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Export Market Development Grants Amendment Bill 2004

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2002-2003-2004

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPORT MARKET DEVELOPMENT GRANTS AMENDMENT BILL 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Trade, the Hon Mark Vaile MP)



 

 

 

EXPORT MARKET DEVELOPMENT GRANTS AMENDMENT BILL 2004

 

 
OUTLINE

 

This bill amends the Export Market Development Grants Act 1997 (the Act) to introduce a ‘not fit and proper’ person test, to be applied by Austrade in accordance with Ministerial guidelines when assessing entitlement to payment of an EMDG grant.

 

Currently, a grant to which an applicant is otherwise entitled is not payable if certain provisions of the Act apply.  These conditions include sections 85 to 87A, which specify that grants are not payable if the applicant is not a resident of Australia, does not have an Australian Business Number, has outstanding disqualifying convictions, is under insolvency administration, or is the provider of courses to overseas students and is not a registered provider of that course. 

 

This bill provides that, in addition to the above conditions, a grant to which an applicant is otherwise entitled is not payable if, in accordance with Ministerial guidelines, Austrade determines that the applicant or an associate of the applicant is ‘not fit and proper’ to receive a grant.

 

This bill also provides that a ‘not fit and proper’ determination is subject to review in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

Expenditure under the Act is set through annual Appropriation Acts.  This bill will not result in any increase in outlays.

 

 

 



 

 

EXPORT MARKET DEVELOPMENT GRANTS AMENDMENT BILL 2004

 

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1           This Act may be cited as the Export Market Development Grants Amendment Act 2004

 

Clause 2           The Act commences on the day on which it receives Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3           There is only one Schedule amending the Export Market Development Grants Act 1997.

 

Clause 4           The amendments made by the Schedule apply to applications for grants in respect of a grant year commencing on or after 1 July 2003.  The ‘grant year’ is the year in which applicants incur expenditure which they may include in a subsequent application for grant.  Applications for grants are made after the grant year to which they relate is over.  This means that in effect the amendments apply to applications received on or after 1 July 2004 only.

 

 

SCHEDULE 1 - Amendment of the Export Market Development Grants Act 1997

 

Item 1             The references in Diagram 1 of the Reader’s Guide to circumstances under which grants are not payable are summarised to retain overall balance in the diagram.

 

Item 2             To determine whether an applicant or an applicant’s associate is ‘not fit and proper’ to receive a grant, Austrade may need to seek information about that applicant or that associate.  A new subsection is inserted empowering Austrade to ask for consent to seek such information.  If this consent is not provided, section 73 of the Act empowers Austrade to refuse to consider the application.

 

Item 3             Refer to item 2.

 

Item 4             This amendment provides that a grant to which an applicant is otherwise entitled is not payable if, in accordance with Ministerial guidelines, Austrade determines that the applicant or an associate of the applicant is ‘not fit and proper’ to receive a grant. 

 

Austrade may only make such a determination in accordance with ministerial guidelines.  The guidelines must be in force at the time a determination is made. 

 

                        For the purposes of determining whether an associate is ‘not fit and proper’, ‘associate’ has the meaning given to it by ministerial guidelines.

 

Item 5              Section 97 of the Act is amended to explicitly provide that a ‘not fit and proper’

determination is subject to review in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

 

Item 6              See Item 5.

                                   

Item 7             The Minister for Trade must determine, in writing, guidelines:

 

·         to be complied with by Austrade in forming opinions as to whether an applicant or an associate of the applicant is ‘not fit and proper’ to receive a grant, and

 

·         defining ‘associate’ for the purposes of the ‘not fit and proper’ test.

 

Any Ministerial guidelines made under section 101 of the Act are disallowable instruments for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .