I am pleased to introduce the Legislation Interpretation Bill 2021, which will repeal and replace the Acts Interpretation Act 1915. The Acts Interpretation Act was first enacted over 100 years ago. It sets out the rules for interpreting acts of parliament and legislative instruments, as well as the rules around the operation and effect of legislation and legislative instruments. I know everyone is riveted to learn about the contents of this bill, but I seek leave to have the balance of the second reading and the explanation of clauses inserted in Hansard without my reading them.
Mr Speaker, I am pleased to introduce the Legislation Interpretation Bill 2021, which will repeal and replace the Acts Interpretation Act 1915.
The Acts Interpretation Act was first enacted over 100 years ago. It sets out the rules for interpreting Acts of Parliament and legislative instruments, as well as the rules around the operation and effect of legislation and legislative instruments.
It contains a dictionary that applies to the entire statute book and rules about service and penalties that also apply across the board.
Over the years, the Act has been amended many times in a piecemeal way.
As part of a review of the Acts Interpretation Act, the Office of Parliamentary Counsel identified anomalies, provisions that required updating, and opportunities for harmonisation with interpretation Acts of other jurisdictions.
In general terms, the Bill:
improves the order and layout of the provisions to make them easier to find and use;
moves some provisions to other, more appropriate, legislation;
adds new provisions to reflect developments in statutory law and society; and
uses consistent language.
Mr Speaker, the explanation of clauses prepared by Parliamentary Counsel for this Bill is much more detailed than usual practice. This will ensure the intention behind any of the changes is very clear. This will assist in the future interpretation of this Bill.
The explanation of clauses identifies those clauses of the Bill that are a direct transfer from the Acts Interpretation Act into the Bill, and those clauses of the Bill where changes of substance are being made. I will not go through each clause of the Bill in this speech. However, I will briefly mention notable changes.
Clause 18 provides that everything forms part of the Act or legislative instrument except editorial notes, legislative history and appendices that are for reference only. This is different from the Acts Interpretation Act, which provides that section headings, notes and lists of content do not form part of an Act.
This change is the most significant change proposed by the Bill. To mitigate any risk that may arise as a result of the change, a savings provision has been added.
The provision will allow section headings to be amended once administratively. The amendment would be undertaken by, or under the supervision of, the Commissioner for Legislation Revision and Publication. This is to ensure any errors in headings that had been inserted administratively can be corrected without having to undertake legislative amendments.
Clause 22 includes a new provision to determine whether Acts passed, or instruments made, on or before 20 June 1990 (and amendments to such Acts and instruments) bind the Crown.
The new provision reflects the common law as it stood prior to the High Court’s decision in Bropho v State of Western Australia, adopting a strict and narrow test that needs to be met before an Act or instrument will bind the Crown.
I note that the Bill was amended in the Other Place and a new clause 15A was inserted.
The new clause codifies the use of extrinsic materials in the interpretation of legislation, and is closely based on the provision contained in the Commonwealth’s Acts Interpretation Act 1901. The Government supported this amendment in the Other Place and was happy to do so.
Part 9 of the Bill updates the schedule of divisional penalties to reflect the current scale used for penalties that have a monetary value. There are still a number of older Acts that use divisional penalties rather than a monetary amount, and this change reflects the current scale that is used.
Clause 39 is a new provision that will allow certain meetings to be held remotely. I would like to indicate to members that there will a Government amendment moved during the Committee stage in relation to this clause. The amendment is consequential to the passage of the Statutes Amendment (COVID-19 Permanent Measures) Act 2021.
In addition to allowing meetings to be held remotely, the Bill also amends the definition of ‘Gazette’ to allow the Government Gazette to be published electronically. These two amendments reflect changes in society to an increased reliance on digital and electronic means of undertaking work.
Part 7 of the Bill contains the provisions relating to the calculation of time periods. These have been updated and set out in a different format to improve their useability.
It is important to emphasise there is absolutely no intention for the Bill to override the provisions of other Acts or instruments where there is a contrary intention, and there has been no change from the current Act in that regard.
The new Legislation Interpretation Act will sit on the Statutes Book adjacent to the Legislation Revision and Publication Act 2002 and the Legislative Instruments Act 1978, which was formerly known as the Subordinate Legislation Act 1978.
Accordingly, all of the Acts used to guide the interpretation, operation and making of legislation and subordinate legislation will sit together on the Statues Book.
