Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

A Bill for an Act to repeal the Coal Industry Act 1946, and for related purposes
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Introduced HR 28 Jun 2000

Coal Industry Repeal Bill 2000

1998-1999-2000

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

COAL INDUSTRY REPEAL BILL 2000

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources,

Senator the Honourable Nick Minchin)

ISBN: 0642 439141

COAL INDUSTRY REPEAL BILL 2000

OUTLINE

This Bill provides for the repeal of the (Commonwealth) Coal Industry Act 1946 and the dissolution of the Joint Coal Board as constituted under that Act and the (New South Wales) Coal Industry Act 1946. The Bill supports New South Wales in making a law to provide for the transfer of all the assets, rights, liabilities of the Joint Coal Board, the transfer of members of the staff of the Joint Coal Board and other matters incidental to the dissolution of the Joint Coal Board.

It has been a long-standing policy commitment of this Government to place the New South Wales coal industry on an equal footing with all other States who administer their coal industries without this level of Commonwealth Government oversight or involvement.

In accordance with this policy, the New South Wales Government will be given sole responsibility for establishing a new corporation or entity to manage functions previously undertaken by the Joint Coal Board that it considers, in consultation with parties associated with the New South Wales coal industry, need to be maintained.

The transfer of all the assets, rights, liabilities and staff to a new corporation or entity established under New South Wales legislation will ensure there will be no financial barriers to New South Wales in continuing to maintain these functions.

Financial impact statement

The Joint Coal Board has been self-funding since 1992/93. Very small Commonwealth administrative savings will result from Commonwealth withdrawal from the Joint Coal Board due to the non-continuation of some administrative activities arising from the Coal Industry Act 1946 such as ministerial approval of annual operating plans and annual reports, and ministerial appointment of board members.

COAL INDUSTRY REPEAL BILL 2000

NOTES ON CLAUSES

Clause 1: Short Title

1. Clause 1 is a formal provision specifying the short title of the Bill.

Clause 2: Commencement

2. Clause 2 provides for the Bill to commence on a day or days to be fixed by Proclamation. The commencement provision will need to mirror New South Wales' legislation dealing with the dissolution of the Joint Coal Board. In effect, the date of proclamation will be coordinated between the Commonwealth and New South Wales to ensure that the new arrangements are in place and ready to take over once the Joint Coal Board is dissolved.

Clause 3: Schedule(s)

3. Clause 3 provides that each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the Schedule.

Schedule 1-Coal Industry Act 1946

Item 1 provides for the repeal of the whole of the Coal Industry Act 1946.

Clause 4: Dissolution of Joint Coal Board etc.

4. There are three parts to Clause 4:

Subclause 4(1) provides for the Joint Coal Board being dissolved under the Coal Industry Act 1946.

Subclause 4(2) provides that it is the Parliament's intention that New South

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Wales legislation make provision for:

(a) the transfer of all the assets, rights and liabilities of the Joint Coal Board to a new New South Wales corporation or entity to ensure that:

. all the assets, tangible or intangible, of the Joint Coal Board are transferred to a new New South Wales corporation or entity that will administer the functions that were carried out by the Joint Coal Board;

. the New South Wales Parliament is not restricted in making any provisions relating to the transfer of the rights of the Joint Coal Board;

. the Commonwealth is indemnified against all possible current and future claims against the Joint Coal Board and any corporation or entity established by New South Wales legislation to take over its former functions; and

(b) the transfer of all the Joint Coal Board staff to a new New South Wales corporation or entity prior to dissolution of the Joint Coal Board; and

(c) any other matters to facilitate the dissolution of the Joint Coal Board.

Subclause 4(3) defines terms used in subclause 4(2):

* assets means any legal or equitable estate or interest (whether present or future and whether vested or contingent) in real or personal property of any description (including money), and includes securities, choses in action and documents.

* Joint Coal Board means the body corporate constituted under:

(a) the Coal Industry Act 1946; and

(b) the Coal Industry Act 1946 of New South Wales.

* liabilities means all liabilities, debts and obligations (whether present or future and whether vested or contingent).

* rights means all rights, powers, privileges and immunities (whether present or future and whether vested or contingent).

Clause 5: Operations of Archives Act

5. There are two parts to Clause 5:

Subclause 5(1) provides clarification on the treatment of records of the Joint Coal Board by noting that there is no intention within this Bill to override the provisions of the Archives Act 1983. The records of the Joint Coal Board can be considered Commonwealth records under the Archives Act 1983 and their transfer will also need to be dealt with in accordance with the Archives Act 1983.

Subclause 5(2) provides that this Bill does empower NSW to make a law under subclause 4(2) of this Bill to transfer Commonwealth records of the JCB. It also provides that records can only be transferred where National Archives of Australia provides permission under the paragraph 24(2)(b) of Archives Act 1983.

In effect, Clause 5 allows for the records of the Joint Coal Board that are of national archival interest to be managed by National Archives of Australia and for administrative arrangements to be developed under the Archives Act 1983 for the transfer of other records to NSW.

Clause 6: Workers' compensation schemes

6. There are two parts to Clause 6:

Subclause 6(1) provides that any workers' compensation scheme established by the Joint Coal Board and in operation under section 26 of the Coal Industry Act 1946 immediately before the repeal of that Act is taken to have been established by a new corporation or entity under New South Wales legislation to replace the Joint Coal Board.

Subclause 6(2) provides that this Clause does not limit the powers of Clause 4.

Clause 7: Compensation for acquisition of property

7. There are three parts to Clause 7:

Subclause 7(1) provides that, if apart from Clause 7, the operation of the Act proposed by this Bill results in an acquisition of property from a person not on just terms then this acquisition would be invalid because of paragraph 51(xxxi) of the Constitution. If the acquisition is invalid, the Commonwealth is liable to pay the person a reasonable amount of compensation in respect of that acquisition.

Subclause 7(2) provides that if the Commonwealth and the person referred to in subclause 7(1) do not agree on the amount of compensation, that person may seek a remedy from the Federal Court of Australia for recovery of compensation.

Subclause 7(3) defines terms used in subclause 7(1):

* acquisition of property has the same meaning as in paragraph 51(xxxi) of the Constitution.

* just terms has the same meaning as in paragraph 51(xxxi) of the Constitution.