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Airports Amendment Bill 2016

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2016

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AIRPORTS AMENDMENT BILL 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport,

the Hon Darren Chester MP)

 

 



 

 

AIRPORTS AMENDMENT BILL 2016

 

OUTLINE

 

The Government regulates planning and development on federal leased airport sites through the Airports Act 1996 (the Act). Under the Act, all federal leased airports (excluding Mount Isa and Tenant Creek) are required to prepare a Master Plan (MP) every 5 years to establish a strategic direction for efficient and economic development at the airport as well as prepare a Major Development Plan (MDP) for specific major on-airport developments.

 

The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Act to streamline certain administrative arrangements relating to MPs and MDPs to offer a more flexible, proportionate, efficiency-based regulatory approach.

 

The key measures of the Bill will amend the Act to:

·           implement a differential MP submission cycle for federal leased airports (excluding Mount Isa and Tennant Creek) to facilitate:

-             an 8 year MP submission cycle for Adelaide, Alice Springs, Archerfield, Bankstown, Camden, Canberra, Darwin, Essendon, Gold Coast, Hobart, Jandakot, Launceston, Moorabbin, Parafield and Townsville airports; and

-             retain the current 5 year MP submission cycle for Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney (Kingsford-Smith), and Sydney West airports;

·           mandate the inclusion of a new Australian Noise Exposure Forecast in each new MP;

·           increase the current $20 million monetary trigger for MDPs to $35 million and allow the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport (the Minister) to issue legislative instruments:

-             for the purpose of increasing the threshold amount (monetary trigger) for MDPs every three years, taking into account price indexations indicating changes in construction activity costs; and

-             for the purpose of specifying the costs that must be included, and must not be included, when calculating the cost of construction for an MDP;

·           specify a 15 business day statutory decision timeframe within which the Minister must consider applications from airport-lessee companies for reduced consultation periods for MDPs, with such applications deemed approved if there is no Ministerial decision within this timeframe;

·           enable the Minister to extend more than once the period that approved MDPs are required to be substantially completed; and

·           enable airport-lessee companies to notify the Minister if an approved MDP is not able to proceed on the basis of exceptional circumstances.

 

Financial impact statement

 

Nil

 

 



 

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

 

Airports Amendment Bill 2016

 

The Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

 

Overview of the Bill

The Airports Amendment Bill 2016 amends specific provisions of the Airports Act 1996 (the Act) relating to master plans and major development plans that are currently generating inefficient outcomes for industry, as well as imposing unnecessary and onerous administrative and compliance costs. 

 

The key measures of the Bill will ensure the Act continues to:

·            deliver a proportionate and efficiency-based approach that reduces administrative and compliance costs for operators;

·            create regulatory certainty for industry; and

·            maintain appropriate and effective regulatory oversight .

 

Human rights implications

The amendments proposed by the Bill do not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms. The Bill simply finetunes certain provisions in the Act relating to the long-term and strategic planning and development of federal leased airports.

 

Conclusion

The Bill is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Darren Chester MP

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1: Short Title

 

1.       This clause is a formal provision specifying the short title of the Bill. It provides that the Bill, once enacted, may be cited as the Airports Amendment Act 2016 .

 

Clause 2: Commencement

 

2.       This clause sets out the commencement date of the Bill. All sections in the Bill will commence on the seventh day after the Act receives Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3: Schedule(s)

 

3.       This clause provides that legislation that is specified in a Schedule to the Act (as enacted) is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in the Schedule has effect according to its terms.

 

 

SCHEDULE 1 -

 

Item 1-

 

4.       This item is a consequential amendment to items 5 and 9; the implementation of a differential master plan submission cycle. This item amends the current 5 year period specified in paragraphs 71(2)(ga), (gb) and (gc) and aligns it with the period specified in item 5.

 

Item 2 -

 

5.       This item is a consequential amendment to items 5 and 9; the implementation of a differential master plan submission cycle. This item also relates to item 8. This item inserts “in relation to the initial period (see subsection (3A)) of the master plan—” before the phrase “an environment strategy that” to apply consistent wording with paragraphs 71(2)(ga), (gb) and (gc).

 

Item 3 -

 

6.       This item is a consequential amendment to items 5 and 9; the implementation of a differential master plan submission cycle. This item amends the current 5 year period specified in paragraphs 71(3)(ga), (gb) and (gc) and aligns it with the period specified in item 5; the implementation of a differential master plan submission cycle.

 

Item 4 -

 

7.       This item is a consequential amendment to items 5 and 9; the implementation of a differential master plan submission cycle. This item also relates to item 8. This item inserts “in relation to the initial period (see subsection (3A)) of the master plan—” before the phrase “an environment strategy that” to apply consistent wording with paragraphs 71(3)(ga), (gb) and (gc).

Item 5 -

 

8.       This item introduces and defines the term “initial period” having regard to the differential master plan submission cycle specified in item 9. The term replaces the phrase “first five years” throughout section 71 (refer items 1, 2, 3 and 4).

