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Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Development Authority Act 1988

No. 14 of 1988

TABLE OF PROVISIONS

PART I—PRELIMINARY

Section

1. Short title

2. Commencement

3. Effect on Industries Assistance Commission Act

4. Interpretation

PART IIESTABLISHMENT, OBJECTS, FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF AUTHORITY

5. Establishment

6. Objects

7. Functions

8. Guidelines for policies and practices of Authority

9. Annual plan

10. Report on TCF industries matter etc.

11. Annual report

12. Policies review

13. Powers

PART III—CONSTITUTION AND MEETINGS OF AUTHORITY

14. Membership of Authority

15. Outside employment

16. Remuneration and allowances

17. Disclosure of interests

18. Leave of absence

19. Resignation of office

20. Retirement from office

21. Termination of appointment

22. Acting appointments

23. Meetings


TABLE OF PROVISIONS—continued

Section

PART IV—INDUSTRIES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY PROGRAMS

Division 1—Raw Materials Processing Program

24. Application of Division

25. Agreements with Corporation

26. Approval of projects by Minister

27. Guarantees by Minister

Division 2Plant and Equipment Modernisation Program

28. Application of Division

29. Applications for financial assistance

30. Information regarding entitlement to bounty

31. Limit on financial assistance

32. Assessment of financial viability of business plans

33. Approval of applications

34. Agreement with Corporation etc.

35. Guarantees by Minister

Division 3International Competitiveness Incentive Program

36. Application of Division

37. Applications for financial assistance

38. Assessment of financial viability of business plans

39. Approval of applications

40. Financial assistance—rate at which, and period during which, payable

Division 4Other Programs

41. Application of Division

42. Arrangements with other bodies

43. Assistance under programs and criteria for eligibility

44. Applications for, and grant of, assistance

PART V—CONDUCT OF FORMAL INQUIRIES

45. Procedure at inquiries

46. Power to administer oath or affirmation

47. Protection of members and witnesses

48. Powers of Authority in relation to documents produced

49. Witness prejudiced in employment

PART VI—STAFF AND CONSULTANTS

50. Staff

51. Arrangements relating to staff

52. Engagement of consultants

PART VII—MISCELLANEOUS

53. Offences

54. Recovery of grant on conviction

55. Recovery of amount paid as a result of false statement etc.

56. Evidence of payment

57. Authority may supply information

58. Confidentiality

59. Department may supply information or documents

60. Appropriation

61. Delegation by Authority

62. Regulations

63. Termination of Act

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Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Development Authority Act 1988

No. 14 of 1988

 

An Act to establish a Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Development Authority, and for related purposes

[Assented to 5 May 1988]

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen, and the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Australia, as follows:

PART I—PRELIMINARY

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Development Authority Act 1988.

Commencement

2. This Act shall come into operation on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

Effect on Industries Assistance Commission Act

3. (1) Subject to subsection (2), this Act does not affect the operation of the Industries Assistance Commission Act 1973.

(2) Subsection 23 (3) of the Industries Assistance Commission Act 1973 does not apply in relation to anything done by the Minister in carrying out a recommendation of the Authority under paragraph 7 (h) or subsection 12 (3).

Interpretation

4. In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears:

appoint includes re-appoint;

Authority means the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Development Authority established by section 5;

barrier assistance policy means the policies of the Commonwealth Government with respect to TCF industries in so far as those policies relate to tariffs, tariff quotas and by-laws made under the Customs Act 1901;

body includes any body of persons, whether incorporated or unincorporated;

bountiable yarn has the same meaning as in the Bounty (Textile Yarns) Act 1981;

bounty assistance policy means the policies of the Commonwealth Government with respect to TCF industries in so far as those policies relate to the payment of bounties;

Chairperson means the Chairperson of the Authority and includes a member acting as Chairperson;

Corporation means the Australian Industry Development Corporation;

industries development strategy means the policies of the Commonwealth Government with respect to TCF industries in so far as those policies relate to the provision of assistance to those industries under the programs referred to in paragraphs 7 (a), (b), (c) and (d);

inquiry means an inquiry conducted under Part V;

member means a member of the Authority and includes the Chairperson;

plan means a plan prepared under section 9;

producer means any person or enterprise engaged in Australia in the development, production, distribution or sale of TCF products;

TCF industries means industries in Australia concerned with the development, production, distribution or sale of TCF products;

TCF industries matters means matters relating to the TCF industries and, in particular, the following matters:


(a) the quantity, value added and price of TCF products produced in Australia by those industries and the volume of sales, including sales for export, of those products;

(b) the quantity and price of TCF products produced in foreign countries and imported into Australia and the volume of sales in Australia of those products;

(c) the relativity of the prices of the products referred to in paragraph (a) and of the products referred to in paragraph (b);

(d) investment in those industries;

(e) the cost structure of, and production costs in, those industries;

(f) changes in employment levels in those industries and the manner in which those changes are effected;

(g) the productivity of labour in those industries and the influence on productivity of work practices in those industries;

(h) product and market diversification by producers engaged in the production of TCF products;

(j) attempts in those industries to find and develop export markets;

(k) the foreign investments and international trading activities of producers;

(m) the research, design and production capabilities of those industries;

(n) the adoption of new technologies in those industries;

(o) the extent to which those industries commit resources to training, the upgrading of skills and industrial relations;

(p) the standards of product quality attained or set by those industries;

(q) any other matter considered by the Minister or the Authority to be relevant to those industries;

TCF products means:

(a) textile, clothing and footwear products; and

(b) materials (other than raw materials) used in the production of those products.

