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Statute Law Revision Bill 2002

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2002

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

STATUTE LAW REVISION BILL 2002

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by the authority of the Attorney-General,

the Honourable Daryl Williams, AM QC MP)



TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

GENERAL OUTLINE

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

NOTES ON CLAUSES

SCHEDULE 1—AMENDMENT OF PRINCIPAL ACTS

SCHEDULE 2—AMENDMENT OF AMENDING ACTS



STATUTE LAW REVISION BILL 2002

GENERAL OUTLINE

The main purpose of this Bill is to correct technical errors that have occurred in Acts as a result of drafting and clerical mistakes. The corrections are desirable in order to improve the quality of the text of Commonwealth legislation and, in particular, to facilitate the publication of consolidated versions of Acts by the Attorney-General’s Department and by private publishers of legislation. None of the corrections makes any change to the substance of the law.

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

The Bill will have no financial impact.



NOTES ON CLAUSES

Clause 1 - Short title

1.         Clause 1 provides for the Act to be cited as the Statute Law Revision Act 2002.

Clause 2 - Commencement

2.         Clause 2 provides for the commencement of the Act. Subclause 2(1) provides that each provision of the Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, on the day or at the time specified in column 2 of the table.

3.         The commencement of each item is tied to the commencement of the provision that created the error. The effect of this is that the error is taken to have been corrected immediately after it was made.

4.         Schedule 1 items amend errors in Principal Acts, whereas Schedule 2 items amend misdescriptions in amending Acts. In order to correct a misdescription it is necessary to amend the amending Act (rather than the Principal Act) and to deem the correction to have occurred immediately after the time specified in the amending Act for the commencement of the misdescribed item.

Clause 3 - Schedule(s)

5.         Clause 3 provides for the Schedules to the Act. Subclause 3(1) provides that the Acts specified in the Schedules to the Bill are amended or repealed as set out in those Schedules.

Clause 4 - Effect of repeal

6.         Clause 4 provides that the amendments made by items 472 to 478 of the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999 (Act No. 146 of 1999) are taken never to have had effect. Those items are repealed by item 23 of Schedule 2. The reason for the repeal of these items is that they were amendments of the Federal Magistrates Act 1999, which was going through the Parliament at the same time as the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999 . The Federal Magistrates Bill 1999 was renumbered in the Parliament, which meant that the amendments made by the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999 operated on the incorrect provision numbers. The amendments made by items 474 to 478 became clearly misdescribed. The amendments made by items 472 and 473 were capable of operation, but clearly operated on the incorrect provisions. Accordingly it is appropriate to repeal the items. The necessary amendments have since been made by the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Regulations 2000 , which amend the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Regulations 1999 .

Schedule 1 - Amendment of Principal Acts

7.         The items in Schedule 1 correct formal errors in Principal Acts that either existed at the time the Act was passed or have since been introduced into the Act by amending legislation. The kinds of errors being corrected in this Schedule are misspellings, punctuation errors, numbering errors and incorrect cross-references and other minor consequential changes.

8.         None of the amendments proposed in the Schedule will alter the content of the law. The following paragraphs explain how some items that may appear to be altering the content of the law are not in fact doing so.

9.         Item 2 omits the phrase “regulations made for the purpose of” from subsection 63-1A(1) of the Aged Care Act 1997 . That subsection was inserted by the Aged Care Amendment Act 2000 (Act No. 158 of 2000). As a result of Senate amendments to that subsection this phrase was made redundant.

10.       Item 16 corrects an incorrect reference in paragraph 530(3)(k) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to the date and place of the Framework Convention on Climate Change.

11.       Item 17 repeals subsection 523(3) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 . Subsection 523(3) related only to subsection 523(2) of that Act, which was repealed by item 84M of Schedule 1 to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment Act 2001 (Act No. 82 of 2001).

12.       Item 22 amends paragraph 103(5)(d) of the National Health Act 1953 to omit a reference to section 104 of that Act. Section 104 was repealed by the Health Legislation (Powers of Investigation) Amendment Act 1994 (Act No. 85 of 1994), and the reference to it no longer has any operation.

13.       Items 26 and 27 remove two references to Parliamentary Secretaries from the Public Service Act 1999 . This is because the Parliamentary Secretaries Act 1980 was repealed by item 1 of Schedule 2 to the Ministers of State and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2000 (Act No. 1 of 2000).

Schedule 2 - Amendment of Amending Acts

14.       The items in Schedule 2 correct errors in amending legislation where the effect of the error has been to prevent the amendment from operating. An example of this kind of error is an amending provision as follows: “Section 3—Omit ‘a person’”, where section 3 does not contain the words “a person” but does contain the words “the person”. An item in this Schedule would amend the provision above so that it would read: “Section 3—Omit ‘the person’”.

15.       None of the amendments proposed in the Schedule will alter the content of the law. The following paragraphs explain how some items that may appear to be altering the content of the law are not in fact doing so.

16.       Item 1 repeals items 1306 to 1310 of the Audit (Transitional and Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 1997 (Act No. 152 of 1997), because they purport to amend sections of the Wool International Act 1993 that had already been repealed by items 24 and 26 of the Wool International Amendment Act 1997 (Act No. 108 of 1997).

17.       Items 13 and 14 repeal item 53 of Schedule 3 to the Income Tax (Consequential Amendments) Act 1997 (Act No. 39 of 1997), because item 53 purported to amend section 28 of the Commonwealth Funds Management Limited Act 1990 . However, section 28 of the latter Act had already been repealed by the CFM Sale Act 1996 (Act No. 58 of 1996).

18.       The reason for item 23 is set out in the notes to clause 4.

19.       Item 25 repeals  597 of Schedule 1 to the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999 (Act No. 146 of 1999) because the words that it attempts to omit and substitute are already omitted by item 596 of Schedule 1 to the same Act. Likewise, item 26 repeals item 602 of Schedule 1 to that Act, because the words that it attempts to omit and substitute are already omitted by item 601 of Schedule 1 to the same Act.