20.......... Schedule(s).......................................................................................

Schedule 1—Defence (Re-establishment) Act 1965                                         

Schedule 2—Disability Services Act 1986                                                             

Schedule 3—Freedom of Information Act 1982                                                  

Schedule 4—Hearing Services Administration Act 1997                               

Schedule 5—Income Tax Assessment Act 1997                                                 

Schedule 6—Re-establishment and Employment Act 1945                          

Schedule 7—Social Security Act 1991                                                                      

Schedule 8—Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986                                      



A Bill for an Act to enact transitional provisions relating to the corporatisation of the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

   

1   Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service Reform Act 1998 .

2   Commencement

             (1)  Parts 1 and 2 commence on the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3), Part 3 commences on a day to be fixed by Proclamation.

             (3)  If Part 3 does not commence under subsection (2) within the period of 6 months after the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent, that Part commences on the first day after the end of that period.



 

Division 1 Introduction

3   Simplified outline

                   The following is a simplified outline of this Part:

•      This Part provides for the corporatisation of the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service ( CRS ). CRS was a part of the Department as at the commencement of this Part.

•      In this Part, the new corporate structure for the operations of the CRS is called the nominated company .

•      The Commonwealth may transfer CRS assets, contracts and liabilities to the nominated company.

•      Except as prescribed by regulation, the nominated company will be exempt from State and Territory taxes so long as the company is Commonwealth-owned.

•      The nominated company will generally not be treated as an agency of the Commonwealth.

4   Definitions

                   In this Part, unless the contrary intention appears:

asset means:

                     (a)  any legal or equitable estate or interest in real or personal property, whether actual, contingent or prospective; and

                     (b)  any right, power, privilege or immunity, whether actual, contingent or prospective.

Commonwealth-owned , in relation to a company, has the meaning given by section 6.

contract includes:

                     (a)  a deed; and

                     (b)  a deed poll.

CRS means the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service.

instrument includes a document.

land registration official , in relation to land, means the Registrar of Titles or other proper officer of the State or Territory in which the land is situated.

liability means any liability, duty or obligation, whether actual, contingent or prospective.

nominated company has the meaning given by section 5.

5   Nominated company

             (1)  The Minister may, by writing, declare that a specified company is the nominated company for the purposes of this Part.

             (2)  A declaration is not to be made in respect of a company unless the company:

                     (a)  is incorporated under the Corporations Law of the Australian Capital Territory; and

                     (b)  has a share capital.

             (3)  The declaration has effect accordingly.

             (4)  A copy of the declaration is to be published in the Gazette within 21 days after the making of the declaration.

6   Commonwealth-owned company

                   For the purposes of this Part, a company is Commonwealth-owned at a particular time if, and only if, all the shares in the company are beneficially owned by the Commonwealth at that time.

7   Crown to be bound

                   This Part binds the Crown in right of the Commonwealth, of each of the States, of the Australian Capital Territory, of the Northern Territory and of Norfolk Island.

8   External Territories

                   This Part extends to all the external Territories.

9   Extraterritorial operation

                   This Part extends to acts, omissions, matters and things outside Australia, whether or not in a foreign country.



 

Division 2 Transfers from the Commonwealth to the nominated company

10   Transfer of assets

             (1)  This section applies to an asset of the Commonwealth that was used, is used, or is proposed to be used, by CRS.

             (2)  The Minister may, by writing, make any or all of the following declarations:

                     (a)  a declaration that a specified asset vests in the nominated company at a specified time without any conveyance, transfer or assignment;

                     (b)  a declaration that a specified instrument relating to a specified asset continues to have effect after the asset vests in the nominated company as if a reference in the instrument to the Commonwealth were a reference to the nominated company;

                     (c)  a declaration that the nominated company becomes the Commonwealth’s successor in law in relation to a specified asset immediately after the asset vests in the nominated company.

Note:          An asset or instrument may be specified by name, by inclusion in a specified class or in any other way.

             (3)  A declaration under subsection (2) has effect accordingly.

             (4)  A copy of a declaration under subsection (2) is to be published in the Gazette within 21 days after the making of the declaration.

             (5)  A time specified under paragraph (2)(a) must be a time when the nominated company is Commonwealth-owned.

             (6)  Subsection (2) does not prevent the Commonwealth from transferring an asset to the nominated company otherwise than under that subsection.

11   Transfer of contractual rights and obligations

             (1)  This section applies to a contract (other than a contract of employment):

                     (a)  that related or relates to CRS; and

                     (b)  to which the Commonwealth is a party.

             (2)  The Minister may, by writing, declare that the Commonwealth’s rights and obligations under a specified contract:

                     (a)  cease to be rights and obligations of the Commonwealth at a specified time; and

                     (b)  become rights and obligations of the nominated company at that time.

             (3)  The Minister may, by writing, declare that a specified contract continues to have effect after a specified time as if a reference in the contract to the Commonwealth were a reference to the nominated company.