In closing, I would like to acknowledge the significant contribution of the Office of Parliamentary Counsel to the development of this Bill. They are, of course, involved in the development of every Bill. However, the nature of the work they do has meant that they are uniquely placed to contribute to the development of this Bill, and I thank them for their efforts.
Mr Speaker, I commend the Bill to the House and seek to insert the explanation of clauses into Hansard without my reading it.
Explanation of Clauses
The title of the measure reflects the fact that it applies to all legislative instruments as well as to Acts (so it refers to the general term ‘Legislation’ rather than the specific term ‘Acts’). The measure will standardise the language used across the Acts that relate to the making of legislation or that have interpretative provisions of general application to legislation, so they will all refer to subordinate instruments consistently as ‘legislative instruments’ and they will all have titles commencing with the word ‘Legislation’ or ‘Legislative’. This means they will all be grouped together for indexing purposes and will appear in sequence on the legislation website. Currently these Acts are the Acts Interpretation Act 1915 (now to be the Legislation Interpretation Act 2021), the Legislation (Fees) Act 2019, the Legislation Revision and Publication Act 2002 and the Subordinate Legislation Act 1978 (now to be the Legislative Instruments Act 1978).
This clause is formal.
3—Application of Act
The measure applies to all Acts and legislative instruments whenever made but (like the current Acts Interpretation Act) is liable to be displaced by a contrary intention.
Part 2—Definitions and rules about the meaning of words
This clause sets out standard definitions for Acts and statutory instruments. It includes (and updates where necessary) the existing standard definitions currently in section 4 of the Acts Interpretation Act and adds new definitions of amend, appoint, Australia, business day, calendar month, calendar year, certified mail, confer, contravene, council or local council, Crown, day, District Court, DPP, entity, external territory, foreign country, function, individual, internal territory, Jervis Bay Territory, legislative instrument, Magistrates Court, make, motor vehicle, Northern Territory, office, repeal, SAPOL, SACAT, SAET, year and Youth Court. The inclusive definition of ‘record’ is now located in clause 8 of the measure along with other provisions relating to digital material.
Some of these definitions are being added because they appear (in one form or another) in multiple Acts across the statute book and having them in the Legislation Interpretation Act will avoid unnecessary repetition. Examples of this would be the definitions of contravene, council or local council, District Court, DPP, function, Magistrates Court, motor vehicle, SAPOL, SACAT, SAET and Youth Court.
Other terms that are used fairly frequently but currently are not usually defined (and therefore have their ordinary meaning or the meaning necessary in the context in which they are used) are now being defined in order to provide readers with greater clarity. Examples of this are appoint, certified mail, confer, Crown, make and office.
Certain other definitions (Australia, external territory, foreign country, internal territory, Jervis Bay Territory and Northern Territory) are included to ensure that we are defining geographical areas consistently with the Commonwealth definitions.
The definitions of amend, repeal and legislative instrument are included with the aim of standardising some of the language we use in relation to legislation. Currently we refer to ‘amending’ or ‘repealing’ Acts but for legislative instruments we refer to ‘varying’ or ‘revoking’ them. This difference in terminology serves no purpose and so the intent in future is to just refer to ‘amending’ and ‘repealing’ both Acts and legislative instruments. It is also intended to use the term ‘legislative instrument’ to refer to all forms of instruments of a legislative character made under Acts (which currently can be referred to by various terms such as subordinate legislation, delegated legislation, statutory instruments and so on).
The definitions of entity and individual are also being added with the aim of adopting them as standard terms in legislation. ‘Individual’ will mean a natural person. ‘Person’ will be defined in the same way as it currently is (and therefore includes both an individual and a corporation) and the umbrella term will be ‘entity’ which will mean a person (as defined), a partnership or an unincorporated body.
A final group of definitions is included to provide greater clarity in provisions about time, or provisions setting a period within which things need to be done etc. These are the definitions of business day, calendar month, calendar year, day and year.
5—References to professions registered under Health Practitioner Regulation National Law
This clause provides standard definitions of various health professions in keeping with the Health Practitioner National Law and allows for further variation by regulation to match up with any changes to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (South Australia) text that are made by regulation under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (South Australia) Act 2010.
6—Definitions to be read in context
This clause provides that definitions in an Act or a legislative instrument apply to the construction of the Act or instrument except in so far as a contrary intention appears. Currently each Act individually provides this message (eg. interpretation provisions in Acts will generally say: ‘In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears—’ before setting out the definitions).
