Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Low Aromatic Fuel Bill 2012

Bill home page  


Download WordDownload Word


Download PDFDownload PDF

 

 

 

 

 

2010-2011-2012

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

LOW AROMATIC FUEL BILL 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

Amendments and New Clauses be Moved on Behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by the authority of the Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon Warren Snowdon MP)





LOW AROMATIC FUEL BILL 2012

 

OUTLINE

 

These Government amendments are to a proposed private member’s bill, the Low Aromatic Fuel Bill 2012 sponsored by Australian Greens Senator, Senator Rachel Siewert.

 

The Government recognises the devastating impact of petrol sniffing on young lives and the importance of action to reduce the incidence of petrol sniffing and its impact on families and communities. In this context these Government amendments are in keeping with the Bill’s object to reduce the potential harm to the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, living in certain areas from petrol sniffing. The amendments also provide clarity on a number of technical issues to facilitate the clearer administration of the Bill.

 

Section 9 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 makes it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of race and section 10 of that Act provides the right to equality before the law. Section 8 of that Act also provides for an exception in the case of special measures under article 1(4) of the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination .

 

As stated in the Explanatory Memorandum for the Low Aromatic Fuel Bill 2012, this Bill is compatible with human rights because it advances the right to health of people engaging in petrol sniffing. Furthermore, to the extent that areas will be designated with a high number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents, the Bill can be considered to be a special measure and meets the criteria as such. The Government amendments will further promote this aim.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

The amendments have no financial impact.

 

 

 



LOW AROMATIC FUEL BILL 2012

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Amendment 1: Clause 3 - Guide to this Act

 

Government amendment 1 amends Clause 3 - Guide to this Act by referring to the Bill’s objective of reducing potential harm to the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, living in certain areas from sniffing fuel.

 

This Government amendment strengthens the objective of the Bill in improving the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, engaging in petrol sniffing. This provision contributes to making the Bill a special measure for the purpose of Section 8 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 .

 

Amendment 2: Clause 3 - Guide to this Act

 

Government amendment 2 amends Clause 3 by replacing the sentence “A corporation must not supply regular unleaded petrol in a low aromatic fuel area”, with the words “ prohibiting the supply of regular unleaded petrol in a low aromatic fuel area.”

 

Amendment 3: Clause 3 - Guide to this Act

 

Government amendment 3 amends Clause 3 by adding after the sentence “the Minister may only designate an area as a low aromatic fuel area… if satisfied that doing so is reasonably likely to reduce potential harm in that area” the phrase “and if certain other conditions are satisfied.”

 

Amendment 4: Clause 3 - Guide to this Act

 

Government amendment 4 amends Clause 3 by adding after the sentence “the Minister may only designate an area as a fuel control area… if satisfied that doing so is reasonably likely to reduce potential harm in that area” the phrase “and if certain other conditions are satisfied.”

 

Amendment 5: Clause 4 - Object of this Act

Government amendment 5 amends Clause 4 to provide that the object of this Bill is to enable special measures to be taken to reduce the potential harm to the health people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, living in certain areas from sniffing fuel.

 

Amendment 6: Clause 5 - Dictionary

 

Government amendment 6 amends Clause 5 - Dictionary to include a definition of ‘Aboriginal person’.



 

Amendment 7: Clause 5 - Dictionary

 

Government amendment 7 amends Clause 5 - Dictionary to include a definition of the term ‘fuel’. This amendment will support the clearer administration of the Bill.

 

Amendment 8: Clause 5 - Dictionary

 

Government amendment 8 amends Clause 5 - Dictionary to include a definition of the term ‘low aromatic fuel’. This amendment will support the clearer administration of the Bill.

 

Amendment 9: Clause 5 - Dictionary

 

Government amendment 9 amends Clause 5 - Dictionary to include a definition of ‘Torres Strait Islander’. 

 

Amendment 10: Clause 8 - Prohibition of supplying etc. regular unleaded petrol in low aromatic fuel areas

 

Government amendment 10 amends Clause 8 paragraph (2)(b) by replacing the words “believing that” with “knowing that, or reckless as to whether.”