PART II—ESTABLISHMENT, OBJECTS, FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF AUTHORITY

Establishment

5. There is established by this Act an authority by the name of the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Development Authority.


Objects

6. The objects of the establishment of the Authority are:

(a) to promote the restructuring and revitalisation of the TCF industries so as to improve their efficiency and international competitiveness; and

(b) to reduce the dependence of those industries on assistance by the Commonwealth.

Functions

7. The functions of the Authority are:

(a) subject to Division 1 of Part IV:

(i) to implement, in co-operation with the Corporation and in a manner that is consistent with the policies of the Commonwealth Government, a program designed to encourage and facilitate, by the establishment and operation of projects in which the Corporation and producers are to participate, more extensive processing in Australia of raw materials naturally produced in Australia and used in the manufacture of TCF products; and

(ii) to provide financial assistance to the Corporation for the purposes of the program;

(b) subject to Division 2 of Part IV:

(i) to implement, in co-operation with the Corporation, bodies other than the Corporation or both the Corporation and other bodies, and in a manner that is consistent with the policies of the Commonwealth Government, a program designed to encourage and facilitate investment in modern plant and equipment in TCF industries by providing financial assistance to producers of bountiable yarn for that purpose; and

(ii) to provide for the purposes of the program financial assistance to the Corporation and other bodies participating in the program;

(c) subject to Division 3 of Part IV, to develop and implement, in a manner that is consistent with the policies of the Commonwealth Government, a program designed to encourage and facilitate the development of plans aimed at substantially increasing the international competitiveness of producers by providing financial assistance to them for that purpose;

(d) subject to Division 4 of Part IV, to develop and implement, in a manner that is consistent with the policies of the Commonwealth Government, the following programs:

(i) a program designed to provide, or to support by way of financial or other assistance the provision of, services


calculated to improve efficiency and planning in TCF industries;

(ii) a program designed to provide, or to support by way of financial or other assistance the provision of, services and facilities calculated to improve and co-ordinate the provision of infrastructure support for TCF industries;

(iii) a program designed to promote, or to support by way of financial or other assistance, measures and activities calculated to improve the export of TCF products produced in Australia;

(e) to prepare plans in accordance with section 9;

(f) in accordance with section 10, to consider, and prepare and give to the Minister reports on:

(i) TCF industries matters; and

(ii) the progress made in TCF industries towards the achievement of the objectives of the policies of the Commonwealth Government with respect to those industries;

(g) in consultation with the appropriate delivery agencies, to monitor matters relevant to the implementation of:

(i) the barrier assistance policy;

(ii) the bounty assistance policy; and

(iii) the industries development strategy;

(h) on its own motion or when requested by the Minister to do so, to make recommendations to the Minister on any administrative changes that appear to the Authority to be necessary to ensure the proper implementation of the policies referred to in subparagraphs (g) (i), (ii) and (iii);

(j) to prepare reports in accordance with section 11;

(k) to review, and make recommendations to the Minister on, Commonwealth Government policies with respect to TCF industries in accordance with section 12;

(m) to prepare and maintain a data base on TCF industries; and

(n) to conduct such inquiries as it considers necessary for the proper performance of its functions.

Guidelines for policies and practices of Authority

8. (1) The Minister may, from time to time, by notice in writing delivered to the Chairperson and expressed to be given under this section, give directions to the Authority with respect to the policies and practices to be followed by the Authority in the performance of its functions and the exercise of its powers, and the Authority shall comply with any such directions that are in force.

(2) The Minister shall forthwith cause to be published in the Gazette particulars of any directions given under subsection (1) and of any revocation of any such directions.


(3) Directions and any revocation of any directions published under subsection (2) shall be laid before each House of the Parliament within IS sitting days of that House after the publication in the Gazette of the directions or any revocation.

(4) Nothing in this section authorises the Minister to give a direction to the Authority in relation to a particular person or body.

Annual plan

9. (1) The Authority shall, in respect of the financial year commencing on 1 July 1988 and each subsequent financial year, prepare, and submit to the Minister for his or her approval, a plan setting out:

(a) the general objectives of the Authority for that financial year;

(b) an outline of the action that the Authority proposes to take to achieve those objectives; and

(c) details of any proposed allocation of funds by the Authority during that financial year for the purposes of any of the programs referred to in paragraph 7 (a), (b), (c) or (d).

(2) A plan in respect of a financial year shall be in writing and shall be submitted to the Minister before the commencement of the financial year.

