Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Commonwealth Volunteers Protection Act 2003

Authoritative Version
Act No. 2 of 2003 as amended, taking into account amendments up to Statute Law Revision Act 2011
An Act to protect volunteers working for the Commonwealth from civil liability, and for related purposes
Administered by: Treasury
Registered 03 May 2011
Start Date 19 Apr 2011

Commonwealth Volunteers Protection Act 2003

Act No. 2 of 2003 as amended

This compilation was prepared on 19 April 2011
taking into account amendments up to Act No. 5 of 2011

The text of any of those amendments not in force
on that date is appended in the Notes section

The operation of amendments that have been incorporated may be
affected by application provisions that are set out in the Notes section

Prepared by the Office of Legislative Drafting and Publishing,
Attorney‑General’s Department, Canberra

  

  

  


Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                             1

1............ Short title [see Note 1]........................................................................ 1

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

3............ Extended operation of Act................................................................... 2

4............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 2

5............ Application.......................................................................................... 3

Part 2—Protection from civil liability                                                                        4

6............ Protection from liability....................................................................... 4

7............ Commonwealth or Commonwealth authority to incur liability............ 5

8............ Volunteer to assist in defence of actions etc........................................ 5

9............ Certain indemnities to have no effect................................................... 5

10.......... No overriding of Damage by Aircraft Act.......................................... 5

11.......... Regulations......................................................................................... 5

Notes                                                                                                                                               7


An Act to protect volunteers working for the Commonwealth from civil liability, and for related purposes

Part 1Preliminary

  

1  Short title [see Note 1]

                   This Act may be cited as the Commonwealth Volunteers Protection Act 2003.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, on the day or at the time specified in column 2 of the table.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provision(s)

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  Sections 1 and 2 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent

24 February 2003

2.  Sections 3 to 11

A single day to be fixed by Proclamation, subject to subsection (3)

24 August 2003

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally passed by the Parliament and assented to. It will not be expanded to deal with provisions inserted in this Act after assent.

             (2)  Column 3 of the table is for additional information that is not part of this Act. This information may be included in any published version of this Act.

             (3)  If a provision covered by item 2 of the table does not commence within the period of 6 months beginning on the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent, it commences on the first day after the end of that period.

3  Extended operation of Act

                   This Act extends to every external Territory.

4  Definitions

             (1)  In this Act:

Commonwealth includes the following:

                     (a)  a Federal Court;

                     (b)  a Department of the Parliament established under the Parliamentary Service Act 1999;

                     (c)  a body (not being a body corporate) established or continued in existence for a public purpose by or under a Commonwealth law, other than a body established by or under:

                              (i)  the Australian Capital Territory (Self‑Government) Act 1988; or

                             (ii)  the Norfolk Island Act 1979; or

                            (iii)  the Northern Territory (Self‑Government) Act 1978.

Commonwealth authority means a body corporate established or continued in existence for a public purpose by or under a Commonwealth law, but does not include:

                     (a)  a corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006; or

                     (b)  an organisation registered or an association recognised under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009; or

                     (c)  a body specified in the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph.

organised includes directed and supervised.

recreational drug means a drug consumed voluntarily for non‑medicinal purposes and includes alcohol.

voluntary basis has the meaning given by subsections (2) and (3).

Meaning of voluntary basis

             (2)  An individual does work for the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority on a voluntary basis if the individual:

                     (a)  either:

                              (i)  receives no remuneration for doing the work other than the reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred by the individual in doing the work; or

                             (ii)  receives remuneration for doing the work less than the amount, if any, prescribed or determined in accordance with the regulations; and

                     (b)  does not do the work under a court order.

             (3)  An individual also does work for the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority on a voluntary basis if:

                     (a)  the individual continues to receive remuneration from the individual’s usual employer while doing the work but receives no other remuneration for doing the work other than:

                              (i)  reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred by the individual in doing the work; or

                             (ii)  remuneration less than the amount, if any, prescribed or determined in accordance with the regulations; and

                     (b)  the work is of a kind that is usually done for the Commonwealth or the Commonwealth authority by persons who either:

                              (i)  receive no remuneration for doing the work other than the reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred in doing the work; or

                             (ii)  receive remuneration for doing the work less than the amount, if any, prescribed or determined in accordance with the regulations; and

                     (c)  the individual does not do the work under a court order.

