Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

A Bill for an Act to establish a Commonwealth statutory authority with responsibility for protecting animal welfare in Commonwealth regulated activities, and for related purposes
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Registered 25 Jun 2013
Introduced Senate 20 Jun 2013

2010‑2011‑2012‑2013

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voice for Animals (Independent Office of Animal Welfare) Bill 2013

 

No.      , 2013

 

(Senator Rhiannon)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to establish a Commonwealth statutory authority with responsibility for protecting animal welfare in Commonwealth regulated activities, and for related purposes

  

  

  


Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                             1

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

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 2

3............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 2

4............ Crown to be bound............................................................................. 3

Part 2—Office of Animal Welfare                                                                               4

5............ Establishment...................................................................................... 4

6............ Constitution......................................................................................... 4

7............ Function.............................................................................................. 4

8............ Office has the privileges and immunities of the Crown....................... 4

Part 3—Chief Executive Officer, staff and consultants                                 5

Division 1—Functions of the CEO                                                                         5

9............ Functions of the CEO......................................................................... 5

10.......... Minister may give directions to the CEO............................................ 7

Division 2—Appointment of the CEO                                                                  8

11.......... Appointment....................................................................................... 8

12.......... Term of appointment........................................................................... 8

13.......... Acting CEO........................................................................................ 8

Division 3—Terms and conditions of the CEO’s appointment               9

14.......... Remuneration and allowances............................................................. 9

15.......... Leave of absence................................................................................. 9

16.......... Outside employment........................................................................... 9

17.......... Disclosure of interests......................................................................... 9

18.......... Other terms and conditions............................................................... 10

19.......... Resignation....................................................................................... 10

20.......... Termination of appointment.............................................................. 10

Division 4—Staff and consultants                                                                        11

21.......... Staff.................................................................................................. 11

22.......... Persons assisting the CEO................................................................ 11

23.......... Consultants....................................................................................... 12

Part 4—Office of Animal Welfare Advisory Committee                             13

24.......... Establishment of the Office of Animal Welfare Advisory Committee 13

25.......... Functions of the Committee.............................................................. 13

26.......... Membership of the Committee.......................................................... 13

27.......... Procedures of the Committee............................................................ 14

28.......... Disclosure of interests....................................................................... 14

Part 5—Miscellaneous                                                                                                       15

29.......... Annual report.................................................................................... 15

30.......... Other reports..................................................................................... 15

31.......... Delegation by the CEO..................................................................... 16

 


A Bill for an Act to establish a Commonwealth statutory authority with responsibility for protecting animal welfare in Commonwealth regulated activities, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Part 1Preliminary

  

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Voice for Animals (Independent Office of Animal Welfare) Act 2013.

2  Commencement

             (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

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

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

2.  Sections 3 to 31

The day after the end of the period of 6 months beginning on the day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

However, if, before the end of that period, the Parliament does not appropriate funds for the purposes of this Act, the provision(s) do not commence at all.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  Definitions

                   In this Act:

CEO means the Chief Executive Officer appointed under section 11.

Committee means the Office of Animal Welfare Advisory Committee established by section 24.

Department Review functions has the meaning given in subsection 9(4).

Livestock Standards functions has the meaning given in subsection 9(2).

Office means the Office of Animal Welfare established by section 5.

Reporting functions has the meaning given in subsection 9(3).

4  Crown to be bound

                   This Act binds the Crown in each of its capacities.


 

Part 2Office of Animal Welfare

  

5  Establishment

                   The Office of Animal Welfare is established by this section.

6  Constitution

                   The Office consists of:

                     (a)  the CEO; and

                     (b)  the staff of the Office.

Note:          The Office does not have a legal identity separate from the Commonwealth.

7  Function

                   The Office’s function is to assist the CEO in the performance of the CEO’s functions.

8  Office has the privileges and immunities of the Crown

                   The Office has the privileges and immunities of the Crown in right of the Commonwealth.


 

Part 3Chief Executive Officer, staff and consultants

Division 1Functions of the CEO

9  Functions of the CEO

CEO’s functions

             (1)  The CEO has each of the following functions:

                     (a)  the Livestock Standards functions referred to in subsection (2);

                     (b)  the Reporting functions referred to in subsection (3);

                     (c)  the Department Review functions referred to in subsection (4).

Livestock Standards functions

             (2)  The CEO has each of the following functions (the Livestock Standards functions):

                     (a)  reviewing and monitoring the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock;

                     (b)  reviewing and monitoring the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System;

                     (c)  undertaking inquiries and preparing reports about the matters referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b).