(3) Where the Minister is of the opinion that a plan submitted to him or her under this section should be revised in some regard, the Minister may, in writing, request the Authority to revise the plan as necessary and shall include in the request a statement setting out his or her reasons for making the request.

(4) Upon receiving a request under subsection (3), the Authority shall consider the request and statement of reasons and shall make such revision of the plan as it considers to be appropriate and shall resubmit the plan, as so revised, to the Minister for approval, within 30 days of the receipt of the request.

(5) A plan in respect of a financial year shall come into force on:

(a) the date of its approval by the Minister; or

(b) the commencement of the financial year;

whichever is the later.

(6) A plan, whether or not it has come into force, may be varied by the Authority with the approval of the Minister.

(7) The Ministers approval is not required for the variation of a plan if the variation relates to:

(a) the manner in which the funds allocated for the purposes of a program referred to in paragraph 7 (a), (b), (c) or (d) are to be applied for those purposes; or


(b) a reduction in the funds allocated for the purposes of one of the related programs and a corresponding increase in the funds allocated for the purposes of any other of those programs.

(8) In subsection (7), related programs means:

(a) the program referred to in paragraph 7 (b);

(b) the program referred to in paragraph 7 (c); and

(c) the program referred to in subparagraph 7 (d) (i).

(9) Where a variation of a plan is approved by the Minister after the plan has come into force, the plan as so varied shall continue in force after the variation is so approved, as if the plan had originally been approved by the Minister as so varied.

Report on TCF industries matter etc.

10. (1) The Minister may, by notice in writing delivered to the Chairperson, request the Authority to consider, and prepare and give to the Minister a report on:

(a) a TCF industries matter specified in the notice; or

(b) the progress made in a TCF industry specified in the notice, during the period specified in the notice, towards the achievement of the objectives of such of the policies of the Commonwealth Government with respect to TCF industries as are specified in the notice.

(2) The Authority shall comply with a request under subsection (1) as soon as it is practicable to do so.

(3) The Authority may, on its own motion, consider, and prepare and give to the Minister a report on:

(a) any TCF industries matter; or

(b) the progress made in any TCF industry, during a particular period, towards the achievement of the objectives of any of the policies of the Commonwealth Government with respect to TCF industries.

(4) Without limiting the generality of subsection (3), the Authority may:

(a) prepare and give to the Minister a report on any instance that it considers is an instance of failure by a person involved in any of the TCF industries to act consistently with the policies of the Commonwealth Government with respect to those industries; and

(b) where it considers it appropriate to do so, recommend to the Minister that the whole or part of a report referred to in paragraph (a) be published.

(5) Where the Authority recommends under paragraph (4) (b) that a report, or a part of a report, referred to in paragraph (4) (a) be published, the Authority shall, before giving the report to the Minister, notify any person to whom the report relates of:

(a) the contents of the report or of that part of the report; and

(b) the recommendation of the Authority.


Annual report

11. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Authority shall, not later than 6 months after the end of each financial year, prepare and give to the Minister a report on the activities of the Authority during the financial year.

(2) The first report prepared by the Authority shall relate to the period commencing on the commencement of this Act and ending on 30 June 1988.

(3) The Minister shall cause a copy of a report given under subsection (1) or (2) to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which the Minister received the report.

Policies review

12. (1) The Authority shall, not later than 30 June 1992, review, and report to the Minister on, the operation and effectiveness of:

(a) the bounty assistance policy;

(b) the barrier assistance policy; and

(c) the industries development strategy.

(2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the review and report under this section shall:

(a) advert to any development or improvement that has taken place, or is expected to take place, in any TCF industry; and

(b) include:

(i) an assessment of the extent to which TCF industries have, during the period to which the review and report relate, progressed towards the achievement of the objectives of the policies referred to in paragraphs (1) (a), (b) and (c); and

(ii) an assessment of the extent (if any) to which the operation of any of the policies referred to in paragraph (1) (a) and (b) has resulted, or is likely to result, in a decline in production in the TCF industries.

(3) Where:

(a) the operation of the policies referred to in paragraphs (1) (a) and (b) has resulted, or is likely to result, in a decline in production in the TCF industries; and

(b) the Authority is of the opinion that measures should be taken to check that decline in production;

the Authority may recommend in the report:

(c) if it considers that the decline in production may be checked by suspending temporarily, either wholly or in part, the operation of those policies—that the operation of those policies, or such parts of those policies as are specified in the report, be suspended for such period, not exceeding one year, as is specified in the report; or


(d) if it considers that a revision of those policies is necessary—that the Commonwealth cause an inquiry to be conducted for the purpose of examining, and recommending changes to, those policies.

Powers

13. In addition to any other power conferred on it by this Act, the Authority has power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of its functions.

PART III—CONSTITUTION AND MEETINGS OF AUTHORITY

Membership of Authority

14. (1) The Authority shall consist of:

(a) the Chairperson; and

(b) not more than 5 other members.

(2) A member of the Authority:

(a) shall be appointed by the Governor-General;

(b) shall be appointed on a full-time or part-time basis; and

(c) holds office for such period, not exceeding 5 years, as is specified in the instrument of appointment, but is eligible for re-appointment.

