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SYDNEY HARBOUR FEDERATION TRUST BILL 2000—SENATE'S AMENDMENTS

The order of the day having been read for the consideration of the amendments made by the Senate—

On the motion of Mr Abbott (Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business), amendments Nos 1 to 21, 25, 28 to 30 and 32 made by the Senate to House amendments were agreed to, after debate.

On the motion of Mr Abbott, amendments Nos 22 to 24 and 26 made by the Senate to House amendments were disagreed to.

Mr Abbott presented reasons, which were circulated, and are as follows:


Reasons of the House of Representatives for disagreeing to the amendments of the Senate

Senate Amendment 22

Senate amendment 22 would mean that the Trust could not give security over land listed in Schedule 1, but could give security over any other assets. The effect of this amendment is unclear, as "any other assets" could be open to legal interpretation. According to the Senate debate, the intended effect is that the Trust should not be allowed to give security over any land. Where the land has no significant environmental and heritage values and has been identified under an approved plan for potential sale, this is an unreasonable restriction on the ability of the Trust to borrow funds.

Accordingly, the House of Representatives does not accept this amendment.

Senate Amendment 23

Senate amendment 23 would require the Trust to seek the Minister's agreement for each and every lease and licence within the life of the Trust, including short-term leases and licences. This is administratively unrealistic and unnecessary.

Accordingly, the House of Representatives does not accept this amendment.

Senate Amendments 24 and 26

Senate amendments 24 and 26 would make the determination of leases or licenses that end after the life of the Trust disallowable instruments for the purposes of section 46 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901. This would apply even to leases and licences that end shortly after the Trust ceases to exist. The delays and uncertainties associated with the disallowable instrument process will make it difficult to attract shorter-term leases. The Bill, as previously passed by the House, had required the determination of leases and licences over 25 years to be disallowable instruments. This longer period is more realistic if the Trust is to attract commercial ventures for leases and licences less than 25 years.

Accordingly, the House of Representatives does not accept these amendments.

On the motion of Mr Abbott, the reasons were adopted.

On the motion of Mr Abbott, amendments Nos 27 and 31 made by the Senate to House amendments were disagreed to and Government amendments Nos 1 and 2 were made in place thereof respectively.

Paper

Mr Abbott presented a further supplementary explanatory memorandum to the Bill.