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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Page: 11603

Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister) (12:45): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Amending Acts 1970 to 1979 Repeal Bill 2014 is the second bill in the government's 2014 spring repeal day package.

This bill continues the government's efforts to streamline the statute books by removing 656 amending and repeal acts enacted between 1970 and 1979. This builds on the Amending Acts 1901 to 1969 Repeal Bill, which was part of the 2014 autumn repeal day package and repealed over 1,000 amending acts made between 1901 and 1969.

This bill repeals each act mentioned in its schedule. In all cases, the repeal of these acts will not substantially alter existing arrangements or make any changes to the substance of the law, and has a compliance cost saving of $100,000.

These acts are no longer required as the amendments and repeals have already happened.

If an application, saving or transitional provision is included in one of those acts, any ongoing operation of the provision will be preserved. The acts do not contain any other substantive provisions that are not already spent.

Repealing these acts is important because it will reduce the regulatory burden and make accessing the law simpler for both businesses and individuals. It will make the statute books simpler and quicker to use by reducing the time it takes to locate current laws.

At present, the acts proposed to be repealed in this bill form part of the current law and it is not obvious whether the acts have force in and of themselves.

Repealing these acts will remove any confusion about the status of these laws. It will also facilitate the publication of consolidated versions of acts by the Commonwealth and by private publishers of legislation.

People with a specific interest in the legislation can continue to access these acts as they will remain publically available on ComLaw as historical records.

The bill repeals, for example:

over 40 acts that amended numerous, different sales tax acts. Nine principal acts from the 1930s, titled the Sales Tax Act (No. 1) 1930 through to Sales Tax Act (No. 9) 1930, were each amended in 1970, 1975 and 1978, and these amending acts will be repealed as the principal acts became inoperative in 2006 following the introduction of the goods and services tax on 1 July 2000;

the Anglo-Australian Telescope Agreement Act 1971. This act amended the now repealed principal act of 1970 by updating the title of the Compensation Act which applied to Australian members of the Anglo-Australian Telescope Board. The board has since been dissolved and is now part of the Australian Astronomical Observatory in the Department of Industry; and

the Australian Federal Police (Consequential Amendments) Act 1979, which amended certain acts in connection with the enactment of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979. It replaced provisions referring to the 'Commonwealth Police Force' with the newly formed 'Australian Federal Police' in the Fisheries Act 1952 and National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975, and references to 'Commonwealth Police Officer or member' with 'member of the Australian Federal Police' in the Crimes Act 1914 and Commonwealth Prisoners Act 1967. These consequential amendments happened over 30 years ago and the amending act will be repealed.

There are numerous other items contained in schedule 1 of the bill which amend a principal act multiple times over the decade and are no longer necessary.

Amending acts enacted after 1979 will be repealed on future repeal days.

I commend this bill and the entire 2014 spring repeal day package to the chamber.

Debate adjourned.