Reporting functions

             (3)  The CEO has the following functions (the Reporting functions):

                     (a)  making the Office a Centre of Excellence for the collection and dissemination of information about animal welfare issues that impact the Commonwealth;

                     (b)  undertaking inquiries, commissioning research and preparing reports about the following issues:

                              (i)  protecting and promoting animal welfare in the export of live animals;

                             (ii)  the effectiveness of Commonwealth laws that apply to the export of live animals;

                            (iii)  the Commonwealth’s animal welfare policy;

                            (iv)  scientific and legal issues that arise in respect of the Commonwealth’s animal welfare policy;

                             (v)  potential animal welfare issues that arise in respect of the Commonwealth’s animal welfare policy;

                            (vi)  the importation of animals and animal products into Australia;

                           (vii)  the management of animal species introduced into Australia;

                          (viii)  the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy and the Model Codes of Practice for Animal Welfare;

                            (ix)  the possible harmonisation of animal welfare laws of the Commonwealth, States and Territories;

                             (x)  considering academic and scientific research relevant to any of the issues outlined in subparagraphs (i) to (ix);

                     (c)  undertaking inquiries and preparing reports about the activities and effectiveness of the:

                              (i)  Live Export Advisory Group; and

                             (ii)  Australian Animal Welfare Advisory Committee.

Department Review functions

             (4)  The CEO has the following functions (the Department Review functions):

                     (a)  considering the activities of the Department that relate to any of the following:

                              (i)  monitoring compliance with the Commonwealth’s animal welfare laws;

                             (ii)  the enforcement of the Commonwealth’s animal welfare laws;

                            (iii)  the effectiveness of the Commonwealth’s animal welfare laws; and

                     (b)  considering the effectiveness of the Department’s implementation of the Commonwealth’s animal welfare policy;

                     (c)  undertaking inquiries and preparing reports about the matters referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b).

Power to do things necessary or convenient

             (5)  The CEO has the power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of his or her functions.

10  Minister may give directions to the CEO

             (1)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, give written directions to the CEO about the performance of the CEO’s functions.

Note:          Section 42 (disallowance) and Part 6 (sunsetting) of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 do not apply to the direction (see sections 44 and 54 of that Act).

             (2)  A direction under subsection (1) must be of a general nature only.

             (3)  The CEO must comply with a direction under subsection (1).


 

Division 2Appointment of the CEO

11  Appointment

                   The CEO is to be appointed by the Minister by written instrument, on a full‑time basis.

12  Term of appointment

                   The CEO holds office for the period specified in the instrument of appointment. The period must not exceed 5 years.

Note:          The CEO is eligible for reappointment: see section 33AA of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

13  Acting CEO

                   The Minister may, by written instrument, appoint a person to act as CEO:

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

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

Note:          See sections 33AB and 33A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 for rules that apply to acting appointments.


 

Division 3Terms and conditions of the CEO’s appointment

14  Remuneration and allowances

             (1)  The CEO is to be paid the remuneration that is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal. If no determination of that remuneration by the Tribunal is in operation, the CEO is to be paid the remuneration that is prescribed by the regulations.

             (2)  The CEO is to be paid the allowances that are prescribed by the regulations.

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

15  Leave of absence

             (1)  The CEO has the recreation leave entitlements that are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

             (2)  The Minister may grant to the CEO leave of absence, other than recreation leave, on the terms and conditions as to remuneration or otherwise that the Minister determines in writing.

16  Outside employment

                   The CEO must not engage in paid employment outside the duties of his or her office without the Minister’s approval.

17  Disclosure of interests

                   The CEO must give written notice to the Minister of all interests, pecuniary or otherwise, that the CEO has or acquires and that conflict or could conflict with the proper performance of the CEO’s functions.

18  Other terms and conditions

                   The CEO holds office on the terms and conditions (if any) in relation to matters not covered by this Act that are determined, in writing, by the Minister.

19  Resignation

             (1)  The CEO may resign his or her appointment by giving the Minister a signed notice of resignation.

             (2)  The resignation takes effect on the day it is received by the Minister or, if a later day is specified in the resignation, on that later day.

20  Termination of appointment

                   The Minister may terminate the appointment of the CEO:

                     (a)  for misbehaviour; or

                     (b)  if the CEO is unable to perform the duties of his or her office because of physical or mental incapacity; or

                     (c)  if the CEO:

                              (i)  becomes bankrupt; or

                             (ii)  applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors; or

                            (iii)  compounds with his or her creditors; or

                            (iv)  makes an assignment of his or her remuneration for the benefit of his or her creditors; or

                     (d)  if the CEO is absent, except on leave of absence, for 14 consecutive days or for 28 days in any 12 months; or

                     (e)  if the CEO engages, without the Minister’s approval, in paid employment outside the duties of his or her office (see section 16); or

                      (f)  if the CEO fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 17 (which deals with disclosure of interests).


 

Division 4Staff and consultants

21  Staff

             (1)  The staff of the Office must be persons engaged under the Public Service Act 1999.