 

Item 6 -

 

9.       This item is a consequential amendment to item 5; the implementation of a differential master plan submission cycle.

 

Item 7 -

 

10.   This item is a technical amendment; it omits the numbering for this subsection. It is consequential to the amendment in item 8.

 

Item 8 -

 

11.   This item repeals subsection 72(2); it is a consequential amendment to items 2 and 4.

 

Item 9 -

 

12.   This item repeals paragraph 76(1)(a) which currently requires all airport-lessee companies to submit a new draft master plan no later than 5 years after the original plan came into force, and substitutes the differential master plan cycle. Therefore, if a final master plan (the original plan) is in force for an airport, the airport-lessee company must give the Minister, in writing, a draft master plan for the airport, no later than:

·          in the case of Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport, Sydney West Airport, Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport, Brisbane Airport or Perth Airport—5 years after the original plan came into force; or

·          in the case of Adelaide, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Archerfield, Bankstown, Camden, Canberra, Darwin, Essendon, Gold Coast, Hobart, Jandakot, Launceston, Moorabbin, Parafield and Townsville airports—8 years after the original plan came into force.

 

Item 10 -

 

13.   This item clarifies the airports subject to Part 5 of Act.

 

Item 11 -

 

14.   This item inserts a new subsection requiring airports to obtain a new Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) and include that ANEF in the draft master plan given to the Minister. This amendment also requires the ANEF must be endorsed within the last 180 days of the period specified in subsection 76(1).

 

15.   This amendment will ensure each final master plan comprises an up-to-date representation of the potential noise impacts of airport operations. The amendment also facilitates integrated and coherent land use planning outcomes; in particular, to manage incompatible and sensitive land uses from encroaching too close to airports.

Item 12 -

 

16.   This amendment imposes a penalty on a company if it commits an offence that contravenes the requirements of subsection 76(1A). This is consistent with the existing penalty for a company that contravenes the requirements of subsection 76(1).

 

Item 13 -

 

17.   This item is a consequential amendment to items 9 and 14; the implementation of a differential master plan submission cycle and the duration of a final master plan.

 

Item 14 -

 

18.   This item is a consequential amendment to item 9; the implementation of a differential master plan submission cycle.

 

Item 15 -

 

19.   This item relates to item 11. This item removes the unintentional duplication of processes which would otherwise require an airport-lessee company to submit a draft master plan under two different subsections.

 

20.   This amendment provides that the requirement under subsection 78(2A) to submit a new draft master plan to the Minister within 180 days of obtaining an approved ANEF does not apply when a new ANEF has been endorsed for the requirements under subsection 76(1A).

 

21.   Subsection 78(2A) relates to a new ANEF being obtained outside the master plan cycle.

 

22.   Subsection 76(1A) relates to a new ANEF being obtained for the purposes of a new master plan.

 

Item 16 -

 

23.   This item is a consequential amendment to item 14; the duration of a final master plan.

 

Item 17 -

 

24.   This item repeals section 86A which has been spent for some time; all final master plans currently include an environment strategy in accordance with paragraphs 71(2)(h) or 71(3)(h).

 

Item 18 -

 

25.   This item is a consequential amendment to item 19; the monetary threshold that triggers a major development plan. This amendment relates to subsections (7) and (9) of item 19. 

 

 

 

Item 19 -

 

26.   This item comprises two specific amendments; one amendment refers to the costs of construction and the other amendment refers to the threshold amount for a major development plan.

 

27.   Subsection (8) of this item enables the Minister to make a legislative instrument to determine the costs of construction under subsection (7). This legislative instrument sets out the costs that must be included and excluded in an airport-lessee company’s calculations when determining if the construction cost of a major airport development triggers the requirement for a major development plan. This amendment is necessary to remove any confusion for industry and ensure a consistent costing application across all federal leased airports.

 

28.   This item increases the current threshold amount from $20 million to $35 million having regard to changes in construction industry costs, as well as the economic and marketplace conditions, since the threshold amount was last amended in 2007. 

 

29.   Subsection (9) specifies the threshold amount as $35 million or an amount determined in an instrument in subsection (10). The threshold amount is the monetary trigger for a major development plan.

 

30.   Subsection (9) also provides for a raising the threshold amount to be determined under subsections (10) and (11).

 

31.   Subsection (10) specifies the threshold amount may only remain the same or increase.

 

32.   If the Minister raises the threshold amount subsection (11) specifies the new amount becomes effective on each third anniversary concerned. 

 

33.   This item also sets out in subsections (12), (13) and (14) the matters to be taken into account, including price indexations indicating changes in construction activity costs, when the threshold amount is reviewed and increased under subsections (10) and (11).

 

Item 20 -

 

34.   This item is a technical amendment required to link the paragraph to the subparagraph.

 

Item 21 -

 

35.   This item recognises a draft major development plan would not have been submitted to the Minister at this stage (prior to the public consultation period), therefore the Minister cannot make a determination on whether the draft major development plan aligns with the details of the proposed development set out in the final master plan.

