Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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A Bill for an Act to subsidise students’ purchases of educational textbooks when studying at education institutions, and for related purposes
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Registered 15 Feb 2008
Introduced Senate 18 Jun 2003

2002‑2003

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

Textbook Subsidy Bill 2003

 

No.      , 2003

 

(Senator Stott Despoja)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to subsidise students’ purchases of educational textbooks when studying at education institutions, and for related purposes

  

  

  


Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                               1

1............ Short title............................................................................................ 1

2............ Commencement.................................................................................. 1

3............ Objects of Act.................................................................................... 2

4............ Interpretation...................................................................................... 2

5............ Binding of the Crown......................................................................... 3

6............ Extension of Act................................................................................. 3

7............ Secretary to have general administration............................................ 3

8............ Principles of administration................................................................ 3

Part 2—Textbook subsidy scheme                                                                                5

9............ Registered bookseller.......................................................................... 5

10.......... Payment of the textbook subsidy....................................................... 5

Part 3—Administration                                                                                                        7

11.......... Guidelines........................................................................................... 7

12.......... Delegation........................................................................................... 7

13.......... Power to obtain information............................................................... 7

14.......... Provisions relating to requirements.................................................... 8

15.......... State/Territory law does not affect obligations to provide information  9

Part 4—Miscellaneous                                                                                                       10

16.......... Appropriation.................................................................................. 10

17.......... Regulations....................................................................................... 10

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to subsidise students’ purchases of educational textbooks when studying at education institutions, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Part 1Preliminary

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Textbook Subsidy Act 2003.

2  Commencement

                   This Act commences on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

3  Objects of Act

             (1)  The objects of this Act are:

                     (a)  to assist students reduce their costs of studying at education institutions by minimising the impact of the goods and services tax on the cost of textbooks purchased from participating booksellers; and

                     (b)  to assist the Australian book industry by encouraging the purchase of educational textbooks published in Australia.

4  Interpretation

             (1)  In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears:

educational textbook means a paper‑based work that:

                     (a)  has a substantial text content; and

                     (b)  has an International Standard Book Number (ISBN); and

                     (c)  an education institution has required or recommended students, in a course of study at that institution, purchase for that course of study; and

                     (d)  is a taxable supply or taxable importation within the meaning of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999;

but does not include:

                     (e)  a paper‑based work that is second‑hand.

education institution has the same meaning as in the Student Assistance Act 1973.

officer means a person performing duties, or exercising powers or functions, under or in relation to this Act and includes:

                     (a)  a person who has been such a person; and

                     (b)  a person who is or has been appointed or employed by the Commonwealth and who, as a result of that appointment or employment, may acquire or has acquired information concerning a person under this Act; and

                     (c)  a person who, although not appointed or employed by the Commonwealth, performs or did perform services for the Commonwealth and who, as a result of performing those services, may acquire or has acquired information concerning a person under this Act.

parent includes those persons in favour of whom a parenting order, within the meaning of the Family Law Act 1975, has been made.

pre‑subsidy price means the price of the educational textbook that would have been charged if a discount equivalent to the textbook subsidy had not been provided.

registered bookseller means an entity registered under section 9.

student means a person who undertakes, or proposes to undertake, at an education institution in that year or that part of that year, a prescribed course of study or instruction.

textbook subsidy means the amount worked out in accordance subsection 10(2).

applicant has the meaning given by subsection 9(2).

5  Binding of the Crown

                   This Act binds the Crown in all its capacities.

6  Extension of Act

                   This Act extends to the Territory of Christmas Island and to the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

7  Secretary to have general administration

                   The Secretary has the general administration of this Act.

8  Principles of administration

                   In administering this Act, the Secretary is to have regard to:

                     (a)  the desirability of achieving the following results:

                              (i)  the maximisation of cooperation between education institutions, registered booksellers and students in relation to the textbook subsidy;

                             (ii)  the minimisation of registered booksellers’ costs in complying with the requirements of this Act;

                            (iii)  the ready availability to members of the public of advice and information services relating to the textbook subsidy under this Act; and

                     (b)  the establishment of procedures to ensure that abuses of the textbook subsidy are minimised.


 

Part 2Textbook subsidy scheme

9  Registered bookseller

             (1)  An entity is eligible to be registered as a registered bookseller where the entity:

                     (a)  is registered in the Australian Business Register under the A New Tax System (Australian Business Register) Act 1999; and

                     (b)  is registered under the A New Tax System (Goods and Services) Act 1999; and

                     (c)  offers educational textbooks for sale; and

                     (d)  agrees to any terms and conditions required by the Secretary for:

                              (i)  the registration as a registered bookseller; and

                             (ii)  the payment of the textbook subsidy; and

                            (iii)  any matters related to subparagraphs (i) and (ii).

             (2)  An entity (the applicant) may apply, in a form approved by the Secretary, to the Secretary to be registered as a registered bookseller.

