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Family and Community Services Legislation Amendment (Australians Working Together and other 2001 Budget Measures) Bill 2003

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2002

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

____________________

 

FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (AUSTRALIANS WORKING TOGETHER AND OTHER 2001 BUDGET MEASURES) BILL 2002

____________________

 

SCHEDULE OF THE AMENDMENTS MADE BY THE SENATE TO WHICH THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HAS DISAGREED

 

(4)     Opp (1) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, item 11, page 5 (line 20), omit “2 years”, substitute “12 months”.

(18)   Dem (5) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, item 14, page 16 (line 13), omit “26 weeks”, substitute “8 weeks”.

(21)   Opp (3) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, item 14, page 18 (line 31), omit “2 year”, substitute “12 month”.

(22)   Opp (4) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, item 14, page 19 (line 1), method statement, omit “0.18”, substitute “0.20”.

(23)   Opp (5) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, item 14, page 19 (line 3), omit “2 year”, substitute “12 month”.

(24)   Opp (6) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, item 14, page 19 (line 4), method statement, omit “0.24”, substitute “0.25”.

(25)   Opp (7) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, item 14, page 19 (line 10), omit “ 2 year ”, substitute “ 12 month ”.

(26)   Opp (8) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, item 14, page 19 (line 12), omit “ 2 year ”, substitute “ 12 month ”.

(27)   Opp (9) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, item 14, page 19 (line 12), omit “2 years”, substitute “12 months”.

(33)   Opp (10) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 25), after item 24, insert:

24B  Paragraph 550(2)(b)

Omit “2 years”, substitute “12 months”.

(35)   Opp (11) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 25), after item 24, insert:

24D  After paragraph 553B(3)(d)

Insert:

                   (da)  satisfies the Secretary that the cost of housing accommodation has been a significant factor in causing the person to move; or

(37)   Opp (12) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26C  At the end of section 557

Add:

             (2)  If:

                     (a)  a youth allowance becomes not payable to a person because of:

                              (i)  a failure to enter into a Youth Allowance Activity Agreement; or

                             (ii)  an unreasonable delay in entering into a Youth Allowance Activity Agreement; or

                            (iii)  a failure to take reasonable steps to comply with the terms of a Youth Allowance Activity Agreement; and

                     (b)  the Secretary is satisfied that, not more than 8 weeks after the start of the activity test rate reduction period applicable to the person by reason of the breach referred to in paragraph (a), the person:

                              (i)  has entered into such a Youth Allowance Activity Agreement; or

                             (ii)  is no longer unreasonably delaying entry into such a Youth Allowance Activity Agreement; or

                            (iii)  is taking reasonable steps to comply, or to resume compliance, with the terms of a Youth Allowance Activity Agreement that is in force in respect of the person or, if there is no Youth Allowance Activity Agreement in force in respect of the person, with the terms of the Youth Allowance Activity Agreement that was in force in respect of the person immediately before the commencement of the rate reduction period, as the case requires;

this Act has effect, for the purpose only of determining the rate of youth allowance during the balance of the rate reduction period, as if the rate reduction period had never applied.

             (3)  A determination that a person has commenced to take reasonable steps as referred to in subparagraph (2)(b)(iii) may be expressed to have effect from the day on which those reasonable steps are taken, whether or not the determination is made on that day or a later day.

(38)   Opp (13) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26D  Subsection 557E(1) (paragraphs (a) and (b) of step 2 of the method statement)

Omit “2 year” (wherever occurring), substitute “12 month”.

(39)   Opp (14) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26E  Subsection 557E(1) (paragraph (a) of step 2 of the method statement)

Omit “0.18”, substitute “0.24”.

(40)   Opp (15) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26F  Subsection 557E(1) (paragraph (b) of step 2 of the method statement)

Omit “0.24”, substitute “0.25”.

(41)   Opp (16) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26G  Subsection 557E(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

Meaning of 12 month period

             (2)  In this section:

12 month period means the 12 months immediately before the day after the activity test breach.

(42)   Opp (17) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26H  At the end of section 558

Add:

             (2)  If:

                     (a)  a youth allowance becomes not payable to a person because of a failure to comply with a requirement to attend at a particular place for a particular purpose in accordance with a notice issued under paragraph 63(3)(c); and

                     (b)  not more than 8 weeks after the start of the administrative breach rate reduction period applicable to the person by reason of the breach referred to in paragraph (a):

                              (i)  the person attends that place for that purpose; or

                             (ii)  the person complies with an alternative requirement that the Secretary notifies to the person (whether orally or in writing);

this Act has effect, for the purpose only of determining the rate of youth allowance during the balance of the rate reduction period, as if the rate reduction period had never applied.

(43)   Opp (18) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26J  Subsection 558A(1)

Omit “13 weeks”, substitute “8 weeks”.

(44)   Dem (20) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26K  Section 558G (step 2 of the method statement)

Omit “0.16”, substitute “0.08”.

(45)   Dem (21) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26L  Paragraph 576(2)(b) and note

Repeal the paragraph and the note, substitute:

                     (b)  the latest breach is the third or subsequent activity test breach in the 12 months immediately before the day after the latest breach.

Note:       If the latest breach is the first or second activity test breach in the 12 months before the latest breach, an activity test rate reduction period applies to the person (see Subdivision B of Division 5).

(46)   Dem (22) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26M  Subsection 576B(1)

Omit “8 weeks”, substitute “1 week”.

(47)   Dem (23) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26N  Subsection 576C(2)

Omit “starts on the day”, substitute “starts on the 14th day after the day”.

(48)   Dem (24) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26P  Paragraph 582(b) and note

Omit “2 years” (wherever occurring), substitute “12 months”.

(49)   Dem (25) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26Q  Subsection 582A(1)

Omit “26 weeks”, substitute “8 weeks”.

(50)   Dem (26) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26R  Subsection 582B(2)

Omit “on the day”, substitute “on the 14th day after the day”.

(51)   Dem (27) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26S  Subsection 582D(1) (step 2 of the method statement)

Repeal the step, substitute:

Step 2.    Work out the rate reduction amount as follows:

              (a)           if the activity test breach is the person’s first breach in the 12                            month period:

                                       Maximum payment rate x 0.10

              (b)           if the activity test breach is the person’s second breach in the 12                       month period:

                                       Maximum payment rate x 0.15

(52)   Dem (28) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26T  Subsection 582D(2)

Omit “ 2 year period means the 2 years”, substitute “ 12 month period means the 12 months”.

(53)   Dem (29) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26U  Subsection 583A(1)

Omit “13 weeks”, substitute “4 weeks”.

(54)   Dem (30) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26V  Subsection 583B(2)

Omit “on the day”, substitute “on the 14th day after the day”.

(55)   Dem (31) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26W  Section 583G (step 2 of the method statement)

Omit “0.16”, substitute “0.08”.

(57)   Dem (32) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 21 (after line 11), after item 30, insert:

30A  Paragraphs 624(1A)(a) and (b)

Omit “2 years” (wherever occurring), substitute “12 months”.

(58)   Dem (33) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 21 (after line 11), after item 30, insert:

30B  Paragraphs 625(1A)(a) and (b)

Omit “2 years” (wherever occurring), substitute “12 months”.

