Page 3546 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 25 August 2009

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may have to extend it beyond that sector. That is a matter that we would have considerable concern about. But as it stands, we will be supporting this amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability and Housing, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Corrections) (11.20): Before I move the next amendments, I table the supplementary explanatory statement to the government’s amendments. I seek leave to move amendments Nos 1 and 3 to 11 circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.

MR HARGREAVES: I move amendments Nos 1 and 3 to 11 circulated in my name together [see schedule 1 at page 3635].

Following the tabling of the Long Service Leave (Portable Schemes) Bill 2009 on 25 June 2009, a small number of amendments to enhance or clarify some provisions have been identified, including those arising from comments from the scrutiny of bills committee, and I express formally my appreciation for that. These adjustments do not change the policy or intent of any of the provisions but merely ensure that, after such a major piece of drafting, nothing has been lost in the repackaging of the legislation.

In scrutiny of bills report No 10, released on 10 August 2009, the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety commented generally on clause 2 dealing with the commencement of the bill. Specifically, the committee questioned whether in this instance it is an appropriate delegation of legislative power to have the minister fix a written notice for the date of the commencement of the act.

The bill was drafted in this manner as a contingency to cover any possible delays in the authority’s readiness to implement the new provisions. Since the completion of drafting, it has been confirmed that all administrative arrangements will be ready for a 1 January 2010 launch. As a consequence, this amendment provides for a commencement date of 1 January 2010.

Amendment No 3 to clause 43(3)(b) addresses a comment by the scrutiny of bills and subordinate legislation committee regarding an incorrect cross-reference. It is just machinery. Amendments Nos 4 to 7 relate to clauses 54(1) and (2) and clauses 55(1) and (2).

Another comment by the scrutiny of bills committee refers to clause 54 of the bill dealing with the quarterly returns by contractors. Currently clauses 54 and 55 dealing with the payment of levies by contractors attract a penalty for non-compliance and are strict liability offences. The committee questioned whether there should be a penalty in these instances. The government acknowledges that, as registration and the requirement to lodge returns and pay levies is voluntary for contractors, penalties should not be imposed under these clauses. The government amendments now reflect this position, and I thank the committee for pointing that out.

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