(3) A member holds office on such terms and conditions (if any), in respect of matters not provided for by this Act, as are determined by the Minister by instrument in writing.

(4) A person who has attained the age of 65 years shall not be appointed as a full-time member and a person shall not be appointed as a full-time member for a period that extends beyond the day on which the person will attain the age of 65 years.

(5) The appointment of a member is not invalid because of a defect or irregularity in connection with the members appointment.

(6) The performance of the functions or the exercise of the powers of the Authority is not affected because there are vacancies in the membership of the Authority.

(7) The Chairperson may be referred to as the Chairman or the Chairwoman, as the case requires.

Outside employment

15. (1) A member appointed on a full-time basis shall not, except with the approval of the Minister, engage in paid employment outside the duties of the office of the member.

(2) A member appointed on a part-time basis shall not engage in any paid employment that, in the opinion of the Minister, conflicts with the proper performance of the functions of the member.


Remuneration and allowances

16. (1) The Chairperson and the other members shall be paid such remuneration as is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal, but, if no determination of that remuneration by the Tribunal is in operation, the members shall be paid such remuneration as is prescribed.

(2) A member shall be paid such allowances as are prescribed.

(3) This section has effect subject to the Remuneration Tribunals Act 1973.

Disclosure of interests

17. (1) A member who has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a matter being considered by the Authority shall, as soon as possible after the relevant facts have come to the members knowledge, disclose the nature of the interest at a meeting of the Authority.

(2) A disclosure under subsection (1) shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting of the Authority and the member shall not, unless the Minister or the Authority otherwise determines:

(a) be present during any deliberation of the Authority with respect to that matter; or

(b) take any part in any decision of the Authority with respect to that matter.

(3) For the purposes of the making of a determination by the Authority under subsection (2) in relation to a member who has made a disclosure under subsection (1), a member who has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in the matter to which the disclosure relates shall not:

(a) be present during any deliberation of the Authority for the purposes of making the determination; or

(b) take part in the making by the Authority of the determination.

Leave of absence

18. The Minister may grant to a member leave of absence on such terms and conditions as to remuneration or otherwise as the Minister determines.

Resignation of office

19. (1) A member may resign his or her office by writing signed by the member and delivered to the Governor-General.

(2) The Chairperson may resign the office of Chairperson by writing signed by the Chairperson and delivered to the Governor-General.

Retirement from office

20. The Governor-General may, with the consent of the member, retire a member from office on the ground of invalidity.


Termination of appointment

21. (1) The Governor-General may terminate the appointment of a member for misbehaviour or physical or mental incapacity.

(2) If a member:

(a) becomes bankrupt, applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors, compounds with creditors or makes an assignment of remuneration for the benefit of those creditors;

(b) fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with an obligation imposed by section 17;

(c) is absent, except on leave of absence granted under section 18, from 3 consecutive meetings of the Authority;

(d) being a member appointed on a full-time basis, engages, without the approval of the Minister, in any paid employment outside the duties of the office of the member; or

(e) being a member appointed on a part-time basis, engages in any paid employment that, in the opinion of the Minister, conflicts with the proper performance of the functions of the member;

the Governor-General shall terminate the appointment of the member.

Acting appointments

22. (1) The Minister may appoint a member to act as Chairperson:

(a) during a vacancy in the office of Chairperson, whether or not an appointment has previously been made to the office; or

(b) during any period, or during all periods, when the Chairperson is absent from duty or from Australia or is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office of Chairperson;

but a person appointed to act during a vacancy shall not continue so to act for more than 12 months.

(2) The Minister may appoint a person to act as a member other than the Chairperson:

(a) during a vacancy in the office of that member, whether or not an appointment has previously been made to the office; or

(b) during any period, or during all periods, when that member is absent from duty or from Australia or is, for any other reason (including the reason that the member is acting as the Chairperson), unable to perform the duties of the office of member;

but a person appointed to act during a vacancy shall not continue so to act for more than 12 months.

(3) Anything done by or in relation to a person purporting to act under subsection (1) is not invalid on the ground that:

(a) the occasion for the persons appointment had not arisen;


(b) there was a defect or irregularity in connection with the persons appointment;

(c) the persons appointment had ceased to have effect; or

(d) the occasion for the person to act had not arisen or had ceased.

Meetings

23. (1) The Chairperson shall convene such meetings of the Authority as the Chairperson considers necessary for the efficient performance of the Authoritys functions.

(2) Meetings shall be held at such places as the Chairperson determines.

(3) The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings at which he or she is present.

(4) Where the Chairperson is not present at a meeting, the members present shall appoint one of their number to preside at the meeting.

(5) Subject to this Act, the person presiding at a meeting may give directions regarding the procedure to be followed at or in connection with that meeting.

(6) At a meeting:

(a) 3 members constitute a quorum;

(b) all questions shall be decided by a majority of votes of the members present and voting; and

(c) the person presiding has a deliberative vote and, in the event of an equality of votes, also has a casting vote.

