House of Representatives

Statute Law Revision Bill 2013

Second Reading Speech

I move that this Bill be now read a second time.

Statute Law Revision Bills have been used for the last thirty years to improve the quality of Commonwealth legislation.

The Bills do not make substantive changes to law but still perform the important function of repairing minor errors in the Commonwealth statute books and improving the accuracy and useability of consolidated versions of Commonwealth Acts.

This continual process of statutory review complements the Government's commitment to creating clearer Commonwealth laws. There is no doubt that the review process undertaken in the preparation of this Bill serves to ensure the statute book contains less clutter, in the form of out-dated cross-references, and by repealing obsolete Acts.

Schedules 1, 2, 4 and 5 of the Bill achieve three main ends:

correcting minor and technical errors in Acts, such as grammatical errors and errors in numbering
correcting amendments or amending Acts which are erroneous, misdescribed or redundant, and
repealing obsolete amending provisions and Acts.

By removing or amending out-dated or unclear legislative provisions this Bill helps make the law clearer, more consistent and easier to access. The Bill also helps to facilitate the publication of consolidated versions of Acts by the Attorney-General's Department and by private publishers of legislation.

Schedule 3 to the Bill makes amendments relating to Acts of general application, updating language in a range of legislation to more closely reflect terminology now used in the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 and the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

The items in Part 1 of Schedule 3 to the Bill repeal provisions relating to acting appointments that are redundant as they are now covered by section 33AB and 33A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

These items also add notes referring to the general acting appointment rules in the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

The items in Part 2 of Schedule 3 to the Bill are about prescribing matters by reference to other instruments.

And the items in Part 3 of Schedule 3 amend various Acts to update the text of Acts that still refer to an instrument being a disallowable instrument.

I thank the Office of Parliamentary Counsel for the time and effort that went into preparing this Bill.