It’s quite well known (I think) that Australian parliaments hibernate in Winter. Parliamentary chambers across the country are pin-drop quiet, as MPs and ministers enjoy a mid-year break in their offices and electorates.
But a lack of law-makers doesn’t mean a lack of legislative activity. Indeed, June and July usually lead into one of the busiest legislation periods of the year.
In June and July, 4818 pages of legislative amendments were consolidated within Thomson Reuters’ Analytical and Tax legislation products on Westlaw AU, CheckPoint, ProView, looseleaf services and print books. With forward planning and daily tracking by our local Legislation Team, these amendments were published online ahead of the free and government websites.
Check out these statistics from the recent spike:
- 130 Acts with notification/assent dates in June and July, including 58 for the Commonwealth.
- 670 pieces of Subordinate Legislation with registration/gazettal/publication dates in June and July, including 48 for the Commonwealth.
- 572 legislation titles with a commencement date of 1 July 2014, including 46 new principal Acts, such as the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Cth), Victoria Police Act 2013 (Vic), Mental Health Act 2013 (Vic), and Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014 (NSW) and (Vic).
Some substantial amendments from the recent June/July period included:
- The Clean Energy (Carbon Tax Repeal) Act 2014 (Cth) (No 83) made substantial amendments to 24 principal Acts to repeal the Gillard government’s carbon tax.
- The Tax Laws Amendment (Implementation of the FATCA Agreement) Act 2014 (Cth) (No 67) amended the Taxation Administration Act 1953 to require provision of information to the US Internal Revenue Service for anti-tax evasion purposes.
- The Temporary Budget Repair Levy package of 14 amending Acts, such as the Tax Laws Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Act 2014 (Cth) (No 48), amended 14 principal Acts to implement the Abbott government’s 2% levy for 2014-2015 until 2016-2017 for taxpayers with taxable income above $180,000.
- The Victoria Police Amendment (Consequential and Other Matters) Act 2014 (Vic) (No 37) amended a large number of Acts to facilitate commencement and operation of the Victoria Police Act 2013, replacing the Police Regulation Act 1958.
New South Wales
- The State Revenue and Other Legislation Amendment (Budget Measures) Act 2014 (NSW) (No 37) made miscellaneous amendments to State revenue and other legislation to give effect to NSW budget measures for 2014-2015.
- The Public Guardian Act 2014 (Qld) (No 26) amended a range of legislation to establish the new Public Guardian as an independent statutory body and transfer child guardian functions to that office.
- Fee increases took effect across all Australian jurisdictions, resulting in hundreds of small changes to Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation.
By Laura Stefani, Obelia Modjeska, David Graham and Paul Godwin