(60)   Opp (22) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, page 21 (after line 25), after item 33, insert:

33A  After paragraph 634(3)(c)

Insert:

                    (ca)  satisfies the Secretary that the cost of housing accommodation has been a significant factor in causing the person to move;

(61)   Dem (41) [Sheet 2700 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 21 (after line 28), after item 34, insert:

34A  Section 644AA

Omit “26 weeks”, substitute “8 weeks”.

(63)   Opp (24) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, page 21 (after line 28), after item 34, insert:

34D  Paragraph 644AE(2)(a)

Omit “0.18”, substitute “0.20”.

(64)   Opp (25) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, page 21 (after line 28), after item 34, insert:

34E  Paragraph 644AE(2)(b)

Omit “0.24”, substitute “0.25”.

(65)   Opp (26) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 1, page 21 (after line 28), after item 34, insert:

34F  Section 644B

Omit “13 weeks”, substitute “8 weeks”.

(74)   Opp (27) [Sheet 2688]

Schedule 5, item 13, page 47 (lines 8 and 9), omit paragraph (b).

(75)   Opp (28) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 5, item 13, page 47 (line 10), omit “26 weeks”, substitute “8 weeks”.

(76)   Opp (29) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 5, item 14, page 48 (lines 5 and 6), omit paragraph (b).

(77)   Opp (30) [Sheet 2688]

          Schedule 5, item 14, page 48 (line 7), omit “13 weeks”, substitute “8 weeks”.

 

____________________

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES REASONS FOR DISAGREEING TO THE SENATE AMENDMENTS

                     

The House of Representatives does not agree to Senate amendments Nos. 4, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 33, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 63, 64, 65, 74, 75, 76 and 77 because:

 

The amendments go beyond the policy objective of the Bill, which is designed to extend modest participation requirements to parenting payments and mature aged newstart allowance recipients, as well as to close off mature aged allowance and partner allowance and to introduce a language, literacy and numeracy supplement and the working credit.  The Senate amendments seek to change breaching legislation for the general newstart and youth allowance population to an extent that is both unnecessary and inconsistent with the current scheme.  Accordingly, the House does not accept the amendments.

 

____________________

 

SCHEDULE OF THE AMENDMENTS MADE BY THE SENATE TO WHICH THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HAS DISAGREED, BUT MADE AMENDMENTS IN PLACE THEREOF

(2)     Opp (1) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Page 2 (after line 11), after clause 3, insert:

4  Evaluation

             (1)  The Minister must conduct an evaluation of the measures contained in Schedules 1 and 5 of this Act.

             (2)  Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the evaluation must include the following:

                     (a)  the numbers of parenting payment (single) recipients and parenting payment (partnered) recipients required to enter into participation agreements and the number of such recipients granted an exemption;

                     (b)  details of expenditure on ancillary assistance provided to those affected by the measures such as expenditure on job network and training;

                     (c)  employment outcomes of parenting payment (single) recipients, parenting payment (partnered) recipients and newstart mature age recipients targeted by the measures compared to the employment outcomes of these groups prior to the implementation of the measures;

                     (d)  details of average earnings of the target population affected by the measures compared to earnings of the target population prior to the implementation of the measures;

                     (e)  details of compliance with the activity agreements for parenting payment (single) recipients, parenting payment (partnered) recipients and newstart mature age recipients, including the numbers for each group in situations where a breach penalty was applied, and the reasons for applying a breach penalty;

                      (f)  details of total savings resulting from breach penalties applied to parenting payment (single) recipients, parenting payment (partnered) recipients and newstart mature age recipients required to enter into activity agreements;

                     (g)  an assessment of the impact of the measures in Schedule 1 on children of parenting payment recipients;

                     (h)  a cost benefit analysis of the new participation measures applying to parenting payment (single) recipients, parenting payment (partnered) recipients and newstart mature age recipients.

             (3)  The evaluation must be completed and tabled in each House of the Parliament by 30 June 2005.

(3)     Govt (2) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 1, page 3 (before line 4), before Part 1, insert:

Part 1A Amendment of the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999

A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999

1A  Subsection 3(1) (definition of receiving )

Repeal the definition, substitute:

receiving :

                     (a)  in relation to a social security payment—has the same meaning as in subsections 23(2) and (4) of the Social Security Act 1991 ; and

                     (b)  for the purpose of construing references to a person receiving a social security pension or a social security benefit in clauses 1 and 17 of Schedule 1, and in clause 7 of Schedule 2, to this Act—is taken to include the meaning provided in subsection 23(4A) of the Social Security Act 1991 as if those clauses were specified in provisions of that Act referred to in subsection 23(4AA) of that Act; and

                     (c)  for the purpose of construing references to a person receiving a social security pension or social security benefit in clauses 1 and 17 of Schedule 1, and in clause 7 of Schedule 2, to this Act where those references relate to a person:

                              (i)  to whom parenting payment would be payable if not for a determination that a participation agreement breach non-payment period applies in relation to the person; or

                             (ii)  to whom parenting payment would be payable if not for a determination that a participation agreement breach rate reduction period applies in relation to the person;

                            has effect as if that determination had not been made.

(5)     Opp (2) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, item 11, page 7 (lines 13 to 15), omit subsection (3), substitute:

             (3)  Subject to subsection (4), the participation agreement breach non-payment period starts on the 14th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

(7)     Opp (3) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, item 12, page 9 (lines 23 to 33), omit subsection (4), substitute:

             (4)  In having regard to a person’s capacity to comply with the terms of a participation agreement and the person’s needs, the Secretary is to take into account, but is not limited to, the following matters:

                     (a)  the person’s education, experience, skills, age, disability, illness, mental and physical condition; and

                     (b)  the state of the local labour market and the transport options available to the person in accessing that market; and

                     (c)  the participation opportunities available to the person; and

                     (d)  the family and caring responsibilities of the person (including those arising from any significant adverse effect on a PP child of a person that would result from the person’s compliance with the terms of the agreement); and

                     (e)  current court proceedings in the Family Court or criminal courts or current child welfare concerns, such as drugs or school truanting; and

                      (f)  the length of travel time required for compliance with the agreement; and

                     (g)  the financial costs of compliance with the agreement, such as travel costs, and the capacity to pay for such compliance; and

                     (h)  any other matters that the Secretary or the person considers relevant in the circumstances.

(8)     Opp (4) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, item 12, page 10 (lines 6 to 10), omit paragraphs (a) and (b), substitute:

                     (a)  is satisfied that the terms of the agreement were intended to assist the person over time in gaining employment or undertaking study or training; and

                     (b)  has made reasonable attempts to contact the person in relation to the requirement to comply with the terms of the agreement (and has documented each attempt to contact); and

                     (c)  if contact was able to be made, has had regard to the reasons, if any, provided by the person for not complying with the terms of the agreement; and

                     (d)  has confirmed the adequacy of the support that the Secretary agreed to provide under the agreement.

(9)     Opp (5) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, item 12, page 10 (line 18), after “subsection (2)”, insert “or (2A)”.

(10)   Opp (R6) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, item 12, page 10 (after line 34), after subsection (2), insert:

Exempt persons—periodic exemptions

          (2A)  For the purposes of subsection (1), a person is an exempt person for a particular period determined by the Secretary under this subsection if:

                     (a)  the person has one or more PP children:

                              (i)  who suffer from a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability; and

                             (ii)  whose care needs are such that the person could not be reasonably expected at that time to comply with the terms of a participation agreement; or

                     (b)  a critical event occurs that was not within the person’s control (eg. family or personal crisis, the Secretary is satisfied the person has separated from his or her partner on a permanent or indefinite basis in the past 26 weeks, person’s house burning down, evidence of domestic violence, serious illness of PP children) and, as a result, the person is temporarily unable to comply with the terms of a participation agreement.

