STATUTE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) BILL (No. 2)
The Hon. J. P. HANNAFORD (Attorney General, and Minister for Industrial Relations) [6.1]: I move:
I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.
That this bill be now read a second time.
This is the 18th bill in the now well established statute law revision program that commenced in 1984. Since that time, all members have recognised the value of the statute law revision program as an efficient and economical means of dealing with amendments of the kind included in the Bill.
The Bill deals with 3 main subject matters. These are minor policy amendments of a non-controversial nature, amendments by way of statute law revision and the repeal of Acts.
In format, the Bill follows the pattern set by its predecessors. Schedule 1 to the Bill contains the minor, non-controversial policy changes that the Minister responsible for the legislation to be amended considers to be too inconsequential to warrant the introduction of a separate amending Bill. These amendments include:
Amendments to provisions dealing with the disclosure of information and publication of records under a number of revenue laws including the Land Tax Management Act 1956, the Pay-roll Tax Act 1971 and the Stamp Duties Act 1920. The amendments clarify, firstly, the entitlement of the Attorney General to have access to information and records obtained in the administration of those Acts in the exercise of the Attorney General's functions and, secondly, the entitlement of the relevant chief commissioners under the legislation involved to disclose or publish material obtained under that legislation in an aggregated, statistical or similar form that does not identify the affairs of specific persons;
Amendments to various environment protection laws to make it clear that these Acts bind the Crown in all its capacities - that is, they not only bind the Crown in its capacity as the Government of New South Wales but, also, so far as it is possible for this Parliament to impose obligations on the Crown in its other capacities, they bind the Crown in those other capacities (for example, as the Commonwealth Government);
Amendments to courts' legislation (that is, the Supreme Court Act 1970, the District Court Act 1973 and the Local Courts (Civil Claims) Act 1970) that replace the formula to be used in determining what amount may be deducted from the wage or salary of a judgment debtor to enforce payment of a judgment debt by a garnishment notice or garnishee order;
Amendments to the Interpretation Act 1987 that make it clear that, if a Bill for an Act is introduced by a private member of Parliament rather than by a Minister, regard may be had, as an aid to interpretation of the Act, to the same kinds of extrinsic material that may be used when the Bill for an Act is introduced by a Minister.
Schedule 2 contains the amendments by way of statute law revision. These amendments include minor technical legislative changes that the Parliamentary Counsel has identified as appropriate for inclusion in the bill. The amendments cover, for example, changes relating to the correct description of various persons or bodies, other minor corrections, changes relating to consistency with modern style and the adoption of gender neutral language. Also included are a number of amendments that are consequential on the enactment of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991.
Schedule 3 contains repeals of obsolete principal Acts and repeals of amending Acts that are no longer necessary because the amendments have been incorporated in reprints of the relevant principal Acts or because the principal Act amended has itself been repealed or because they contain only spent or superseded transitional provisions or savings and validation provisions. Principal Acts that are repealed by the Bill now before the House include 26 general loan account appropriation Acts covering the period from 1954 to 1981, (general loan appropriations having been discontinued with the 1981-82 budget) and various appropriation, parliamentary committees enabling and supply Acts which operated for limited periods that have now expired.
Schedule 4 to the Bill contains savings and transitional provisions and includes a power to make regulations relating to transitional matters, if necessary.
The various amendments are explained in detail in explanatory notes set out beneath the amendments to each of the Acts concerned. There appears to be little point in my repeating here the information that is set out in those explanatory notes. Instead, I propose to continue a practice that has developed, and that appears to have functioned satisfactorily, with the more recent statute law bills. That practice is to invite honourable members who may have queries concerning any of the matters referred to in the bill to approach my office for assistance. If necessary, I will arrange for government officers to be made available to assist in clarification of the issues raised.
I commend the bill.
The Hon. R. D. DYER [6.1]: The Opposition supports and has absolutely no objection to the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (No. 2). This measure follows what has become the regular pattern of miscellaneous provisions bills being placed before the House containing matters of a relatively minor nature, thereby obviating the need to have a separate measure in order to merely effect fairly minor amendments to various statutes. Schedule 1 to the bill makes minor amendments to the Acts enumerated in that schedule. Schedule 2 makes various amendments by way of statute law revision and schedule 3 contains repeals of various Acts. There is no need to say very much on behalf of the Opposition regarding this measure other than that all affected shadow ministers have perused the bill and take no exception to anything whatever contained in this measure.
Motion agreed to.
Bill read a second time and passed through remaining stages.
Should it be considered by honourable members, after examination of the proposed amendments, that a particular matter should not proceed by way of the statute law revision program or that the issues raised concerning the amendment have not been satisfactorily resolved, the Government may agree to defer the amendment so that the Bill may proceed without controversy.