7—Parts of speech and grammatical forms
This clause is equivalent to section 4AA of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
8—Inclusion of digital material
The Acts Interpretation Act currently (via the definition of record in section 4(1) and section 4(2) of that Act) deals with the interpretation of various specific terms that have traditionally referred to hard copy or analog material and extends the meaning of those terms to digital material. This clause replaces those current definitions with a provision that aims to provide a more complete coverage of the topic by stating the principle that, if any type of information or material is capable of being produced in digital form, a word that describes the information or material in its physical form includes a reference to the information or material in its digital form. The clause then uses the currently defined terms as examples of this general principle. The clause also deals with the interpretation of legislative requirements to produce, or make available for inspection, information or a document in cases where the information or document is kept in digital form.
9—Words relating to gender
This clause includes the interpretative provisions currently located in section 26(a), (d) and (e) of the Acts Interpretation Act but updates it to include a reference to individuals who do not identify as having any particular gender.
10—Use of singular and plural
This clause includes the interpretative provisions currently located in section 26(b), (c) and (d) of the Acts Interpretation Act.
11—Meaning of may, must and shall
This clause includes the interpretative provisions currently located in section 34 of the Acts Interpretation Act but adds further interpretative provisions for the term ‘may not’ and the word ‘must’. These new provisions are merely added for completeness and do not alter the current position.
12—Meaning of expressions used in legislative instruments
This clause provides an equivalent to the current section 14 of the Acts Interpretation Act (and does not alter the current position).
13—References to signing or execution of documents
This clause provides for the signing or execution of a document by a body corporate. This is currently dealt with in section 52 of the Acts Interpretation Act but the proposed new provision also specifies that a body corporate may sign or execute a document ‘in any other manner permitted by law’ to allow for particular schemes that might prescribe or permit different signing and execution regimes.
Part 3—General interpretative provisions
14—Interpretation best achieving purpose or object
This clause provides an equivalent to the current section 22 of the Acts Interpretation Act. The current section operates ‘where a provision of an Act is reasonably open to more than one construction’. The new provision does not include that threshold test but operates whenever a person is ‘interpreting a provision of an Act or a legislative instrument’. In practice, this produces the same result because if the meaning of the provision is clear on its face then the task of ‘interpreting’ is unnecessary.
15—Interpretation so as not to exceed legislative power
This clause provides an equivalent to the current section 22A of the Acts Interpretation Act but also states that Acts and legislative instruments are to be interpreted as operating to the full extent of the legislative power of the State and provides that legislative instruments are to be interpreted as operating to the full extent of, but so as not to exceed, the power to make the instrument.
16—Use of extrinsic material in interpretation
This clause allows for the use of extrinsic material in statutory interpretation. The provision is substantially the same as the Commonwealth and NSW provisions.
17—Act or instrument deemed always speaking
This clause provides an equivalent to the current section 21 of the Acts Interpretation Act.
18—Abrogation of presumption that re-enactment etc constitutes Parliamentary approval of prior interpretation
This clause provides an equivalent to the current section 18 of the Acts Interpretation Act.
19—Material that is part of Act or instrument
This clause replaces section 19 of the Acts Interpretation Act but, unlike the existing provision, the new clause provides that everything appearing in an Act or a legislative instrument is part of the Act or instrument, with the exception of certain material that gets included for public information purposes in the course of publishing legislation, namely, editorial notes, legislative history notes (which are prepared by the Commissioner for Legislation Revision and Publication under section 7(4) of the Legislation Revision and Publication Act 2002) and any divisional penalty appendix (which are included at the back of the Acts that still have divisional penalties, for information purposes only). This means, in particular, that section headings will now form part of an Act. A related amendment in Schedule 1 Part 4 clause 11 will provide a mechanism for alteration of any incorrect or inaccurate headings etc that were included in legislation administratively before the enactment of this new provision.
20—Use of examples
This clause provides an equivalent to the current section 19A of the Acts Interpretation Act.
21—Things to be done by Governor to mean by Governor with advice of Executive Council
This clause provides an equivalent to the current section 23 of the Acts Interpretation Act.
22—Determining whether Act or instrument binds Crown
This clause provides an equivalent to the current section 20 of the Acts Interpretation Act but includes a provision spelling out the position in relation to Acts passed, or instruments made, on or before 20 June 1990 (and amendments to such Acts and instruments). This new provision does not alter the position in relation to these Acts and instruments but merely states the common law position.
