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Product Stewardship Bill 2011

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2010-2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

PRODUCT STEWARDSHIP BILL 2011

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

Amendments to be Moved on Behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator the Hon Don Farrell)

 



 

GENERAL OUTLINE

 

The purpose of the Government amendments to the Product Stewardship Bill 2011 (the Bill) are to:

 

1.       Remove subclauses 9(2) and (3) of the Bill, which would have allowed the State or Territory laws to be prescribed as ‘excluded laws’ in some circumstances (responding to Recommendation 3 of the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee Report delivered 9 May 2011 (“the Committee Report”));

 

2.       Require the Minister to provide at least 12 months’ notice that a class of products is being considered for coverage under the Bill, unless the Minister is satisfied that there are special circumstances that justify the making of regulations without that notification, with reasons to be tabled in Parliament in such a case; and

 

3.       Require the Minister to publish on the Department’s website, before the end of each financial year, a list of classes of products that are to be considered for coverage under the Bill (responding to Recommendation 1 of the Committee Report).

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

These amendments will not have a financial impact.



 

NOTES ON AMENDMENTS

 

Amendments (1) and (2) - State and Territory Laws

 

1.         Amendment (1) and (2) respond to the recommendation in the Committee Report that the Bill preserve or protect existing State and Territory product stewardship schemes so as not to reduce their targets or effectiveness.

 

2.         The amendment removes subclauses 9(2) and (3). This means that regulations dealing with co-regulatory and mandatory product stewardship will not be able to exclude State or Territory laws.   The effect of the amendments is that State and Territory laws would continue to apply to the extent they are capable of operating concurrently with the Bill.

 

Amendments (3) to (13) - Notice requirement: products for regulation

 

3.         Amendments (4) to (13) place restrictions on the circumstances in which regulations may be made under the co-regulatory or mandatory provisions. The effect of the amendments is to establish a primary rule that at least 12 months must elapse between notice that the Minister is considering a class of products for coverage under the Bill and a decision by the Minister that regulations should be made.

 

4.         This primary rule does not apply where the Minister determines that there are special circumstances that justify making the regulations notwithstanding that the 12 month requirement has not been met. In such a case the Minister must, when the regulations are laid before both Houses of Parliament, also provide a statement setting out the special circumstances. This statement could be included in the explanatory statement accompanying the regulations.

 

5.         The notice requirement inserted by these amendments is supplementary to consultation requirements that apply to legislative instruments, including regulations, by force of section 17 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 .

 

Amendments (14) to (15) - Products considered for accreditation or regulation

 

6.         Amendments (14) and (15) respond to the recommendation in the Committee Report that as part of the framework legislation, a priority list of products to be covered by product stewardship schemes be developed and published annually.

 

7.         The amendments require the Minister to publish on the Department’s website, and table in both Houses of Parliament, a list of classes of products in relation to which the Minister is proposing to give consideration, during the next financial year, whether some form of accreditation or regulation under the Bill might be appropriate.  The reasons why the Minister is proposing to give that consideration must also be published.

 

8.         The list would not pre-empt the outcome of a regulation impact assessment or consultation on proposed regulations. It aims to provide more certainty to the community and business about what is being considered for coverage under the Bill.