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Thursday, 12 February 2015
Page: 604

Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (12:46): The Civil Law and Justice Legislation Amendment Bill implements a variety of minor technical amendments to a range of Commonwealth acts within the Attorney-General's remit. The bill amends the Bankruptcy Act, the Copyright Act, the Court Security Act, the Family Law Act, the Evidence Act, the International Arbitration Act and the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act. For the most part this bill is concerned with worthy but minor and technical issues. Some measures are directed simply at the at the readability and comprehensibility of Commonwealth legislation by, for instance, inserting notes into the Court Security Act or including in the EM to the Evidence Act a table comparing provisions in different jurisdictions.

Other measures in the bill are consequential to be good, substantive work of the Labor government. The Bankruptcy Act is amended to clarify that payments under the NDIS are not available to creditors in the event of a bankruptcy. The International Arbitration Act is amended to clarify the UN Commission on International Trade Laws Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, which the Labor government implemented into Australian law in 2010, applies retrospectively to arbitration agreements entered into before 2010. The Court Security Act introduced by Labor to ensure the security and safety of the federal courts for all who use them is given technical improvements.

There is one measure of particular importance in the bill, and that is the amendment of the Copyright Act to introduce an electronic deposit scheme for the National Library of Australia. The introduction of this scheme follows two consultations undertaken by the Labor government. Labor welcomes the introduction of the scheme, which will bring the National Library's operations up to date with modern technology and make the deposit scheme both more expansive and more efficient. It is of obvious importance that the large amount of Australian cultural output now produced in digital form be preserved by the National Library.