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Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment (International Agreements and Other Measures) Bill 2008

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2008

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment

(International Agreements and Other Measures) Bill 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs,

The Honourable Alan Griffin MP)



 

Table of Contents

 

 

Outline and Financial Impact …………………………………………………….             ii

           

Preliminary

 

1                     Short Title  ..........................................................................................           iii

2                     Commencement  .................................................................................           iii

3                     Schedule(s)  ........................................................................................           iii

 

 

Schedule 1 -   Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986                                                                  1                                                                                                                                          

Schedule 2 -   Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests

(Treatment) Act 2006                                                                                    19

                                                                                                           

Schedule 3 -   Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004                                21

 

 



 

VETERANS’ AFFAIRS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT

(INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS AND OTHER MEASURES )

BILL 2008

 

OUTLINE AND FINANCIAL IMPACT

Outline

Schedule 1 makes amendments to the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) to give effect to revised arrangements for entering into agreements with the Governments of certain other countries in relation to the payment of pensions and provision of assistance and benefits to eligible persons.  The amendments also authorise the use of funds from the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the payment of pensions and the provision of assistance and benefits for eligible persons, authorised under agreements entered into under section 203 of the VEA.  Schedule 1 also amends the VEA to further align the Veterans’ entitlements means test with the social security means test and makes a number of minor and technical amendments, including a number of technical amendments as a consequence of the enactment of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 .

  

Schedule 2 extends the period for which Commonwealth or Australian Federal Police may be considered to be a nuclear test participant for the purposes of the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests (Treatment) Act 2006 (the Act).

 

Schedule 3 amends the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) to correct minor errors and anomalies in the Act.

 

 

Financial Impact

 

The measures in the Bill are expected to have a negligible financial impact. 

 



 

 

 

 

Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment

(International Agreements and Other Measures) Bill 2008

 

Preliminary

 

Short Title

 

Clause 1 sets out how the Act is to be cited.

 

Commencement

 

Clause 2 sets out the various commencement dates of the provisions in the Act.

 

Schedules

 

Clause 3 provides that each Act specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the items of that Schedule, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

 

 

 



 

Schedule 1 - Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986

 

 

Overview

 

Schedule 1 makes amendments to the VEA to give effect to revised arrangements for entering into agreements with the Governments of certain other countries in relation to the payment of pensions and provision of assistance and benefits to eligible persons.  The amendments also authorise the use of funds from the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the payment of pensions and the provision of assistance and benefits for eligible persons, authorised under agreements entered into under section 203 of the VEA.  Schedule 1 also amends the VEA to further align the Veterans’ entitlements means test with the social security means test and makes a number of minor and technical amendments, including a number of technical amendments as a consequence of the enactment of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 .    

 

Part 1 - International Agreements

 

Background

 

Section 203 of the VEA provides that the Governor-General may enter into arrangements with the Government’s of countries that are, or have been, a part of the Dominions of the Crown.  These arrangements cater for the payment of pensions and the provision of assistance and benefits in Australia to eligible veterans or dependants from relevant countries, who are resident in Australia. 

 

The Repatriation Commission has long-standing arrangements with a number of countries, whereby the Commission provides assistance and benefits and acts as an agent for the payment of a small number of pensions, to eligible veterans or dependants from relevant countries.  The major form of assistance and benefits is the provision of treatment and associated travel expenses for eligible veterans’ accepted disabilities. 

 

Explanation of the changes

 

Firstly, these changes will authorise the use of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) to initially pay for pensions, assistance and benefits provided to eligible overseas veterans and dependants resident in Australia.  These amounts are then reimbursed, to the maximum possible, by the respective foreign Governments.  (Withheld payments are generally either for services provided to ineligible overseas veterans or for treatment of conditions other than accepted disabilities.) 

 

Secondly, these amendments to the VEA will enable the Minister, rather than the Governor-General, to enter into arrangements with the Government’s of other relevant countries.  This will enable the Minister to make agency arrangements with respective foreign Governments for the payment of pensions and provision of assistance and benefits to eligible overseas veterans and dependants.  The existing legislation is based on outdated provisions from the Repatriation Act 1920 which do not reflect the improvements in administrative and policy that have occurred over the last 60 or more years .  

 

Thirdly, the amendments will remove from the VEA, the restriction limiting assistance and benefits to overseas veterans to the same as that to which the veteran would be entitled to receive in their own country.  This provides the flexibility needed to reflect the varying ways in which veterans’ health services are delivered in different countries.  Strict compliance with a requirement for the same assistance is problematic as the countries involved have differing systems for delivering services to veterans, which in turn are different to the Australian Repatriation system.  Administratively, it would be too cumbersome and costly to enforce compliance with the existing limitation in the legislation.  Maximum reimbursement for the costs associated with providing benefits and assistance to eligible overseas veterans will continue to be provided for in the agreements negotiated with the relevant Governments.  These amendments will enable the Minister to enter into streamlined arrangements that are administratively consistent with the Department’s health care arrangements.   

 

Finally, the amendments make necessary savings and application provisions. 

 

Explanation of the items

 

Item 1 adds a new paragraph at the end of section 199.  New paragraph 199(f) provides that the Consolidated Revenue Fund is appropriated to the extent necessary for the payment of amounts for the purpose of giving effect to arrangements entered into under section 203 of the VEA. 

 

Item 2 is an application provision.  Item 2 provides that new paragraph 199(f) of the VEA will apply to the payment of amounts on or after the commencement of this Part for the purposes of giving effect to arrangements entered into under section 203 of the VEA, or that were deemed to have been entered into by virtue of section 56 of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 1986 , irrespective of whether those agreements were entered into, or deemed to have been entered into, before or on or after the commencement of this Part. 

 

Item 3 amends section 203 of the VEA by omitting the words “Governor-General” and substituting the word “Minister”.  This amendment will mean that the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, instead of the Governor-General, will be the person who may enter into arrangements with the Governments of countries that are, or have been, a part of the Dominions of the Crown. 

 

Item 4 amends paragraph 203(a) of the VEA by omitting the words “the same”.

