Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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A Bill for an Act to amend the Reserve Bank Act 1959, and for related purposes
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Registered 05 Dec 2013
Introduced Senate 05 Dec 2013
Table of contents.

2013

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Reserve Bank Amendment (Australian Reconstruction and Development Board) Bill 2013

 

No.      , 2013

 

(Senators Xenophon and Madigan)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the Reserve Bank Act 1959, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

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

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

3............ Schedule(s)......................................................................................... 2

Schedule 1—Amendments                                                                                                3

Reserve Bank Act 1959                                                                                               3

 


A Bill for an Act to amend the Reserve Bank Act 1959, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Reserve Bank Amendment (Australian Reconstruction and Development Board) 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 to 3 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

2.  Schedule 1

The 28th day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted.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  Schedule(s)

                   Each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1Amendments

  

Reserve Bank Act 1959

1  Subsection 5(1)

Insert:

development task has the meaning given by subsection 10BB(2).

2  Subsection 5(1)

Insert:

facilitative task has the meaning given by subsection 10BB(2).

3  Subsection 5(1)

Insert:

reconstruction task has the meaning given by subsection 10BB(2).

4  Subsection 5(1)

Insert:

rural reconstruction and development policy has the meaning given by subsection 10BB(2).

5  Subsection 7A(2)

After “Payments System Board”, insert “or the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board”.

6  Subsection 7A(3)

After “Payments System Board”, insert “and the members of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board”.

7  After paragraph 8(i)

Insert:

                    (ia)  to acquire, hold, deal with and dispose of property; and

8  Subsection 8A(1)

Omit “2”, substitute “3”.

9  At the end of subsection 8A(1)

Add:

             ; and (c)  the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board.

10  Subsection 8A(2)

After “payments system policy”, insert “and its rural reconstruction and development policy”.

11  After subsection 8A(3)

Insert:

          (3A)  The Australian Reconstruction and Development Board is responsible for the Bank’s rural reconstruction and development policy (see section 10BB).

12  Subsection 8A(5)

Omit “2 Boards”, substitute “3 Boards”.

13  Subsection 10(1)

After “payments system policy”, insert “and rural reconstruction and development policy”.

14  After section 10B

Insert:

10BA  Establishment of Australian Reconstruction and Development Board

                   There is to be an Australian Reconstruction and Development Board of the Reserve Bank which is to be constituted as provided in Part IIIB.

10BB  Functions of Australian Reconstruction and Development Board

             (1)  The Australian Reconstruction and Development Board has power to determine the Bank’s rural reconstruction and development policy.

             (2)  The Bank’s rural reconstruction and development policy is its policy in relation to the following tasks:

                     (a)  the task (the facilitative task) of researching, reporting on and helping to develop, in a timely way, the resilience, capabilities and ongoing financial viability of:

                              (i)  Australia’s food and natural fibre systems; and

                             (ii)  any Australian industries or sectors in need of, or potentially in need of, reconstruction or development, including industries or sectors in systems other than those referred to in subparagraph (i) that the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board has identified as being at risk;

                     (b)  the task (the development task) of contributing to the development of Australian agriculture, associated industries and infrastructure by:

                              (i)  developing and offering financial arrangements; and

                             (ii)  reviewing financial arrangements;

                     (c)  the task (the reconstruction task) of fairly, reasonably and effectively reducing or eliminating the debilitating impact of financial arrangements that, because of any of the following, threaten or reduce the ongoing viability or sustainability of enterprises in Australian agriculture or associated industries:

                              (i)  the design of the financial arrangements;

                             (ii)  inadequate evaluation of the financial arrangements by any of the parties to the arrangements;

                            (iii)  market, organisational or informational failures;

                            (iv)  seasonal conditions, natural disasters or any other events beyond the control of the parties;

                             (v)  any other adverse circumstances.

             (3)  The Australian Reconstruction and Development Board has power to take whatever action is necessary, including applying capital of the Bank referred to in section 28 as it considers appropriate, to ensure that the Bank gives effect to the policy it determines.

