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Defence Legislation Amendment (Woomera Prohibited Area) Bill 2014

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2013-2014

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEFENCE LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (WOOMERA PROHIBITED AREA) BILL 2014

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by the authority of the

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon David Johnston)



DEFENCE LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (WOOMERA PROHIBITED AREA) BILL 2014

 

GENERAL OUTLINE

 

The Defence Legislation Amendment (Woomera Prohibited Area) Bill 2014 was introduced in the Senate in 27 March 2014.  The Bill was referred to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (the Committee) for inquiry and report.

 

The Government of South Australia raised concerns, in its submission to the Committee and in the course of consultation, that the Bill amendments to regulation 36 of the Defence Force Regulations 1952 will limit individual’s ability to claim compensation for loss or damage caused by Defence testing in the Woomera Prohibited Area.

 

The Committee report tabled on 13 May 2014 acknowledged the concerns expressed by the SA Government and noted that the Bill amendment regulation 36 ‘ appears limited compared to the existing regulation 36 which provides a broader scope of compensation to those persons who ‘suffer loss or damage’ as a result of the use of regulation 34 and 35’ .

 

The Committee recommended that Schedule 1, Part 2, Item 5 of the Bill be removed from the Bill or amended to maintain existing rights to compensation under regulation 36 of the Defence Force Regulations 1952 .

 

This amendment addresses the Committee’s recommendation and confirms that compensation will be available in the event that loss or damage is caused by Defence testing, or where there is an acquisition of property.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

This Bill creates a system for the administration of access to the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) including a permit system for the different types of non-Defence users of the WPA.  It is anticipated that there will be increased non-Defence access to the WPA as a result of the introduction of new access arrangements which will require increased management and coordination by Defence.

 

The Bill provides that the Woomera Prohibited Area Rules may provide for the introduction of a cost recovery model, at some point in the future, to recover the expenses Defence incurs in managing non-Defence access to the WPA.

 

The estimated $5.0 million annual costs associated with the new administrative arrangements required through implementing these amendments to enable access to the WPA will continue to be met from within the existing appropriation to the Department of Defence.

 



DEFENCE LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (WOOMERA PROHIBITED AREA) BILL 2014

 

NOTES ON AMENDMENT

 

1.      The amendment will retain regulation 36 of the Defence Force Regulations 1952 in its current form.  This regulation provides an entitlement to compensation where:

 

a.     a person with a legal or equitable interest in any land or water suffers loss or damage as a result of defence testing, pursuant to regulation 34; or

 

b.     a person ordinarily resident in a prohibited area suffers loss or damage as a result of the operation of regulation 35.

 

2.      In addition the amendment will insert regulation 36A which will ensure that any person whose property is acquired by the operation of regulation 34 or 35 of the Defence Force Regulations 1952 will be entitled to just terms compensation.

 

3.      In the event that the Commonwealth and a person cannot agree on the amount of compensation, a person may institute proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia or other court of competent jurisdiction for the recovery of a compensation amount determined by the court.

 

 



Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

 

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

 

Defence Legislation Amendment (Woomera Prohibited Area) Bill 2014

 

T his amendment to the 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/Legislative Instrument

The amendment will retain regulation 36 of the Defence Force Regulations

1952 in its current form.  Regulation 36 provides an entitlement to compensation where:

 

a.     a person with a legal or equitable interest in a prohibited area suffers loss or damage as a result of defence testing; or

 

b.     a person ordinarily resident in a prohibited area suffers loss or damage as a result of the declaration the area as a prohibited area.

 

The amendment will insert regulation 36A which will ensure that any person whose property is acquired by the operation of regulation 34 or 35 of the Defence Force Regulations 1952 will be entitled to just terms compensation.

 

Human rights implications

This amendment does not limit any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

Conclusion

This amendment to the Bill is compatible with human rights as it does not limit any human rights issues.

 

David Johnston

Minister for Defence