 

Item 5 amends paragraph 203(a) by omitting the words “as are granted in that country to, or in relation to, persons who have been members of the Defence Force of the Commonwealth and have rendered operational service during such a war or in that operational area, as the case may be”. 

 

Items 4 and 5, in combination, remove the restriction that limits the level of assistance and benefits in respect of an overseas veteran resident in Australia, to the level of assistance and benefits that would be provided in the veteran’s own country.  This will prevent any need for costly and cumbersome large scale modifications to the Department’s Repatriation health care system. 

 

Item 6 is a saving provision.  This item provides that the amendments to section 203 of the VEA, made by this Part, do not affect an arrangement entered into under that section before the commencement of this Part.  So, arrangements that have been entered into, or that were deemed to have been entered into by virtue of section 56 of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 1986 ,  still apply after the commencement of this Part. 

 

Commencement

 

Clause 2 provides that the amendments in Part 1 of Schedule 1 commence the day after this Act receives Royal Assent.

 

Part 2 - Amounts excluded from income

 

Background

 

The list of items excluded from the income test under the Social Security Act 1991 (SSA) includes two items not currently excluded from the Veterans’ entitlements income test.  These items are “payments of approved scholarships awarded from

1 September 1990” and “disability expenses maintenance”. 

 

Explanation of the changes

 

These changes to the VEA will exclude “payments of an approved scholarship awarded from 1 September 1990” and “disability expenses maintenance” from the Veterans’ entitlements income test.  The SSA defines an approved scholarship as a scholarship in relation to which a determination under section 24A of the SSA is in force.

 

Explanation of the items

 

Item 7 inserts new paragraph 5H(8)(hab) after paragraph 5H(8)(haa).  New paragraph 5H(8)(hab) provides that a payment of an approved scholarship (within the meaning of subsection 8(1) of the SSA) awarded on or after 1 September 1990 is not to be counted as income for the purposes of the Veterans’ entitlements income test. 

 

Item 8 inserts new paragraph 5H(8)(pac) after paragraph 5H(8)(pab).  New paragraph 5H(8)(pac) provides that disability expenses maintenance is not to be counted as income for the purposes of the Veterans’ entitlements income test. 

 

Commencement

 

Clause 2 provides that the amendments in this Part commence on the day after Royal Assent. 

 

Part 3 - Rental income forgone

 

Background

 

The Veterans’ entitlements means test applies deprivation rules to the disposal of property or income.  Under the VEA, a person disposes of income if the person engages in a course of conduct that diminishes, directly or indirectly, the rate of the person’s ordinary income and the person receives no consideration in money or money’s worth, or inadequate consideration in money or money’s worth for the diminution.  This provision is taken to include imputed or otherwise obtainable rent amounts for residential properties, including where the property is occupied by a family member. 

 

Explanation of the changes

 

These changes to the VEA will exclude from the deprivation provisions of the income test, any rental income which pensioners choose not to receive from family members in respect of residential properties that the pensioner owns. 

 

Explanation of the items

 

Item 9 adds a new subsection at the end of section 48.  New subsection 48(2) provides that subsection (1) does not apply to a course of conduct consisting of the provision of short-term or long-term residential accommodation to a family member by the person, where the person receives no rent or less than the market rate of rent for the provision of the accommodation. 

 

A note at the end of the new section advises that the definition of family member is in subsection 5L(1). 

 

Commencement

 

Clause 2 provides that the amendment in this Part commences on the day after this Act receives Royal Assent.



 

Part 4 - Assets disregarded for assets test

 

Background

 

The list of assets to be disregarded for the purposes of the assets test under the SSA includes two assets not currently disregarded from the Veterans’ entitlements assets test.  These assets are “native title rights and interests” and “amounts received from the Mark Fitzpatrick Trust”. 

 

Explanation of the Changes

 

These amendments to the VEA will disregard, for the purposes of the assets test, the value of any person’s native title rights and interests and any amount that a person has retained from a payment made by the Mark Fitzpatrick Trust. 

 

Explanation of the Items

 

Item 10 inserts new paragraph 52(1)(ob) after paragraph 52(1)(oa).  New paragraph 52(1)(ob) provides that the value of any native title rights and interests (as defined in new subsection 52(1DA)) will be disregarded for the purposes of the assets test, whether or  not they are held by a person, or a group or community of which the person is a member.  

 

Item 11 inserts new paragraph 52(1)(ob) after paragraph 52(1)(oa).  New paragraph 52(1)(ob) provides that the value of any native title rights and interests will be disregarded for the purposes of the assets test, whether or  not they are held by a person, or a group or community of which the person is a member. 

 

Item 12 inserts new subsection 52 (1DA).  New subsection defines native title rights and interests as being (for the purposes of new paragraph 52(1)(ob)) native title rights and interests within the meaning of section 223 of the Native Title Act 1993 or any rights and interests of a similar nature under any law of an Australian State or Territory or a foreign country whether or not the rights or interests relate to land or waters outside Australia.

 

New subsection 52(1DA) also provides, to avoid any doubt, that the definition does not include any right or interest in a lease or licence, or in a freehold estate.

 

Commencement

 

Clause 2 provides that the amendments in this Part commence on the day after this Act receives Royal Assent.

 



 

Part 5 - Minor amendments

 

Background

 

The amendments made by this part are of a minor and technical nature.  Most are required as a consequence of being overlooked at the time associated amendments were made while others are a consequence of drafting errors or are amendments to clarify the operation of an existing provision.

 

Explanation of the Items

 

Item 13 repeals the listing (in section “46G”) of “money that attracts interest” from the section 5 - index of definitions.  That section was repealed in amendments included in the Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 2002 .

 

Item 14 repeals the reference to subsection “4A” and substitutes a reference to subsection “(4)” in note 2 to the definition of Government rent in subsection 5N(1).

 

Item 15 repeals section 5PA.  Section 5PA provides for the definition of the terms pharmaceutical allowance and advance pharmaceutical allowance and related terms.  The section is redundant as the relevant terms are defined in other provisions of the VEA.