             (4)  The Minister may, by writing, declare that a specified instrument relating to a specified contract continues to have effect, after the Commonwealth’s rights and obligations under the contract become rights and obligations of the nominated company, as if a reference in the instrument to the Commonwealth were a reference to the nominated company.

             (5)  The Minister may, by writing, declare that the nominated company becomes the Commonwealth’s successor in law, in relation to the Commonwealth’s rights and obligations under a specified contract, immediately after the Commonwealth’s rights and obligations under the contract become rights and obligations of the nominated company.

             (6)  A declaration under this section has effect accordingly.

             (7)  A copy of a declaration under this section is to be published in the Gazette within 21 days after the making of the declaration.

             (8)  A time specified under subsection (2) or (3) must be a time when the nominated company is Commonwealth-owned.

             (9)  This section does not, by implication, limit section 10.

12   Transfer of liabilities

             (1)  This section applies to a liability of the Commonwealth that related or relates to CRS.

             (2)  The Minister may, by writing, make any or all of the following declarations:

                     (a)  a declaration that a specified liability ceases to be a liability of the Commonwealth and becomes a liability of the nominated company at a specified time;

                     (b)  a declaration that a specified instrument relating to a specified liability continues to have effect after the liability becomes a liability of the nominated company as if a reference in the instrument to the Commonwealth were a reference to the nominated company;

                     (c)  a declaration that the nominated company becomes the Commonwealth’s successor in law in relation to a specified liability immediately after the liability becomes a liability of the nominated company.

             (3)  A declaration under subsection (2) has effect accordingly.

             (4)  A copy of a declaration under subsection (2) is to be published in the Gazette within 21 days after the making of the declaration.

             (5)  A time specified under paragraph (2)(a) must be a time when the nominated company is Commonwealth-owned.

Note:          A liability or instrument may be specified by name, by inclusion in a specified class or in any other way.

13   Transfers of land may be registered

             (1)  This section applies if:

                     (a)  any right, title or interest in particular land vests in the nominated company under section 10; and

                     (b)  there is lodged with a land registration official a certificate that:

                              (i)  is signed by the Minister; and

                             (ii)  identifies the land; and

                            (iii)  states that the right, title or interest has become vested in the nominated company under section 10.

             (2)  The land registration official may:

                     (a)  register the matter in a way that is the same as, or similar to, the way in which dealings in land of that kind are registered; and

                     (b)  deal with, and give effect to, the certificate.

             (3)  A document that appears to be a certificate under subsection (1) is taken to be such a certificate, and to have been properly given, unless the contrary is established.

14   This Division does not modify registers kept by land registration officials

                   This Division, in so far as it provides for the interpretation of references in other instruments, does not modify any register kept by a land registration official under a law of a State or Territory.



 

Division 3 Miscellaneous

15   Exemption of nominated company from State and Territory taxes

             (1)  The nominated company is not subject to taxation under a law of a State or Territory in respect of a particular period if, throughout that period:

                     (a)  the nominated company is Commonwealth-owned; and

                     (b)  the nominated company only carries on activities that are within the legislative powers of the Parliament.

             (2)  The regulations may provide that subsection (1) does not apply in relation to taxation under a specified law.

16   Nominated company not to be an agency of the Commonwealth etc.

             (1)  Subject to subsection (2), the nominated company is not taken, for the purposes of a law, to be:

                     (a)  a Commonwealth authority; or

                     (b)  established for a public purpose or for a purpose of the Commonwealth; or

                     (c)  a public authority or an agency or instrumentality of the Crown;

(within the ordinary meaning of the expression concerned) unless a law expressly provides otherwise.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not prevent the nominated company from being a Commonwealth authority for the purposes of the Public Service Act 1922 if paragraph (c) or (d) of the definition of Commonwealth authority in subsection 7(1) of that Act applies to the company.

             (3)  Subsection (2) is enacted for the avoidance of doubt.

             (4)  In this section:

law means:

                     (a)  an Act of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory; or

                     (b)  regulations or any other instrument made under such an Act.

17   Compensation—constitutional safety-net

             (1)  If:

                     (a)  apart from this section, the operation of this Part would result in the acquisition of property from a person otherwise than on just terms; and

                     (b)  the acquisition would be invalid because of paragraph 51(xxxi) of the Constitution;

the Commonwealth is liable to pay compensation of a reasonable amount to the person in respect of the acquisition.

             (2)  If the Commonwealth and the person do not agree on the amount of the compensation, the person may institute proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia for the recovery from the Commonwealth of such reasonable amount of compensation as the Court determines.

             (3)  In this section:

acquisition of property has the same meaning as in paragraph 51(xxxi) of the Constitution.

just terms has the same meaning as in paragraph 51(xxxi) of the Constitution.

18   Application of the Legislative Instruments Act 199 8

                   To avoid doubt, an instrument made under this Part (other than a regulation under section 19) is not taken to be a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislative Instruments Act 1998 .

