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Farm Household Support Amendment Bill 2000

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1998-1999-2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FARM HOUSEHOLD SUPPORT AMENDMENT BILL 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry,

the Hon Warren Truss MP)

 



FARM HOUSEHOLD SUPPORT AMENDMENT BILL 2000

 

GENERAL OUTLINE

 

1.       The Government provided funding in the 2000-01 Budget to extend all elements of the ‘Farm Help - Supporting Families Through Change’ program to 30 November 2003 and for program enhancements. The enhancements to the program are consistent with the findings of a comprehensive review of the Farm Family Restart Scheme finalised in March 2000. The enhancements to Farm Help include a retraining grant of $3,500, case management of Farm Help clients, and an increase in the net assets threshold for re-establishment grant recipients.

 

2.       The Farm Household Support Amendment Bill 2000 contains amendments to the Farm Household Support Act 1992 to provide for these enhancements. The amendments include changing the program name from the Farm Family Restart Scheme (FFRS) to ‘Farm Help - Supporting Families Through Change’, which will require the word ‘restart’ to be replaced with ‘Farm Help’ wherever it occurs in legislation; extending the Farm Help income support application deadline to 30 November 2003 from the current deadline of 30 November 2001, with payments being made until 30 November 2004; and, as part of the case management of Farm Help clients, the compulsory provision for the development of activity plans for those farmers who are assessed as non-viable.

 

3.       The Bill includes subsequential amendments to the Health Insurance Act 1973 , the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 , the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and the Social Security Act 1991 to give effect to the renaming of FFRS to Farm Help.

 

4.       Amendments to the Farm Household Support Act 1992 Disallowable Instruments will be required to provide for the remaining program enhancements. These include provision for a retraining grant of $3,500 for those farmers who have received the re-establishment grant, provision for the exercise of Ministerial discretion for the payment of re-establishment grants in exceptional cases when the sale of the farm occurs after the 12 month period usually allowed to complete the sale, amendments required for the compulsory development of activity plans by non-viable farmers, and the change of the program name. Further amendments will also be required to the Disallowable Instruments to maintain consistency with the Dairy Exit Program.

 

5.       The extension of the re-establishment grant application deadline to 30 November 2003 and the increase in the net assets threshold for the re-establishment grant have already been implemented through an amendment to the restart re-establishment grant disallowable instrument ( Restart Re-establishment Grant Scheme Amendment 2000 (No. 2) ). The voluntary case management of Farm Help clients will be phased in from 1 September 2000 through administrative procedures.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT



6.       Funding for the extension and enhancement of Farm Help was approved in the 2000-01 Budget. Funds of $111.2 million have been allocated to the program over 4 years to 30 June 2004.



 

NOTES ON CLAUSES



Clause 1 - Short title

 

7.       This clause provides for the Act to be cited as the Farm Household Support Amendment Act 2000.

 

Clause 2 - Commencement



8.       This clause provides for the short title and this clause to commence on the day that the Act receives Royal Assent. The clause also provides for the Act to commence on a Proclamation date. This will allow for the associated amendments to the Act’s Disallowable Instruments to be implemented and commence on the same day. Should a provision of the Act not commence within 6 months of the Royal Assent, it will commence on the first day after the end of that period.

 

Clause 3 - Schedule(s)

 

9.       This clause provides for the Farm Household Support Act 1992 , the Health Insurance Act 1973 , the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 , the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and the Social Security Act 1991 , to be amended in accordance with the applicable items in the Schedule, subject to commencement of the Act. Any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

 

Schedule 1 - Amendment of the Farm Household Support Act 1992

 

Item 1: Subsection 3(2) (definition of exempt livestock proceeds )



10.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 2: Subsection 3(2)



11.   This item inserts the definition of the farm help advice scheme, which is the scheme referred to in section 52B.

 

Item 3: Subsection 3(2)

 

12.   This items inserts the definition of the farm help re-establishment grant scheme, which is the scheme referred to in section 52A.

 

Item 4: Subsection 3(2)

 

13.   This item inserts the definition of the farm help scheme payment commencement day, which is the day on which item 2 of Schedule 1 to the Farm Household Support Amendment Act 2000 commences - this will be a proclamation date.



 

Item 5: Subsection 3(2)

 

14.   This item inserts the definition of farm help scheme payments, which are payments of the following kinds:

(a)     payments of farm help income support;

(b)    payments of re-establishment grants;

(c)     payments of assistance under the farm help advice scheme.