23—Date of establishment of State
This clause is equivalent to section 4A of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
24—Declaration of validity of laws made before Australia Acts
This clause is equivalent to section 22B of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
25—Acts taken to be public Acts
This clause is equivalent to section 5 of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
26—No requirement for separate enacting words
This clause is equivalent to section 6 of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
Part 4—Commencement, amendment, replacement, repeal and expiry
27—Commencement of Acts
This clause provides an equivalent to the current section 7 of the Acts Interpretation Act but would allow a proclamation amending a commencement proclamation to fix an earlier date for commencement (where currently such a proclamation can only fix a later commencement date). The provision also specifies that the default 2 year rule (currently in section 7(5) of the Acts Interpretation Act and now in subclause (6) of this clause) can be disapplied in relation to a particular Act or provision. This is merely an explicit statement of the current position.
28—Time of commencement
This clause is equivalent to section 14D of the current Acts Interpretation Act but instead of saying that an Act or part of an Act that comes into operation on a particular day will be taken to have come into operation as from 12 o'clock midnight of the preceding day, the new provision states that it is taken to come into operation at the start of the day on which it commences (bearing in mind that a ‘day’ is defined in clause 4 as a period of 24 hours ending at the stroke of midnight so, in effect, this is the same as the current provision but is a more logical formulation).
This clause makes it clear that a sunsetting provision may be included in any Act or legislative instrument. Currently section 39(3) of the Acts Interpretation Act makes a similar provision only for regulations, rules and by-laws but there is no reason not to have this provision apply to all legislation (and doing so does not change the current legal position).
30—Time of expiry
This clause provides clarity about the time at which a sunsetting provision takes effect.
31—Use of headings to indicate amending provisions
Currently every Act or regulation that amends another Act or regulation includes a provision explaining that a provision under a heading referring to the amendment of a specified Act, or a specified regulation (as the case may be) amends the Act or regulation so specified. An example of such a clause can be found in Schedule 1 clause 1 of this measure. The inclusion of this provision in the Legislation Interpretation Act will avoid the need for this repetition.
32—Effect of repeal, amendment or expiry
This clause is equivalent to section 16 of the current Acts Interpretation Act. Some aspects of the wording have been updated and direct amendments made by the Act, instrument or provision that is repealed, amended or has expired are specifically preserved (this is currently just covered by the more general wording of (b)). Subclause (6) is new and is included to provide greater certainty of the continuing operation of transitional and validating provisions.
33—Saving of administrative acts and instruments when provisions replaced
This clause is equivalent to sections 11 and 15 of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
34—Amendment or repeal of Act in session in which it was passed
This clause is equivalent to section 7A of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
Part 5—Citation and references
35—Citation and references to other enactments
This clause includes equivalents to section 14B(1), (4) and (5) and section 14BA of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
36—References to amended or replaced Acts, legislative instruments and provisions
This clause is equivalent to section 14B(3) of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
Part 6—Functions and powers
37—Performance of functions
This clause is equivalent to sections 35 and 37 of the current Acts Interpretation Act and adds a new subclause (3) providing that where an Act or a legislative instrument confers a function on a body, the performance of the function is not affected merely because of a vacancy in the membership of the body or a defect in appointment of a member of the body. Currently a provision to this effect is included in each Act that creates a body to carry out statutory functions (see, for example, section 8 of the Adelaide Park Lands Act 2005). It is worth noting also that the new definition of ‘function’ in clause 4 of the measure includes a power or a duty.
38—Performance of functions under provision before commencement
This clause is equivalent to section 14C of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
39—Certain meetings etc may occur remotely
This clause was originally included in the section 17 of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 but now includes a further subclause clarifying that a person remotely attending a meeting is counted as present at the meeting (including for quorum purposes).
40—Power to make instrument includes power to amend or repeal
This clause provides that a power to make an instrument includes a power to amend or repeal the instrument in the same way, and subject to the same conditions. Currently section 39(1) and (2) of the Acts Interpretation Act makes a similar provision for regulations, rules and by-laws but there is no reason not to have this provision apply to all instruments.
41—Powers of appointment
This clause incorporates the matters dealt with by section 36 of the current Acts Interpretation Act but provides a more complete statement of the rules and principles connected with appointments. Whereas the current provision only applies to appointment to a specific ‘office or position’, the proposed new provision applies also to the appointment of a person to perform a function or do any other thing. This means the provision is focused more on the substance of the role being played by the person rather than whether the person's role is formally designated as an ‘office or position’.
42—Gender balance in nomination of persons for appointment to statutory bodies
This clause is equivalent to section 36A of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
43—Powers of delegation
This clause incorporates the matters dealt with by section 37A of the current Acts Interpretation Act but provides a more complete statement of the rules and principles connected with delegations.