 

The current Clause 8 paragraph (2)(b) of the proposed Low Aromatic Fuel Bill 2012 refers to a corporation committing an offence if it transports regular unleaded petrol “believing that another person intends to supply any of it to a third person (the recipient)” if the recipient is in a low aromatic fuel area. The term “believing” is not consistent with the standard fault elements set out in the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) (the Criminal Code).

 

Government amendment 3 ensures the offence provisions in Clause 8(2)(b) are consistent with the Criminal Code to assist with the clearer administration of the Bill.

 

Amendment 11: Clause 11 - Requirements relating to fuels generally for low aromatic fuel areas and fuel control areas

 

Government amendment 11 amends Clause 11 by referring to the Bill’s objective of reducing potential harm to the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, living in certain areas from sniffing fuel.

 

This Government amendment strengthens the objective of the Bill in improving the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, engaging in petrol sniffing.  This provision contributes to making the Bill a special measure for the purpose of Section 8 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 .

 

Amendment 12: Clause 13 - Consultation before determining requirements relating to fuels generally

 

Government amendment 12 amends Clause 13 - by inserting a new paragraph 13(1)(aa) which adds Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders or their representatives to the list of persons and bodies from among whom the Minister must consult before making a determination under section 11.

 

This Government amendment strengthens the objective of the Bill in improving the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, engaging in petrol sniffing. This provision contributes to making the Bill a special measure for the purpose of section 8 of the Racial Discrimination Act.

 

Amendment 13: Clause 14 - Minister may designate low aromatic fuel areas

 

Government amendment 13 amends Clause 14 by replacing existing subclause (2) with a new subclause providing that the Minister may only designate an area as a low aromatic fuel area under subsection (1) if he or she is satisfied that this is reasonably likely to help reduce potential harm to the health of people living in that area from sniffing fuel; that there are adequate facilities or arrangements for the supply of low aromatic fuel to and within the area; and that the appropriate States and Territories have not enacted legislation consistent with this Act to reduce the harm of petrol sniffing.

 

This Government amendment is in response to recommendation 5 of the Senate Community Services Legislation Committee Report on their Inquiry into the Low Aromatic Fuel Bill 2012.  The Committee recommended that the Australian Government continue to consult with relevant state and territory governments on the possibility of national legislation to ensure that there is agreed and coordinated action to address petrol sniffing. 

 

Amendment 14: Clause 14 - Minister may designate low aromatic fuel areas

 

Government amendment 14 amends Clause 14 paragraph (3)(a) by referring to the Bill’s objective of reducing potential harm to the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, living in certain areas from sniffing fuel.

 

This Government amendment strengthens the objective of the Bill in improving the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, engaging in petrol sniffing by extending the offence provisions to individuals as well as corporations. This provision contributes to making the Bill a special measure for the purpose of Section 8 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 .

 

Amendment 15: Clause 14 - Minister may designate low aromatic fuel areas

 

Government amendment 15 amends Clause 14 paragraph (3)(b) by referring to the Bill’s objective of reducing potential harm to the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, living in certain areas from sniffing fuel.

 

This Government amendment strengthens the objective of the Bill in improving the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, engaging in petrol sniffing. This provision contributes to making the Bill a special measure for the purpose of Section 8 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 .



 

Amendment 16: Clause 14 - Minister may designate low aromatic fuel areas

 

Government amendment 16 amends Clause 14 paragraph (3)(c) by referring to the Bill’s objective of reducing potential harm to the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, living in certain areas from sniffing fuel.

 

This Government amendment strengthens the objective of the Bill in improving the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, engaging in petrol sniffing. This provision contributes to making the Bill a special measure for the purpose of Section 8 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 .

 

Amendment 17: Clause 14 - Minister may designate low aromatic fuel areas

 

Government amendment 17 amends Clause 14 paragraph (3)(d) by referring to the Bill’s objective of reducing potential harm to the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, living in certain areas from sniffing fuel.

 

This Government amendment strengthens the objective of the Bill in improving the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, engaging in petrol sniffing. This provision contributes to making the Bill a special measure for the purpose of Section 8 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 .

