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Treasury Laws Amendment (National Housing and Homelessness Agreement) Bill 2018

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2016-2017-2018

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

Treasury LAWS Amendment (National Housing and homelessness agreement) bill 2017

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

(Circulated by authority of the

Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison MP)



 

Table of contents

Glossary.............................................................................................................. 1

General outline and financial impact............................................................ 3

Amendments to the Treasury Laws Amendment (National Housing and Homelessness Agreement) Bill 2017.......................................................... 5

 

 



The following abbreviations and acronyms are used throughout this supplementary explanatory memorandum and additional explanatory memorandum.

Abbreviation

Definition

Bill

Treasury Laws Amendment (National Housing and Homelessness Agreement) Bill 2017

States

States and Territories



 

Amendments to the Treasury Laws Amendment (National Housing and Homelessness Agreement) Bill 2017

The amendments to the Bill provide additional certainty and clarity concerning the conditions for payments in relation to primary and supplementary housing agreements.

The Additional Explanatory Memorandum also inserts a paragraph into the Explanatory Memorandum to clarify how state homelessness strategies may address priority cohorts.

Date of effect: Consistent with the Bill, t he amendments apply to payments made on or after 1 July 2018, in relation to primary housing agreements and associated supplementary housing agreements entered into between the Commonwealth and the States both before and after that time.

Proposal announced: The amendments have not previously been announced.

Financial impact : The amendments do not alter the financial impact outlined in the explanatory memorandum to the Bill.  

Compliance cost impact : The amendments have no additional compliance cost impact.

 



Outline of chapter

1.1                   The amendments to the Bill provide additional certainty and clarity concerning the conditions for payments in relation to primary and supplementary housing agreement.

1.2                   The Additional Explanatory Memorandum also inserts a paragraph into the Explanatory Memorandum to clarify how state homelessness strategies may address priority cohorts.

Detailed explanation of new law

Amendments to the Treasury Laws Amendment (National Housing and Homelessness Agreement) Bill 2017

1.3                   The amendments ensure that payments may be made by the Commonwealth to the States and Territories (States) where they are party to a primary housing agreement and a supplementary housing agreement for part of a financial year, if that is consistent with the relevant agreement. [Amendments 1, 2, 3 and 6]

1.4                   The period for which States are required to have housing and homelessness strategies in place is amended to the period ascertained in accordance with the primary or supplementary housing agreement. This provides greater administrative flexibility than requiring a State to have strategies at all times during the financial year, and allows payments to be made provided that the strategy has been in place for the period the agreement requires. As a general rule, this must be at all times during the financial year. However, there are genuine reasons that may prevent States from having strategies in place at all times during a financial year. This may include where the relevant agreement has only been made part way through a financial year, there are changes of Government, or where the strategy is being developed or reviewed, as set out in the relevant agreement. [Amendments 3 and 6]

1.5                   The amendments also clarify that the reforms and initiatives in the States’ housing strategies must contribute to meeting supply needs in a State, rather than meeting the need in its entirety in that State. This is intended to ensure the strategies contribute to an improvement in the supply and demand balance. While housing demand is influenced by a range of economic and other conditions, some of which are beyond the control of the States, States’ strategies should give consideration to likely demand and include reforms and initiatives accordingly. [Amendment 4]

1.6                   The requirement that housing and homelessness strategies are available on a publicly accessible website has been amended so that it is not an absolute requirement, and instead only requires a State to do this so far as is reasonably practicable. This provides flexibility where there are genuine reasons why strategies may be unavailable at times, such as where there are website outages, the strategy is being developed or reviewed, or there has been a change of government. [Amendments 5 and 7]

Additional Explanatory Memorandum

1.7                   After paragraph 1.37 in the Explanatory Memorandum, the following additional paragraph is inserted:

•        “Homelessness strategies would be considered to address priority cohorts if general homelessness reforms and initiatives meet the needs of these cohorts, so long as consideration is given by the States to the prevalence and needs of that cohort in coming to that view. That is, it is not strictly necessary to have specific reforms or initiatives for every cohort. This acknowledges that the prevalence and needs of cohorts, and the availability of and services provided by States’ homelessness reforms and initiatives, are unique to each State. [Schedule 1, item 4, subsection 15C(6)]