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Australian Science, Technology and Engineering Council Repeal Bill 1998
Schedule 1 Repeal of the Australian Science, Technology and Engineering Council Act 1978

   

1  The whole of the Act

Repeal the Act.

2  Council to continue in existence for purposes of making a final report to the Minister

(1)        Despite the repeal effected by item 1, the Australian Science, Technology and Engineering Council (the Council ) continues in existence for the purpose of performing its functions under this item.

(2)        As soon as practicable after the commencement of this Schedule, the Council must prepare and give to the Minister a report of the operations of the Council during the period that began on 1 July 1997 and ended at that commencement.

(3)        Subject to subitem (4), the report is to set out all requests made by the Minister under subsection 6(1) of the Australian Science, Technology and Engineering Council Act 1978 (the repealed Act ), and all directions given by the Minister under section 8 of that Act, during the period to which the report relates.

(4)        The report must not, without the Minister’s consent, disclose the contents of a report given to the Minister under section 6 of the repealed Act before the last-mentioned report has been laid before either House of the Parliament.

(5)        Subject to subitem (6), the Minister must cause the report to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the report is received by him or her.

(6)        If the laying of the report before the Parliament in accordance with subitem (5) would result in:

                     (a)  the disclosure of information that would, in the Minister’s opinion, be contrary to the public interest because it would prejudice:

                              (i)  Australia’s security, defence or international relations; or

                             (ii)  relations between the Commonwealth and any State; or

                     (b)  the disclosure of information received by the Council in confidence;

the Minister must either:

                     (c)  cause the report to be laid before the Parliament with such deletions as the Minister thinks necessary to avoid that result; or

                     (d)  ensure that the report is not laid before the Parliament until the Minister is satisfied that laying the report before the Parliament would not have that result.

(7)        The Council ceases to exist at the end of the day on which the report is received by the Minister.

(8)        The Minister may give a written certificate specifying the day on which the report is received by him or her. Unless the contrary is established, a certificate so given is conclusive evidence that the report was received by the Minister on the day specified in the certificate.

3  Protection against actions

(1)        No action, suit or other proceeding lies:

                     (a)  against a person who is or has been:

                              (i)  a member of the Australian Science, Technology and Engineering Council (the Council ); or

                             (ii)  a member of a committee of the Council appointed under section 24 of the Australian Science, Technology and Engineering Council Act 1978 (the repealed Act ); or

                            (iii)  a member of the staff of the Council; or

                            (iv)  an officer or employee of a Commonwealth authority performing services for the Council; or

                             (v)  a consultant to the Council;

                            for or in relation to anything done or omitted to be done in good faith for the purposes of the repealed Act or this Schedule; or

                     (b)  against any person for or in relation to the giving of any information by that person in good faith for the purposes of the repealed Act or this Schedule to:

                              (i)  the Council; or

                             (ii)  a committee appointed under section 24 of the repealed Act; or

                            (iii)  a person referred to in paragraph (a).

(2)        This item does not limit or abridge any defence existing apart from this item.

4  Secrecy

(1)        This item applies to a person who is or has been:

                     (a)  a member of the Australian Science, Technology and Engineering Council (the Council ); or

                     (b)  a member of a committee of the Council appointed under section 24 of the Australian Science, Technology and Engineering Council Act 1978 (the repealed Act ); or

                     (c)  a member of the staff of the Council; or

                     (d)  an officer or employee of a Commonwealth authority performing services for the Council; or

                     (e)  a consultant to the Council.

(2)        A person to whom this item applies must not, either directly or indirectly, except for the purposes of the repealed Act or with the permission of the Minister:

                     (a)  make a record of, or divulge or communicate to any person, any information acquired by reason of his or her appointment under the repealed Act or in the performance of functions or duties, or the exercise of powers, under or in connection with the repealed Act or this Schedule; or

                     (b)  produce to any person a document supplied to, lodged with, or otherwise acquired by, the Council under the repealed Act or this Schedule.

Penalty:  30 penalty units.

(3)        The Minister must not give permission under subitem (2) in relation to any information or document if:

                     (a)  the information or document was received by the Council in confidence and was not obtainable by the Council otherwise than in confidence; or

                     (b)  the granting of permission would be contrary to the public interest because it would prejudice:

                              (i)  Australia’s security, defence or international relations; or

                             (ii)  relations between the Commonwealth and any State.

(4)        If particular information or a particular document is not information or a document in relation to which permission has been given by the Minister under subitem (2), a person to whom this item applies must not be required to divulge or communicate the information to a court, or to produce the document in a court, except where it is necessary to do so for the purposes of the repealed Act or this Schedule, or for the purposes of proceedings under, or arising out of, the repealed Act or this Schedule.

(5)        The Minister may give permission under subitem (2) in relation to particular information or information included in specified classes of information or in relation to a particular document or documents included in specified classes of documents.

(6)        In this item:

court includes any tribunal, authority or person having power to require the production of documents or the answering of questions.

document includes any record.

produce includes permit access to.