House of Representatives

Statute Law Revision Bill (No. 2) 2014

Second Reading Speech

Mr Frydenberg (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister)

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Statute Law Revision Bill (No. 2) 2014 is the third bill in the government's 2014 spring repeal day package.

The bill continues the work of the Statute Law Revision Bill (No. 1) 2014, which was part of the 2014 autumn repeal day, correcting minor errors in the statute book and repealing spent or redundant legislation. The bill:

removes provisions that are obsolete or no longer have effect;
corrects outdated terminology and removes gender-specific language; and
improves the useability of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 by consolidating and better signposting the act's definitions.

By improving the useability and the accuracy of legislation, the bill will save individuals, businesses and community organisations time and money, and has a compliance cost saving of $420,000.

Schedules 1 and 2 to the bill have two main purposes:

correcting minor technical errors in principal acts, such as typographical and numbering errors; and
correcting errors in amending acts, such as misdescribed amendments.
Correcting these legislative provisions helps make the law easier to understand and use.

Schedule 3 to the bill updates outdated language in a number of acts in two respects, by:

replacing the word 'servant' with 'employee'; and
removing gender-specific language.

These changes improve the relevance and inclusiveness of Commonwealth legislation.

Schedule 4 to the bill improves the way that defined terms are managed in the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986. These changes mean that users can refer to one main provision to find a definition that applies throughout the act, or the definition's location elsewhere in the act, rather than needing to peruse over 25 definitions sections. Schedule 4 also makes minor technical amendments to improve the usability of the act.

Schedules 5 and 6 of the bill repeals spent or obsolete provisions and acts. For example:

the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, which set annual captioning requirements for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 financial years for commercial television broadcasting licensees and national broadcasters. As those financial years have ended, the provisions that set the targets can now be removed from the statute book. I thank the Minister for Communications, who is in the House, for his hard work in seeking a number of measures across his portfolio.
the Immigration (Education) Charge Act 1992, which imposed an English education charge on non-citizens whose applications for stay visas were maintained between 1993 and 1997. As those non-citizens will have completed their tuition by now, the act can be repealed.

This work to correct minor errors in the statute book and repealing spent or redundant legislation will continue in further repeal days.

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

Debate adjourned.