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Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Page: 11248


Mr McCLELLAND (Attorney-General) (4:57 PM) —I move:

That government amendments Nos 1 to 4 be made in place of Senate amendment No. 1 which was disagreed to:

(1)    Clause 2, page 2 (table item 1, column 1), omit “3”, substitute “4”.

(2)    Clause 2, page 2 (table item 3), omit the table item, substitute:

3. Schedule 2, Part 1

The day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

3A. Schedule 2, Part 2

At the same time as the provision(s) covered by table item 2.

3B. Schedule 2, Part 3

The day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

3C. Schedule 3

At the same time as the provision(s) covered by table item 2.

(3)    Clause 2, page 2 (table item 4), omit the table item, substitute:

4. Schedule 4, Parts 1 and 2

1 July 2008.

1 July 2008

4A. Schedule 4, Part 3

The day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

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

4 Entitlements from 1 July 2008

         (1)    If:

              (a)    a person would have been entitled to one or more payments (the lost payments) under an Act that is amended by Schedule 1, 2, 3 or 5 to this Act if the relevant Schedule had commenced on 1 July 2008; and

              (b)    because the Schedule did not commence until after 1 July 2008, the person is not entitled to the payment or payments; and

              (c)    the person makes an application to the Finance Minister for one or more payments (the replacement payments) to compensate the person for the lost payments;

the Finance Minister must make a determination, in accordance with subsection (4), to fully compensate the person.

         (2)    If:

              (a)    a person would have been entitled to one or more payments (the lost payments) under the Military Superannuation and Benefits Act 1991 if the first amendment of the Trust Deed under that Act that is made after the commencement of this section had commenced on 1 July 2008; and

              (b)    because that amendment did not commence until after 1 July 2008, the person is not entitled to the payment or payments; and

              (c)    the person makes an application to the Finance Minister for one or more payments (the replacement payments) to compensate the person for the lost payments;

the Finance Minister must make a determination, in accordance with subsection (4), to fully compensate the person.

         (3)    If:

              (a)    a person would have been entitled to one or more payments (the lost payments) under the Superannuation Act 1990 if the first amendment of the Trust Deed under that Act that is made after the commencement of this section had commenced on 1 July 2008; and

              (b)    because that amendment did not commence until after 1 July 2008, the person is not entitled to the payment or payments; and

              (c)    the person makes an application to the Finance Minister for one or more payments (the replacement payments) to compensate the person for the lost payments;

the Finance Minister must make a determination, in accordance with subsection (4), to fully compensate the person.

         (4)    A determination by the Finance Minister under this subsection must:

              (a)    be in writing; and

              (b)    set out:

                    (i)    the amount and timing of the replacement payments; or

                   (ii)    the method of determining the amount and timing of the replacement payments.

         (5)    An application must be in writing in the form approved by the Finance Minister.

         (6)    To avoid doubt, a determination of the Finance Minister that a person is entitled to one or more replacement payments does not affect the entitlements of any other person under an Act amended by Schedule 1, 2, 3 or 5 to this Act, the Military Superannuation and Benefits Act 1991 or the Superannuation Act 1990.

         (7)    Replacement payments are to be made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which is appropriated accordingly.

         (8)    A determination made under this section is not a legislative instrument.

         (9)    In this section:

Finance Minister means the Minister who administers the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997.

The government believes that these amendments to the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws—Superannuation) Bill 2008 address the concerns of the opposition and the Australian Greens by ensuring that any individual who would have been entitled to payment or payments will be compensated fully for any payments lost as a result of the delayed commencement of the bill. They also address the government’s concerns regarding Senate amendment (1) because they do not require the bill to have retrospective effect. The government’s proposed amendments to the bill will provide a mechanism to allow replacement payments to be made to an individual who has lost a superannuation payment or payments because these reforms did not commence on 1 July 2008.

They will also amend the commencement of part 1 of schedule 2 of the bill, which inserts a definition of ‘de facto partner’ into the Acts Interpretation Act to commence on royal assent. Also, the amendment will make other amendments to commencement dates for certain schedules to the bill, which the government had previously intended to move in the Senate but which it did not move because they were overtaken by the Senate’s approval of the opposition’s amendment. I commend the amendments to the House. I thank all those involved, including the shadow minister, for the passage of these provisions.

Question agreed to.