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Wednesday, 20 October 2021
Page: 69

Senator RUSTON (South AustraliaMinister for Families and Social Services, Minister for Women's Safety and Manager of Government Business in the Senate) (16:50): I table the explanatory memorandum relating to the bill and I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated into Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows—

The Statute Law Amendment (Prescribed Forms) Bill 2021 makes minor and technical changes to the Commonwealth statute book to enhance administration and promote consistency.

Statute Law Revision Acts and Statute Stocktake Acts have been passed on a regular basis since 1934 as a means of removing obsolete and spent provisions from the statute book and correcting mistakes in drafting. They are traditionally non-controversial and regarded as an essential means of keeping the Commonwealth statute book accurate and up-to-date.

The process of statute law revision and update aims to enhance the clarity and efficient use of the statute book.

This Bill contains one Schedule, which updates references to prescribed forms in 41 Acts across the Commonwealth statute book.

These provisions provide for forms, such as those requiring the provision of information, to be prescribed by regulations. While it is sometimes important to provide for a form to be prescribed by, or set out in, an Act or regulations, in other cases, it is more appropriate for the form to be approved by a specified person or body, by notifiable instrument. In such cases, prescribed or approved forms will still appear of the Federal Register of Legislation. There are also circumstances where the use of a particular form is not important, but the mandating of requirements in legislation is important.

The Bill amends provisions that require forms to be prescribed by regulations and replaces them with the best practice approach for the particular form. This will reduce the number of provisions on the statute book that require the use of forms that are prescribed by regulations.

These amendments will ensure that there is still oversight of the information to be provided, with increased flexibility as to how to provide it and increased agility in updating and improving forms.

These ongoing improvements to legislation are important to ensure that the Commonwealth statute book remains up-to-date, accurate and user-friendly.

Ordered that further consideration of the second reading of this bill be adjourned to 22 November 2021, in accordance with standing order 111.