Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (16 May) . . Page.. 1734 ..
Legal Affairs-Standing Committee
Scrutiny Report No 12 of 2002
MR STEFANIAK (4.04): Mr Speaker, I present the following report:
Legal Affairs-Standing Committee (performing the duties of a Scrutiny of Bills and Subordinate Legislation Committee)-Scrutiny Report No 12, dated 16 May 2002, together with a copy of the relevant extracts of the minutes of proceedings and the original minutes of meetings Nos 11, 12 and 13.
I seek leave to move a motion authorising the publication of Scrutiny Report No 12.
MR STEFANIAK: I move:
That the report be authorised for publication.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
MR STEFANIAK: I seek leave to make a brief statement.
MR STEFANIAK: Scrutiny Report No 12 contains the committee's comments on one bill, nine pieces of subordinate legislation and one government response. In this report the committee has commented further on the government response received from the Minister for Health in relation to the Gene Technology Bill 2002. The committee has restated its position concerning the levying of a tax. The committee's position is that it is for parliament to set a tax rate and not for the makers of subordinate legislation to do so. The committee quotes the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills. In June 1997 that committee said that "the vice to be avoided is taxation by non-primary legislation".
The Legal Affairs Committee also makes reference to case law, and quotes the following declaration in the Bill of Rights of 1689:
... levying of money for or to the use of the crown by pretence of prerogative without grant of parliament, or for longer time or in other manner then the same is or shall be granted, is illegal ...
The report also makes reference to the issue of whether bills are within the constitutional power of the Assembly.
Can I also point out that the committee has not yet commented on the Statute Law Amendment Bill 2002. It will do so in its next report. I commend the report to the Assembly.