Acts and omissions of individuals covered

             (4)  A reference in this Act to a thing done by an individual includes a reference to the omission by an individual to do a thing.

5  Application

                   This Act applies only in relation to civil liability for a thing done by an individual after the commencement of this Act.


 

Part 2Protection from civil liability

  

6  Protection from liability

Protection

             (1)  An individual does not incur civil liability for anything that the individual has done in good faith in doing work for the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority if it is work:

                     (a)  done by the individual on a voluntary basis; and

                     (b)  organised by the Commonwealth or the Commonwealth authority.

Third‑party insurance or defamation

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to:

                     (a)  a liability that is covered by a scheme of compulsory third‑party motor vehicle insurance; or

                     (b)  a liability for defamation.

Individual affected by drugs

             (3)  Subsection (1) does not apply if the individual’s ability to carry out the work properly was, at the relevant time, significantly impaired by a recreational drug.

Individual acting outside scope of authority or instructions

             (4)  Subsection (1) does not apply if:

                     (a)  the individual was acting, and knew or ought to have known that he or she was acting, outside the scope of the activities authorised by the Commonwealth or the Commonwealth authority; or

                     (b)  the individual was acting, and knew or ought to have known that he or she was acting, contrary to instructions given by the Commonwealth or the Commonwealth authority.

7  Commonwealth or Commonwealth authority to incur liability

             (1)  The Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority incurs any civil liability that an individual would, except for section 6, incur in respect of a thing done by the individual while doing work for the Commonwealth or the Commonwealth authority.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to a Commonwealth authority if:

                     (a)  a provision in an Act gives protection to the Commonwealth authority from civil liability; and

                     (b)  under the provision, the Commonwealth authority would be protected from civil liability in relation to the thing done by the individual.

8  Volunteer to assist in defence of actions etc.

                   If the Commonwealth or the Commonwealth authority requests the individual to assist the Commonwealth or the Commonwealth authority in any action, claim or demand relating to a civil liability that the Commonwealth or Commonwealth authority may incur or incurs under section 7, then the individual must comply with the request.

9  Certain indemnities to have no effect

                   An indemnity given by an individual against a liability that the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority incurs under this Act in respect of work done by the individual has no effect.

10  No overriding of Damage by Aircraft Act

                   This Act does not override or limit the operation of the Damage by Aircraft Act 1999.

11  Regulations

                   The Governor‑General may make regulations 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.


Notes to the Commonwealth Volunteers Protection Act 2003

Note 1

The Commonwealth Volunteers Protection Act 2003 as shown in this compilation comprises Act No. 2, 2003 amended as indicated in the Tables below.

Table of Acts

Act

Number
and year

Date
of Assent

Date of commencement

Application, saving or transitional provisions

Commonwealth Volunteers Protection Act 2003

2, 2003

24 Feb 2003

Ss. 3–11: 24 Aug 2003
Remainder: Royal Assent

 

Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Consequential, Transitional and Other Measures Act 2006

125, 2006

4 Nov 2006

Schedules 1–3: 1 July 2007 (see s. 2(1))
Remainder: Royal Assent

Fair Work (State Referral and Consequential and Other Amendments) Act 2009

54, 2009

25 June 2009

Schedule 18 (item 1): (a)

Statute Law Revision Act 2011

5, 2011

22 Mar 2011

Schedule 6 (item 124): 19 Apr 2011


(a)     Subsection 2(1) (item 41) of the Fair Work (State Referral and Consequential and Other Amendments) Act 2009 provides as follows:

                 (1)   Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provision(s)

Commencement

Date/Details

41.  Schedule 18

Immediately after the commencement of Part 2‑4 of the Fair Work Act 2009.

1 July 2009 (see F2009L02563)


Table of Amendments

ad. = added or inserted     am. = amended     rep. = repealed     rs. = repealed and substituted

Provision affected

How affected

Part 1

 

S. 4 .....................................

am. No. 125, 2006; No. 54, 2009; No. 5, 2011