 

Item 6: Subsection 3(2) (definition of re-establishment grant )

 

15.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 7: Subsection 3(2) (definition of restart advice scheme )

 

16.   This item repeals the definition of restart advice scheme .

 

Item 8: Subsection 3(2) (definition of restart re-establishment grant scheme )

 

17.   This item repeals the definition of restart re-establishment grant scheme .

 

Item 9: Subsection 3(2) (definition of restart scheme payment commencement date)

 

18.   This item repeals the definition of restart scheme payment commencement date as it is no longer required in the Act with the renaming of the Farm Family Restart Scheme to ‘Farm Help - Supporting Families Through Change’.

 

Item 10: Subsection 3(2) (definition of restart scheme payments )

 

19.   This item repeals the definition of restart scheme payments .

 

Item 11: Paragraph 4(2)(a)

 

20.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 12: Subsection 4(4) (paragraph (b) of the definition of relevant Secretary )

 

21.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 13: Section 4A

 

22.   This item repeals the section ‘The restart scheme payment commencement day’ as it is no longer required in the Act.

 

Item 14: Part 1A (heading)

 

23.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 15: Section 6B

 

24.    This item omits ‘Restart’ and substitutes ‘Farm help’. The heading is altered by omitting ‘restart’ and substituting ‘farm help’.

 

Item 16: Paragraph 6B(a)

 

25.   This item omits all the words from and including “more” and substitutes “is after 30 November 2003; or” to extend the farm help income support application deadline to 30 November 2003.

 

Item 17: Paragraph 6B(b)

 

26.   This item omits all the words from and including “more” and substitutes “after 30 November 2004.” This extends the farm help income support payment closing date to 30 November 2004.

 

Item 18: Part 2 (heading)

 

27.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’ in the heading.

 

Item 19: Division 1B of Part 2

 

28.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 20: Section 8B

 

29.   This item omits any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’ in the heading and text that follows.

 

Item 21: Section 8B (note)



30.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 22: Section 8C

 

31.   This item omits any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 23: Section 8D, Item 24: Section 8E

 

32.   These items omit any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitute ‘farm help’ in the headings and text.

 

Item 25: Division 2 of Part 2 (heading)

 

33.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’ in the heading.

 

Item 26: Subsection 9(3)

 

34.   This item omits ‘Restart’ and substitutes ‘Farm help’.

 

Item 27: Subsection 9(3)

 

35.   This item omits any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 28: Section 9B

 

36.   This item omits ‘Restart’ and substitutes ‘Farm help’ in the heading and text.

 

Item 29: Section 9B (note)

 

37.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 30: Sections 10,11, 12, 13 and 13A



38.   These items omit any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitute ‘farm help’.

 

Item 31: After Section 13A, insert Section 13B

 

39.   This item inserts Section 13B to implement the Government’s decision that the development of activity plans by Farm Help clients whose farms have been assessed as non-viable is compulsory. These clauses relate to persons whom farm help income support is payable.

(1) Provides for the direction by the Secretary for the development of an individual activity plan, which is to be acted in accordance with, by those persons to whom farm help income support is payable. The direction is to be known as an activity plan direction .

(2) Provides for the Secretary’s direction to only be made if a person’s farm has been assessed as not viable under advice received through the farm help advice scheme or the farm help re-establishment grant scheme.

(3) Provides that the plan developed must be directed towards returning the farm to a viable position or securing alternative employment for the farmer.

(4) Provides for assistance for Farm Help clients to develop an activity plan in accordance with the guidelines for the farm help advice scheme covered by paragraph 52B(3)(b).

(5) Provides for the consequences of the continued payability of farm help income support if a Farm Help client does not comply with the Secretary’s direction. These consequences are in accordance with the guidelines for the farm help advice scheme covered by paragraph 52B(3)(c).

 

Item 32: Part 3 (heading)

 

40.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’ in the heading.



Item 33: Sections 14, 15, 19 and 20

 

41.   This item omits any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 34: Part 4 (heading), Item 35: Division 3 of Part 4 (heading)

 

42.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’ in the headings.

 

Item 36: Subsection 24B(1)

 

43.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’ in the heading and text.



Item 37: Part 5 (heading)

 

44.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’ in the heading.

 

Item 38: Subsection 25(3)

 

45.   This item omits ‘Restart’ and substitutes ‘Farm help’.

 

Item 39: Subsection 25(3)

 

46.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 40: Section 26B

 

47.   This item omits any occurrences of ‘Restart’ and substitutes ‘Farm help’ in the heading and text.

 

Item 41: Section 28 and 29B

 

48.   This item omits any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 42: Section 29B (formula), Item 43: Section 29B (note 2)

 

49.   This item omits any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’ in the heading, formula and text.

 

Item 44: Sections 31, 33, 41 and 42

 

50.   This item omits any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’, including the heading to section 42.

 

Item 45: Part 8 (heading)

 

51.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’ in the heading.

