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Customs Amendment (Safer Cladding) Bill 2017

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2016-2017

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

CUSTOMS AMENDMENT (SAFER CLADDING) BILL 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of Senator Nick Xenophon)



CUSTOMS AMENDMENT (SAFER CLADDING) BILL 2017

 

OUTLINE

 

The Customs Amendment (Safer Cladding) Bill 2017 (the bill) responds in part to a recommendation made by the Senate Economics References Committee in its inquiry into non-conforming building products.

 

The bill amends the Customs Act 1901 to expressly ban the importation of polyethylene (PE) core aluminium composite panels (ACPs).

 

The cladding issue is a most serious public safety issue that requires urgent action. The issue was brought to the public's attention in November 2015 when the Lacrosse building in Docklands Melbourne caught fire.

 

Since that time Governments, both Federal and State, have failed to adequately respond. This bill is urgently needed in the interests of public safety.

 

There cannot be, in light of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, legitimate use of PE core ACPs on any building type. There are safe non-flammable and fire retardant alternatives available and a ban on the importation of PE core ACPs will encourage the use of such alternatives.

 

While Australian Border Force and suppliers of Aluminium Composite Material are currently unable to determine whether an imported building product will be used in a compliant manner, a ban on importation is necessary to prevent any disasters such as the Grenfell Tower tragedy occurring in Australia.

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

Clause 1: Short Title

1.           Clause 1 is a formal provision specifying the short title of the Bill.

Clause 2: Commencement

2.           Clause 2 provides for the commencement of the whole of the Bill to commence the day after it receives the Royal Assent.

Clause 3 - Schedules

3.                        Each Act specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as is set out in the applicable items in the Schedule. Any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

 

 

 

Schedule 1—Amendments

Customs Act 1901

Item 1 - After section 51AB

4.                        This item inserts a new provision that bans the importation of polyethylene core aluminium composite panels into Australia.

5.                        New subsection 51B(1) prohibits the importation of polyethylene core aluminium composite panels into Australia.

6.                        New subsection 51B(2) ensures that polyethylene core aluminium composite panels are treated as prohibited imports under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 .

7.                        Polyethylene core aluminium panels that are presently in the country are not affected by this provision.

Item 2 - Application

8.                        This item explains how the amendments to the Act made by Schedule 1 will apply upon commencement of this Schedule. The ban on the importation of polyethylene core aluminium composite panels applies from the day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

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

 

Customs Amendment (Safer Cladding) Bill 2017

 

This 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 Customs Amendment (Safer Cladding) Bill 2017 responds in part to a recommendation made by the Senate Economics References Committee in its inquiry into non-conforming building products.

 

The bill amends the Customs Act 1901 to expressly ban the importation of polyethylene core aluminium composite panels.

 

Human rights implications

This Bill does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

 

Conclusion

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

 

Senator Nick Xenophon