Senate

Regulatory Powers (Standardisation Reform) Bill 2016 (Extract Only)

Explanatory Memorandum

(Circulated by authority of the Attorney-General, Senator the Honourable George Brandis QC)

General Outline

1. This Bill makes amendments to 15 Commonwealth Acts in order to implement the Regulatory Powers Act (Standard Provisions) Act 2014 (the 'Regulatory Powers Act'). The Regulatory Powers Act provides for a standard suite of provisions in relation to monitoring and investigation powers, as well as enforcement provisions through the use of civil penalties, infringement notices, enforceable undertakings and injunctions.

2. The Regulatory Powers Act received Royal Assent on 21 July 2014 and commenced on 1 October 2014. The Regulatory Powers Act only has effect where Commonwealth Acts are drafted or amended to trigger its provisions.

3. The Bill amends the following Commonwealth Acts to repeal current provisions providing for regulatory regimes in those Acts, and instead trigger the standard provisions of the Regulatory Powers Act:

·
the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Act 2006 (the 'ASADA Act')
·
the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (the 'BEED Act')
·
the Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave) Administration Act 1992 (the 'Administration Act')
·
the Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave) Payroll Levy Collection Act 1992 (the 'Payroll Levy Collection Act')
·
the Defence Act 1903
·
the Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001
·
the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012 (the 'GEMS Act')
·
the Horse Disease Response Levy Collection Act 2011 (the 'Horse Disease Act')
·
the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 (the 'Illegal Logging Act')
·
the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 (the 'ICNA Act')
·
the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 (the 'PPL Act')
·
the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (the 'PPS Act')
·
the Privacy Act 1988
·
the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 (the 'TPP Act'), and
·
the Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act 1995 (the 'WMD Act').

4. Implementing the Regulating Powers Act will support the government's regulatory reform agenda as that Act intends to simplify and streamline Commonwealth regulatory powers across the statute book. This will provide regulatory agencies with the opportunity to use more uniform powers, and increase legal certainty for businesses and individuals who are subject to those powers.

5. The Bill also makes minor amendments to the Regulatory Powers Act to clarify the operation of certain provisions and remove unreasonable administrative burdens on agencies exercising regulatory powers under the Regulatory Powers Act. The amendments concern the ability to secure evidence of a contravention when exercising monitoring powers, the age of photographs for identity cards, the time period for the making of a civil penalty order and the cap on the amount to be stated in an infringement notice.

6. The Bill seeks to align the 15 Commonwealth Acts with the standard provisions of the Regulatory Powers Act. Accordingly, there are minor changes to those Acts. In most instances, the changes are minor, technical changes that modernise drafting terminology. In some circumstances, the changes result in a minor expansion to existing regulatory powers of those Acts. Where necessary, the Bill modifies the operation of the standard provisions of the Regulatory Powers Act to retain existing powers in those Acts.

Financial Impact

7. This Bill will have a nil or insignificant financial impact on government departments and agencies, as the amendments generally do not alter the effect of the law.


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