             (3)  The Secretary must register the applicant as a registered bookseller where the Secretary is satisfied that the applicant is eligible to be registered as a registered bookseller.

             (4)  The Secretary may require the applicant give the Secretary specified information or a specified document which the Secretary requires in order to be satisfied that:

                     (a)  the applicant is eligible to be registered as a registered bookseller; or

                     (b)  the applicant’s identity is established.

10  Payment of the textbook subsidy

             (1)  The Secretary must pay a registered bookseller the textbook subsidy where:

                     (a)  the registered bookseller applies to the Secretary, in a form approved by the Secretary, for the textbook subsidy; and

                     (b)  the Secretary is satisfied, in relation to the textbook subsidy claimed for each educational textbook, that the registered bookseller sold the educational textbook:

                              (i)  to a student, or that student’s parent; and

                             (ii)  at an 8 percent discount of the pre‑subsidy price of the educational textbook.

             (2)  The textbook subsidy for each educational textbook is worked out using the formula:

pre-subsidy price of the educational book

                                       92                                            x 100


 

Part 3Administration

11  Guidelines

             (1)  The Secretary may, by notice in writing, issue guidelines for the performance of functions and duties, and for the exercise of powers, by officers of the Department, in relation to matters arising under this Act including, in particular, the following matters relating to the textbook subsidy:

                     (a)  registration; and

                     (b)  accounting and recordkeeping requirements; and

                     (c)  arrangements for verifying eligibility; and

                     (d)  payment.

             (2)  At any time, the Secretary may, by written notice, issue further guidelines that vary or revoke the existing guidelines.

             (3)  The guidelines referred to in subsections (1) and (2) must be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 5 sitting days of that House after the guidelines are issued.

12  Delegation

                   The Secretary may, by signed writing, delegate to an officer all or any of the powers of the Secretary under this Act.

13  Power to obtain information

                   The Secretary may require a person to give information, or to produce a document that is in the person’s custody or under the person’s control, to the Department if the Secretary considers that the information or document may be relevant to:

                     (a)  establishing the applicant’s identity; or

                     (b)  whether a registered bookseller was entitled to be registered under this Act; or

                     (c)  whether a textbook subsidy under this Act was payable to a person who has received it.

Note:          A requirement under this section may be sent to an entity as well as to a natural person—paragraph 22(1)(a) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 provides that person includes a body politic or corporate.

14  Provisions relating to requirements

Requirement by written notice

             (1)  A requirement made to a person under section 13 must be by written notice given to the person.

Note:          Sections 28A and 29 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 provide that a notice is given to a natural person if the notice is:

                                            (a)     delivered personally; or

                                            (b)     left at the last known address of the person; or

                                            (c)     sent by pre‑paid post to the last known address of the person.

Contents of notice

             (2)  The notice must state:

                     (a)  how the person is to give the information; and

                     (b)  the period within which the person is to give the information; and

                     (c)  the officer (if any) to whom the information is to be given; and

                     (d)  the section under which the requirement by the notice is made.

Time limit for providing information

             (3)  The end of the period stated under paragraph (2)(b) must be at least 14 days after the notice is given.

Appearance before officer

             (4)  The notice may require the person to give the information by appearing (or, if the person is a body corporate, to arrange for a person to appear) before a particular officer to answer questions.

Time and place for appearance

             (5)  If the notice requires a person to appear before an officer, the notice must state a time and a place for the person to appear, and the time must be at least 14 days after the notice is given.

             (6)  A person must not refuse or fail to comply with a requirement made under section 13.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 12 months.

             (7)  Subsection (6) does not apply if the person has a reasonable excuse.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (7) (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

             (8)  Subsection (6) does not apply to the extent that the person is not capable of complying with the requirement.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (8) (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

           (13)  For the purposes of an offence against subsection (6), strict liability applies to the physical element, that the requirement was made under section 13.

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

15  State/Territory law does not affect obligations to provide information

                   Nothing contained in any law of a State or a Territory operates to prevent a person from:

                     (a)  giving information; or

                     (b)  producing documents; or

                     (c)  giving evidence;

that the person is required to give or produce to the Department or to an officer of the Department for the purposes of this Act.


 

Part 4Miscellaneous

16  Appropriation

                   Payments of the textbook subsidy to a registered bookseller under subsection 10(1) are to be made out of money appropriated by the Parliament for that purpose.

17  Regulations

             (1)  The Governor‑General may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act, prescribing all matters which, by this Act, are required or permitted to be prescribed, or which are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act, and, in particular:

                     (a)  making provision in relation to the furnishing of information by applicants for the textbook subsidy and by persons to whom the textbook subsidy has been granted; and

                     (b)  making provision for and in relation to the giving of notices and other documents under this Act; and

                     (c)  prescribing penalties, not exceeding a fine of $1,000 or imprisonment for 6 months, or both, for offences against the regulations; and

                     (d)  making provision in relation to:

                              (i)  the times at which; and

                             (ii)  the manner in which;

payments are to be made to persons.