 

Items 19 to 22 are consequential amendments related to the repeal of section 5PA by Item 15.  Items 19, 21 and 22 repeal Note 1 and the notes (respectively) to subsections 118ND(1), 118K(6) and 118M(1).  Item 20 is a formatting amendment to subsection 118ND(1) to renumber “note 2” as “Note” as a consequence of the repeal of “Note 1” by Item 19 .

 

Items 16 and 17 amend the definition of pension MBR factor in subsection 59LA(1) and insert new subsection 59LA(2A).

 

Item 16 repeals the words “worked out to 3 decimal places” in definition of pension MBR factor in subsection 59LA(1).  The amendment is a consequence of the insertion (refer to Item 17 ) of new subsection 59LA(2A).

 

Item 17 inserts new subsection 59LA(2A).  New subsection 59LA(2A) provides that in certain circumstances, a “pension MBR factor” (worked out to 3 decimal places) is to adjusted after it has been worked out to “4 decimal places” .  Those circumstances provide for an adjustment  that increases the “pension MBR factor” by “0.001” where, a “pension MBR factor” worked out under subsection 59LA(1), if it were worked out to 4 decimal places, ends in a number greater than 4.

 

Item 18 inserts new subsection 115G(3).  Section 115G  provides a method for determining the excluded income amount for an invalidity service pensioner after the pensioner first commences remunerative work after undertaking a vocational rehabilitation program. New subsection 115G(3) clarifies the operation of section 115G and makes it clear that the provision is only applicable to invalidity service pensioners.

 

Item 24 amends subsection 128A(3C).  Section 128A sets out the requirement for the provision of tax file numbers by persons in receipt of various pensions and benefits payable under the VEA.  Subsection 128A(3C) provides that an income payment will be payable from the first pension payday from when a person has provided a tax file number more than 3 months after a request for the number was made.

 

Subsection 128A(3C) is amended to replace the reference to “first pension payday” with a reference to “day”.  The amendment reflects the change from a fortnightly entitlement to a pension payment to a daily entitlement for pension.

 

Commencement

 

Clause 2 provides that the amendments in this Part commence on the day after this Act receives Royal Assent.

 

Part 6 - Technical amendments, including amendments relating to legislative instruments

 

Overview

 

The amendments made by this Part to the VEA are consequential amendments that flow from the passing of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 .  That Act provided for the establishment of the regime for the registration, tabling and sunsetting of Commonwealth legislative instruments .

 

Background

 

The Legislative Instruments Act 2003 (the Legislative Instruments Act) established the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments, comprising a comprehensive and complete database of all legislative instruments, all explanatory statements in relation to legislative instruments made on or after the commencement of the Act, and all compilations in relation to legislative instruments, that have been registered under the Act. 

 

The Legislative Instruments Act provides for a comprehensive regime for Parliamentary scrutiny (via tabling and disallowance mechanisms) of legislative instruments.  In regard to tabling, all registered legislative instruments are tabled under a consistent regime.

 

In relation to disallowance, the Legislative Instruments Act substantially re-enacted those parts of Part XII and section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 that relate to regulations and disallowable instruments and extends their operation to all legislative instruments.  The Legislative Instruments (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2003 made consequential amendments to the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 so that those provisions will only apply to non-legislative instruments.

 

The Legislative Instruments Act provides for sunsetting (automatic repeal) of legislative instruments after a period lasting approximately ten years except for a limited range of particular instruments which are exempt from the sunsetting regime.

 

The Legislative Instruments (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments Act 2003 did not make the consequential amendments that were required to change the references to the various legislative instruments that are made under the VEA. 

 

Explanation of the changes

 

The majority of the amendments replace references to declarations and determinations with references to the documents being a “legislative instrument”.  The remaining  amendments comprise the repeal and replacement of redundant provisions that contain references to repealed provisions of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 with the correct references to the equivalent provisions of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 .

 

The Part also includes a couple of minor amendments that correct drafting errors.

 

Explanation of the items

 

Items 25 and 26 replace the reference in subsection 5C(5) to “declare in writing” with a reference to “, by legislative instrument” and repeals the reference to the declaration being “a disallowable instrument”.

 

Items 27 and 28 replace the reference in subsection 5J(1F) to a determination being “in writing” with a reference to “by legislative instrument” and repeals the reference to the declaration being “a disallowable instrument”.

 

Items 29 and 30 replace the reference in subsection 5JA(1B) to a determination being “in writing” with a reference to “by legislative instrument” and repeals the reference to the declaration being “a disallowable instrument”.

 

Items 31 and 32 replace the reference in subsection 5JA(6) to a determination being “in writing” with a reference to “by legislative instrument” and repeals the reference to the declaration being “a disallowable instrument”.

 

Items 33 and 34 replace the reference in subsection 5JB(1C) to a determination being “in writing” with a reference to “by legislative instrument” and repeals the reference to the declaration being “a disallowable instrument”.

 

Items 35 and 36 replace the reference in subsection 5JB(5) to a determination being “in writing” with a reference to “by legislative instrument” and repeals the reference to the declaration being “a disallowable instrument”.

 

Item 37 amends the definition of “PF” in subsection 5JBA(5) by replacing the reference to “in writing by the Commission” with a reference to “by the Commission under [new] subsection (5A)”.

 

Item 38 inserts new subsection 5JBA(5A).  New subsection 5JBA(5A) provides that the Repatriation Commission must, by legislative instrument, determine the principles to be used to calculate the payment factor (referred to in subsection 5JBA(5) as the “PF”) to be used in the formula in subsection 5JBA(5).

 

Items 39 and 40 amend subsection 5JBA(12) to replace the reference to guidelines that are used for a determination under subsection 5JBA(11) being “in writing” with a reference to the guidelines being determined “by legislative instrument” and repeals the reference to the determination being “a disallowable instrument”.

 

Item 41 repeals subsection 5JBA(13) which refers to a determination for the purposes of the definition of “PF”  in subsection 5JBA(5) being a disallowable instrument .

