House of Representatives

Acts and Instruments (Framework Reform) (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2015

Second Reading Speech

Mr Keenan (Minister for Justice and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Counter-Terrorism)

That this bill be now read a second time.

I am pleased to introduce the Acts and Instruments (Framework Reform) (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2015 into the parliament.

The bill makes amendments to various Commonwealth acts which are consequential to the Acts and Instruments (Framework Reform) Act 2015. That act received royal assent on 5 March 2015 and will commence on 5 March 2016 or earlier by proclamation.

When the act commences, it will align the requirements for registration and publication of acts and instruments into a single legislative scheme. This is achieved by significant reforms to the Legislative Instruments Act and the repeal of the Acts Publication Act 1905. The consolidated scheme will be provided by the Legislation Act 2003, as the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 will be renamed.

Further, the Acts and Instruments (Framework Reform) Act also amends the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, including clarifying and expanding provisions dealing with machinery of government changes and other amendments to support those made to the Legislative Instruments Act.

The reforms made by the Acts and Instruments (Framework Reform) Act will improve the operation and clarity of the legislative framework for Commonwealth instruments and acts.

This bill supports the implementation of these reforms by making consequential amendments such as updating references to the Legislative Instruments Act, and provisions which deal with the application of that act, to reflect the amendments made.

The bill also removes references to certain exemptions from sunsetting and disallowance for legislative instruments from various enabling acts. The exemptions will be added to an updated Legislative Instruments Regulation 2004 prior to commencement of the Acts and Instruments (Framework Reform) Act, where this is necessary to preserve their legal effect. These amendments will enhance the accessibility and clarity of Commonwealth laws, by ensuring that consolidated lists of exemptions are easily accessible in the updated regulation.

This bill also:

·
makes minor amendments to the Legislation Act and the Acts Interpretation Act, as amended by the Acts and Instruments (Framework Reform) Act, to clarify the application of their requirements to administrative forms;
·
makes minor amendments to the definition of a legislative instrument in the relevant Act to clarify the status of court rules of states and territories;
·
makes minor amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 to clarify that provisions of the Family Law Act which set out the application of the Legislative Instruments Act to rules of the Family Court apply to those rules whether they are made under the Family Law Act or another act; and
·
makes other minor consequential amendments to Commonwealth Acts, repeals several spent provisions, and makes minor technical corrections to the Legislation Act.

The Acts and Instruments (Framework Reform) (Consequential Provisions) Bill supports reforms made by the Acts and Instruments (Framework Reform) Act to create administrative efficiencies, reduce 'beige tape' and promote access to justice.

I commend this bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.