House of Representatives

Statute Law Revision Bill (No. 2) 2015

Second Reading Speech

Mr Porter (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister)

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Statute Law Revision Bill (No. 2) 2015 is part of the government's 2015 autumn repeal day package. The bill continues the work of repealing spent or redundant legislation and correcting minor errors in the Commonwealth statute book. By removing obsolete provisions and correcting outdated terminology, the bill makes improvements to the acts it amends without making substantive changes to the law. The bill improves accuracy and useability of Commonwealth legislation, thereby reducing the burden of regulatory compliance for individuals and businesses.

Schedules 1 and 2 to the bill correct technical errors, remove redundant text and renumber text within principal acts, as well as amending acts and regulations. Correcting these legislative provisions helps to make the law easier to understand and use.

Schedule 3 to the bill makes amendments to make clear, on the face of Commonwealth acts, that the Crown in right of the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory is bound by those acts. It also modernises the form of associated provisions about whether the Crown is liable to be prosecuted for an offence. These changes clarify the intended operation of Commonwealth legislation.

Schedule 4 to the bill updates indexation provisions by replacing the term 'reference base' with the term 'index preference period'. This is in accordance with current terminology preferences of the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The schedule also removes gender specific language. These changes improve the relevance and inclusiveness of the provisions amended.

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

The Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 contains references to the Australian Honey Board, Australian Meat and Live-stock Corporation, Australian Wheat Board and Australian Wool Corporation. As these bodies have ceased, references to them are redundant and can be repealed.

The G20 (Safety and Security) Complementary Act 2014 provides it ceases to have effect at the end of 18 November 2014, at the latest. As that date has now passed, this act is spent and can be removed from the statute book.

This work will continue in future repeal days.

I commend the bill to the House.