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Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Page: 2706

Mr PORTER (PearceParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister) (09:38): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Amending Acts 1980 to 1989 Repeal Bill 2015 is part of the government's 2015 autumn repeal day package.

This bill continues the government's efforts to streamline the statute book by removing over 850 amending or repealing acts enacted between 1980 and 1989. This builds on the two previous amending acts repeal bills the government introduced over the previous repeal days which together repealed over 1,700 amending acts made between 1901 and 1979.

The bill repeals each act mentioned in its schedule. In all cases, the repeal of these acts will not impact on existing arrangements or make any change to the substance of the law.

These acts are no longer required as the amendments and repeals that they provide for have already occurred.

If any application, saving or transitional provision is included in one of those acts, any ongoing operation of the provision will be preserved. The acts do not contain any other substantive provisions that are not already spent.

Repealing these acts will reduce the regulatory burden and make accessing the law simpler and faster for businesses and individuals. It will make the statute book easier to use by reducing the time it takes to locate current laws. At present, the acts proposed to be repealed in this bill form part of the current law and it is not clear to everyone whether the acts have force in and of themselves.

Repealing these acts will remove confusion about the status of these laws. It will also facilitate the publication of consolidated versions of acts by the Commonwealth and by private publishers of legislation. People with a specific interest in the legislation can continue to access these acts as they will remain publically available on ComLaw as historical records.

The Weights and Measures (National Standards) Amendment Act 1984 is an example of an act that is clearly out of date but is still on the statute book. This act repealed the Metric Conversion Act 1970, which brought the metric system of measurement into use across Australia. It also established the Metric Conversion Board to oversee this change. By the mid-1970s, most Australian industries were using metric units and by the 1980s the transition away from the old imperial units was complete. The Weights and Measures (National Standards) Amendment Act 1984 has done its work and can certainly now be removed from the statute book.

Other acts being repealed by this bill amend principal acts which have already been repealed. For instance, over 60 sales tax amendment acts were enacted between 1980 and 1989. These acts amended principal sales tax acts which were repealed in 2006, as they had become inoperative following the introduction of the goods and services tax in 2000.

There are numerous other items contained in schedule 1 of the bill which amend a principal act multiple times over the decade and are no longer necessary. Amending acts enacted after 1989 will be repealed at the Spring repeal day. I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.