Legislation Proposed for Introduction in the 2020 Autumn Sittings

GovernmentParliamentary Information
Wednesday, 05 February 2020
Publication author(s):
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Publication abstract:

Bills marked * are proposed for introduction and passage in the Autumn sittings.

AGRICULTURE, WATER AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Water Legislation Amendment (Inspector-General, Compliance and Other Measures) Bill *

  • establish a new statutory role of Inspector-General of Murray-Darling Basin Water Resources
  • implement compliance measures in response to the recommendations of the Murray‑Darling Basin Authority and Independent Panel’s Compliance Review report
  • make other minor amendments to the Water Act 2007

Reasons for legislation: to implement the Government’s commitments in relation to the management of the Murray-Darling Basin’s water resources

Fisheries Management Amendment (Penalty and Offence Provisions and Other Measures) Bill

  • amend the Fisheries Management Act 1991 to modernise the offence and penalty provisions by introducing a civil penalties regime and some new offences to improve existing legislation
  • make administrative amendments to improve the legislation, cease a redundant advisory council and cease a statutory review panel and transfer its function to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Reasons for legislation: to implement a Budget decision and improve the operation of existing legislation

Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management (Register) Bill

  • establish a cooperative scheme between the Commonwealth, States and Territories for managing the ongoing use and disposal of industrial chemicals in order to reduce the impact on the environment and limit the exposure of people to harmful chemicals

Reasons for legislation: to implement a COAG reform initiative

Link to announcement: Industrial Chemical Reforms

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill

  • implement recommendations of the review of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Program (the Program) to strengthen emission reduction provisions, improve administrative efficiency, bolster compliance and enforcement capability and align existing powers with the Regulatory Powers (Standard Provisions) Act 2014

Reasons for legislation: to implement recommendations of the review of the Program

Link to announcement: Government Statement - Improvements to the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Program to achieve emissions reductions and streamline its operation

ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S

Religious Discrimination Bill
Religious Discrimination (Consequential Amendments) Bill
Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Freedom of Religion) Bill

  • make it unlawful to discriminate against people on the grounds of their religious belief or activity (including lack of religious belief) and establish the statutory office of the Freedom of Religion Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission
  • amend existing Commonwealth legislation relating to freedom of religion, including amendments to marriage law, charities law and objects clauses in existing anti‑discrimination legislation

Reasons for legislation: to implement a 2019 election commitment

Link to announcement: Media release of 10 December 2019; Media release of 29 August 2019; Media release of 13 December 2018

EDUCATION, SKILLS AND EMPLOYMENT

Higher Education Support Amendment (Freedom of Speech) Bill *

  • protect freedom of speech and academic freedom in Australian higher education

Reasons for legislation: to implement a recommendation from the Report of the Independent Review of Freedom of Speech in Australian Higher Education Providers (the French Review)

Link to announcement: Media release of 6 April 2019

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (Charges) Bill *
Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Amendment (Cost Recovery) Bill *

  • establish capacity for a new annual levy for registered higher education providers to recover all of the costs of TEQSA’s sector risk monitoring and sector oversight activities

Reasons for legislation: to implement a 2018-19 Budget measure

Link to announcement: 2018-19 Budget Paper No. 2, page 95

Australian National University Bill
Australian National University (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill

  • give effect to recommendations of the Review of the Australian National University (ANU) Act 1991 and the governance arrangements of the ANU (the Walker Review) that will renew the ANU's legislative framework to ensure that its governance arrangements are fit for purpose, provide a level of flexibility for the ANU to manage its operations in the evolving higher education policy environment, and maintain and enhance the ANU's status as a leading university into the future

Reasons for legislation: to give effect to recommendations included in the Walker Review

Link to announcement: Media release of 24 June 2015

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Amendment (Provider Category Standards) Bill

  • amend the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 to implement measures consistent with the Government’s acceptance of all ten recommendations of the Review of the Higher Education Provider Category Standards

Reasons for legislation: to implement recommendations from the Review of Higher Education Provider Category Standards and to update and improve the operation of existing legislation

Link to announcement: Media release of 10 December 2019

FINANCE

Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2019-2020 *
Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2019-2020 *
Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 2) 2019‑2020 *

  • propose additional appropriations for expenditure on: the ordinary annual services of the Government; other than the ordinary annual services of the Government (for matters such as capital works and services, payments to States, Territories and Local Government Authorities, and equity injections); and the services of the Parliamentary Departments