(7) Where a majority of the members sign a document containing a statement that they are in favour of a resolution in terms set out in the document, a resolution in those terms shall be deemed to have been passed at a duly constituted meeting of the Authority held on the day on which the document was signed, or, if the members sign the document on different days, on the last of those days.

(8) For the purposes of subsection (7), 2 or more separate documents containing statements in identical terms each of which is signed by one or more members shall together be deemed to constitute one document containing a statement in those terms signed by those members on the respective days on which they signed the separate documents.

(9) A member shall not sign under subsection (7) a document containing a statement in favour of a resolution if the resolution is in respect of a matter in which the member has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest.

(10) The Authority shall keep records of its meetings.


PART IV—INDUSTRIES DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY PROGRAMS

Division 1Raw Materials Processing Program

Application of Division

24. This Division applies in relation to the program referred to in paragraph 7 (a).

Agreements with Corporation

25. The Authority may enter into agreements with the Corporation in relation to:

(a) the carrying out of feasibility and market studies in connection with the selection and development of projects for the purposes of the program and the funding of those studies by the Authority;

(b) the making by the Corporation of assessments and recommendations regarding the projects to be selected for the purposes of the program; and

(c) where the Corporation participates in any such project—the provision of finance to the Corporation for use by the Corporation in the payment of interest on, and the cost of, money borrowed by the Corporation to enable it to participate in the project.

Approval of projects by Minister

26. (1) The Authority shall seek the approval of the Minister with respect to the projects (if any) to be selected for the purposes of the program.

(2) Projects shall be selected for the purposes of the program, regard being had to:

(a) the production costs of the products resulting from the projects;

(b) the value added of those products; and

(c) the export demand for those products.

Guarantees by Minister

27. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Minister may, on behalf of the Commonwealth, give such guarantees as will enable the Corporation to participate in a project under the program.

(2) The guarantees given under subsection (1) for the purpose of enabling the Corporation to participate in a project shall be in respect of an amount that does not exceed, or amounts that together do not exceed:

(a) the amount that the Corporation proposes to invest in the project; or

(b) one third of the total amount that the Corporation and the producers participating in the project propose to invest in the project;

whichever is the lower.


Division 2Plant and Equipment Modernisation Program

Application of Division

28. This Division applies in relation to the program referred to in paragraph 7 (b).

Applications for financial assistance

29. (1) A producer may apply for financial assistance under the program if the producer is entitled to receive payments of bounty in respect of bountiable yarn.

(2) An application for financial assistance shall:

(a) be made in writing to the Authority;

(b) contain details of the plant and equipment that the applicant intends to acquire; and

(c) be accompanied by a business plan relating to the improvement or development of the applicants business as a producer through the acquisition of the plant and equipment.

Information regarding entitlement to bounty

30. An applicant for financial assistance under the program shall, on request, provide to the Authority any information reasonably required by the Authority to enable it to make an assessment of the total amount of payments of bounty to which the applicant is likely to be entitled in respect of the production of bountiable yarn during the period of 3 years commencing on the day on which the grant of assistance is approved.

Limit on financial assistance

31. The total amount that may be granted as financial assistance to an applicant under the program shall not exceed half the amount assessed by the Authority as being the total amount of the payments of bounty referred to in section 30.

Assessment of financial viability of business plans

32. The Authority may, if it considers it necessary, refer a business plan submitted by an applicant for financial assistance under the program to a suitably qualified person for an assessment of the plans financial viability.

Approval of applications

33. (1) Where the Authority is satisfied that:

(a) an applicant for financial assistance under the program will, by the acquisition of certain modern plant and equipment, be in a position to maximise the efficiency, international competitiveness and potential for export of the applicants business as a producer and be entitled to receive a reduced amount of bounty in respect of the production of bountiable yarn; and


(b) the business plan submitted by the applicant under paragraph 29 (2) (c) is financially viable;

the Authority may approve, in writing, the grant to the applicant of financial assistance, in such amount as is determined by the Authority, to enable the applicant to acquire such modern plant or equipment as is specified in the approval.

(2) If the Authority is of the opinion that it will be to the benefit of the applicant to obtain finance for this purpose, the Authority may state in the instrument of approval that a specified amount not exceeding 20% of the grant may be used by the applicant as working capital for purposes related to the operation of the plant or machinery.

(3) Where, at any time, the funds available for the provision of financial assistance under the program are not sufficient to allow the Authority to approve all the grants of financial assistance that it would have approved under the program if sufficient funds had then been available, the Authority shall determine which of those grants are to be approved having regard to:

(a) the funds then available for the purposes of the program; and

(b) the extent to which each of the applicants will, by the proposed acquisition of plant and equipment, be likely to satisfy the criteria referred to in paragraph (1) (a).

Agreement with Corporation etc.