 

Amendment 18: Clause 15 - Minister may designate fuel control areas

 

Government amendment 18 amends Clause 15 by replacing existing Subclause (2) with a new subclause providing that the Minister may only designate an area as a fuel control area under Subsection (1) if he or she is satisfied that this is reasonably likely to help reduce potential harm to the health of people living in that area from sniffing fuel; that there are adequate facilities or arrangements for the supply of low aromatic fuel to and within the area; and that the appropriate States and Territories have not enacted legislation consistent with this Act to reduce the harm of petrol sniffing.

 

This Government amendment is in response to recommendation 5 of the Senate Community Services Legislation Committee Report on their Inquiry into the Low Aromatic Fuel Bill 2012.   The Committee recommended that the Australian Government continue to consult with relevant state and territory governments on the possibility of national legislation to ensure that there is agreed and coordinated action to address petrol sniffing. 

 

Amendment 19: Clause 15 - Minister may designate fuel control areas

 

Government amendment 19 amends Clause 15 paragraph (3)(a) by referring to the Bill’s objective of reducing potential harm to the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, living in certain areas from sniffing fuel.

 

This Government amendment strengthens the objective of the Bill in improving the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, engaging in petrol sniffing. This provision contributes to making the Bill a special measure for the purpose of Section 8 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 .

 

 

Amendment 20: Clause 15 - Minister may designate fuel control areas

Government amendment 20 amends Clause 15 paragraph (3)(b) by referring to the Bill’s objective of reducing potential harm to the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, living in certain areas from sniffing fuel.

 

This Government amendment strengthens the objective of the Bill in improving the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, engaging in petrol sniffing. This provision contributes to making the Bill a special measure for the purpose of Section 8 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 .

 

Amendment 21: Clause 15 - Minister may designate fuel control areas

Government amendment 21 amends Clause 15 paragraph (3)(c) by referring to the Bill’s objective of reducing potential harm to the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, living in certain areas from sniffing fuel.

 

This Government amendment strengthens the objective of the Bill in improving the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, engaging in petrol sniffing. This provision contributes to making the Bill a special measure for the purpose of Section 8 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 .

 

Amendment 22: Clause 15 - Minister may designate fuel control areas

 

Government amendment 22 amends Clause 15 paragraph (3)(d) by referring to the Bill’s objective of reducing potential harm to the health of people; including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, living in certain areas from sniffing fuel.

 

This Government amendment strengthens the objective of the Bill in improving the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, engaging in petrol sniffing. This provision contributes to making the Bill a special measure for the purpose of Section 8 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 .

 

Amendment 23: Clause 16 - Consultation before designating low aromatic fuel areas and fuel control areas

 

Government amendment 23 amends Clause 16 - by inserting a new paragraph 16(1)(aa) which adds Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders or their representatives to the list of persons and bodies from among whom the Minister must consult before designating an area under section 14 or 15.

 

This Government amendment strengthens the objective of the Bill in improving the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, engaging in petrol sniffing. This provision contributes to making the Bill a special measure for the purpose of section 8 of the Racial Discrimination Act.



 

Amendment 24: Clause 17 - Minister may exempt conduct in relation to low aromatic fuel areas and fuel control areas

 

Government amendment 26 amends Subclause 17(1) by replacing existing paragraph (b) with a new paragraph providing that the Minister may exempt specified conduct, if the exemption is for the purposes of Subsections 8(4), 10(2) or 12(2), only if he or she is satisfied, amongst other requirements, that it is unlikely that the wellbeing of people - including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders - will be adversely affected by the exemption.

 

This Government amendment strengthens the objective of the Bill in improving the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, engaging in petrol sniffing. This provision contributes to making the Bill a special measure for the purpose of Section 8 of the Racial Discrimination Act.

 

The amendment also provides that the Minister may exempt specified conduct, if the exemption is for the purposes of subsection 8(4), only if he or she is satisfied, amongst other requirements, that the exemption is necessary because of the unavailability or likely unavailability of low aromatic fuel.

 

Amendment 25: Clause 18A - Acquisition of property

Government Amendment 25 provides that the Bill or any instrument made under the Bill will not apply to the extent that it would result in an acquisition of property otherwise than on just terms (within the meaning of paragraph 51(xxxi) of the Constitution). The intention of this amendment is to protect existing agreements for the supply and distribution of fuel that were entered into prior to the enactment of the legislation.