19   Regulations

                   The Governor-General may make regulations prescribing all matters:

                     (a)  required or permitted by this Part to be prescribed; or

                     (b)  necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Part.



 

   

20   Schedule(s)

                   Subject to section 2, each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.



   

Parts V and VA

Repeal the Parts.

2  Saving

(1)        Despite the repeal of Parts V and VA of the Defence (Re-establishment) Act 1965 , those Parts continue to apply in respect of people who were receiving any assistance or benefits under those Parts immediately before their repeal.

(2)        For the purposes of the repealed Parts V and VA of the Defence (Re-establishment) Act 1965 as they so continue to apply, any reference to, or to a provision of, Part III of the Disability Services Act 1986 is taken to be a reference to, or to that provision of, as the case may be, the repealed Part III of that Act as it continues to apply under item 5 of Schedule 2 to this Act.



 

   

1  Part III

Repeal the Part.

2  Paragraph 31(1)(cb)

Omit “section 14F; and”, substitute “section 14F.”.

3  Paragraph 31(1)(d)

Repeal the paragraph.

4  Paragraph 33(1)(d)

Repeal the paragraph.

5  Saving

(1)        Despite the repeals and amendments made by items 1 to 4, the Disability Services Act 1986 as in force immediately before the commencement of this Schedule (including that Act as affected at that time by section 150 of the Re-establishment and Employment Act 1945 and section 47 of the Defence (Re-establishment) Act 1965 ) continues to apply, subject to subitem (2), in respect of approved rehabilitation programs that were in force at that time.

(2)        For the purposes of the Disability Services Act 1986 as it continues to apply under subitem (1):

                     (a)  the reference in subsection 34(1) of that Act to an officer is taken to be a reference to an employee of the nominated company referred to in section 5 of this Act; and

                     (b)  if a delegation was in force under subsection 34(1) of that Act immediately before the commencement of this Schedule and the person who was the delegate becomes, at or after that commencement, an employee of the nominated company, the delegation is taken to be a delegation given to the person, immediately after he or she becomes such an employee, under that subsection as it continues to have effect under paragraph (a).



 

   

1  Schedule 3

Omit:

Disability Services Act 1986 , subsections 28(2) and (6).



 

   

1  Paragraph 5(2)(g)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (g)  a person referred to the Minister in connection with the provision of a service under a rehabilitation program under the repealed Part III of the Disability Services Act 1986 as that Part continues to apply under item 5 of Schedule 2 to the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service Reform Act 1998 ;

                     (h)  a person referred to the Minister in connection with the provision of a service under a rehabilitation program (within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991 ).



 

   

1  Section 53-10 (table item 1)

Repeal the item, substitute:

1

Rehabilitation payment

A rehabilitation program as defined by subsection 23(1) of the Social Security Act 1991 .

None



 

   

1  Division 3 of Part XI

Repeal the Division.

2  Saving

(1)        Despite the repeal of Division 3 of Part XI of the Re-establishment and Employment Act 1945 , that Division continues to apply in respect of people who were receiving any assistance or benefit under that Division immediately before its repeal.

(2)        For the purposes of the repealed Division 3 of the Re-establishment and Employment Act 1945 as it so continues to apply, any reference to, or to a provision of, Part III of the Disability Services Act 1986 is taken to be a reference to, or to that provision of, as the case may be, the repealed Part III of that Act as it continues to apply under item 5 of Schedule 2 to this Act.



 

   

1  Paragraph 8(8)(f)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                      (f)  a payment made under, or the value of, any rehabilitation program;

2  Subsection 23(1) (paragraph (a) of the definition of rehabilitation program )

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (a)  a rehabilitation program under the repealed Part III of the Disability Services Act 1986 as that Part continues to apply under item 5 of Schedule 2 to the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service Reform Act 1998 ; or

                    (aa)  a program of rehabilitation services provided under a contract made between the provider of the services and the Commonwealth, other than services provided by a State or organisation wholly or partly out of financial assistance granted to the State or organisation under Part II of the Disability Services Act 1986 ; or

3  Section 31

Repeal the section, substitute:

31   Approval of follow-up rehabilitation programs

                   The Secretary may determine in writing that a specified follow-up program is a follow-up program for the purposes of this Act.

4  Saving

A follow-up program that:

                     (a)  immediately before the commencement of item 3, was determined by the Secretary to the Department of Social Security to be a follow-up program for the purposes of the Social Security Act 1991 ; and

                     (b)  continues in effect under repealed Part III of the Disability Services Act 1986 as that Part continues to apply under item 5 of Schedule 2 to the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service Reform Act 1998 ;

is taken to be a follow-up program determined under section 31 substituted in the Social Security Act 1991 by that item.

5  Subparagraph 1035(b)(ii)

Repeal the subparagraph, substitute:

                             (ii)  the person is undertaking vocational training (other than training provided as part of a rehabilitation program);



 

   

1  Paragraph 5H(8)(m)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                    (m)  a payment made under, or the value of, any rehabilitation program within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991 ;