 

Items 42 and 43 amend section 29 by repealing subsections 29(7), (9) and (10) and substituting new subsections 29(9), (10) and (11). 

 

Subsection 29(1) refers to the preparation of a document, referred to as the “Guide to the Assessment of Rates of Veterans’ Pensions”.  The Guide sets out the criteria that are referred to in determining the extent of the incapacity of a veteran resulting from war-caused injury or war-caused disease.  Subsection 29(2) also provides that the Repatriation Commission may, from time to time, in writing, prepare an instrument to vary or revoke the Guide.

 

Subsection 29(7) had provided that the Guide or a document revoking the Guide that had been approved by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, had to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the Minister had received the copies of the documents.

 

Subsection 29(9) had provided that sections 48 (other than paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) and subsection (2)), 48A, 48B, 49 and 50 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 had applied in relation to a document, being the approved Guide or an instrument varying or revoking that Guide that has been approved by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, as if, in those sections, references to regulations were references to such a document.         

Subsection 29(10) had provided that for the purpose of the application of the provisions of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 in accordance with subsection 29(9), a document referred to in subsection 29(9) shall be deemed to have been made on the date on which it is approved by the Minister under section 29.

 

The effect of subsections 29(9) and (10) was to override the provisions of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 referred to as being excepted in subsection 29(9) (excepted provisions) and modify those provisions of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 referred to as being applied in subsection 29(9) to ensure they could operate without the excepted provisions.  By overriding those provisions the rights of a person could be affected so as to disadvantage that person from the date of the approval of the Minister of the Guide or an instrument amending or revoking the Guide rather than at the date of notification in the Commonwealth Gazette as provided for under the excepted provisions of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901

 

New subsections 29(9), (10) and (11) provide for the continuation of the potential overriding of the rights under the provisions of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 that replaced the provisions of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 that the subsections previously referred to.

 

New subsection 29(9) provides that subsections 29(10) and (11) apply in relation to documents and instruments prepared by the Repatriation Commission under subsections 29(1) and (2) that have been approved by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs under subsection 29(3).

 

New subsection 29(10) provides that the instrument or document, prepared under subsections 29(1) or (2) will be a legislative instrument from the day on which it is approved by the Minister.

 

New subsection 29(11) provides that despite the provisions of subsection 12(2) of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 , the instrument or document, prepared under subsections 29(1) or (2), may be expressed to take effect before the date on which it is registered under that Act.

 

Item 44 repeals and substitutes subsection 37AA(3).  Subsection 37AA(3)  had provided that a written determination under subsection 37AA(1), that specifies the circumstances in which persons are regarded as being permanently incapacitated for work, is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

New subsection 37AA(3) provides that a determination under the section will be a legislative instrument.

 

Item 45 repeals and substitutes subsection 45AA(3).  Subsection 45AA(3)  had provided that a written determination under subsection 45AA(1), that specifies the circumstances in which persons are regarded as being permanently incapacitated for work, is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

New subsection 45AA(3) provides that a determination under the section will be a legislative instrument.

 

Item 46 replaces the reference to “disallowable instrument for the purposes of   section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 ” in subsection 49M(3) with a reference to a “legislative instrument”.

 

Items 47 and 48 amend section 52B.  Section 52B provides for the valuation, for the purposes of the asset test of asset-tested income streams that are defined benefit income streams.

 

Item 47 amends the subsection 52B(3) definition of  pension valuation factor   by replacing the reference to “for the purposes of this section” with a reference to “under subsection (4)”.

 

Item 48 repeals and substitutes subsection 52B(4).  Subsection 52B(4) had provided that the determination of the pension valuation factor is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

New subsection 52B(4) provides that the Repatriation Commission must, by legislative instrument, make a determination for the purposes of the definition of pension valuation factor in subsection 52B(3).

 

Items 49 and 50 amend section 52ZC.  Section 52ZC refers to the creation of a debt for a person who participates in the pension loans scheme.

 

Item 49 replaces the subsection 52ZC(4) reference to the rate at which compound interest is payable being  a rate that is fixed “by the Minister for Social Security by determination in writing” with a reference to the rate being fixed “by legislative instrument, by the Minister administering the Social Security Act”.

 

Item 50 repeals subsection 52ZC(5).  Subsection 52ZC(5) had provided that the determination made under subsection 52ZC(4) was a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

Item 51 replaces the subsection 52ZQ(2) reference to the Repatriation Commission making a determination, by “writing” that each entity included in a specified class of entities is taken to be a declared associate of an individual for the purposes of the section with a reference to the determination being made by “legislative instrument”.

 

Item 52 repeals subsection 52ZQ(4).  Subsection 52ZQ(4) had provided that the determination made under subsection 52ZQ(2) was a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

Items 53 to 57 amend section 52ZZA.  Section 52ZZA sets out the conditions that must exist before a company can be regarded as being a designated private company .  Paragraph 52ZZA(1)(c) provides that a company may also be regarded as a designated private company if it is a declared private company .  Subsection 52ZZA(1) also provides that an excluded company cannot be regarded as being a designated private company .

 

Subsection 52ZZA(2) provides that the Repatriation Commission may, by writing, determine that each company included in a specified class of companies is a declared private company for the purposes of this section.

 

Item 53 replaces the reference to “by writing, determine” in subsection 52ZZA(2) with a reference to “by legislative instrument, declare”.

 

Item 54 amends subsection 52ZZA(3) by replacing the reference to the “determination” made under subsection 52ZZA(2) with a reference to the “declaration” made under that subsection.



 

Item 55 repeals subsection 52ZZA(4).  Subsection 52ZZA(4) had provided that a determination under subsection 52ZZA(2) was a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

Subsection 52ZZA(5) provides that the Repatriation Commission may, by writing, determine that each company included in a specified class of companies is an excluded company for the purposes of this section.

 

Item 56 replaces the reference to “writing”, in subsection 52ZZA(5) with a reference to by “legislative instrument”..