          (2B)  At any one time the maximum period for which the Secretary may determine that a person is an exempt person under subsection (2A) is:

                     (a)  if paragraph (2A)(a) applies to the person—12 months;

                     (b)  if paragraph (2A)(b) applies to the person—26 weeks.

          (2C)  The Secretary may make more than one determination under subsection (2A) in respect of a person.

(11)   Opp (7) [Sheet 2791 Revised] ( Incorporating Govt (4) [EX249] )

          Schedule 1, item 12, page 11 (line 29) to page 12 (line 2), omit subsection (1), substitute:

             (1)  A participation agreement is a written agreement between the Secretary and another person, in a form approved by the Secretary, under which the person agrees to undertake, during each period of 26 weeks that the agreement is in force, approved activities anticipated to take 150 hours or such lesser number of hours as are agreed between them. Participation agreements will set out the support that the Secretary undertakes to provide to assist the person to meet his or her participation requirements in the negotiated agreement.

(12)   Opp (8) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, item 12, page 12 (line 17), after “program”, insert “as defined in section 23 of the Social Security Act 1991 ”.

(13)   Opp (9) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, item 12, page 12 (lines 19 to 21), omit paragraph (k), substitute:

                     (k)  another activity that the Secretary regards as suitable for the person, including voluntary work, and that is agreed to between the person and the Secretary.

(14)   Opp (10) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, item 12, page 12 (line 28) to page 13 (line 4), omit subsection (4), substitute:

             (4)  In having regard to a person’s capacity to comply with the terms of a participation agreement and to the person’s needs, the Secretary is to take into account, but is not limited to, the following matters:

                     (a)  the person’s education, experience, skills, age, disability, illness, mental and physical condition; and

                     (b)  the state of the local labour market and the transport options available to the person in accessing that market; and

                     (c)  the participation opportunities available to the person; and

                     (d)  the family and caring responsibilities of the person (including those arising from any significant adverse effect on a PP child of a person that would result from the person’s compliance with the terms of the agreement); and

                     (e)  current court proceedings in the Family Court or criminal courts or current child welfare concerns, such as drugs or school truanting; and

                      (f)  the length of travel time required for compliance with the agreement; and

                     (g)  the financial costs of compliance with the agreement, such as travel costs, and the capacity to pay for such compliance; and

                     (h)  any other matters that the Secretary or the person considers relevant in the circumstances.

(15)   Opp (11) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, item 12, page 13 (line 7), after “varied”, insert “(in negotiation with the person)”.

(16)   Opp (12) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, item 12, page 13 (after line 13), after subsection (5), insert:

Cooling-off period

          (5A)  Within 14 days of the terms of the participation agreement being approved, those terms may be varied by the person with the approval of the Secretary.

Requirement to notify

          (5B)  The Secretary must advise the person of the effect of subsection (5A).

Avoidance of doubt

          (5C)  To avoid doubt, subsection (5A) does not prevent the person at any time from requesting a review of an agreement under paragraph (5)(c).

(17)   Opp (13) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, item 12, page 14 (line 23), after “agree to”, insert “the reasonable”.

(19)   Opp (14) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, item 13, page 17 (after line 25), after subsection (1), insert:

Notice to contain reasons

          (1A)  A notice under subsection (1) must contain reasons why the participation agreement breach rate reduction period applies to the person.

(20)   Opp (15) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, item 13, page 17 (lines 27 to 29), omit subsection (2), substitute:

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3), the participation agreement breach rate reduction period starts on the 14th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

(28)   Opp (16) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 10), after item 20, insert:

20A  At the end of section 544

Add :

Secretary must contact person before determining failure to comply with terms

             (3)  The Secretary must not determine that a person has failed to take reasonable steps to comply with the terms of a youth allowance activity agreement unless the Secretary:

                     (a)  is satisfied that the terms of the agreement were intended to assist the person over time in gaining employment or undertaking study or training; and

                     (b)  has made reasonable attempts to contact the person in relation to the requirement to comply with the terms of the agreement (and has documented each attempt to contact); and

                     (c)  if contact was able to be made, has had regard to the reasons, if any, provided by the person for not complying with the terms of the agreement; and

                     (d)  has confirmed the adequacy of the support that the Secretary agreed to provide under the agreement.

(29)   Opp (17) [Sheet 2791 Revised] ( As amended )

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 13), after item 21, insert:

21A  Subsection 544B(4)

Re peal the subsection, substitute:

             (4)  In having regard to a person’s capacity to comply with an agreement, the Secretary is to take into account, but is not limited to the following matters:

                     (a)  the person’s education, experience, skills, age, disability, illness, mental and physical condition; and

                     (b)  the state of the local labour market and the transport options available to the person in accessing that market; and

                     (c)  the participation opportunities available to the person; and

                     (d)  the family and caring responsibilities of the person; and

                     (e)  the length of travel time required for compliance with the agreement, by reference to what constitutes unreasonably difficult commuting for the purposes of paragraph 541D(1)(g); and

                      (f)  the financial costs of compliance with the agreement, such as travel costs, and the capacity to pay for such compliance; and

                     (g)  any other matters that the Secretary or the person considers relevant in the circumstances.

(30)   Opp (18) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 13), after item 21, insert:

21B  Paragraph 544B(5)(a)

After “varied”, insert “(in negotiation with the person)”.

(31)   Opp (19) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 13), after item 21, insert:

21C  After subsection 544B(5)

Insert :

Cooling-off period

          (5A)  Within 14 days of the terms of the agreement being approved, those terms may be varied by the person with the approval of the Secretary.

Requirement to notify

          (5B)  The Secretary must advise the person in writing of the effect of subsection (5A).

Avoidance of doubt

          (5C)  To avoid doubt, subsection (5A) does not prevent the person at any time from requesting a review of an agreement under paragraph (5)(c).

(32)   Opp (20) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 25), after item 24, insert:

24A  Subparagraph 544C(1)(b)(iii)

After “agree to”, insert “the reasonable”.

(34)   Opp (21) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 25), after item 24, insert:

24C  Subsection 550C(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

General rule

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3) and to sections 550D and 550E, the activity test non-payment period starts on the 14th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

(36)   Opp (22) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26A  Subsection 557B(2)

Re peal the subsection, substitute:

General rule

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3) and to section 557C, the activity test breach rate reduction period starts on the 14th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

26B  Subsection 558B(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

General rule

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3), the administrative breach rate reduction period starts on the 14th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

(56)   Opp (23) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26X  After subsection 593(2A)

Insert :

          (2B)  The Secretary must not determine that a person has failed to take reasonable steps to comply with the terms of a Newstart Activity Agreement unless the Secretary:

                     (a)  is satisfied that the terms of the agreement were intended to assist the person over time in gaining employment or undertaking study or training; and

                     (b)  has made reasonable attempts to contact the person in relation to the requirement to comply with the terms of the agreement (and has documented each attempt to contact); and

                     (c)  if contact was able to be made, has had regard to the reasons, if any, provided by the person for not complying with the terms of the agreement; and

                     (d)  has confirmed the adequacy of the support that the Secretary agreed to provide under the agreement.

