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A Bill for an Act to establish the High Speed Rail Planning Authority, and for related purposes
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Registered 10 Dec 2013
Introduced HR 09 Dec 2013

2013

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Speed Rail Planning Authority Bill 2013

 

No.      , 2013

 

(Mr Albanese)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to establish the High Speed Rail Planning Authority, and for related purposes

  

  

  


Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                             1

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

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

3............ Objects................................................................................................ 2

4............ Simplified outline................................................................................ 2

5............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 2

6............ Crown to be bound............................................................................. 3

Part 2—High Speed Rail Planning Authority                                                      4

Division 1—Establishment and functions                                                           4

7............ Establishment...................................................................................... 4

8............ Membership........................................................................................ 4

9............ Functions and powers......................................................................... 4

10.......... Authority has the privileges and immunities of the Crown................. 5

Division 2—Appointment of members                                                                 6

11.......... Appointment of members.................................................................... 6

12.......... Term of appointment........................................................................... 6

13.......... Acting appointments........................................................................... 6

Division 3—Terms and conditions of appointment                                       8

14.......... Remuneration and allowances............................................................. 8

15.......... Leave of absence................................................................................. 8

16.......... Outside employment........................................................................... 8

17.......... Disclosure of interests......................................................................... 8

18.......... Disclosure of interests to the Authority............................................... 9

19.......... Other terms and conditions................................................................. 9

20.......... Resignation......................................................................................... 9

21.......... Termination of appointment.............................................................. 10

Division 4—Staff and consultants                                                                        11

22.......... Staff.................................................................................................. 11

23.......... Consultants....................................................................................... 11

Part 3Meetings of the High Speed Rail Planning Authority                12

24.......... Convening meetings.......................................................................... 12

25.......... Presiding at meetings........................................................................ 12

26.......... Quorum............................................................................................. 12

27.......... Voting at meetings............................................................................ 13

28.......... Conduct of meetings......................................................................... 13

29.......... Minutes............................................................................................. 13

Part 4—Reports and information                                                                              14

30.......... Annual report.................................................................................... 14

31.......... Minister may require Authority to prepare reports or give information 14

Part 5—Miscellaneous                                                                                                       16

32.......... Rules................................................................................................. 16

 


A Bill for an Act to establish the High Speed Rail Planning Authority, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Part 1Preliminary

  

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the High Speed Rail Planning Authority Act 2013.

2  Commencement

                   This Act commences on the day the Consolidated Revenue Fund is appropriated under an Act to the Department in which this Act is administered for payment to the Authority.

3  Objects

                   The objects of this Act are:

                     (a)  to establish an Authority to advise on, plan and develop the HSR system; and

                     (b)  to ensure that the HSR corridor is preserved so that provision can be made for regular, efficient and cost‑effective rail transport on the east coast of Australia.

4  Simplified outline

                   The following is a simplified outline of this Act:

This Act establishes the High Speed Rail Planning Authority. The Authority has functions relating to the planning and development of the HSR system.

5  Definitions

                   In this Act:

Australian Local Government Association means the Australian Local Government Association Limited (ABN 31 008 613 876).

Authority means the High Speed Rail Planning Authority established by section 7.

Chair means the Chair of the Authority.

HSR corridor (short for high speed rail corridor) means the area on the east coast of Australia through which the HSR system will run.

HSR system (short for high speed rail system) means a dedicated railway network that links major capital cities, and some regional centres, on the east coast of Australia.

member means a member of the Authority, and includes the Chair.

6  Crown to be bound

                   This Act binds the Crown in each of its capacities.

Part 2High Speed Rail Planning Authority

Division 1Establishment and functions

7  Establishment

                   The High Speed Rail Planning Authority is established by this section.

Note:          The Authority falls within the Infrastructure and Regional Development portfolio.

8  Membership

                   The Authority consists of 11 members.

9  Functions and powers

             (1)  The Authority has the following functions:

                     (a)  to engage in land use planning in relation to the HSR corridor;

                     (b)  to provide direction for efficient development and construction of the HSR system;

                     (c)  to consider specific measures aimed at preventing, controlling or reducing the environmental impact associated with the HSR system;

                     (d)  to ensure that the HSR system will provide safe, regular, efficient and cost‑effective rail transport;

                     (e)  to consult with interested bodies and the public generally on matters relating to the HSR corridor and HSR system.

             (2)  The Authority has power to do all things necessary and convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of its functions.

10  Authority has the privileges and immunities of the Crown

                   The Authority has the privileges and immunities of the Crown.

Division 2Appointment of members

11  Appointment of members

             (1)  A member is to be appointed by the Minister by written instrument on a part‑time basis.

             (2)  The Minister is to appoint:

                     (a)  5 members whom the Minister considers has appropriate qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience; and

                     (b)  1 member nominated, in writing, by the Governor of New South Wales; and

                     (c)  1 member nominated, in writing, by the Governor of Victoria; and

                     (d)  1 member nominated, in writing, by the Governor of Queensland; and

                     (e)  1 member nominated, in writing, by the Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory; and

                      (f)  1 member nominated, in writing, by the Australian Local Government Association; and

                     (g)  1 member nominated, in writing, by the Australasian Railway Association.

             (3)  The Minister must appoint one of the 5 members mentioned in paragraph (2)(a) to be the Chair.