 

Item 57 repeals subsection 52ZZA(7). Subsection 52ZZA(7) had provided that an instrument made under subsection 52ZZA(5) was a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

Items 58 and 59 amend section 52ZZB. Section 52ZZB sets out the conditions that must exist before a trust can be regarded as being a designated private trust . Paragraph 52ZZB(1)(c) provides that a trust may also be regarded as a designated private trust if it is an excluded trust .

 

Item 58 amends subsection 52ZZB(4).  Subsection 52ZZB(4) provides that the Repatriation Commission may, by writing, declare that each trust included in a specified class of trusts is an excluded trust for the purposes of this section.

 

The subsection is amended to replace the reference to the declaration being made in “writing” with a reference to the declaration being made by a “legislative instrument”.

 

Item 59 repeals subsection 52ZZB(6). Subsection 52ZZB(6) had provided that an instrument made under subsection 52ZZB(4) was a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

Items 60 and 61 amend section 52ZZO.  Section 52ZZO sets out the rule for determining the items that can be regarded as being permissible reductions of business and investment income for the purposes the a ttribution of income of controlled private companies and controlled private trusts.

 

Subsection 52ZZO(2) provides that the rule in subsection 52ZZO(1) does not apply to an ineligible deduction, an ineligible amount or an ineligible part of a deduction .

 

Item 60 amends subsections 52ZZO(3), (4) and (5) by replacing the references to the determinations of the ineligible deductions, ineligible amounts or ineligible parts of a deduction being in “writing” with a reference to the determinations being made by “legislative instrument”.

 

Item 61 repeals subsection 52ZZO(7).  Subsection 52ZZO(7) had provided that determinations made under subsections 52ZZO(3), (4) and (5) were disallowable instruments for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

Items 62 and 63 amend section 52ZZZO.  Section 52ZZZO sets out the rules for determining the items that can be regarded as being permissible reductions of income from carrying on a primary production enterprise .

 

Subsection 52ZZZO(2) provides that the rule in subsection 52ZZZO(1) does not apply to an ineligible deduction, an ineligible amount or an ineligible part of a deduction .

 

Item 62 amends subsections 52ZZZO(3), (4) and (5) by replacing the references to the determinations of the ineligible deductions, ineligible amounts or ineligible parts of a deduction being in “writing” with a reference to the determinations being made by “legislative instrument”.

 

Item 63 repeals subsection 52ZZZO(7).  Subsection 52ZZZO(7) had provided that determinations made under subsections 52ZZZO(3), (4) and (5) were disallowable instruments for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

Items 64 to 65 amend section 52ZZZQ.  Section 52ZZZQ sets out a list of provisions for which the Repatriation Commission may, by writing, formulate principles ( decision-making principles ) to be complied with.

 

Item 64 is a formatting amendment to remove the reference to subsection (1).  The amendment is a consequence of the amendment made by Item 66 that repeals subsection 52ZZZQ(2).

 

Item 65 amends subsection 52ZZZQ(1) by replacing the reference to the making of the decision-making principles in “writing” with a reference to the principles being made by “legislative instrument”.

 

Item 66 repeals subsection 52ZZZQ(2).  Subsection 52ZZZQ(2) had provided that the decision-making principles made under subsection 52ZZZQ(1) were disallowable instruments for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

Item 67 repeals and substitutes subsection 53B(3).  Subsection 53B(3) had provided that a determination under section 53B that specified the circumstances in which persons cease to be permanently incapacitated for work are continued fringe benefits eligibility circumstances for the purposes of subsection 53A(2), is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

New subsection 53B(3) provides that a determination under the section will be a legislative instrument.

 

Item 68 repeals and substitutes subsection 88A(3).  Subsection 88A(3) had provided that a determination under section 88A that specified the circumstances in which specified veterans and other persons are eligible to be provided with specified treatment, is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

New subsection 88A(3) provides that a determination under the section will be a legislative instrument.

 

Item 69 repeals and substitutes subsections 90A(5) and (6).  Section 90A provides that the Repatriation Commission may, in writing, determine principles setting out the circumstances in which treatment provided by the Repatriation Commission to eligible persons is to be provided to them as private patients.

 

Subsection 90A(3) also provides that the Repatriation Commission may, from time to time, in writing, prepare an instrument to vary or revoke the Principles.

 

Subsection 90A(5) had provided that an instrument determining or amending principles that has been approved by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

New subsection 90A(5) provides that the instrument determining or amending principles, approved under subsection 90A(4) will be a legislative instrument from the day on which it is approved by the Minister.

 

Subsection 90A(6) provides that for the purposes of sections 48, 48A, 48B and 49 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 as they apply to an instrument determining or amending principles, the instrument is taken to be made on the day on which the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs approved the instrument, and the references in section 48 of that Act to the date of notification of the instrument are to be read as references to the date on which the Minister approved the instrument

 

The effect of subsection 90A(6) was to override the provisions of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 that are referred to in the subsection.  By overriding those provisions the rights of a person could be affected so as to disadvantage that person from the date of the approval of the Minister of the Principles or an instrument amending or revoking the Principles rather than at the date of notification in the Commonwealth Gazette as provided for under the provisions of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901

 

New subsection 90A(6) preserves the effect of former subsection 90A(6) and provides that section 12 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 has effect in relation to an instrument, prepared under subsection 90A(5) as if a reference in section 12 to the day when the instrument is registered were a reference to the day on which the Minister approves it

 

Item 70 is a minor technical amendment to correct the reference in the note to subsection 100(1).  The incorrect reference to section “133” is replaced with a reference to section “113”.



 

Item 71 repeals and substitutes subsection 115B(4).  Section 115B provides that the Repatriation Commission may, from time to time, by instrument in writing, make a scheme, to be called the Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme.

 

Subsection 115B(4) had provided that a scheme made by the Repatriation  Commission under subsection 115B(1), or an instrument under subsection 115B(2), is a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

New subsection 115B(4) provides that a scheme or an instrument varying or revoking the scheme approved under subsection 115B(3) will be a legislative instrument on the day on which it is approved by the Minister.

 

Items 72 to 74 amend section 116A.  Section 116A provides for the making of a determination of a “class of persons” for the purposes of paragraph (e) of the definition of eligible child in subsection 116(1).  The term is used in Part VII of the VEA which provides for the operation of the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme.

