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Industrial Chemicals (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2017

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2016-2017

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS (CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS AND TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS) BILL 2017

 

 

 

ADDENDUM TO THE

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

This addendum responds to concerns raised by the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills in Scrutiny Digest No. 8, dated 9 August 2017.        

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Assistant Minister for Health, the Hon Dr David Gillespie MP)

 





CLAUSE 50 - TRANSITIONAL RULES

 

After fifth paragraph - add:

 

The Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017 will replace legislation (the ICNA Act) that is over 25 years old and has been progressively and repeatedly amended to cater for changes relating to the introduction and use of industrial chemicals. This has created a piece of legislation that is complex to interpret and contains overlapping provisions and powers.

 

The Industrial Chemicals (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2017 deals with the transition from the existing industrial chemicals legislation to the new scheme. A significant amount of detail will also be included in the rules to be made under this Bill to ensure that the transition from the existing scheme to the reformed scheme is as smooth as possible for stakeholders.

 

Given the complexity of the current ICNA Act and that the regulatory system under the Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017 will be significantly different, it is possible that the transitional arrangements at commencement may not cover every potential circumstance of necessary transition between the two Acts. In these circumstances, there may be unintentional and unforeseen adverse consequences that may require additional transitional arrangements being put in place to avoid adversely impacting on international trade or placing unnecessary additional costs on individuals and businesses. Additionally, risks associated with the introduction of industrial chemicals could go unmanaged, or the response to risks may be delayed due to uncertainty over how regulatory powers transition. Managing these risks is important, not only for the wellbeing of Australia’s population and environment but also for the viability of the industrial chemicals sector.

 

The limited period of disapplication of subsection 12(2) of the Legislation Act has been included in the Industrial Chemicals (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill to enable any issues that may arise at the time of transition (i.e. at the proposed commencement time of 1 July 2018) to be dealt with effectively through rules.

 

It is not intended or anticipated that persons would be disadvantaged through retrospective application of the rules (should they be required). Rather, the ability for the transitional rules to apply retrospectively means that any unintended consequences of transitioning the scheme can apply from the date of commencement. This flexibility allows for any errors or unintended consequences to be remedied at the point at which the issue arises. It also enables the law to clarify the correct and intended outcome for stakeholders, thereby avoiding the need for complex administrative ‘fixes’.

 

While the Bill enables rules to be made, they must only be transitional in nature (creating a direct link with the transition from the existing industrial chemicals law to the new law).To ensure that there is continued parliamentary oversight, the rules will be subject to disallowance.

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Assistant Minister for Health, the Hon Dr David Gillespie MP)