(59)   Opp (24) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 21 (after line 11), after item 30, insert:

30C  Subsection 630B(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (2)  Subject to subsections (3) and (6) and to sections 630BA and 630BB, the activity test non-payment period starts on the 14th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

(62)   Opp (25) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 1, page 21 (after line 28), after item 34, insert:

34B  Subsection 644AB(2)

Re peal the subsection, substitute:

             (2)  Subject to section 644AC, the activity test breach rate reduction period starts on the 14th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

34C  Subsection 644C(2)

Re peal the subsection, substitute:

             (2)  Subject to subsections (3) and (6), the administrative breach rate reduction period starts on the 14th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

(69)   Opp (26) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 5, page 45 (after line 29), after item 11, insert:

11A  After subsection 606(1)

Insert:

          (1A)  If the person is at least 50 years of age but less than 60 years of age, the particular number of job vacancies shall not exceed 24 per 12 weeks in the period specified in the notice.

       (1AB)  If the person is at least 60 years of age, the particular number of job vacancies shall not exceed 12 per 12 weeks in the period specified in the notice.

       (1AC)  Subsection (1A) does not apply unless the person has been receiving an income support payment for a continuous period of at least 9 months and the person satisfies the Secretary that the person has no recent workforce experience.

(70)   Opp (27) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

Schedule 5, page 45 (after line 29), after item 11, insert:

11B  Subsection 606(4)

Re peal the subsection, substitute:

             (4)  In having regard to a person’s capacity to comply with an agreement, the Secretary is to take into account, but is not limited to, the following matters:

                     (a)  the person’s education, experience, skills, age, disability, illness, mental and physical condition; and

                     (b)  the state of the local labour market and the transport options available to the person in accessing that market; and

                     (c)  the participation opportunities available to the person; and

                     (d)  the family and caring responsibilities of the person; and

                     (e)  the length of travel time required for compliance with the agreement, by reference to what constitutes unreasonably difficult commuting for the purposes of paragraph 601(2A)(g); and

                      (f)  the financial costs of compliance with the agreement, such as travel costs, and the capacity to pay for such compliance; and

                     (g)  any other matters that the Secretary or the person considers relevant in the circumstances.

(71)   Opp (28) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

          Schedule 5, page 45 (after line 29), after item 11, insert:

11C  Paragraph 606(5)(a)

After “varied”, insert “(in negotiation with the person)”.

(72)   Opp (29) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

Schedule 5, page 45 (after line 29), after item 11, insert:

11D  After subsection 606(5)

Insert :

          (5A)  Within 14 days of the terms of the agreement being approved, those terms may be varied by the person with the approval of the Secretary.

          (5B)  The Secretary must advise the person in writing of the effect of subsection (5A).

          (5C)  To avoid doubt, subsection (5A) does not prevent the person at any time from requesting a review of an agreement under paragraph (5)(c).

(73)   Opp (30) [Sheet 2791 Revised]

Schedule 5, page 45 (after line 29), after item 11, insert:

11E  Subparagraph 607(1)(iii)

After “agree to”, insert “the reasonable”.

(78)   Govt (8) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, item 7, page 53 (lines 1 and 2), omit paragraph (g), substitute:

                     (g)  the person:

                              (i)  in the case of a woman who would, but for this subsection, cease to be receiving wife pension because of the employment income, or the combined income, referred to in subparagraph (e)(ii)—continues, but for that employment income or combined income, to be qualified for wife pension on and from the cessation day; and

                             (ii)  in any other case—continues to be qualified for the pension or benefit on and from the cessation day;

(79)   Govt (9) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, page 55 (after line 20), after item 8, insert:

8A  Subsection 1061ZB(1)

Omit all the words after paragraph (c), substitute:

the person is qualified for a pensioner concession card:

                     (d)  if the person is qualified for such a card under section 1061ZEA until a particular day—for the period of 26 weeks after that day; and

                     ( e)  in any other case—for the period of 26 weeks after the commencement or increase, as the case may be.

(80)   Govt (10) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, item 9, page 55 (lines 32 to 36), omit paragraph (c) and all the words following that paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  the balance is subsequently reduced to nil because of the commencement or increase; and

                     (d)  the person is not qualified for a pensioner concession card under section 1061ZEA;

paragraph (1)(e) has effect as if the reference to 26 weeks after the commencement or increase were a reference to 26 weeks after the day on which the balance is reduced to nil.

(81)   Govt (11) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, item 9, page 56 (lines 14 to 18), omit paragraph (c) and all the words following that paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  the balance is subsequently reduced to nil because of the commencement or increase; and

                     (d)  the person is not qualified for a pensioner concession card under section 1061ZEA;

paragraph (1)(e) has effect as if the reference to 26 weeks after the commencement or increase were a reference to 26 weeks after the day on which the balance is reduced to nil.

(82)   Govt (12) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, page 56 (after line 24), after item 11, insert:

11A  Subsection 1061ZC(1)

Omit all the words after paragraph (c), substitute:

the person is qualified for a pensioner concession card:

                     (d)  if the person is qualified for a pensioner concession card under section 1061ZEA until a particular day—for the period of 26 weeks after that day; and

                     (e)  in any other case—for the period of 26 weeks after the commencement or increase, as the case may be.

(83)   Govt (13) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, item 12, page 57 (lines 4 to 8), omit paragraph (c) and all the words following that paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  the balance is subsequently reduced to nil because of the commencement or increase; and

                     (d)  the person is not qualified for a pensioner concession card under section 1061ZEA;

paragraph (1)(e) has effect as if the reference to 26 weeks after the commencement or increase were a reference to 26 weeks after the day on which the balance is reduced to nil.

(84)   Govt (14) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, item 12, page 57 (lines 22 to 26), omit paragraph (c) and all the words following that paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  the balance is subsequently reduced to nil because of the commencement or increase; and

                     (d)  the person is not qualified for a pensioner concession card under section 1061ZEA;

paragraph (1)(e) has effect as if the reference to 26 weeks after the commencement or increase were a reference to 26 weeks after the day on which the balance is reduced to nil.

          (1C)  If the person:

                     (a)  is qualified for a pensioner concession card under section 1061ZEA until a particular day; and

                     (b)  has, immediately before becoming so qualified, been receiving a social security benefit referred to in paragraph 1061ZA(2)(b) for a continuous period of less than 39 weeks;

the person is taken, for the purpose of the reference in paragraph (1)(a) to a continuous period of not less than 39 weeks, to be receiving the benefit until the particular day.

(85)   Govt (15) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, item 13, page 57 (lines 27 to 29), omit the item, substitute:

13  Subsection 1061ZC(2)

After “subsection (1)”, insert “(including that subsection as modified by subsection (1A), (1B) or (1C))”.

13A  Subsection 1061ZC(3)

After “subsection (1)”, insert “(including that subsection as modified by subsection (1A) or (1B))”.

13B  Subsection 1061ZC(4)

After “subsection (1)”, insert “(including that subsection as modified by subsection (1A), (1B) or (1C))”.

(86)   Govt (16) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, item 18, page 58 (line 26), omit “1061ZB, 1061ZC,”.

