House of Representatives

Treasury Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code) Act (No. 1) Bill 2001

Second Reading Speech

Senator HEFFERNAN (New South Wales - Parliamentary Secretary to Cabinet)

I table a revised explanatory memorandum relating to the Treasury Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code) Bill 2001 and move:

That these bills be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speeches incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speeches read as follows-

TREASURY LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (APPLICATION OF CRIMINAL CODE) BILL 2000

The purpose of this bill is to make consequential amendments to certain offence provisions in legislation administered by the Treasurer to reflect the application of the Criminal Code Act 1995 to existing offence provisions from 15 December 2001.

The Treasury Legislation (Application of Criminal Code) Bill 2000 makes amendments to the Financial Sector Shareholdings Act 1998, Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975, Insurance Act 1973, Life Insurance Act 1995, Prices Surveillance Act 1983, Productivity Commission Act 1998, Retirement Savings Accounts Act 1997, Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 and aspects of the Trade Practices Act 1974 which do not require consultation with the States.

In addition, the Bill makes a number of amendments to the Corporations Law made necessary by changes in the Corporate Law Economic Reform Program Act 1999.

Further bills will be introduced to make consequential amendments to taxation laws, the Corporations Law, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 1989 and aspects of the Trade Practices Act 1974 which require consultation with the States.

This Bill provides for amendments which specify the physical elements of an offence and corresponding fault elements (where these fault elements vary from those specified by the Code) and specify whether an offence is one of strict or absolute liability. In the absence of such an amendment, offences previously interpreted as being one of strict or absolute liability would be interpreted as not being one of strict or absolute liability. In addition, any defences to an offence are being re-stated separately from the words of the offence. Use is being made of this opportunity to convert penalties expressed as dollar amounts to penalty units.

The Bill does not change the criminal law. Rather, it ensures that the current law is maintained following application of the Criminal Code Act to Commonwealth legislation.

I commend the Bill to the Senate.

Debate (on motion by Senator O'Brien) adjourned.

Ordered that the bills be listed on the Notice Paper as separate orders of the day.


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