 

Item 72 replaces the reference in subsection 116A(1) to the Repatriation Commission making a determination, “in writing”  with a reference to a determination “by legislative instrument”.

 

Item 73 replaces in subsection 116A(2) a reference to a “written determination” to vary or revoke a determination made under subsection 116A(1) with a reference to a “legislative instrument”.

 

Item 74 repeals subsection 116A(3).  Subsection 116A(3) had provided that a determination made under subsection 116A(3) was a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

Items 75 and 76 amend section 118.  Section 118 provides that the Repatriation Commission may provide certain benefits to eligible children and other persons under and in accordance with the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme.

 

  Item 75 replaces the subsection 118(2) reference to “determines in writing” in relation to the provision of guidance and counselling services under the scheme  to other persons as determined by the  Minister for Veterans’ Affairs with a reference to “by, legislative instrument”.

 

Item 76 repeals subsection 118(3).  Subsection 118(3) had provided that a determination made under subsection 118(2) was a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

Items 77 and 78 amend section 122B.  Section 122B provides that a person may request the Repatriation Commission to make deductions from instalments of pension, allowance or other benefit for the purpose of making payments to the Commissioner of Taxation or           payments in a class approved by the Repatriation Commission for the purposes of the section.

 

Item 77 repeals the sentence, “The approval must be in writing.” from subsection 122B(5).

 

Item 78 replaces the reference in subsection 122B(6) to an approval under subsection 122B(5) being a “disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 ” with a reference to the approval being a “legislative instrument”.

 

Item 79 is a formatting amendment to subsection 132(12) to replace a reference to “section, 115”  with a reference to “section”  so that the provision correctly refers to “section 115”.

 

Items 80 and 81 amend section 180A.  Section 180A provides the Repatriation Commission with the discretion, to make a determination in respect of an injury, disease or death under subsections 180A(2) or (3), or determinations under both subsections if required.

 

Item 80 amends subsections 180A(2) and (3) to replace references to the determinations being made “in writing” with a reference to the determinations being made by “legislative instrument”.

 

Item 81 repeals subsection 180A(4).  Subsection 180A(4) had provided that determinations made under subsections 180A(2) and (3) were disallowable instruments for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

Items 82 to 84 amend section 196B.  Section 196B sets out the functions of the Repatriation Medical Authority. 

 

Item 82 replaces the reference in paragraph 196B(8)(c) to the requirement where certain conditions have been met, that the Repatriation Medical Authority must “revoke” a Statement of Principles made under subsections 196B(2) or (3) with a reference that the Repatriation Medical Authority must “make a determination revoking” a Statement of Principles.

 

Subsection 196B(13) provides that a determination under subsection 196B(10) amending a Statement of Principles, or a Statement of Principles made under subsection 196B(11) or (12) is to be taken to have had effect from the day on which the decision of the Specialist Medical Review Council was notified in the Commonwealth Gazette .  The subsection also provides that the determination or Statement of Principles must specify that day.

 

The effect of subsection 196B(13) is to preserve the effect of former subsection 196B(13) and provide that the rights of a person could potentially be affected so as to disadvantage that person from the date of notification of the decision of the Specialist Medical Review Council in the Commonwealth Gazette rather than from the date of registration as is provided for under the provisions of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003

 

Item 83 replaces the reference in subsection 196B(13) to “A determination under subsection (10)” with a reference to “Despite section 12 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 , a determination under subsection (10) of this section”.

 

The amended subsection 196B(13) acknowledges that the rights of a person could be affected so as to disadvantage that person from the date of notification in the Commonwealth Gazette.

 

Item 84 inserts new subsection 196B(13A).  New subsection 196B(13A) provides that a determination made under section 196B must be in writing and is a legislative instrument.

 

Item 85 repeals the now redundant section 196D.  Section 196D had provided that a determination of the Repatriation Medical Authority under section 196B was a disallowable instrument for the purposes of section 46A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

 

Item 86 provides for the saving of certain determinations made under provisions that some of the preceding items have amended.

 

As a general rule determinations that have been made under the provisions of the VEA prior to the amendments made by the preceding items will continue to apply until they are replaced or revoked by determinations made under the amended provisions.

 

Subclause 86(1) provides that for the purposes of the item, references to the amended VEA are references to the VEA as in force immediately after the commencement of the item.  It also provides that references to the unamended VEA   are references to the VEA as in force immediately before the commencement of the item.

 

Subclause 86(2) provides that a determination made under the definition of PF in subsection 5JBA(5) of the unamended VEA that was in force immediately before the commencement of this item will have effect at and after that time as if it had been made under new subsection 5JBA(5A) of the amended VEA .

 

Subclause 86(3) provides that a determination made under the definition of pension valuation factor in subsection 52B(3) of the unamended VEA that was in force immediately before the commencement of this item will have effect at and after that time as if it had been made under new subsection 52B(4) of the amended VEA .

 

Subclause 86(4) is applicable to a determination made under subsection 52ZZA(2) of the unamended VEA that each company included in a specified class of companies is a declared private company for the purposes of section 52ZZA of the unamended VEA that  was in force immediately before the commencement of this item. The subclause provides that the determination will have effect at and after that time as if it had declared that each company included in the specified class is declared private company for the purposes of section 52ZZA of the amended VEA .

 

Commencement

 

Clause 2 sets out the various commencement dates for the items in this Part. 

 



 

Schedule 2 - Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests (Treatment) Act 2006

 

Overview

 

Schedule 2 extends the period for which Commonwealth or Australian Federal Police may be considered to be a nuclear test participant for the purposes of the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests (Treatment) Act 2006 (the Act).

 

Background

 

The Act provides treatment, including testing, for malignant neoplasia (cancers) for eligible test participants.  The dates of eligibility for the purposes of being a nuclear test participant are based on the periods of testing in each of the locations and the period afterwards during which contamination may still have been present. 