(87)   Govt (17) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, item 18, page 59 (line 32), after paragraph (g), insert:

             and (ga)  the person:

                              (i)  in the case of a woman to whom wife pension ceases to be payable because of the employment income, or the combined income, referred to in subparagraph (f)(ii)—continues, but for that employment income or combined income, to be qualified for wife pension; and

                             (ii)  in the case of a person to whom pension PP (single) ceases to be payable, or who ceases to receive benefit PP (partnered)—continues, but for the requirement to have at least one PP child, to be qualified for that pension or benefit; and

                            (iii)  in any other case—continues to be qualified for the payment referred to in section 1061ZA;

(88)   Govt (18) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, item 18, page 60 (line 2), after paragraph (j), insert:

                 or (k)  the day the person ceases to be qualified as mentioned in paragraph (ga);

(89)   Govt (19) [Sheet EX249]

Schedule 6, page 60 (after line 26), after item 19, insert:

19A  After subsection 1061ZM(1)

Insert:

          (1A)  If the person is qualified for a health care card under section 1061ZMA until a day (the particular day ), subsection (1) has effect as if the reference to 26 weeks starting on the day on which the person ceases to be an employment-affected person were a reference to 26 weeks starting on the particular day.

          (1B)  If the person:

                     (a)  was an employment-affected person because of receiving pension PP (single); and

                     (b)  is qualified for a pensioner concession card under section 1061ZEA until a day (the particular day );

subsection (1) has effect as if the reference to the period of 26 weeks starting on the day on which the person ceases to be an employment-affected person were a reference to the period starting on the particular day and ending 26 weeks after the person ceases to be an employment-affected person.

          (1C)  If the person:

                     (a)  is qualified for a health care card under section 1061ZMA until a particular day; and

                     (b)  has, immediately before the commencement or increase mentioned in subsection (1), been a qualified recipient because of receiving newstart allowance, sickness allowance, widow allowance, partner allowance or youth allowance, other than while undertaking full-time study, for a continuous period of less than 52 weeks;

the person is taken, for the purpose of the reference in paragraph (1)(c) to a continuous period of 52 weeks, to be receiving the allowance until the particular day.

19B  Subsection 1061ZM(2)

After “referred to in subsection (1)”, insert “(including that subsection as modified by subsection (1A)) or the period provided by subsection (1B)”.

(90)   Govt (20) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, item 20, page 60 (lines 31 and 32), omit subsection (1).

(91)   Govt (21) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, item 20, page 61 (line 33), after paragraph (g), insert:

             and (ga)  the person:

                              (i)  in the case of a person who ceases to receive benefit PP (partnered)—continues, but for the requirement to have at least one PP child, to be qualified for that benefit; and

                             (ii)  in any other case—continues to be qualified for the payment referred to in subsection 1061ZK(5);

(92)   Govt (22) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, item 20, page 62 (line 2), after paragraph (j), insert:

                 or (k)  the day the person ceases to be qualified as mentioned in paragraph (ga);

(93)   Govt (23) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, page 62 (after line 13), after item 20, insert:

20A  Subsection 1061ZN(1)

Omit “and 1061ZM”, substitute “, 1061ZM and 1061ZMA”.

(94)   Govt (24) [Sheet EX249]

          Schedule 6, item 26, page 76 (after line 7), at the end of section 1073J, add:

             (2)  If:

                     (a)  a woman receiving wife pension is a working credit participant; and

                     (b)  the partner of the participant ceases to receive age pension or disability support pension on and from a day (the cessation day ); and

                     (c)  the partner ceases to receive that pension:

                              (i)  because of the employment income of the partner (either alone or in combination with any other ordinary income earned, derived or received, or taken to have been earned, derived or received, by the partner); and

                             (ii)  after any working credit balance of the partner is reduced to nil; and

                     (d)  as a result of the partner’s so ceasing to receive that pension, the participant ceases to be qualified for wife pension on and from the cessation day; and

                     (e)  the participant has a working credit balance greater than nil at the start of the instalment period of the participant in which the cessation day occurs; and

                      (f)  but for the employment income, or combined income, referred to in paragraph (c), the participant would have continued to be qualified for wife pension until the earlier of:

                              (i)  a day determined under Division 8 or 9 of Part 3 of the Administration Act; or

                             (ii)  the day on which the participant’s working credit balance is reduced to nil;

the participant is to be treated as if she had continued to be so qualified until the earlier of the days referred to in subparagraphs (f)(i) and (ii).

 

____________________

 

SCHEDULE OF THE AMENDMENTS MADE BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN PLACE OF SENATE AMENDMENTS DISAGREED

 

(1)     Page 2 (after line 11), after clause 3, insert:

4   Evaluation

             (1)  The Minister must conduct an evaluation of the measures contained in Schedules 1 and 5 of this Act.

             (2)  Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the evaluation must include the following:

                     (a)  the numbers of parenting payment (single) recipients and parenting payment (partnered) recipients required to enter into participation agreements and the number of such recipients granted an exemption;

                     (b)  details of expenditure on ancillary assistance provided to those affected by the measures such as expenditure on job network and training;

                     (c)  employment outcomes of parenting payment (single) recipients, parenting payment (partnered) recipients and newstart mature age recipients targeted by the measures compared to the employment outcomes of these groups prior to the implementation of the measures;

                     (d)  details of average earnings of the target population affected by the measures compared to earnings of the target population prior to the implementation of the measures;

                     (e)  details of compliance with the activity agreements for parenting payment (single) recipients, parenting payment (partnered) recipients and newstart mature age recipients, including the numbers for each group in situations where a breach penalty was applied, and the reasons for applying a breach penalty;

                      (f)  details of total savings resulting from breach penalties applied to parenting payment (single) recipients, parenting payment (partnered) recipients and newstart mature age recipients required to enter into activity agreements;

                     (g)  an assessment of the impact of the measures in Schedule 1 on children of parenting payment recipients;

                     (h)  a cost benefit analysis of the new participation measures applying to parenting payment (single) recipients, parenting payment (partnered) recipients and newstart mature age recipients.

             (3)  The evaluation must be completed and tabled in each House of the Parliament by 30 June 2005.

[evaluation]

(2)     Schedule 1, page 3 (before line 4), before Part 1, insert:

Part 1A Amendment of the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999

A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999

1A  Subsection 3(1) (definition of receiving )

Repeal the definition, substitute:

receiving :

                     (a)  in relation to a social security payment—has the same meaning as in subsections 23(2) and (4) of the Social Security Act 1991 ; and

                     (b)  for the purpose of construing references to a person receiving a social security pension or a social security benefit in clauses 1 and 17 of Schedule 1, and in clause 7 of Schedule 2, to this Act—is taken to include the meaning provided in subsection 23(4A) of the Social Security Act 1991 as if those clauses were specified in provisions of that Act referred to in subsection 23(4AA) of that Act; and

                     (c)  for the purpose of construing references to a person receiving a social security pension or social security benefit in clauses 1 and 17 of Schedule 1, and in clause 7 of Schedule 2, to this Act where those references relate to a person:

                              (i)  to whom parenting payment would be payable if not for a determination that a participation agreement breach non-payment period applies in relation to the person; or

                             (ii)  to whom parenting payment would be payable if not for a determination that a participation agreement breach rate reduction period applies in relation to the person;

                            has effect as if that determination had not been made.