Part 7—Time, distance, age and amounts
This clause replaces section 27 of the current Acts Interpretation Act but attempts to provide more helpful guidance by setting out the various ways in which periods of time can be expressed in legislation and specifying the rules to be applied in calculating the period in each case.
45—References to time
This provision is new.
46—Part-day public holidays and periods of time
This clause is equivalent to section 4(4) of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
47—References to number of sitting days
This clause is equivalent to section 27A of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
This clause is equivalent to section 28 of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
49—Attaining particular age
This clause clarifies when a person is taken to attain a particular age. This does not change the (unstated) current position.
50—Rounding down of monetary amounts
This clause is equivalent to section 45 of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
Part 8—Documents provided under an Act
51—Service of documents
This clause replaces section 33 of the current Acts Interpretation Act but also includes a standard form of service provision allowing service by post and so on. Currently individual Acts and legislative instruments each need to have their own service provision to allow other forms of service and this will avoid the need for that repetition across the State's legislation.
52—Compliance with forms
This clause is equivalent to section 25 of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
Part 9—Penalties and proceedings for offences
This clause replaces section 30 of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
54—Standard scales for penalties and expiation fees
This clause specifies the amounts that are represented by divisional penalties and divisional expiation fees in some of the older Acts. The amounts have been updated from those that currently appear in the table in section 28A of the Acts Interpretation Act to match the scale currently applied for Acts that do not use divisional penalties but specify monetary amounts instead.
55—Fines etc to be paid into Treasury
This clause is equivalent to section 29 of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
56—References to offences
This clause is new but does not change the (unstated) current position. Things like definitions of ‘serious offence’, for example, can sometimes refer to offences punishable by a term of imprisonment of 5 years or more (or some other number of years) and this provision merely clarifies that life imprisonment or imprisonment for an indefinite term are captured by such provisions.
57—Who may proceed for recovery of penalties
This clause is equivalent to section 42 of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
58—Interpretation of references to summary proceedings, complaints etc
This clause is equivalent to section 44 of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
59—Offences punishable under more than 1 law
This clause is equivalent to section 50 of the current Acts Interpretation Act.
This clause is a regulation making power. It is not anticipated that there would be many regulations made under this measure but there is an ability to prescribe additional classes of ‘legislative instrument’ by regulation if that becomes appropriate in the future.
Schedule 1—Related amendments, repeals and transitional provisions
This clause is formal.
Part 2—Related amendments to Evidence Act 1929
2—Insertion of section 35A
This clause is equivalent to the current section 10 of the Acts Interpretation Act but was thought to be more appropriately located in the Evidence Act.
3—Amendment of section 36—Proof of votes and proceedings of Parliament
4—Amendment of section 37A—Proof of Gazette
5—Amendment of section 37B—Proof of printing or publishing by Government Printer
These clauses give evidentiary value to electronic versions of certain publications produced by the Government Printer.
Part 3—Related amendments to Legislation (Fees) Act 2019
6—Amendment of section 3—Interpretation
This clause makes consequential amendments (to refer to this measure instead of the Acts Interpretation Act and also to reflect the new standardised terminology of ‘legislative instrument’ instead of ‘statutory instrument’).
7—Amendment of section 5—Fee notices
This is consequential to clause 16 of the Schedule.
Part 4—Related amendments to Legislation Revision and Publication Act 2002
8—Amendment of section 3—Interpretation
This is a related amendment to reflect the new standardised terminology of ‘legislative instrument’.
9—Insertion of section 4A
This clause inserts a new provision that would allow publication under the Legislation Revision and Publication Act 2002 (which is publication on the legislation.sa.gov.au website) as an alternative to a legal requirement for publication in the Gazette.
10—Amendment of section 5—Program for revision and publication of legislation
This clause makes a related amendment that reflects the adoption of new standardised terminology relating to amendment and repeal of legislation (rather that retaining the different terms of ‘variation’ and ‘revocation’ for regulations). The amendment would also allow for the making of regulations excluding a class of legislation from the legislation revision and publication program. No regulations are currently planned under this provision but there may be classes of legislation in the future that are not suitable for consolidation and publication as part of the program and this would cater for that.
11—Amendment of section 7—Alterations that may be made in revising legislation
This clause makes related amendments to:
reflect the adoption of new standardised terminology relating to amendment and repeal of legislation;
refer to this measure instead of the Acts Interpretation Act;
give the Commissioner power to omitted or vary material (such as section headings) that was formerly included in legislation administratively and did not form part of legislation (but such material may not be so omitted or varied by the Commissioner more than once).
