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Defence Legislation Amendment (Aid to Civilian Authorities) Bill 2000

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2000

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

                          DEFENCE LEGISLATION AMENDMENT

                        (AID TO CIVILIAN AUTHORITIES) BILL 2000

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

Amendments and new clauses to be Moved on Behalf of the Government

 

(Circulated by the authority of the Minister for Defence,

the Hon. John Moore MP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defence Legislation Amendment (Aid to Civilian Authorities) Bill 2000

 

 

OUTLINE

 

 

 

This Bill will  add new provisions to the Defence Act 1903 to enable the utilisation of the Defence Force in assisting the civilian authorities to protect Commonwealth interests and States and Territories against domestic violence. The Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on 28 June 2000. It was referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defence for inquiry and report. After receiving oral and written submissions the Committee tabled its report on 16 August 2000, making a number of recommendations.

 

The Government amendments to the Bill aim to address the Committee’s recommendations and to rectify a minor drafting inconsistency.

 

 

                                       

 

 

  

 

 

 

      FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The amendments will have no impact on Commonwealth expenditure or revenue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Defence Legislation Amendment

(Aid to Civilian Authorities) Bill 2000

 

Amendment 1

 

1.         Amendment 1 will include a definition of “Presiding Officer”. It is defined to mean the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

 

Amendment 2

 

2.         Amendment 2 amends subsection 51A(2) of the Bill by extending the existing industrial relations proviso which prohibits the use of the Emergency and Reserve Forces called out at the initiative of a State, to a Commonwealth initiated call out.

 

Amendment 3

 

3.         Amendment 3 amends section 51A by including new subsection (8A) to provide that as soon as it is reasonably practicable after an order is made or revoked, an authorising minister must arrange for the Government of the State or the self-governing Territory specified in the order, to be notified of the making or the revocation of the order. A failure to notify will not, however, affect the validity of the making or the revocation of the order.

 

Amendment 4

 

4.         Amendment 4 amends section 51B of the Bill to include the words “utilise the Defence Force”  after the words “directed to” in paragraph (1)(b). This will make the wording in sections 51A, 51B and 51C consistent.

 

Amendment 5

 

5.         Amendment 5 amends subsection 51C(2) of the Bill by extending the industrial relations proviso which prohibits the use of the Emergency and Reserve Forces called out at the initiative of a State, to a Territory initiated call out.

 

Amendment 6

 

6.         Amendment 6 omits the words “the authorising Minister, or a Minister (whether or not one of the authorising ministers) authorised in writing by them” with “an authorising Minister”. Section 51I provides for powers for the Defence Force to recapture premises and in connection therewith, free hostages, evacuate persons, etc. This amendment will make it clear that only one of the authorising Ministers (the Prime Minister, the Attorney-General or the Minister for Defence) may authorise a deliberate assault under section 51I(2).

 

Amendment 7

 

7.         Section 51X requires the Minister to arrange for publication of orders, declarations and reports on the utilisation of the Defence Force. It provides that the publication must take place in a number of ways including tabling in Parliament. Amendment 7 is a technical amendment to facilitate the amendments discussed in paragraph 9 below.

 

Amendment 8

 

8.         This amendment mirrors amendment 7, by replacing the words “publication to take place” with “presentation to Parliament”.

 

Amendment 9

 

9.         Amendment 9 will substitute subsections 51X(3) and (4) which expand on the publication requirements referred to in paragraphs 7 and 8 above. New subsection (3) will detail the requirements for reporting to Parliament.  It will provide that presentation to Parliament of the report on the use of the Defence Force will be in accordance with the section if the report is fowarded to the Presiding Officer of each House -

 

·         if the House sits before the end of 7 days after the order ceases to be in force - for tabling in that House before the end of that 7 days; or

·         if not, before the end of the 7 days for distribution to all Senators or   Members of the House of Representatives.