[meaning of receiving]

(3)     Schedule 1, item 11, page 7 (lines 13 to 15), omit subsection (3), substitute:

             (3)  Subject to subsection (4), the participation agreement breach non-payment period starts on the 14 th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

[requirement for notice]

(4)     Schedule 1, item 12, page 9 (lines 23 to 33), omit subsection (4), substitute:

             (4)  In having regard to a person’s capacity to comply with the terms of a participation agreement and the person’s needs, the Secretary is to take into account, but is not limited to, the following matters:

                     (a)  the person’s education, experience, skills, age, disability, illness, mental and physical condition; and

                     (b)  the state of the local labour market and the transport options available to the person in accessing that market; and

                     (c)  the participation opportunities available to the person; and

                     (d)  the family and caring responsibilities of the person, (including those arising from any significant adverse effect on a PP child of a person that would result from the person’s compliance with the terms of the agreement); and

                     (e)  current court proceedings in the Family Court or criminal courts or current child welfare concerns, such as drugs or school truanting; and

                      (f)  the length of travel time required for compliance with the agreement; and

                     (g)  the financial costs of compliance with the agreement, such as travel costs, and the capacity to pay for such compliance; and

                     (h)  any other matters that the Secretary or the person considers relevant in the circumstances.

[factors for compliance in agreement]

(5)     Schedule 1, item 12, page 10 (lines 6 to 10), omit paragraphs (a) and (b), substitute:

                     (a)  is satisfied that the terms of the agreement were intended to assist the person over time in gaining employment or undertaking study or training; and

                     (b)  has made reasonable attempts to contact the person in relation to the requirement to comply with the terms of the agreement (and has documented each attempt to contact); and

                     (c)  if contact was able to be made, has had regard to the reasons, if any, provided by the person for not complying with the terms of the agreement; and

                     (d)  has confirmed the adequacy of the support that the Secretary agreed to provide under the agreement.

[factors to consider before determining failure to comply]

(6)     Schedule 1, Item 12, page 10 (line 18), after “subsection (2)”, insert “or (2A)”.

[exempt persons]

(7)     Schedule 1, item 12, page 10 (after line 34), after subsection (2), insert:

Exempt persons-periodic exemptions

          (2A)  For the purposes of subsection (1), a person is an exempt person for a particular period determined by the Secretary under this subsection if:

                     (a)  the person has one or more PP children:

                              (i)  who suffer from a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability; and

                             (ii)  whose care needs are such that the person could not be reasonably expected at that time to comply with the terms of a participation agreement; or

                     (b)  a critical event occurs that was not within the person’s control (eg family or personal crisis, the Secretary is satisfied the person has separated from his or her partner on a permanent or indefinite basis in the past 26 weeks, person’s house burning down, evidence of domestic violence, serious illness of PP children) and, as a result, the person is temporarily unable to comply with the terms of a participation agreement.

          (2B)  At any one time the maximum period for which the Secretary may determine that a person is an exempt person under subsection (2A) is:

                     (a)  if paragraph (2A)(a) applies to the person—12 months;

                     (b)  if paragraph (2A)(b) applies to the person—26 weeks.

          (2C)  The Secretary may make more than one determination under subsection (2A) in respect of a person.

[exempt persons]

(8)     Schedule 1, item 12, page 11 (line 29) to page 12 (line 2), omit subsection (1), substitute:

             (1)  A participation agreement is a written agreement between the Secretary and another person, in a form approved by the Secretary, under which the person agrees to undertake, during each period of 26 weeks that the agreement is in force, approved activities anticipated to take 150 hours or such lesser number of hours as are agreed between them. Participation agreements will set out the support that the Secretary undertakes to provide to assist the person to meet his or her participation requirements in the negotiated agreement.

[form of agreement]

(9)     Schedule 1, item 12, page 12 (line 17), after “program” add “as defined in section 23 of the Social Security Act 1991 ”.

[approved activities]

(10)   Schedule 1, item 12, page 12 (lines 19 to 21), omit paragraph (k), substitute:

                     (k)  another activity that the Secretary regards as suitable for the person, including voluntary work, and that is agreed to between the person and the Secretary.

[approved activities]

(11)   Schedule 1, item 12, page 12 (line 28) to page 13 (line 4), omit subsection (4), substitute:

             (4)  In having regard to a person’s capacity to comply with the terms of a participation agreement and to the person’s needs, the Secretary is to take into account, but is not limited to, the following matters:

                     (a)  the person’s education, experience, skills, age, disability, illness, mental and physical condition; and

                     (b)  the state of the local labour market and the transport options available to the person in accessing that market; and

                     (c)  the participation opportunities available to the person; and

                     (d)  the family and caring responsibilities of the person, (including those arising from any significant adverse effect on a PP child of a person that would result from the person’s compliance with the terms of the agreement); and

                     (e)  current court proceedings in the Family Court or criminal courts or current child welfare concerns such as drugs or school truanting; and

                      (f)  the length of travel time required for compliance with the agreement; and

                     (g)  the financial costs of compliance with the agreement, such as travel costs, and the capacity to pay for such compliance; and

                     (h)  any other matters that the Secretary or the person considers relevant in the circumstances.

[capacity to comply]

(12)   Schedule 1, item 12, page 13 (line 7), after “varied”, insert “(in negotiation with the person)”.

[variation of agreement]

(13)   Schedule 1, item 12, page 13 (after line 13), after subsection (5), insert:

Cooling-off period

          (5A)  Within 14 days of the terms of the participation agreement being approved, those terms may be varied by the person with the approval of the Secretary.

Requirement to notify

          (5B)  The Secretary must advise the person of the effect of subsection (5A).

Avoidance of doubt

          (5C)  To avoid doubt, subsection (5A) does not prevent the person at any time from requesting a review of an agreement under paragraph (5)(c).

[cooling-off period]

(14)   Schedule 1, item 12, page 14 (line 23), after “agree to”, insert “the reasonable”.

[terms of agreement]

(15)   Schedule 1, item 13, page 17 (after line 25), after subsection (1), insert:

Notice to contain reasons

          (1A)  A notice under subsection (1) must contain reasons why the participation agreement breach rate reduction period applies to the person.

[provision of reasons]

(16)   Schedule 1, item 13, page 17 (lines 27 to 29), omit subsection (2), substitute:

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3), the participation agreement breach rate reduction period starts on the 14 th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

[notice period]

(17)   Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 10), after item 20, insert:

20A  After subsection 544(2)

Insert:

Secretary must contact person before determining failure to comply with terms

             (3)  The Secretary must not determine that a person has failed to take reasonable steps to comply with the terms of a youth allowance activity agreement unless the Secretary:

                     (a)  is satisfied that the terms of the agreement were intended to assist the person over time in gaining employment or undertaking study or training; and

                     (b)  has made reasonable attempts to contact the person in relation to the requirement to comply with the terms of the agreement (and has documented each attempt to contact); and

                     (c)  if contact was able to be made, has had regard to the reasons, if any, provided by the person for not complying with the terms of the agreement; and

                     (d)  has confirmed the adequacy of the support that the Secretary agreed to provide under the agreement.

[factors to consider before determining failure to comply]

(18)   Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 13), after item 21, insert:

 

21A  Subsection 544B(4)

Re peal the subsection, substitute:

             (4)  In having regard to a person’s capacity to comply with an agreement, the Secretary is to take into account, but is not limited to the following matters:

                     (a)  the person’s education, experience, skills, age, disability, illness, mental and physical condition; and

                     (b)  the state of the local labour market and the transport options available to the person in accessing that market; and

                     (c)  the participation opportunities available to the person; and

                     (d)  the family and caring responsibilities of the person; and

                     (e)  the length of travel time required for compliance with the agreement, by reference to what constitutes unreasonably difficult commuting for the purposes of paragraph 541D(1)(g); and

                      (f)  the financial costs of compliance with the agreement, such as travel costs, and the capacity to pay for such compliance; and

                     (g)  any other matters that the Secretary or the person considers relevant in the circumstances.