 

 

Item 46: Sections 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48 and 49

 

52.   This item omits any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 47: Subsection 48(3)

 

53.   This item omits ‘Restart’ and substitutes ‘Farm help’ in the heading.

 

Item 48: Part 8A (heading)

 

54.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’ in the heading.

 

Item 49: Sections 49A and 49D

 

55.   This item omits any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’ in the headings and text that follows.

 

Item 50: Part 9A (heading)

 

56.   This item omits ‘Restart’ and substitutes ‘Farm help’ in the heading.

 

Item 51: Section 52A(1)(a)

 

57.   This item omits “, after the restart scheme payment commencement day,”, and substitutes “, after 1 December 1997,” to clearly define the payment commencement date.

 

Item 52: Section 52A(1)

 

58.   This item renames the restart re-establishment scheme as the farm help re-establishment grant scheme, and states the scheme should be known by this name on and after the farm help scheme payment commencement day. The heading is altered to omit ‘Restart’ and substitute ‘Farm help’.

 

Item 53: After subsection 52A(3)

 

59.   These clauses have been inserted to implement the Government’s decision that the development of activity plans by Farm Help clients whose farms have been assessed as non-viable is compulsory. These clauses relate to re-establishment grant applicants.

60.   (3A) This clause inserts text to provide for the Secretary to direct a re-establishment grant applicant to develop and act in accordance with an individual activity plan. This direction is to be known as an activity plan direction .

(3B) This clause inserts text to ensure that the Secretary may only direct a person to develop an activity plan if their farm has been assessed as not viable under advice given under the farm help advice scheme (subsection 13A(1) or 52A(3)).

(3C) This clause inserts text to ensure that the plan developed must be directed towards assisting the directed person to return the farm to a viable position or to secure alternative employment.

 

Item 54: Subsections 52A(4) and (5)

 

61.   This item provides for the insertion of the text “or (3A)” after “(3)” to ensure that in accordance with the farm help advice scheme, persons directed to develop an activity plan under 52A(3A) are provided with assistance (52A(4)), and provision is made for the consequences for those persons who do not comply with the direction to develop an activity plan (52A(5)) which is in accordance with the farm help advice scheme.

 

Item 55: Part 9B (heading)

 

62.   This item omits ‘Restart’ and substitutes ‘Farm help’ in the heading.

 

Item 56: Subsection 52B(1)

 

63.   This item renames the restart advice scheme as the farm help advice scheme, and states the scheme should be known by this name on and after the farm help scheme payment commencement day. The heading is altered to omit ‘Restart’ and substitute ‘Farm help’.

 

Item 57: Paragraph 52B(3)(b)

 

64.   This item ensures that persons directed to develop an activity plan under 13B(1) or 52A(3A) are provided with assistance in accordance with the farm help advice scheme.



Item 58: Paragraph 52B(3)(c)

 

65.   This item provides for the consequences for those persons who do not comply with the direction to develop an activity plan under subsection 13B(1) or 52A(3A) in accordance with the farm help advice scheme.

 

Item 59: Sections 54, 44, 55A, 56,

 

66.   These items omit any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’ in the text and heading.

 

Item 60: Section 56 (note)

 

67.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 61: Section 57

 

68.   This item omits ‘Restart’ and substitutes ‘Farm help’.

 

Schedule 2 - Consequential amendments of other Acts

 

Bankruptcy Act 1966

 

Item 1: Paragraph 116(2)(mca)

 

69.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Health Insurance Act 1973

 

Item 2: Subsections 5DA(1) and (2)

 

70.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’. The heading for section 5DA is altered by omitting ‘restart’ and substituting ‘farm help’.

 

Item 3: Subsection 5DA(4)

 

71.   This item inserts the definition of farm help income support.

 

Item 4: Subsection 5DA(4) (definition of restart income support )

 

72.   This item repeals the definition of restart income support.

 

Income Tax Assessment Act 1936

 

Item 5: Subsection 79A(4) (paragraph (b) of the definition of prescribed allowance )

 

73.   This item omits any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 6: Subsection 160AAA(1) (paragraph (da) of the definition of rebatable benefit )

 

74.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Income Tax Assessment Act 1997

 

Item 7: Section 11-15 (table item headed “social security or like payments”)

 

75.   This item inserts a reference to farm help income support.

 

Item 8: Section 11-15 (table item headed “social security or like payments”)