34. The Authority may enter into an agreement with the Corporation or such other body corporate as the Authority determines in relation to:

(a) the provision of financial assistance by the Corporation or other body corporate to persons who have been approved for a grant of financial assistance under the program; and

(b) the provision of finance to the Corporation or other body corporate for use in the payment of interest on, and the cost of, money borrowed by the Corporation or other body corporate for the purpose of providing that assistance.

Guarantees by Minister

35. (1) Where the Corporation:

(a) has entered into an agreement with the Authority under section 34; and

(b) proposes to provide financial assistance to a producer under the program;

the Minister may, subject to subsection (2), give on behalf of the Commonwealth, such guarantees as will enable the Corporation to provide that assistance.

(2) The Commonwealth shall not be required under any guarantees given under subsection (1) for the purpose of enabling the Corporation to


provide assistance to a producer to pay an amount that exceeds, or amounts that together exceed, half the amount involved in the default or deficiency in relation to which the guarantees are invoked.

Division 3International Competitiveness Incentive Program

Application of Division

36. This Division applies in relation to the program referred to in paragraph 7 (c).

Applications for financial assistance

37. (1) An application for financial assistance under the program shall be made in writing to the Authority.

(2) A producer applying for financial assistance under the program shall submit to the Authority:

(a) a business plan aimed at increasing the producers production for export of TCF products so that that production during each prescribed year in relation to the plan will exceed the producers production for export during the year immediately preceding the date of the plan by not less than 30% of the total production of TCF products by the producer during that prescribed year; or

(b) a business plan:

(i) aimed at substantially increasing the production by the producer of TCF products that will replace on the Australian market similar products imported into Australia; and

(ii) that will, in the opinion of the Authority, enable the producer, after the period during which assistance is granted to the producer under the program, to maintain the production of those products at the level attained at the end of that period, without being dependent on assistance from the Commonwealth Government in excess of the average assistance granted to the manufacturing industries in Australia.

(3) A plan submitted by a producer under subsection (2) shall contain proposals for:

(a) minimising involuntary reductions of employment in the producers business; and

(b) consulting trade unions and employees.

(4) In subsection (2):

prescribed year, in relation to a business plan, means:

(a) the fifth year after the commencement of the implementation of the plan; and

(b) each subsequent year.


Assessment of financial viability of business plans

38. (1) The Authority may, if it considers it necessary, refer a business plan submitted by an applicant for financial assistance under the program to a suitably qualified person for an assessment of the plans financial viability.

(2) Before referring a plan for assessment under subsection (1), the Authority shall obtain the approval of the applicant.

Approval of applications

39. Where the Authority is satisfied that the plan submitted by an applicant for assistance under the program:

(a) satisfies the criteria referred to in section 37; and

(b) is financially viable;

the Authority may, subject to section 40, approve in writing the grant to the applicant of financial assistance, at such rate, and for such period commencing on the date of the approval, as are specified in the approval.

Financial assistance—rate at which, and period during which, payable

40. (1) Except where subsection (2) applies, the Authority may approve a grant of financial assistance to an applicant under the program, at such rate, and for such period, not exceeding 2 years, as the Authority determines.

(2) Where, before the approval of a grant of financial assistance to an applicant under section 39, the Minister, on the recommendation of the Authority, approves in writing:

(a) a period exceeding 2 years but not exceeding 3 years as the period during which the applicant may receive assistance under the program; and

(b) that in respect of so much of that period as exceeds 2 years, the assistance so granted be at such rate as is specified in the approval;

the Authority may approve a grant of financial assistance to the applicant, for such period as the Minister has approved, at the following rates:

(c) in respect of the first 2 years of the period—such rate as the Authority determines;

(d) in respect of the remainder of the period—such rate as has been approved by the Minister.

Division 4Other Programs

Application of Division

41. This Division applies in relation to the programs referred to in paragraph 7 (d).


Arrangements with other bodies

42. The Authority may:

(a) make arrangements with such bodies as the Authority thinks appropriate in relation to the participation of those bodies in the implementation of a program; and

(b) make payments to any body in accordance with those arrangements.

Assistance under programs and criteria for eligibility

43. (1) The Authority shall, in respect of each of the programs to which this Division applies, determine, and take such steps as it considers necessary to publicise:

(a) the types of assistance provided under the program; and

(b) the criteria subject to which a producer is eligible for assistance of each type.

(2) The Authority:

(a) may vary the types of assistance provided under a program or the criteria relevant to any type of assistance; and

(b) shall cause any such variations to be publicised in such manner as it determines.

Applications for, and grant of, assistance

44. (1) A producer desiring to receive assistance under a program shall:

(a) make an application in writing:

(i) if the program is, in accordance with arrangements made under paragraph 42 (a), administered by a body other than the Authority—to that other body; or

(ii) if subparagraph (i) does not apply—to the Authority; and

(b) provide the Authority or that other body with all information requested by the Authority or other body, being information reasonably required for the purposes of the application.

(2) An applicant for assistance under a program may be granted such assistance if the applicant satisfies the criteria for eligibility relevant to that type of assistance.

(3) Any financial assistance granted under a program shall be in such amount as is determined by the Authority or the body administering the program, as the case may be.