[factors for compliance]

(19)   Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 13), after item 21, insert:

21B  Paragraph 544B(5)(a)

After “varied”, insert “(in negotiation with the person)”.

[variation of agreement]

(20)   Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 13), after item 21A, insert:

21C  After subsection 544B(5)

Insert:

Cooling off period

          (5A)  Within 14 days of the terms of the agreement being approved, those terms may be varied by the person with the approval of the Secretary.

Requirement to notify

          (5B)  The Secretary must advise the person in writing of the effect of subsection (5A).

Avoidance of doubt

          (5C)  To avoid doubt, subsection (5A) does not prevent the person at any time from requesting a review of an agreement under paragraph (5)(c).

[cooling-off period]

(21)   Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 25), after item 24, insert:

24A  Subparagraph 544C(1)(b)(iii)

After “agree to”, insert “the reasonable”.

[terms of agreement]

(22)   Schedule 1, page 20 (before line 26), before item 25, insert:

24B  Subsection 550C(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

General rule

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3) and to sections 550D and 550E, the activity test non-payment period starts on the 14 th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

[requirement for notice]

(23)   Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 30), after item 26, insert:

26A  Subsection 557B(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

General rule

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3) and to section 557C, the activity test breach rate reduction period starts on the 14 th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

26B  Subsection 558B(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

General rule

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3), the administrative breach rate reduction period starts on the 14 th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

[requirement for notice]

(24)   Schedule 1, page 20 (before line 30), before item 27, insert:

26C  After subsection 593(2A)

Insert:

          (2B)  The Secretary must not determine that a person has failed to take reasonable steps to comply with the terms of a Newstart Activity Agreement unless the Secretary:

                     (a)  is satisfied that the terms of the agreement were intended to assist the person over time in gaining employment or undertaking study or training; and

                     (b)  has made reasonable attempts to contact the person in relation to the requirement to comply with the terms of the agreement (and has documented each attempt to contact); and

                     (c)  if contact was able to be made, has had regard to the reasons, if any, provided by the person for not complying with the terms of the agreement; and

                     (d)  has confirmed the adequacy of the support that the Secretary agreed to provide under the agreement.

[factors to consider before determining failure to comply]

(25)   Schedule 1, page 21 (after line 11), after item 30, insert:

30A  Subsection 630B(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3) and (6) and to sections 630BA and 630BB, the activity test non-payment period starts on the 14 th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

[requirement for notice]

(26)   Schedule 1, page 21 (after line 28), after item 34, insert:

34A  Subsection 644AB(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (2)  Subject to section 644AC, the activity test breach rate reduction period starts on the 14 th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

34B  Subsection 644C(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (2)  Subject to subsections (3) and (6), the administrative breach rate reduction period starts on the 14 th day after the day on which the notice is given to the person.

[requirement for notice]

(27)   Schedule 5, page 45 (after line 29), after item 11, insert:

11A  After subsection 606(1)

Insert:

          (1A)  If the person is at least 50 years of age but less than 60 years of age, the particular number of job vacancies shall not exceed 24 per 12 weeks in the period specified in the notice.

       (1AB)  If the person is at least 60 years of age, the particular number of job vacancies shall not exceed 12 per 12 weeks in the period specified in the notice.

       (1AC)  Subsection (1A) does not apply unless the person has been receiving an income support payment for a continuous period of at least 9 months and the person satisfies the Secretary that the person has no recent workforce experience.

[number of job vacancies]

(28)   Schedule 5, page 45 (after line 29), after item 11A, insert:

11B  Subsection 606(4)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (4)  In having regard to a person’s capacity to comply with an agreement, the Secretary is to take into account, but is not limited to the following matters:

                     (a)  the person’s education, experience, skills, age, disability, illness, mental and physical condition; and

                     (b)  the state of the local labour market and the transport options available to the person in accessing that market; and

                     (c)  the participation opportunities available to the person; and

                     (d)  the family and caring responsibilities of the person; and

                     (e)  the length of travel time required for compliance with the agreement, by reference to what constitutes unreasonably difficult commuting for the purposes of paragraph 601(2A)(g); and

                      (f)  the financial costs of compliance with the agreement, such as travel costs, and the capacity to pay for such compliance; and

                     (g)  any other matters that the Secretary or the person considers relevant in the circumstances.

[factors for compliance]

(29)   Schedule 5, page 45 (after line 29), after item 11B, insert:

11C  Paragraph 606(5)(a)

After “varied”, insert “(in negotiation with the person)”.

[variation of agreement

(30)   Schedule 5, page 45 (after line 29), after item 11C, insert:

11D  After subsection 606(5)

Insert:

          (5A)  Within 14 days of the terms of the agreement being approved, those terms may be varied by the person with the approval of the Secretary.

          (5B)  The Secretary must advise the person in writing of the effect of subsection (5A).

          (5C)  To avoid doubt, subsection (5A) does not prevent the person at any time from requesting a review of an agreement under paragraph (5)(c).

[cooling-off period]

(31)   Schedule 5, page 45 (before line 30), before item 12, insert:

11E  Subparagraph 607(1)(iii)

After “agree to”, insert “the reasonable”.

[terms of agreement]

(32)   Schedule 6, item 7, page 53 (lines 1 and 2), omit paragraph (g), substitute:

                     (g)  the person:

                              (i)  in the case of a woman who would, but for this subsection, cease to be receiving wife pension because of the employment income, or the combined income, referred to in subparagraph (e)(ii)—continues, but for that employment income or combined income, to be qualified for wife pension on and from the cessation day; and

                             (ii)  in any other case—continues to be qualified for the pension or benefit on and from the cessation day;

            [wife pension—meaning of receiving]

(33)   Schedule 6, page 55 (before line 21), before item 9, insert:

8A  Subsection 1061ZB(1)

Omit all the words after paragraph (c), substitute:

the person is qualified for a pensioner concession card:

                     (d)  if the person is qualified for such a card under section 1061ZEA until a particular day—for the period of 26 weeks after that day; and

                     ( e)  in any other case—for the period of 26 weeks after the commencement or increase, as the case may be.

[extended qualification rule—pensioner concession card]

(34)   Schedule 6, item 9, page 55 (lines 32 to 36), omit paragraph (c) and all the words following that paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  the balance is subsequently reduced to nil because of the commencement or increase; and

                     (d)  the person is not qualified for a pensioner concession card under section 1061ZEA;

paragraph (1)(e) has effect as if the reference to 26 weeks after the commencement or increase were a reference to 26 weeks after the day on which the balance is reduced to nil.

[extended qualification rule—pensioner concession card]

(35)   Schedule 6, item 9, page 56 (lines 14 to 18), omit paragraph (c) and all the words following that paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  the balance is subsequently reduced to nil because of the commencement or increase; and

                     (d)  the person is not qualified for a pensioner concession card under section 1061ZEA;

paragraph (1)(e) has effect as if the reference to 26 weeks after the commencement or increase were a reference to 26 weeks after the day on which the balance is reduced to nil.