Reasons for legislation: to request legislative authority for additional appropriations to fund expenditure to be incurred in 2019-2020

Electoral Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Amendment) Bill *

  • make a series of technical amendments to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 in response to recent electoral and legal events

Reasons for legislation: to update and improve the operation of existing legislation

HEALTH

Aged Care Amendment (Improved Home Care Payment Administration) Bill *

  • amend the Aged Care Act 1997 and Aged Care (Transitional Provisions) Act 1997 to improve the administration of home care subsidy payments

Reasons for legislation: to implement a 2018-19 MYEFO measure

Link to announcement: 2019-20 Budget Paper No. 2, page 102

Narcotic Drugs Amendment Bill

  • implement the recommendations of the Review of the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967. The amendments will reduce the regulatory burden on industry, promote the growth of the domestic medicinal cannabis industry and allow greater flexibility in the administration of the legislation to support industry innovation and development

Reasons for legislation: to implement the recommendations in the Report on the Review of the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967

Link to announcement: Media release of 2 August 2019; Report on the Review of the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 (5 September 2019)

HOME AFFAIRS

Australian Crime Commission Amendment Bill

  • implement recommendations for amendments to the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 made by Mr Phillip Moss as part of his 2015 review of the Act. This includes streamlining certain provisions, inserting a revised information disclosure regime and consolidating and clarifying certain powers and obligations of ACIC officers to enable the ACIC to perform its statutory functions

Reasons for legislation: to update and improve the operation of existing legislation as recommended by the Moss Review

Commonwealth Workplace Protection Orders Bill

  • establish a scheme whereby the Commonwealth, through a department or agency, can seek workplace protection orders as one of the options available to it in dealing with acts of aggression against staff and other customers

Reasons for legislation: to help address conduct interfering with the Government providing benefits/services or affecting the work health safety of staff or people accessing those services

Crimes Legislation Amendment (Economic Disruption) Bill

  • ensure that authorities will be better able to recover the proceeds of crime, adequately sentence people for laundering money and more efficiently seek information from financial institutions about significant crimes

Reasons for legislation: to improve the Commonwealth’s ability to disrupt the transnational, serious and organised crime business model

Migration Amendment (Clarification of Jurisdiction) Bill

  • amend the Migration Act 1958 and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 to clarify the allocation of jurisdiction between the Federal Court and the Federal Circuit Court in relation to migration decisions

Reasons for legislation: to clarify the allocation of jurisdiction between the Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court (in keeping with the original legislative intention) in respect of migration decisions

Migration Amendment (Offshore Resources Activity) Repeal Bill

  • repeal the amendments made by the Migration Amendment (Offshore Resources Activity) Act 2013

Reasons for legislation: to update and improve the operation of existing legislation

Modernising and Strengthening Customs Licensing Bill

  • enable electronic lodgement of customs licence applications and renewals

  • increase efficiency and compliance and reduce administrative burden

Reasons for legislation: to update and improve the operation of existing legislation, aligning with modernisation and deregulation agendas

INDUSTRY, SCIENCE, ENERGY AND RESOURCES

Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Grid Reliability Fund) Amendment Bill

  • amend the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012 to enable the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to establish and administer the $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund (GRF) to support a low-emissions energy, including the establishment of a new GRF Special Account

Reasons for legislation: to establish a Grid Reliability Fund to support Government investment in new energy generation, storage and transmission infrastructure

Link to announcement: Media release of 30 October 2019 and Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2019-20 - December 2019

Offshore Clean Energy Infrastructure Bill

  • create a framework to facilitate and regulate the development of offshore clean energy infrastructure (including generation and transmission assets)

Reasons for legislation: to enable offshore clean energy infrastructure projects to be undertaken and provide certainty and protection for industry and other maritime stakeholders

Payment Times Reporting Framework Bill

  • establish a payment times reporting framework. Large businesses (with an annual turnover greater than $100m) would be required to report their small business payment terms, times and practices with this information being publicly available on a central register

Reasons for legislation: to implement a 2019-20 MYEFO measure

Link to announcement: Media release of 21 November 2018

INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Legislation Amendment (Fair and Balanced) Bill

  • provide for fairness and balance in the ABC’s news and information reporting

Reasons for legislation: to update and improve the operation of existing legislation

Link to announcement: Media release of 18 October 2017

Australian Postal Corporation Amendment Bill

  • amend the Australian Postal Corporations Act 1989 to enhance and streamline security arrangements for screening and processing international mail

