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Legislation Amendment (Sunsetting Review and Other Measures) Bill 2018

Originating house
House of Representatives


Amends: the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 to: provide a definition of ‘sitting day’; clarify the circumstances in which a House is taken to have adjourned (in addition to the ordinary concept of adjournment); clarify that certain provisions relating to amended or re-enacted Acts apply to a provision that is re-enacted as a differently numbered provision; and clarify that an instrument may make provision in relation to a matter by applying, adopting or incorporating a matter contained in a version of a document that is no longer current at the time of its incorporation; the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 and Legislation Act 2003 to clarify that an instrument may apply, adopt or incorporate the provisions of rules of court as in force at a particular time or as in force from time to time; the Family Law Act 1975, Federal Circuit Court of Australia Act 1999, Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 and Judiciary Act 1903 to ensure that rules of the federal courts are not subject to the sunsetting framework; the Legislation Act 2003 to: clarify that legislative instruments that have not been laid before Parliament are repealed (and therefore removed from the statute book) rather than simply ceasing to have effect; clarify when a 15 sitting day period commences after an instrument is laid before a House; clarify that references to ‘intergovernmental bodies or schemes’ include those involving the Commonwealth and one or more territories; clarify the interaction between the disallowance, tabling and automatic repeal provisions; broaden the scope of the Attorney-General’s discretion to issue certificates of deferral of sunsetting and declarations of alignment of sunsetting, and provide for greater parliamentary scrutiny of the exercise of these discretions; remove the time restriction on Parliament’s power to roll over the sunsetting date of a legislative instrument; provide that a review of the sunsetting framework will be conducted in 2027; clarify that a legislative or notifiable instrument can commence before the instrument is registered despite any rule or principle of common law; and clarify the limits of the First Parliamentary Counsel’s power to rectify an error on the Federal Register of Legislation and the application of the parliamentary scrutiny mechanisms to instruments that have been rectified under this power; and six Acts to make consequential and contingent amendments.

Progress of bill

For committee reference information, please see the Notes section at the end of this page.

House of Representatives
Introduced and read a first time 28/06/18  
Second reading moved 28/06/18  
Second reading debate 15/08/18  
Second reading agreed to 15/08/18  
Third reading agreed to 15/08/18  
Introduced and read a first time 15/08/18  
Second reading moved 15/08/18  
Second reading debate 16/08/18  
Second reading agreed to 16/08/18  
Third reading agreed to 16/08/18  
Finally passed both Houses 16/08/18  
Assent 24/08/18 Act no: 78 - Year: 2018

Text of bill

  • First reading

  • As passed by both Houses


Explanatory memoranda

  • Explanatory memorandum


Second reading speeches

Proposed amendments

No proposed amendments have been circulated.

Schedules of amendments

Bills Digest

  • Considered by scrutiny committee (15/08/2018): Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills; Scrutiny Digest 8 of 2018
  • An electronic version of this Act is available on the Federal Register of Legislation (www.legislation.gov.au)