 

76.   This item omits a reference to restart income support.

 



Item 9: Section 13-1 (table)

 

77.   This item inserts a reference to farm help income support.

 

Item 10: Section 13-1 (table item headed “primary production”)

 

78.   This item inserts a reference to farm help income support payments.

 

Item 11: Section 13-1 (table item headed “primary production”)

 

79.   This item omits a reference to restart income support payments.

 

Item 12: Section 13-1 (table item headed “restart income support”)

 

80.   This item repeals the table item headed “restart income support”.

 

Item 13: Section 13-1 (table item headed “social security and other benefit payments”)

 

81.   This item inserts a reference to farm help income support.

 

Item 14: Section 13-1 (table item headed “social security and other benefit payments”)

 

82.   This item omits a reference to restart income support.

 

Item 15: Section 53-10 (table items 3 and 4, column headed “This type of payment”)

 

83.   This item omits any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 16: Section 53-15 (heading)

 

84.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 17: Section 53-15(1)

 

85.   This item omits any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Item 18: Section 53-25

 

86.   This item omits “52 or” to retain consistency with taxation policy to remove redundant provisions or material from the body of taxation law. Section 52 of the Farm Household Support Act 1992 was repealed by the Primary Industries and Energy Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 1998 with effect from 30 July 1998.

 



Item 19: Section 995-1 (definition of supplementary amount , table item 2)

 

87.   This item omits ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’.

 

Social Security Act 1991

 

Item 20: Sections 1227A and 1231A

 

88.   This item omits any occurrences of ‘restart’ and substitutes ‘farm help’. The headings for both sections are altered by omitting ‘restart’ and substituting ‘farm help’.

 

Schedule 3 - Transitional provisions relating to farm help income support and the farm help re-establishment grant scheme

 

Part 1 - Transitional provisions relating to Schedule 1

 

Item 1: Restart beneficiaries automatically entitled to farm help

 

89.   This item allows for persons receiving restart income support immediately before the farm help commencement date to automatically receive farm help income support on and after the farm help commencement day without having to reapply for farm help income support. This transition is made in accordance with the provisions of the amended FHS Act.

 

Item 2: Payments of restart income support taken to be farm help income support

 

90.   This item clarifies that restart income support payments made before the farm help commencement day are to be treated as farm help income support payments in relation to the farm help re-establishment grant scheme, the farm help advice scheme, the DEP scheme and the qualification requirements for farm help income support (sections 8D and 8E).

 

Item 3: Effect of directions etc.

 

91.   This item states that if a person was given a direction by the Secretary to obtain advice under section 13A or the restart re-establishment grant scheme before the farm help payment commencement day, the direction will still apply after the farm help payment commencement day for section 13A, the farm help re-establishment scheme and the farm help advice scheme as if the direction had been given under the amended FHS Act or the farm help re-establishment grant scheme, as the case requires.

 



Item 4: Claims made but not determined before farm help payment commencement date

 

92.   This item clarifies that any claims for restart income support or applications or requests for restart re-establishment grants made but not determined before the farm help payment commencement day will be treated as claims for farm help income support or applications or requests for farm help re-establishment grants after the farm help payment commencement day.

 

Item 5: References to decisions in section 20

 

93.   This item clarifies that any decisions rejecting a person’s claim for farm help income support made before the farm help payment commencement date in accordance with section 20 will continue to have effect after the farm help payment commencement date.

 

Item 6: Part 10

 

94.   This item states that any references to restart income support in relation to part 10 made before the farm help payment commencement date have effect after the farm help payment commencement date as references to farm help income support.

 

Part 2 - Transitional provisions relating to Schedule 2

 

Item 7: Transitional provision

 

95.   This item reflects transitional provisions for consequential amendments. Paragraph 116(2)(mca) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 provides for references to restart re-establishment grants to be included in references to farm help re-establishment grants after the farm help payment commencement day.

 

96.   Section 5DA of the Health Insurance Act 1973 provides for restart income support to be included in references to farm help income support after the farm help payment commencement day.

 

97.   Payments of restart income support made before the farm help payment commencement day continue to have effect in relation to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 as if the repeals and amendments made by Schedule 2 had not happened.

 

98.   Sections 1227A and 1231A of the Social Security Act 1991 provide for restart income support to be included in references to farm help income support after the farm help payment commencement day.

 



Part 3 - Definitions

 

Item 8: Definitions

 

99.   This item provides definitions for the amended FHS Act, restart income support and restart re-establishment grant in relation to the commencement of the Farm Household Support Amendment Act 2000 .