Second Reading SpeechMr Dutton (Minister for Immigration and Border Protection)
That this bill be now read a second time.
On behalf of the minister, I introduce into parliament a bill that will ensure that relevant Commonwealth law will continue to be applied to the Australian Capital Territory.
The bill will also-in the spirit of red tape reduction-simplify the legislative framework and reduce the amount of legislation users need to consult.
The Statute Update (A.C.T. Self-Government (Consequential Provisions) Regulations) Bill 2016, which I am introducing today, will provide for relevant Commonwealth legislation to more clearly apply to the ACT.
As it currently stands, text of applicable Commonwealth law relies on the ACT Self-Government (Consequential Provisions) Regulations (the Regulations).
While the text of some Commonwealth law does not refer to the ACT, a court currently reads that it does because the regulations make modifications to a number of acts to ensure they are interpreted as applying to the ACT.
This bill will repeal certain provisions of the regulations and modify legislation to remove the complexity associated with the use of the regulations, simplifying the legislative framework and making it easier for users to interpret and apply the legislation.
The risk of continuing to rely on the regulations-which are due to sunset in 2018-are that users of legislation may only consider the acts, and omit the regulation's function to include the ACT.
Given the impending sunsetting of the regulations in 2018, this bill will make sure the acts continue to apply to the ACT.
If the regulations sunset, and the bill is not passed, the legislation will no longer apply to the ACT.
The function and application of the law itself will not change.
The bill will simply change the text of the applicable Commonwealth law to make clear their application to the ACT.
The bill will ensure that Commonwealth acts continue to operate in the ACT and result in administrative clarity and efficiency.
I ask on behalf of the government that both Houses show bipartisan support for the bill and its non-controversial measures.
On behalf of the minister, I thank the Office of Parliamentary Counsel and others for the time and effort that went into preparing the bill.
With this, I commend the Statute Update (A.C.T. Self-Government (Consequential Provisions) Regulations) Bill 2016.