Reasons for legislation: to update and improve the operation of existing legislation to protect the integrity and security of Australia’s international mail gateways

Aviation Liability and Insurance Amendment Bill

  • implement an improved framework for domestic aviation passenger liability and insurance, including updates to insurance requirements and assorted technical amendments

Reasons for legislation: to improve and modernise liability arrangements for civil aviation

Link to announcement: Civil Aviation (Carriers’ Liability) Review

Broadcasting Services Amendment (Captioning) Bill

  • implement red-tape reduction in the subscription television captioning scheme arising from captioning consultations

Reasons for legislation: to update and improve the operation of existing legislation

Broadcasting Services Amendment (Regional Commercial Radio and Television) Bill

  • increase flexibility and reduce regulatory burden in relation to local content obligations for regional commercial radio and television broadcasters

Reasons for legislation: to update and improve the operation of existing legislation

National Broadcasters Legislation Amendment (Enhanced Transparency) Bill

  • amend the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983 and the Special Broadcasting Service Act 1991 to ensure transparency of employees’ salaries (including on-air talent) of equal to, or in excess of, $200,000 per annum

Reasons for legislation: to update and improve the operation of existing legislation

Link to announcement: Media release of 18 October 2017

Public and Educational Lending Right Amendment Bill

  • harmonise the administration of the Public and Educational Lending Right (PLR and ELR) schemes; create a legislative basis and make provision for subordinate legislation to administer the ELR program; modernise the current legislation (Public Lending Right Act 1985) to better adapt to modern and future practices; and streamline governance arrangements in relation to the PLR Committee

Reasons for legislation: to modernise the operation of existing legislation

Radiocommunications Amendment Bill

  • amend the Radiocommunications Act 1992 to provide for an efficient and flexible spectrum management framework, including modernised objects for the legislation, transparent and timely allocation, reallocation and re-issue processes, streamlined equipment regulation, graduated and proportionate enforcement mechanisms for breaches of the legislative framework and required transitional arrangements

Reasons for legislation: to improve a regulatory framework by amending existing legislation

Territories Legislation Amendment Bill

  • extend selected Commonwealth laws to Norfolk Island and the other external territories to better align their legal frameworks with the rest of Australia

Reasons for legislation: to bring service delivery and regulatory frameworks in the external territories into line with the rest of Australia

SOCIAL SERVICES

Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Flexibility Arrangements) Bill *

  • introduce flexibility when taking Parental Leave Pay

Reasons for legislation: to implement a 2018-19 MYEFO decision

Link to announcement: Greater Choice for Australian Women – Women’s Economic Security Statement 2018

Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Simplified Income Reporting and Other Measures) Bill *

  • make reporting employment income easier for income recipients by assessing gross income when it is paid by an employer, rather than when it is taken to have been earned. Additionally, assessing employment income when paid will facilitate the use of Single Touch Payroll data for income-reporting purposes

Reasons for legislation: to implement a 2019-20 Budget measure

Link to announcement: Media release of 2 April 2019, Changing the Social Security Income Assessment Model, 2 April 2019

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Automatic Rent Deduction Scheme) Bill

  • set the framework for introducing an Automatic Rent Deduction Scheme to enable tenancy charges and other housing costs (utilities) to be deducted from social security payments, payments made under the ABSTUDY scheme and Family Tax Benefit for occupants living in social housing (public and community housing)

Reasons for legislation: to implement a 2016-17 Budget measure

Link to announcement: Media release of 19 October 2016

TREASURY

Treasury Laws Amendment (2020 Measures No. 1) Bill *

  • increase permissible subscription to new capital with the World Bank Group

Reasons for legislation: to implement a 2018-19 MYEFO measure
Link to announcement: Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2018-19 - December 2018
Treasury Laws Amendment (Deductible Gift Recipients) Bill

  • introduce a new deductible gift recipient general category for Men’s Sheds and Women’s Sheds and functionally identical organisations

Reasons for legislation: to implement a 2019-20 Budget measure
Link to announcement: Media release of 24 March 2019
Treasury Laws Amendment (Single Touch Payroll) Bill

  • amend single touch payroll regime to expand the information set to be collected

Reasons for legislation: to implement a 2019-20 Budget measure
Link to announcement: 2019-20 Budget Paper No. 2, Part 2: Expense Measures, page 42

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