[extended qualification rule—pensioner concession card]

(36)   Schedule 6, page 56 (before line 25), before item 12, insert:

11A  Subsection 1061ZC(1)

Omit all the words after paragraph (c), substitute:

the person is qualified for a pensioner concession card:

                     (d)  if the person is qualified for a pensioner concession card under section 1061ZEA until a particular day—for the period of 26 weeks after that day; and

                     (e)  in any other case—for the period of 26 weeks after the commencement or increase, as the case may be.

[extended qualification rule—pensioner concession card]

(37)   Schedule 6, item 12, page 57 (lines 4 to 8), omit paragraph (c) and all the words following that paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  the balance is subsequently reduced to nil because of the commencement or increase; and

                     (d)  the person is not qualified for a pensioner concession card under section 1061ZEA;

paragraph (1)(e) has effect as if the reference to 26 weeks after the commencement or increase were a reference to 26 weeks after the day on which the balance is reduced to nil.

[extended qualification rule—pensioner concession card]

(38)   Schedule 6, item 12, page 57 (lines 22 to 26), omit paragraph (c) and all the words following that paragraph, substitute:

                     (c)  the balance is subsequently reduced to nil because of the commencement or increase; and

                     (d)  the person is not qualified for a pensioner concession card under section 1061ZEA;

paragraph (1)(e) has effect as if the reference to 26 weeks after the commencement or increase were a reference to 26 weeks after the day on which the balance is reduced to nil.

          (1C)  If the person:

                     (a)  is qualified for a pensioner concession card under section 1061ZEA until a particular day; and

                     (b)  has, immediately before becoming so qualified, been receiving a social security benefit referred to in paragraph 1061ZA(2)(b) for a continuous period of less than 39 weeks;

the person is taken, for the purpose of the reference in paragraph (1)(a) to a continuous period of not less than 39 weeks, to be receiving the benefit until the particular day.

[extended qualification rule—pensioner concession card]

(39)   Schedule 6, item 13, page 57 (lines 27 to 29), omit the item, substitute:

13  Subsection 1061ZC(2)

After “subsection (1)”, insert “(including that subsection as modified by subsection (1A), (1B) or (1C))”.

13A  Subsection 1061ZC(3)

After “subsection (1)”, insert “(including that subsection as modified by subsection (1A) or (1B))”.

13B  Subsection 1061ZC(4)

After “subsection (1)”, insert “(including that subsection as modified by subsection (1A), (1B) or (1C))”.

[extended qualification rule—pensioner concession card]

(40)   Schedule 6, item 18, page 58 (line 26), omit “1061ZB, 1061ZC,”.

[extended qualification rule—pensioner concession card]

(41)   Schedule 6, item 18, page 59 (after line 32), after paragraph (g), insert:

             and (ga)  the person:

                              (i)  in the case of a woman to whom wife pension ceases to be payable because of the employment income, or the combined income, referred to in subparagraph (f)(ii)—continues, but for that employment income or combined income, to be qualified for wife pension; and

                             (ii)  in the case of a person to whom pension PP (single) ceases to be payable, or who ceases to receive benefit PP (partnered)—continues, but for the requirement to have at least one PP child, to be qualified for that pension or benefit; and

                            (iii)  in any other case—continues to be qualified for the payment referred to in section 1061ZA;

[extended qualification rule—pensioner concession card]

(42)   Schedule 6, item 18, page 60 (after line 2), after paragraph (j), insert:

                 or (k)  the day the person ceases to be qualified as mentioned in paragraph (ga);

[extended qualification rule—pensioner concession card]

(43)   Schedule 6, page 60 (before line 27), before item 20, insert:            

19A  After subsection 1061ZM(1)

Insert:

          (1A)  If the person is qualified for a health care card under section 1061ZMA until a day (the particular day ), subsection (1) has effect as if the reference to 26 weeks starting on the day on which the person ceases to be an employment-affected person were a reference to 26 weeks starting on the particular day.

          (1B)  If the person:

                     (a)  was an employment-affected person because of receiving pension PP (single); and

                     (b)  is qualified for a pensioner concession card under section 1061ZEA until a day (the particular day );

subsection (1) has effect as if the reference to the period of 26 weeks starting on the day on which the person ceases to be an employment-affected person were a reference to the period starting on the particular day and ending 26 weeks after the person ceases to be an employment-affected person.

          (1C)  If the person:

                     (a)  is qualified for a health care card under section 1061ZMA until a particular day; and

                     (b)  has, immediately before the commencement or increase mentioned in subsection (1), been a qualified recipient because of receiving newstart allowance, sickness allowance, widow allowance, partner allowance or youth allowance, other than while undertaking full-time study, for a continuous period of less than 52 weeks;

the person is taken, for the purpose of the reference in paragraph (1)(c) to a continuous period of 52 weeks, to be receiving the allowance until the particular day.

19B  Subsection 1061ZM(2)

After “referred to in subsection (1)”, insert “(including that subsection as modified by subsection (1A)) or the period provided by subsection (1B)”.

[extended qualification rule—health care card]

(44)   Schedule 6, item 20, page 60 (lines 31 and 32), omit subsection (1).

[extended qualification rule—health care card]

(45)   Schedule 6, item 20, page 61 (after line 33), after paragraph (g), insert:

             and (ga)  the person:

                              (i)  in the case of a person who ceases to receive benefit PP (partnered)—continues, but for the requirement to have at least one PP child, to be qualified for that benefit; and

                             (ii)  in any other case—continues to be qualified for the payment referred to in subsection 1061ZK(5);

[extended qualification rule—health care card]

(46)   Schedule 6, item 20, page 62 (after line 2), insert:

                 or (k)  the day the person ceases to be qualified as mentioned in paragraph (ga);

[extended qualification rule—health care card]

(47)   Schedule 6, page 62 (after line 13), after item 20, insert:

20A  Subsection 1061ZN(1)

Omit “and 1061ZM”, substitute “, 1061ZM and 1061ZMA”.

[extended qualification rule—health care card]

(48)   Schedule 6, item 26, page 76 (after line 7), at the end of section 1073J, add:

             (2)  If:

                     (a)  a woman receiving wife pension is a working credit participant; and

                     (b)  the partner of the participant ceases to receive age pension or disability support pension on and from a day (the cessation day ); and

                     (c)  the partner ceases to receive that pension:

                              (i)  because of the employment income of the partner (either alone or in combination with any other ordinary income earned, derived or received, or taken to have been earned, derived or received, by the partner); and

                             (ii)  after any working credit balance of the partner is reduced to nil; and

                     (d)  as a result of the partner’s so ceasing to receive that pension, the participant ceases to be qualified for wife pension on and from the cessation day; and

                     (e)  the participant has a working credit balance greater than nil at the start of the instalment period of the participant in which the cessation day occurs; and

                      (f)  but for the employment income, or combined income, referred to in paragraph (c), the participant would have continued to be qualified for wife pension until the earlier of:

                              (i)  a day determined under Division 8 or 9 of Part 3 of the Administration Act; or

                             (ii)  the day on which the participant’s working credit balance is reduced to nil;

the participant is to be treated as if she had continued to be so qualified until the earlier of the days referred to in subparagraphs (f)(i) and (ii).

[wife pension—extended qualification]

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                              I C HARRIS

                                                                      Clerk of the House of Representatives

 

 

House of Representatives

13 December 2002 a.m.