             (4)  It is the duty of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board to ensure, within the limits of its powers, that:

                     (a)  the Bank’s rural reconstruction and development policy is directed to the greatest advantage of the people and industries of Australia; and

                     (b)  the powers of the Bank are exercised in a way that, in the Board’s opinion, will best fulfil the facilitative task, the development task and the reconstruction task in ways that:

                              (i)  are timely, equitable and transparent; and

                             (ii)  ensure that appropriate means are used to assist sound investment and prudent financial decisions; and

                            (iii)  ensure that investment and financial arrangements reasonably and realistically recognise the nature of likely yields, revenues, costs, uncertainties and risks over time and circumstances and the impact of such things on the ability of an obligated party to meet offered conditions; and

                            (iv)  ensure that due regard is had to all relevant interests; and

                             (v)  ensure that persons being assisted by the reconstruction task assume responsibilities that are fair and reasonable, having regard to past efforts, but not so onerous as to threaten the persons’ ongoing enterprise in a reconstructed form or industry exit on reasonable and accepted terms.

             (5)  A House of the Parliament, a committee of a House, or a joint committee of both Houses may request the Board:

                     (a)  to take a matter into account in performing the Board’s functions; or

                     (b)  to report to the House or committee on a matter relevant to the Board’s functions.

15  At the end of section 10C

Add:

Reserve Bank Board and Australian Reconstruction and Development Board

             (4)  If a policy determined by the Reserve Bank Board and a policy determined by the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board are inconsistent:

                     (a)  the Reserve Bank Board’s policy prevails; and

                     (b)  the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board’s policy has effect as if it were modified to remove the inconsistency.

             (5)  If there is a disagreement between the Reserve Bank Board and the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board as to:

                     (a)  whether there is an inconsistency of policy to which subsection (4) applies, or the extent of such an inconsistency; or

                     (b)  the effect of paragraph (4)(b) on a policy of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board;

the disagreement is to be resolved as determined by the Governor.

             (6)  If there is a disagreement between the Reserve Bank Board and the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board as to which of the Boards is responsible for determining the Bank’s policy on a matter, the disagreement is to be resolved as determined by the Treasurer.

16  At the end of subsection 11(1)

Add:

                   ; (c)  the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board is to inform the Government, from time to time, of the Bank’s rural reconstruction and development policy.

17  Subsection 11(2)

After “Australia”, insert “and, in the case of the rural reconstruction and development policy, the industries of Australia”.

18  Subsection 12(2)

Omit “and 10B”, substitute “, 10B and 10BB”.

19  After Part IIIA

Insert:

Part IIIBThe Australian Reconstruction and Development Board

  

Division 1The members of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board

25NA  Membership of Australian Reconstruction and Development Board

             (1)  The Australian Reconstruction and Development Board consists of the following members:

                     (a)  the Governor;

                     (b)  one representative of the Bank;

                     (c)  7 other members with relevant rural or agricultural experience.

             (2)  Among the members referred to in paragraph 25NA(1)(c) must be the following:

                     (a)  an economist;

                     (b)  an accountant;

                     (c)  a banker;

                     (d)  a representative of the States and Territories;

                     (e)  a farmer.

25NB  Appointment of members

             (1)  The member who is the representative of the Bank referred to in paragraph 25NA(1)(b) is to be appointed by the Governor. The person appointed must be a member of the Reserve Bank Board or a staff member of the Reserve Bank Service.

             (2)  Each other member referred to in paragraph 25NA(1)(c) is to be appointed by the Treasurer for a period specified in the instrument of appointment. The period specified must not exceed 5 years.

             (3)  All appointments under this section are to be in writing.

             (4)  All appointments under this section are to be on a part‑time basis.

Note 1:       Members appointed under subsection (1) are not appointed for a specified period, however, their appointments can be terminated at any time (see section 25NL).

Note 2:       The Governor is an ex officio member of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board (and so is not separately appointed to the Board).

25NC  Chair of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board

                   The Chair is to be appointed by the members of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board.

25ND  Deputy Chair of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board

             (1)  The Deputy Chair of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board is to be whichever of the members referred to in paragraph 25NA(1)(a) or (b) is chosen by the members of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board.

             (2)  The Deputy Chair is to act as the Chair during any period when:

                     (a)  the office of Chair is vacant; or

                     (b)  the Chair is absent from Australia or is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of Chair of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board.

             (3)  The Deputy Chair has, when acting as the Chair, all the powers, duties, rights and entitlements of the Chair of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board.

25NE  Declaration by members

             (1)  Each member of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board must, before first starting to act as a member of the Board:

                     (a)  make an oath or affirmation of allegiance; and

                     (b)  make a declaration of secrecy.

However, the member does not have to do so if he or she is also a member of the Reserve Bank Board and has made an oath or affirmation, and a declaration of secrecy, under section 16.