             (2)  For the purposes of that Act:

                     (a)  the CEO and the staff of the Office together constitute a Statutory Agency; and

                     (b)  the CEO is the Head of that Statutory Agency.

22  Persons assisting the CEO

             (1)  The CEO may also be assisted by:

                     (a)  officers and employees of Agencies (within the meaning of the Public Service Act 1999), and of authorities of the Commonwealth, whose services are made available to the Office in connection with the performance of any of its functions; and

                     (b)  persons whose services are so made available under arrangements made under subsection (2).

             (2)  The CEO may, on behalf of the Commonwealth, make an arrangement with the appropriate authority or officer of a State or Territory government or government authority under which the government or government authority makes officers or employees available to the CEO to perform services in connection with the performance of any of the CEO’s functions.

             (3)  An arrangement under subsection (2) may provide for the Commonwealth to reimburse a State or Territory with respect to the services of a person or persons to whom the arrangement relates.

             (4)  When performing services for the CEO under this section, a person is subject to the directions of the CEO.

23  Consultants

             (1)  The CEO may, on behalf of the Commonwealth, engage persons having suitable qualifications and experience as consultants to the CEO.

             (2)  The consultants are to be engaged on the terms and conditions that the CEO determines in writing.


 

Part 4Office of Animal Welfare Advisory Committee

  

24  Establishment of the Office of Animal Welfare Advisory Committee

                   The Office of Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (the Committee) is established by this section.

25  Functions of the Committee

                   The Committee has the following functions:

                     (a)  at the request of the CEO—to report to and advise the CEO in relation to any of the CEO’s functions referred to in section 9;

                     (b)  any other functions conferred on the Committee by a provision of another Act;

                     (c)  anything incidental or conducive to the performance of any of the above functions.

26  Membership of the Committee

                   The Committee consists of the following members:

                     (a)  the CEO;

                     (b)  each of the following:

                              (i)  3 members representing non‑governmental animal welfare organisations;

                             (ii)  1 member representing consumer groups;

                            (iii)  1 member representing scientists specialising in animal welfare issues;

                            (iv)  1 member representing ethicists specialising in animal welfare issues;

                             (v)  1 member representing the Department;

                            (vi)  1 member representing commercial producers, or commercial purchasers, of animals or animal products;

                     (c)  not more than 2 other persons, as the CEO considers appropriate.

27  Procedures of the Committee

             (1)  The CEO is to be the Chair of the Committee.

             (2)  The Chair of the Committee must hold such meetings as are necessary for the efficient performance of the Committee’s functions.

             (3)  The Chair must preside at all meetings at which he or she is present.

             (4)  If the Chair is not present at a meeting, the Chair may appoint a delegate to chair the meeting in place of the Chair.

28  Disclosure of interests

             (1)  A member of the Committee who has an interest, pecuniary or otherwise, in a matter being considered or about to be considered by the Committee must disclose the nature of the interest to a meeting of the Committee.

             (2)  The disclosure must be made as soon as possible after the relevant facts have come to the member’s knowledge.

             (3)  The disclosure must be recorded:

                     (a)  in the minutes of the meeting of the Committee; and

                     (b)  in any advice provided, or recommendations made, to the CEO by the Committee; and

                     (c)  in any guidelines issued to the CEO by the Committee.


 

Part 5Miscellaneous

  

29  Annual report

             (1)  The CEO must, within 45 days after the end of each financial year, prepare and give to the Minister, for presentation to the Parliament, a report that includes the following information:

                      (i)  details of the Office’s operations during the year;

                     (ii)  an evaluation of the Office’s overall performance during the year;

                    (iii)  information about the Office’s functions.

Note:          See also section 34C of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, which contains extra rules about annual reports.

             (2)  A report provided to the Minister, must be tabled in both Houses of the Parliament within 4 weeks of the date that it is provided to the Minister.

             (3)  If this section does not commence at the start of a financial year, the first report under subsection (1) must relate to the period that starts on the commencement of this section and ends at the end of the next 30 June.

30  Other reports

             (1)  If the CEO prepares a report for the purpose of section 9, the CEO must, within 15 days after the date that the report is completed, prepare and give to the Minister a copy of the report, for presentation to the Parliament.

             (2)  A report provided to the Minister, must be tabled in both Houses of the Parliament within 4 weeks of the date that it is provided to the Minister.

             (3)  If the Minister receives a report for the purpose of subsection (1), the Minister must prepare a written response to the recommendations made in the report and table the response in both Houses of the Parliament at the same time as the report is tabled in those Houses.

31  Delegation by the CEO

             (1)  The CEO may delegate, in writing, all or any of the CEO’s functions and powers under this Act to a member of the staff of the Office.

             (2)  In exercising his or her powers under subsection (1), the CEO is to have regard to the powers to be exercised by the delegate and the responsibilities of the officer to whom the power is delegated.

             (3)  A delegate must comply with any written directions of the CEO.