 



 

Item 22 -

 

36.   This item specifies a 15 business day decision timeframe within which the Minister must consider applications from airport-lessee companies for reduced consultation periods for major development plans, with such applications deemed approved if there is no Ministerial decision within this timeframe.

 

37.   This amendment will not impact the prescribed requirements for public consultation, however it will provide industry with certainty regarding the Ministerial decision timeframe, which could then be accounted for in the airport’s planning process.

 

Item 23 -

 

38.   This item enables the Minister to extend the period for substantial completion of a major development plan, more than once, by up to two years. This provision only applies if the initial 5 year period, or the further extended period, has not expired.

 

39.   The item retains the Minister’s discretion to apply one or more conditions to such an approval.

 

Item 24 -

 

40.   This item allows an airport-lessee company to provide written notice (withdrawal notice) to the Minister under subsection (2) to withdraw an approved major development plan under the specific circumstances in subsection (1).

 

41.   Subsection (3) requires the Minister to acknowledge receipt of the withdrawal notice provided by the airport-lessee company, under subsection (2).

 

42.   Subsection (4) provides a date for the cessation of the approval of a major airport development.

 

43.   Subsection (5) requires the airport-lessee company to publish a notification within 20 business days of receiving the Minister’s acknowledgement under subsection (3); the notification must specify the details set out in this subsection. This notification will ensure stakeholders are informed that the major airport development is not proceeding.

 

44.   Subsection (6) imposes a penalty on a company if it commits an offence that contravenes the requirements of subsection (5). This is consistent with the existing penalty for a company that contravenes the requirements of subsection 96(3); the publication of an approved major development plan.

 

Item 25 -

 

45.   This item specifies the new Ministerial decisions made under item 19 subsections (8) and (10), and item 24, are not reviewable by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

 

 

 

Item 26 -

 

46.   This item outlines several application and transitional provisions for airport master plans. The provisions are necessary because an airport-lessee company may have commenced preparing a new draft master plan prior to the amendments to the Act. For example the company may have commenced the process for obtaining a new ANEF or made the plan available for public comment.

 

47.   Subsection (1) states items 1 to 8 only apply to draft master plans submitted on or after commencement, and where the published notice under subsection 79(1) is also published on or after commencement. Therefore, airports listed in subparagraph 76(1)(a)(ii) may only publish a notice under subsection 79(1) for public comment and submit an 8 year draft master plan on or after commencement.

 

48.   Subsection (2) states items 9 to 14 only apply to draft master plans given to the Minister on or after commencement. The purpose of subsection (2) is to specify that any master plan approved prior to commencement will expire 5 years from the day on which it was approved. Therefore, if an airport listed in subparagraph 76(1)(a)(ii) currently has final master plan that was approved in May 2015 that plan will expire in May 2020.

 

49.   Subsection (1) and (2) are subject to subsections (3) and (4).

 

50.   Subsection (3) recognises there is typically a significant consultation process leading up to the lodgement of a master plan. Where a master plan is submitted and consultation notice is published within 12 months of commencement, the airport-lessee company can elect to not have the amendments apply to that master plan without penalty. Therefore, an airport listed in subparagraph 76(1)(a)(ii) may elect to submit a 5 year master plan within 12 months of commencement.

 

51.   Subsection (4) clarifies the decision to exercise the option given under subsection (3) rests with the airport-lessee company.

 

52.   Subsection (5) requires all new draft master plans submitted after 28 days after commencement to include a new ANEF (refer item 11).

 

53.   If an airport-lessee company has commenced developing a new master plan without a new ANEF, subsection (5) allows the airport-lessee company to either:

i.         submit the plan to the Minister within 28 days of commencement; or

ii.       consider other options under the Act, such as applying for an extension to the expiry date of the existing master plan under section 76(1)(b) for the purposes of obtaining a new ANEF.

 

54.   Subsection (6) clarifies that offences in subsection 76(2) apply on or after commencement of this item.

 

Item 27 -

 

55.   Subsection (1) states items 18 and 19 only apply to draft major development plans given to the Minister on or after commencement. Therefore, the $35 million threshold amount only applies to major development plans given to the Minister on or after commencement.

56.   Subsection (2) allows an airport-lessee company to give the Minister written notice to withdraw the draft major development plan, if:

i.         the cost of construction of the major airport development exceeded $20 million, however is less than $35 million; and

ii.       the Minister has not made a decision on it.

 

Item 28 -

 

57.   Subsection (1) specifies item 22 (the Minister’s 15 business day decision period) only applies to requests for shortening of the consultation period received by the Minister on or after commencement.

 

58.   Subsection (2) specifies item 22 (extension to the period for substantial completion of an approved major development plan) applies to all major developments approved before, on or after commencement.

 

59.   Subsection (3) specifies item 22 does not affect the validity of an extension granted or any condition imposed on a major development plan approved prior to commencement.

 

60.   Subsection (4) specifies item 24 applies to all major development plans approved before, on or after commencement.