             (2)  The oath or affirmation of allegiance:

                     (a)  is to be in accordance with the form set out in the Schedule to the Constitution; and

                     (b)  is to be made before a Justice of the Peace or a Commissioner for taking Affidavits.

             (3)  The declaration of secrecy:

                     (a)  is to be in the prescribed form; and

                     (b)  is to be made before a Justice of the Peace or a Commissioner for taking Affidavits.

Division 2Meetings

25NF  Meetings

             (1)  The Australian Reconstruction and Development Board is to meet at times and places as determined by the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board or as directed by the Chair.

             (2)  The Chair is to preside at all meetings of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board at which he or she is present. In the Chair’s absence, the Deputy Chair is to preside.

             (3)  Five members of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board form a quorum at a meeting of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board.

             (4)  Questions arising at a meeting of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board are to be decided by a majority of the votes of the members present and voting.

             (5)  The member presiding at a meeting of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board:

                     (a)  has a deliberative vote; and

                     (b)  if necessary, also has a casting vote.

25NG  Conduct of meetings

                   The Australian Reconstruction and Development Board may regulate proceedings at its meetings as it considers appropriate. However, proceedings at a meeting must not be inconsistent with this Part.

Note:          Section 33B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 contains further information about the ways in which members may participate in meetings.

25NH  Resolutions without meetings

                   A resolution is taken to have been passed at a meeting of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board if:

                     (a)  the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board has determined:

                              (i)  that resolutions may be passed in accordance with this section; and

                             (ii)  the method of indicating agreement with a resolution passed in accordance with this section; and

                     (b)  without meeting, a majority of the members indicate agreement with the resolution in accordance with the method determined by the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board; and

                     (c)  the majority would have constituted a quorum at a meeting of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board; and

                     (d)  all members were informed of the proposed resolution, or reasonable efforts were made to inform all members of the proposed resolution.

Division 3Other administrative provisions

25NI  Remuneration

             (1)  A member of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board 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 member is to be paid the remuneration that is prescribed.

             (2)  A member of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board is to be paid the allowances that are prescribed.

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

25NJ  Leave of absence

                   The Australian Reconstruction and Development Board may grant leave of absence to a member of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board on the terms and conditions that it determines.

25NK  Resignation

                   A member of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board (other than the Governor) may resign his or her appointment by giving a written resignation to.

                     (a)  if he or she is the member referred to in paragraph 25NA(1)(b)—the Governor; or

                     (b)  if he or she is a member referred to in paragraph 25NA(1)(c)—the Treasurer.

25NL  Termination of appointment

             (1)  The following provisions apply to the member of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board referred to in paragraph 25NA(1)(b):

                     (a)  the Governor may, at any time, terminate the member’s appointment;

                     (b)  the member’s appointment is terminated automatically if he or she ceases to be a member of the Reserve Bank Board or a staff member of the Reserve Bank Service.

             (2)  The Treasurer may terminate the appointment of a member of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board referred to in paragraph 25NA(1)(c):

                     (a)  for misbehaviour; or

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

             (3)  The Treasurer must terminate the appointment of a member of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board referred to in paragraph 25NA(1)(c) if:

                     (a)  the member becomes permanently incapable of performing his or her duties; or

                     (b)  the member:

                              (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

                     (c)  the member is absent, except on leave of absence granted by the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board, from:

                              (i)  2 or more consecutive meetings of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board; or

                             (ii)  3 or more meetings of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board in any period of 12 months; or

                     (d)  the member fails to comply with his or her obligations under section 27F or 27J of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997.

25NM  Australian Reconstruction and Development Board’s annual report

             (1)  The Australian Reconstruction and Development Board must, as soon as practicable after 30 June in each year, prepare and give to the Treasurer a report that:

                     (a)  describes the actions the Bank has taken in the financial year ending on that 30 June to give effect to the Bank’s rural reconstruction and development policy; and

                     (b)  describes the impact of those actions; and

                     (c)  identifies and explains any changes made to the Bank’s rural reconstruction and development policy in the financial year ending on that 30 June; and

                     (d)  includes details of each request made to the Board under subsection 10BB(5) in the financial year ending on that 30 June and describes the Board’s response to each request.

             (2)  The Treasurer must cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which the Treasurer receives the report.

20  Section 28

After “this Part”, insert “and for the purposes of the Bank’s rural reconstruction and development policy”.

21  Subsection 79A(1) (after paragraph (aa) of the definition of officer)

Insert:

                   (ab)  a member of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board; or

22  After paragraph 79A(6)(aa)

Insert:

                   (ab)  a member of the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board; or