 

Members of the Commonwealth Police, now Australian Federal Police, were responsible for patrolling the exclusion zone at Maralinga throughout the testing period and continued patrolling the area until 2001.  Scientific evidence supported that contamination exposure at Maralinga continued until 1988, after which a program of radiation safety advice and regular radiation monitoring commenced. 

 

Explanation of the changes

 

These changes to the Act will extend the period of eligibility for Commonwealth and Federal Police at Maralinga, for the purposes of determining whether a person is a nuclear test participant, from 30 April 1965 to 30 June 1988.  Persons determined to be a nuclear test participant during this period will become eligible for treatment for cancer.  These changes will also enable treatment costs and associated travelling expenses to be reimbursed for eligible participants in this group back to 19 June 2006, the date eligibility for cancer treatment, testing and associated travelling expenses commenced under the Act for eligible nuclear test participants.  However, persons in the newly eligible group must apply for this reimbursement within 6 months of the commencement of these amendments. 

 

Explanation of the items

 

Item 1 makes a technical amendment to the definition of nuclear test participant in subsection 4(1) of the Act.  The item omits “or (3)” and substitutes “, (3) and (3A)”. 

 

Item 2 inserts new subsections 5(3A) and 5(3B) after subsection 5(3) of the Act.  New subsection 5(3A) provides that a person is a nuclear test participant if the person meets all of the following three criteria.  The first criterion requires that the person was at some time during the period between 1 May 1965 and 30 June 1988, present in the Maralinga nuclear test area.  The second criterion requires that the person was, at that time, either a Commonwealth Police Officer under the Commonwealth Police Act 1957 or a member of the Australian Federal Police under the Australian Federal Police Act 1979 .  The third criterion requires that the person was an Australian resident at that time.

 

Subsection 5(3B) provides that paragraph 5(1)(a) of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979 does not apply to subparagraph (3A)(b)(i) of section 5.  A note at the end of this subsection explains that paragraph 5(1)(a) of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979 provides that a reference in a law of the Commonwealth to a Commonwealth Police Officer is to be read as a reference to a member of the Australian Federal Police. 

 

Item 3 is a transitional provision to provide for the reimbursement of certain cancer treatment costs.   Item 3 provides that the Repatriation Commission may approve, under subsection 13(1) of the Act, treatment for a person that was provided before the commencement of this Schedule but on or after 19 June 2006 if, the person makes a claim under the Act within 6 months after the commencement this Schedule for a determination that the person is an eligible person for the purposes of the Act and the Commission determines under the Act, that the person is an eligible person because of new subsection 5(3A) of the Act which is inserted by this Schedule.   This provision enables the Commission to reimburse persons eligible under new subsection 5(3A) of the Act, who apply within 6 months of the commencement of this Schedule, for the cost of any cancer treatment incurred back to 19 June 2006. 

 

The item also provides that this item has effect despite subsection 13(2) of the Act.  Subsection 13(2) would otherwise limit the reimbursement of treatment costs to those costs incurred in the last three months. 

 

Item 4 is a second transitional provision to provide for the reimbursement of certain travelling expenses associated with cancer treatment for the newly eligible group.  Item 4 applies to travel undertaken before the commencement of this Schedule, but on or after 19 June 2006, for the purpose of obtaining treatment by a person who makes a claim under the Act within 6 months of the commencement of this Schedule for a determination that the person is an eligible person under the Act and the Commission determines that the person is an eligible person under the Act because of new subsection 5(3A).  The item also applies to travel undertaken by a person who accompanied, as an attendant,  a person described above.

 

Subitem 4(2) provides that if a claim for a determination of entitlement to be paid travelling expenses in connection with the travel is made under the Act within

6 months after the commencement of this Schedule, the Repatriation Commission may approve or authorise the travel for the purposes of section 19 of the Act and determine the claim under the Act.  Subsection 21(2) of the Act is disregarded for the purposes of this item.  Under normal circumstances subsection 21(2) would restrict claims for travelling expenses to claims made within 12 months of undertaking the travel.  The item also enables the Commission to determine a claim for travelling expenses in relation to travel for an attendant.

 

Commencement

 

Clause 2 provides that this Schedule commences the day after this Act receives Royal Assent. 



 

Schedule 3 - Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004

 

Overview

 

Schedule 3 amends the MRCA to correct minor errors and anomalies in the Act.

 

Background

 

The MRCA covers all permanent and reserve members of the Australian Defence Force, cadets and cadet instructors who have warlike, non-warlike and peacetime service.  It provides treatment, rehabilitation and increased compensation for those members who suffer a mental or physical injury, or contract a disease, as a result of service after 30 June 2004.

 

The MRCA combines elements of the VEA and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA).  Benefits provided by the MRCA match and in many cases, enhance those provided under the previous arrangements.

 

Part 1 - Definition of disease

 

Explanation of the changes

 

An error has been identified in the formatting of one of the definitions located in section 5 of the MRCA.

 

The definition of “disease” in section 5 was meant to be identical to that in the VEA, but was incorrectly formatted in such a way that could possibly affect its meaning (although a reference to the Explanatory Memorandum would indicate that it was probably intended to have the same meaning as the VEA).

 

Item 1 corrects the formatting error by repealing and replacing the definition of disease in section 5 of the MRCA.

 

Commencement

 

Clause 2 provides that the amendment in this Part commences on the day after this Act receives Royal Assent.

 

Part 2 - Effect of days worked on compensation

 

Explanation of the changes

 

Chapter 4 of the MRCA provides for the payment of compensation and other benefits to current and former members of the Defence Force who suffer a service injury or disease.

 

Section 196 of the MRCA sets out a method for determining the amount of compensation for incapacity for service or work payable where a person is entitled to compensation for part of a week and not a whole week.

 

The formula for determining the amount of compensation payable for part of a week is set out in subsection 196(2) and refers to the relevant “number of days” which is defined in subsection 196(3).