PART V—CONDUCT OF FORMAL INQUIRIES

Procedure at inquiries

45. (1) Subject to subsection (2), an inquiry shall be held in public.

(2) The Authority may hold the whole or part of an inquiry in private if, in the opinion of the Authority, the circumstances are such that it is necessary or desirable to do so.


(3) Where proceedings are held in private, the Authority may inform itself on any matter in such manner as it sees fit.

(4) Where proceedings are held in public:

(a) evidence in the proceedings shall, subject to this subsection, be taken on oath or affirmation;

(b) the Authority may, if it thinks fit, permit a person appearing as a witness to give evidence by tendering, and verifying by oath or affirmation, a written statement;

(c) the Authority may, if it thinks fit, permit a person to give evidence by sending to the Authority a written statement, verified in such manner as the Authority directs; and

(d) where evidence is given by a written statement in accordance with paragraph (b) or (c), the Authority shall make available to the public in such manner as it thinks fit the contents of the statement, other than any matter:

(i) that the person who gave the evidence objects to being made public; and

(ii) the evidence of which the Authority is satisfied would have been taken in private if that evidence had been given orally and the witness had objected to giving it in public.

(5) Subject to this section:

(a) the procedure to be followed at an inquiry is within the discretion of the Authority; and

(b) the Authority is not bound by the rules of evidence.

Power to administer oath or affirmation

46. The Chairperson may administer an oath or affirmation to a person appearing as a witness.

Protection of members and witnesses

47. (1) A member has, in the exercise of powers and the performance of duties and functions as a member in relation to an inquiry, the same protection and immunity as a Justice of the High Court.

(2) Subject to this Part, a person appearing as a witness has the same protection and is subject to the same liabilities, as a witness in proceedings in the High Court.

Powers of Authority in relation to documents produced

48. (1) A member or a member of the staff assisting the Authority may inspect any books or documents furnished to the Authority for the purposes of the performance of its functions under this Part or produced at an inquiry and may make copies of, or take extracts from, those books or documents.

(2) A book or document so furnished may be retained by the Authority for such reasonable period as is necessary for the purposes of the Authority,


but during that period the Authority shall permit a person otherwise entitled to possession of the book or document to inspect, make copies of and take extracts from the book or document at such places and times as the Authority thinks appropriate.

Witness prejudiced in employment

49. (1) An employer shall not:

(a) dismiss an employee from his or her employment, or prejudice an employee in his or her employment, because the employee has appeared as a witness, or has given any evidence, at an inquiry; or

(b) dismiss or threaten to dismiss an employee from his or her employment, or prejudice or threaten to prejudice an employee in his or her employment, because the employee proposes to appear as a witness or to give evidence at an inquiry.

Penalty:

(a) in the case of a natural person—$1,000 or imprisonment for 2 weeks, or both; or

(b) in the case of a body corporate—$5,000.

(2) In proceedings for an offence against subsection (1), if all the relevant facts and circumstances, other than the reason of an action alleged in the charge, are proved, it lies upon the defendant to establish that the action was not taken for that reason.

PART VI—STAFF AND CONSULTANTS

Staff

50. (1) Subject to sections 51 and 52, the staff required to assist the Authority in the performance of its functions shall be persons appointed or employed under the Public Service Act 1922.

(2) The Chairperson has all the powers of, or exercisable by, a Secretary of a Department of the Australian Public Service under the Public Service Act 1922, so far as those powers relate to the branch of the Australian Public Service comprising the staff referred to in subsection (1), as if that branch were a separate Department of the Australian Public Service.

Arrangements relating to staff

51. (1) The Authority may arrange with the Secretary of a Department of the Australian Public Service, or with a body established by an Act, for the services of officers or employees of that Department or of that body to be made available to the Authority.

(2) The Authority may enter into an arrangement with the appropriate authority of a State for the services of officers or employees of the Public Service of the State, or of a body established for a public purpose by or under a law of a State, to be made available to the Authority.


(3) While a person is performing services for the Authority under an arrangement under this section, that person shall perform his or her functions and duties in accordance with the directions (if any) of the Authority or of the Chairperson and not otherwise.

(4) In this section, State includes the Northern Territory.

Engagement of consultants

52. (1) The Authority may engage as consultants to the Authority persons having suitable qualifications and experience.

(2) The terms and conditions of engagement of the persons engaged under subsection (1) are such as are determined by the Authority.

PART VII—MISCELLANEOUS

Offences

53. (1) A person shall not, in or in connection with an application under section 29, 37 or 44, make to the Authority, or to a person or body having duties or functions under this Act, a statement, whether oral or in writing, or present to the Authority or to such a person or body a book, record or document, knowing it to be false or misleading in a material particular.

Penalty:

(a) in the case of a natural person—$2,000 or imprisonment for 1 month, or both; or

(b) in the case of a body corporate—$10,000.