12  Term of appointment

                   A member holds office for the period specified in the instrument of appointment. The period must not exceed 3 years.

Note:          A member may be reappointed, see section 33AA of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

13  Acting appointments

             (1)  The Minister may appoint a member to act as the Chair:

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

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

Note:          For rules that apply to acting appointments, see section 33A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

             (2)  The Minister may appoint a person to act as a member:

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

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

Note:          For rules that apply to acting appointments, see section 33A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

Division 3Terms and conditions of appointment

14  Remuneration and allowances

             (1)  A member 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 by the rules.

             (2)  A member is to be paid the allowances that are prescribed by the rules.

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

15  Leave of absence

             (1)  The Minister may grant leave of absence to the Chair on the terms and conditions that the Minister determines.

             (2)  The Chair may grant leave of absence to any other member on the terms and conditions that the Chair determines.

16  Outside employment

                   A member must not engage in any paid employment that, in the Minister’s opinion, conflicts or may conflict with the proper performance of his or her duties.

17  Disclosure of interests

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

18  Disclosure of interests to the Authority

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

             (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 in the minutes of the meeting of the Authority.

             (4)  Unless the Authority otherwise determines, the member:

                     (a)  must not be present during any deliberation by the Authority on the matter; and

                     (b)  must not take part in any decision of the Authority with respect to the matter.

             (5)  For the purposes of making a determination under subsection (4), the member:

                     (a)  must not be present during any deliberation of the Authority for the purpose of making the determination; and

                     (b)  must not take part in making the determination.

             (6)  A determination under subsection (4) must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting of the Authority.

19  Other terms and conditions

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

20  Resignation

             (1)  A member may resign his or her appointment by giving the Minister a written 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.

21  Termination of appointment

                   The Minister may terminate the appointment of a member:

                     (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.

                     (c)  if 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

                     (d)  if the member is absent, except on leave of absence, from 3 consecutive meetings of the Authority; or

                     (e)  if the member engages in paid employment that, in the Minister’s opinion, conflicts or may conflict with the proper performance of the member’s duties (see section 16); or

                     (e)  if the member fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 17 or 18 (disclosure of interests).

Division 4Staff and consultants

22  Staff

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

             (2)  For the purposes of the Public Service Act 1999:

                     (a)  the Chair and the staff together constitute a Statutory Agency; and

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

23  Consultants

                   The Chair may, on behalf of the Commonwealth, engage consultants to assist in the performance of the Authority’s functions.

Part 3Meetings of the High Speed Rail Planning Authority

  

24  Convening meetings

             (1)  The Authority must hold the meetings that are necessary for the efficient performance of its functions.

             (2)  Meetings are to be held at the times and places that the Chair determines.

Note:          See also section 33B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, which contains extra rules about meetings by telephone etc.

             (3)  The Chair:

                     (a)  may convene a meeting; and

                     (b)  must convene at least 2 meetings each calendar year; and

                     (c)  must convene a meeting if requested in writing by:

                              (i)  6 or more other members; or

                             (ii)  the Minister.

25  Presiding at meetings

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

             (2)  If the Chair is not present at a meeting, the members present must appoint one of their number to preside.

26  Quorum

             (1)  At a meeting of the Authority, a quorum is constituted by a majority of members.

             (2)  However, if:

                     (a)  section 18 prevents a member from participating in the deliberations or decisions of the Authority with respect to a particular matter; and

                     (b)  when the member leaves the meeting concerned there is no longer a quorum;

the remaining members at the meeting constitute a quorum for the purpose of any deliberation or decision at the meeting with respect to that matter.

27  Voting at meetings

             (1)  A question arising at a meeting is to be determined by a majority of the votes of the members present and voting.

             (2)  The person presiding at the meeting has a deliberative vote and, in the event of an equality of votes, a casting vote.

28  Conduct of meetings

                   Subject to this Part, the Authority may regulate proceedings at is meeting as it considers appropriate.

29  Minutes

                   The Authority must keep minutes of its meetings.

Part 4Reports and information

  

30  Annual report

Annual report to be given to Minister

             (1)  The Authority must, as soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, prepare and give to the Minister, for presentation to the Parliament, a report on the Authority’s operations during the year.

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

             (2)  For the purposes of subsection (1), the period beginning on the day this section commences and ending at the end of the next 30 June is taken to be a financial year.

Contents of annual report

             (3)  The Authority must include in the report the following:

                     (a)  the financial statements required by section 49 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997;

                     (b)  an audit report on those statements under section 57 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997.

31  Minister may require Authority to prepare reports or give information

Reports

             (1)  The Minister may, by written notice given to the Authority, require the Authority to:

                     (a)  prepare a report about one or more specified matters relating to the performance of the Authority’s functions; and

                     (b)  give a copy of the report to the Minister within the period specified in the notice.

Information

             (2)  The Minister may, by written notice given to the Authority, require the Authority to:

                     (a)  prepare a document setting out specified information relating to the performance of the Authority’s functions; and

                     (b)  give a copy of the document to the Minister within the period specified in the notice.

Compliance

             (3)  The Authority must comply with a requirement under subsection (1) or (2).

Part 5Miscellaneous

  

32  Rules

                   The Minister may, by legislative instrument, make rules prescribing matters:

                     (a)  required or permitted by this Act to be prescribed by the rules; or

                     (b)  necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.