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Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Further 2008 Budget and Other Measures) Bill 2008

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2008

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAMILIES, HOUSING, COMMUNITY SERVICES AND INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS AND OTHER LEGISLATION AMENDMENT

(FURTHER 2008 BUDGET AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2008

 

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

Amendments and Requests for Amendments

to be Moved on Behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by the authority of the

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Hon Jenny Macklin MP)



FAMILIES, HOUSING, COMMUNITY SERVICES AND INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS AND OTHER LEGISLATION AMENDMENT

(FURTHER 2008 BUDGET AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2008

 

OUTLINE

 

These government amendments apply to Schedule 2 of the Bill. The amendments will amend the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 , with regard to the 2008 Budget measure relating to eligibility for partner service pension for partners who are separated, but not divorced, from their veteran spouse and who have not reached pension age. The amendments will omit the proposed provision that would have ceased eligibility for partner service pension for separated partners, from the date that the person’s veteran partner entered into a new marriage-like relationship with another person.  The amendments will also exempt partners who meet certain circumstances from the provision that would have ceased eligibility for partner service pension 12 months from the date of separation.  Finally, the amendments will change the commencement date from 1 January 2009 to 1 July 2009. 

 

Financial impact statement

 

Total resourcing

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

Partner service pension:

-     separated but not divorced*

 

 

* Estimate only - final costing yet to be agreed with Department of Finance and Deregulation

 

 $2.9 m

 

 

 

 $0.8 m

 

 

 

$1.1 m

 

 

 

 $1.5 m

 

 

 



 

 

Government Amendments

 

Amendment (1) amends table item 6 of Clause 2 of the Bill, the commencement clause.  The amendment omits “1 January 2009” wherever it occurs and substitutes “1 July 2009”.  This amendment changes the commencement date for Part 2 of Schedule 2 of the Bill to 1 July 2009 instead of 1 January 2009. 

 

Amendment (2) amends table item 7 of Clause 2 of the Bill, the commencement clause.  The amendment omits table item 7 from the Bill.  Table item 7 relates to Part 3 of Schedule 2 of the Bill.

 

Amendment (3) amends the heading to Part 2 of Schedule 2 of the Bill by omitting ” 1 January 2009 ” and substituting “ 1 July 2009 ”. 

 

Amendment (4) amends item 5 of Part 2 of Schedule 2 of the Bill by omitting new subsection 38(2AA).  This amendment means that, under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 , a person who is separated but not divorced from their veteran spouse will not lose eligibility for partner service pension if the veteran enters into a new marriage-like relationship with another person.  

 

Amendment (5) amends item 5 of Part 2 of Schedule 2 of the Bill.  The amendment omits new subsection 38(2AC) and substitutes a new subsection 38(2AC) and 38(2AD). 

 

New paragraph 38(2AC)(a) provides that a person’s eligibility for partner service pension under paragraph 38(1)(b) or (g) of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 does not cease under new subsection 38(2AB) if the person has reached pension age.  

 

New paragraph 38(2AC)(b) provides that a person’s eligibility for partner service pension under paragraph 38(1)(b) or (g) of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 does not cease under new subsection 38(2AB) if all of the circumstances specified under new subsection 38(2AD) exist in relation to the person.

 

New subsection 38(2AB) provides that a person’s eligibility for partner service pension ceases 12 months after the person separates from their veteran partner. 



 

New subsection 38(2AD) provides that the Commission may specify circumstances for the purposes of paragraph 38(2AC)(b).  The circumstances will be specified by the Commission in a legislative instrument.  It is intended that the circumstances specified will be that, at the date of separation:

 

  • the person’s veteran partner has a psychological or mental health condition that is:
    • an accepted war-caused injury or disease; or
    • an accepted defence-caused injury or disease; or
    • an accepted service injury or disease; or
    • a psychological or mental health condition that has been accepted for the purposes of non-liability health care under subsection 85(2) or paragraph 88A(1)(a) of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 ; and
  • the person is living separately and apart from the veteran and does not reside in the same residence as the veteran; and
  • there is supporting information of an unsafe domestic environment in respect of the person and/or their children. 

 

Amendment (6) amends item 6 of Part 2 of Schedule 2 by omitting the reference to new subsection 38 (2AA).  New subsection 38(2AA) of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 is omitted by amendment (4) .

 

Amendment (7) amends item 7 of Part 2 of Schedule 2 by omitting the words “if the person has reached pension age” and substituting the words “in certain circumstances”. 

 

The effect of Amendment (8) is that Part 3 of Schedule 2 will be omitted.   Part 3 of Schedule 2 made amendments to new subsection 38(2AA) of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 consequent upon the expected enactment of the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws-General Law Reform) Act 2008 .  New subsection 38(2AA) is omitted by amendment (4)