(2) For the purposes of the application of subsection (1) in relation to a body corporate, but without prejudice to the liability of any person other than the body corporate:

(a) a statement made, or a book, record or document presented, by a person acting on behalf of the body corporate shall be deemed to be made or presented by the body corporate; and

(b) the knowledge of any person employed by, or concerned in the management of, the body corporate, shall be deemed to be the knowledge of the body corporate.

Recovery of grant on conviction

54. (1) Where a person is convicted of an offence against subsection 53 (1), the court may, in addition to imposing a penalty under that subsection, order the person to refund to the Commonwealth the amount of any grant (other than a loan) made to the person that, but for the commission of the offence, would not have been made.


(2) Where:

(a) a court makes an order under subsection (1) ordering a person to refund an amount to the Commonwealth; and

(b) the court has civil jurisdiction to the extent of the amount;

the order is enforceable in all respects as a final judgment of the court in favour of the Commonwealth.

(3) Where:

(a) a court makes an order under subsection (1) ordering a person to refund an amount to the Commonwealth; and

(b) the court:

(i) does not have civil jurisdiction; or

(ii) has civil jurisdiction, but does not have civil jurisdiction to the extent of the amount;

the proper officer of the court shall issue to the Secretary to the Department a certificate in the prescribed form containing the prescribed particulars.

(4) The certificate may, in the prescribed manner and subject to the prescribed conditions (if any), be registered in a court having civil jurisdiction to the extent of the amount ordered to be refunded to the Commonwealth.

(5) Upon registration under subsection (4), the certificate is enforceable in all respects as a final judgment of the court in favour of the Commonwealth.

(6) The costs of registration of the certificate and other proceedings under this section shall, subject to the prescribed conditions (if any), be deemed to be payable under the certificate.

Recovery of amount paid as a result of false statement etc.

55. Where a producer has received an amount of grant (other than a loan) under a program referred to in paragraph 7 (a), (b), (c) or (d) as a result of the making of a statement, or the presentation of a book, record or document by or on behalf of the producer that was, whether or not to the knowledge of the producer or the person making the statement or presenting the book, record or document, false or misleading, an amount equal to the amount so granted is, unless a court has made an order under section 54 in respect of that amount, recoverable by the Commonwealth from the producer in a court of competent jurisdiction as a debt due to the Commonwealth.

Evidence of payment

56. For the purposes of sections 54 and 55, a certificate under the hand of the Chairperson that an amount of grant has been paid in consequence of the making of a statement or the presentation of a book, record or document, is prima facie evidence of the matters stated in the certificate.


Authority may supply information

57. Subject to section 58, the Authority may, in its discretion, supply to a person information received by it under this Act.

Confidentiality

58. (1) The Authority, a member of the Authority or a member of the staff of the Authority shall not supply information to a person if the supplying of the information would constitute a breach of confidence.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to anything done as required or permitted by law.

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to the supply of information to:

(a) the Minister;

(b) the Secretary to the Department; or

(c) an officer of the Department designated, in writing, by the Secretary to the Department.

(4) In subsection (1), member of the staff of the Authority means:

(a) a member of the staff referred to in subsection 50 (1);

(b) a person engaged as a consultant under section 52; or

(c) a person whose services are being made available to the Authority in accordance with arrangements under section 51.

Department may supply information or documents

59. (1) The Department may, in its discretion, supply to the Authority information, or a document, that has been supplied to the Department in the course of any administrative action taken for the purpose of monitoring, or reporting on, a TCF industry.

(2) The supply of information or a document by the Department under subsection (1) shall not be taken to constitute an authorisation or approval, for the purposes of the law relating to defamation or breach of confidence, of the publication by the Authority of the information, or of the document or its contents, as the case may be.

(3) The supply of a document by the Department under subsection (1) shall not be taken to constitute an authorisation or approval, for the purposes of the law of copyright, of the doing by the Authority of any act comprised in the copyright in any work or other subject-matter contained in the document.

Appropriation

60. Any financial assistance under this Act shall be provided out of money appropriated by Parliament for the purpose.


Delegation by Authority

61. (1) The Authority may, by resolution:

(a) delegate to a member;

(b) delegate to a member of the staff of the Authority; or

(c) with the approval of the Minister—delegate to any other person or body;

all or any of the Authoritys powers under this Act.

(2) A delegation of a power under this section:

(a) may be revoked by a resolution of the Authority (whether or not constituted by the persons constituting the Authority at the time the power was delegated); and

(b) continues in force notwithstanding a change in the membership of the Authority.

(3) Section 34a of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 applies in relation to a delegation under this section as if the Authority were a person.

(4) A certificate signed by the Chairperson stating any matter with respect to a delegation of a power under this section is prima facie evidence of that matter.

(5) A document purporting to be a certificate mentioned in subsection (4) shall, unless the contrary is established, be deemed to be such a certificate and to have been duly given.

Regulations

62. The Governor-General may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act, prescribing matters:

(a) required or permitted by this Act to be prescribed; or

(b) necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.

Termination of Act

63. On the expiration of 29 February 1996, this Act shall cease to have effect.

 

[Ministers second reading speech made in

Senate on 25 February 1988

House of Representatives on 20 April 1988]