12—Amendment of section 8—Publication of legislation
This clause inserts a new provision that would allow an alternative temporary method of publication to be determined if it was not possible for some reason to publish in the usual ways (eg. if there was some large scale natural disaster that made access to the usual publishing facilities impossible).
13—Insertion of section 8A
This provision requires that, if legislation is published only in electronic form, it must continue to be made available while it is in force.
14—Amendment of section 9—Evidence
This provision gives evidentiary value to the legislative history information published on legislation.sa.gov.au that specifies the day on which legislation was published under the Act.
Part 5—Related amendments to Subordinate Legislation Act 1978
15—Amendment of long title
This amendment deletes an unnecessary reference to printing in the long title.
16—Amendment of section 1—Short title
This clause changes the short title of the Act to reflect the new standardised terminology of ‘legislative instrument’.
17—Substitution of section 9
This clause substitutes section 9 so that it will reflect the new standardised terminology of ‘legislative instrument’. The existing conferral of a power to ‘amend, vary or revoke’ a proclamation made under the provision is no longer necessary because of clause 40.
18—Amendment of section 11—Publishing of regulations
This amendment allows regulations to be published under the Legislation Revision and Publication Act 2002 (which is publication on the legislation.sa.gov.au website) as an alternative to a legal requirement for publication forthwith in the Gazette.
19—Amendment of section 16A—Regulations to which this Part applies
This clause makes a related amendment to reflect the new standardised wording of amend/repeal for all legislation (instead of using vary/revoke for regulations) and also makes it clear that regulations operating pursuant to savings provisions or transitional arrangements under a repealed Act are not captured by the expiry program. Sometimes, on repeal of an Act, certain regulations made under the Act are continued by transitional provisions in the repealing Act. It is assumed that such specific provisions in a later Act would apply to the exclusion of this earlier general provision for expiry under the Subordinate Legislation Act 1978 but this amendment makes that position clear. If the expiry provisions under the Subordinate Legislation Act 1978 were to apply to such regulations, there would be no power to remake the expiring regulations because of the repeal of the Act under which they were made, so application of the expiry program to such regulations would effectively frustrate the savings or transitional provision passed by Parliament in the repealing Act.
20—Amendment of section 16B—Expiry of regulations to which this Part applies
This clause makes a related amendment to reflect the new standardised wording of amend/repeal for all legislation (instead of using vary/revoke for regulations) and also makes an amendment that is consequential to clause 18 of this Schedule.
21—Insertion of Part 3B
This clause inserts a new section that is equivalent to the current section 10A of the Acts Interpretation Act.
22—Insertion of sections 16E to 16G
This clause inserts new sections as follows:
16E—General provisions relating to all legislative instruments
This proposed section contains an evidentiary presumption (in proposed subsection (1)) relating to conditions and preliminary steps required in the making of a legislative instrument, a clarifying provision (in proposed subsection (2)) that makes is clear that a power to regulate a matter by legislative instrument includes a power to impose a prohibition by the legislative instrument and a provision (in proposed subsection (3)) that is equivalent to the current section 40 of the Acts Interpretation Act.
16F—Disallowance of repealing legislative instrument revives repealed instrument
This is equivalent to the current section 12 of the Acts Interpretation Act.
16G—Time of disallowance
This provision is new but clarifies the exact time at which a disallowance will take effect.
Part 6—Repeal of Acts Interpretation Act 1915
23—Repeal of Act
This clause repeals the current Acts Interpretation Act.
Part 7—Transitional provisions
24—Bills introduced before commencement of section 19
This clause ensures that headings in amending Bills that are introduced before the commencement of clause 19 will not form part of the Bill. Amending Bills prepared before the commencement of that provision will have been prepared in accordance with the current law and therefore will not include appropriate amending commands in relation to any headings that require consequential amendment as a result of the amending Bill. To avoid confusion and ensure a seamless transition it is intended that where a heading in principal legislation needs altering as a result of amendments in such a Bill, the Commissioner of Statute Law Revision will exercise power under proposed section 7(3) of the Legislation Revision and Publication Act 2002 to correct the heading.
25—References to time
This clause ensures that new clause 44 will not operate to alter the period of time provided or allowed for the doing of anything under an Act or a statutory instrument where the period commenced before the commencement of the measure.
Debate adjourned on motion of Mr Brown.