 

The definition of the “number of days” under subsection 196(3) will depend on the provisions under which the person is entitled to compensation.  If the person is entitled to compensation under section 118 and Division 6 of Part 4 of the MRCA applies to the person, paragraph 196(3)(a) provides that the number of days for the purposes of subsection 196(2) will be “7”.  For a person who is entitled to compensation under section 87, paragraph 196(3)(b) provides that the number of days is prescribed by the regulations.  If either of the provisions of paragraphs 196(3)(a) and (b) do not apply to the person, paragraph 196(3)(c) provides that the number of days is set at “5”.

 

For those persons who work for more or less than 5 days each week the current formula as set out in subsection 196(2) would result in an incorrect amount of compensation being determined.

 

Item 2 repeals and substitutes paragraph 196(3)(c) .  The new paragraph provides that the number of days will be “5” or some other number determined by the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission to be the number of days that the person would normally work in a week.

 

The amended paragraph provides the Commission with the discretion to ensure that the “number of days” that is determined will result in the payment of compensation under subsection 196(2) that properly compensates the person for that part of the week that compensation is payable.

 

Commencement

 

Clause 2 provides that the amendment in this Part commences on the day after this Act receives Royal Assent.

 

Part 3 - Weekly compensation for wholly dependent partners 

 

Explanation of the changes

 

Chapter 5 of the MRCA provides for the payment of compensation and other benefits for dependants of certain deceased, current and former members of the Defence Force.

 

Part 2 of Chapter 5 provides compensation to the partner of a deceased member to whom section 12 of the MRCA applies in circumstances where the partner was wholly dependant on the member before the member’s death.

 

In those circumstances the wholly dependent partner has the option of receiving weekly payments of compensation that are based on the rate of war widow or widower pension payable at the rate referred to in subsection 30(1) of the VEA.

 

Paragraph 234(5)(a) provides that the weekly amount will be “one half of the fortnightly rate at which a pension is payable from time to time under paragraphs 30(1)(a) and (b) of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 ”.

 

The reference to the rates referred to in paragraph 234(5)(a) of the MRCA does not include a reference to the amount referred to in paragraph 30(1)(c) of the VEA.  That paragraph refers to the person’s pension supplement payable at the amount determined under subsection 30(1A).

 

The pension supplement was introduced and payable from the 1 July 2000 as part of the compensation package for pensioners in the reforms made as a consequence of the implementation of the GST.

 

Item 3 amends paragraph 234(5)(a) by replacing the reference to [paragraph 30(1)] “and (b)” with a reference to [paragraphs 30(1)] “, (b) and (c)”.

 

Item 4 inserts a provision that provides for a waiver of earlier overpayments. The provision operates to provide that the right to recover any excess payment that has been paid prior to the commencement of the amendment to paragraph 234(5)(a) of the MRCA made by Item 3 of Schedule 3 of this Bill will be waived.

 

The waiver will operate in the circumstances where an amount of compensation was paid as if the amendment made by Item 3 had already commenced, and that amount exceeded the amount of compensation that was payable because the amendment had not commenced.

 

Commencement

 

Clause 2 provides that the amendments in this Part commence on the day after this Act receives Royal Assent.

 

Part 4 - Claims for compensation

 

Background

 

Under section 322 of the MRCA a person cannot make a claim for liability for an injury, disease or death, or loss of or damage to a medical aid if another earlier claim for this matter has not yet been determined.

 

Section 322 relates only to the situation where a person is making a claim for liability, and omits claims for compensation.  This situation allows claimants to lodge multiple claims for compensation for the same matter even if a previous claim for compensation for that same matter is awaiting determination.

 

Section 322 of the MRCA was modelled on paragraphs 14 (5)(a) and (5)(b), and paragraphs 14 (6)(a) and (6)(b) of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA). Under the VEA, a distinction between claims for liability and claims for compensation is not made.

 

This oversight in the drafting of the provision allows claimants under the MRCA to make multiple claims for compensation for the same thing before any earlier claim can be determined, creating the possibility for multiple claims for compensation for the same thing from particular claimants.

 

For example,  if a member claims compensation for incapacity for service or work for a certain period, the amendment will prevent the member from lodging another claim for compensation for incapacity for service for that same period until the first claim for that period has finally been determined.  However, the member is not prevented from lodging a claim for compensation for incapacity for service for a different period of incapacity before that first claim has finally been determined.

 

Explanation of the changes

 

The amendments to section 322 of the MRCA the operation of the provision to include claims for compensation, as well as claims for liability.

 

Explanation of the items

 

Item 5 repeals subsection 322(2) and makes a formatting amendment to alter the heading of the section from “No new liability claim before earlier claim determined” to read “No new claim before earlier claim determined” and the insertion of a heading to subsection 322(1) that reads “Claim for acceptance of liability”.

 

Item 6 inserts new subsections 322(4), (5) and (6).

 

New subsection 322(4) under the heading “Claim for compensation” provides that a claim for compensation must not be made if another claim for compensation for the same matter has not been finally determined.

 

New subsection 322(5) provides that for another claim for compensation for the same matter to be considered it must be supported by additional evidence.

 

New subsection 322(6) under the heading “When a claim is finally determined” provides that for the purposes of section 322, a claim will finally be determined when either a decision that has been made regarding the claim is not the subject of any reconsideration or review or a decision was the subject of a reconsideration or review, but the period within which that reconsideration or review could be instituted has lapsed.

 

Item 7 is an application provision.  It provides that the amendments to section 322 apply in relation to a claim made on or after the commencement of the amendments, whether a claim for compensation for the same matter has been made before, on or after that commencement.

 

Commencement

 

Clause 2 provides that the amendments in this Part commence on the day after this Act receives Royal Assent.

 

Part 5 - Technical amendment

 

Explanation of the item

 

Item 8 is a technical amendment to subsection 327(1) to insert the word “if” after the reference to subsection 327(3).

 

The amendment is made to correct an error in the amendments to section 327 made by the Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Statements of Principles and Other Measures) Act 2007 .

 

The amendment is retrospective but will not have an adverse effect on any person.

 

Commencement

 

Clause 2 provides that the amendment in this Part commences immediately after the commencement of item 22 of Schedule 4 to the Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Statements of Principles and Other Measures) Act 2007 .