Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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A Bill for an Act to provide for a Parliamentary Joint Committee to investigate establishing an Australia Fund, and for related purposes
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Registered 18 Mar 2014
Introduced HR 17 Mar 2014

2013‑2014

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australia Fund Bill 2014

 

No.      , 2014

 

(Mr Palmer)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to provide for a Parliamentary Joint Committee to investigate establishing an Australia Fund, and for related purposes

  

  

  


Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                             1

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

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

3............ Simplified outline of this Act.............................................................. 2

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

Part 2—Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australia Fund              3

Division 1—Establishment                                                                                         3

5............ Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australia Fund........................ 3

6............ Nomination of Committee members.................................................... 3

7............ Appointment of Committee members.................................................. 4

8............ Ceasing to be a Committee member.................................................... 5

Division 2—Functions and powers of the Committee                                  6

9............ Functions of the Committee................................................................ 6

10.......... Powers of the Committee.................................................................... 7

Division 3—Procedures of the Committee                                                        8

11.......... Convening meetings............................................................................ 8

12.......... Presiding at meetings.......................................................................... 8

13.......... Quorum............................................................................................... 8

14.......... Voting at meetings.............................................................................. 8

15.......... Other powers and proceedings of the Committee................................ 8

Part 3—Miscellaneous                                                                                                         9

16.......... Sunset provision................................................................................. 9

17.......... Rules................................................................................................... 9

 


A Bill for an Act to provide for a Parliamentary Joint Committee to investigate establishing an Australia Fund, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Part 1Preliminary

  

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australia Fund Act 2014.

2  Commencement

                   This Act commences on the day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

3  Simplified outline of this Act

This Act establishes the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australia Fund. The Committee is to investigate whether a body, to be known as the Australia Fund, should be established, and the appropriateness of existing bankruptcy and insolvency laws for businesses in times of crisis.

4  Definitions

                   In this Act:

                   commencement means the day that this Act commences.

                   Committee means the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australia Fund for the time being constituted under this Act.

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

times of crisis include times when there is a natural disaster (such as a drought, flood or bushfire) or a global financial downturn.

Part 2Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australia Fund

Division 1Establishment

5  Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australia Fund

             (1)  A committee of members of the Parliament, to be known as the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australia Fund, is to be appointed in accordance with the process and within the timeframes set out in this Part.

             (2)  The Committee is to consist of up to 10 members.

             (3)  A member of the Committee ceases to hold office when the House of Representatives expires by the passing of time or is dissolved.

Note:          See also section 8.

6  Nomination of Committee members

             (1)  The nomination process for Committee membership is as follows:

                     (a)  a Government Whip in the Senate may nominate one member of the Government in the Senate; and

                     (b)  an Opposition Whip in the Senate may nominate one member of the Opposition in the Senate; and

                     (c)  2 Senators, being a member of a minority party or an independent member, may be nominated by one of their number; and

                     (d)  a Government Whip in the House of Representatives may nominate 2 members of the Government in the House of Representatives; and

                     (e)  an Opposition Whip in the House of Representatives may nominate 2 members of the Opposition in the House of Representatives; and

                      (f)  2 members of the House of Representatives, being a member of a minority party or an independent member, may be nominated by one of their number.

Note:          For restrictions on Committee membership, see subsection (4).

             (2)  One of the Government members nominated for Committee membership may also be nominated by the relevant Government Whip to be the Chair.

             (3)  Nominations are to be given:

                     (a)  in the case of the Senate—to the President of the Senate; and

                     (b)  in the case of the House of Representatives—to the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

within 14 days of commencement.

             (4)  A member of the Parliament is not eligible for appointment as a member of the Committee if he or she is:

                     (a)  a Minister; or

                     (b)  the President of the Senate; or

                     (c)  the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

7  Appointment of Committee members

             (1)  As soon as practicable after nominations are received, the President of the Senate is to appoint:

                     (a)  the member of the Government in the Senate nominated by a Government Whip in the Senate; and

                     (b)  the member of the Opposition in the Senate nominated by an Opposition Whip in the Senate; and

                     (c)  the 2 Senators, being a member of a minority party or an independent member, nominated by one of their number.

             (2)  As soon as practicable after nominations are received, the Speaker of the House of Representatives is to appoint:

                     (a)  the members of the Government in the House of Representatives nominated by a Government Whip in the House of Representatives; and

                     (b)  the members of the Opposition in the House of Representatives nominated by an Opposition Whip in the House of Representatives; and

                     (c)  the 2 members of the House of Representatives, being a member of a minority party or an independent member, nominated by one of their number.

             (3)  The Chair is to be appointed:

                     (a)  if a member of the Government in the Senate is nominated—by the President of the Senate; and

                     (b)  if a member of the Government in the House of Representatives is nominated—by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

8  Ceasing to be a Committee member

             (1)  A member of the Committee ceases to hold office:

                     (a)  at the time mentioned in subsection 5(3); or

                     (b)  if he or she becomes the holder of an office specified in subsection 6(4); or

                     (c)  if he or she ceases to be a member of the House of Parliament by which he or she was appointed; or

                     (d)  if he or she resigns his or her office as provided by subsection (2) or (3).

             (2)  A member appointed by the Senate may resign his or her office by writing signed by him or her and delivered to the President of the Senate.

             (3)  A member appointed by the House of Representatives may resign his or her office by writing signed by him or her and delivered to the Speaker of the House.

Division 2Functions and powers of the Committee

9  Functions of the Committee

                   The Committee has the following functions:

                     (a)  to investigate whether a body, to be known as the Australia Fund, should be established to support rural and manufacturing industries in Australia so that a business within those industries may continue to operate in times of crisis, and to provide the following kinds of assistance:

                              (i)  emergency or ongoing financial relief;

                             (ii)  a loan of money to such a business;

                            (iii)  act as a guarantor for all or part of a loan or proposed loan to such a business;

                            (iv)  purchase all or part of an existing loan to such a business;

                             (v)  capitalise or waive interest owed by such a business;

                            (vi)  assume control of such a business for a particular period;

                           (vii)  give money to an appropriate industry body;

                          (viii)  give money to such a business for the purpose of purchasing new technology to make it more economically viable and competitive or restructuring it; and

                     (b)  to assess whether:

                              (i)  existing bankruptcy and insolvency laws should be modified or temporarily relaxed for businesses in times of crisis; and

                             (ii)  any foreign bankruptcy or insolvency laws should be adopted as laws of the Commonwealth; and

                     (c)  to report to both Houses of Parliament on its recommendations on the matters mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) within 30 days of its final deliberations, and the reasons for those recommendations.

10  Powers of the Committee

                   The Committee may do all or any of the following:

                     (a)  call for witnesses to attend and for documents to be produced;

                     (b)  conduct proceedings at any place it sees fit;

                     (c)  sit in public or in private;

                     (d)  report from time to time;

                     (e)  adjourn from time to time and sit during any adjournment of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Division 3Procedures of the Committee

11  Convening meetings

                   The Chair must convene such meetings of the Committee as the Chair considers are necessary for the efficient performance of the Committee’s functions.

12  Presiding at meetings

             (1)  The Chair is to preside at meetings of the Committee at which he or she is present.

             (2)  If the Chair is absent, the members present must elect one of their number to preside at the meeting.

13  Quorum

                   At a meeting of the Committee, 3 members of the Committee constitute a quorum, but if a question is to be voted on at the meeting, the quorum must include one Government member of either House and one non‑Government member of either House.

14  Voting at meetings

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

             (2)  The member presiding at the meeting:

                     (a)  has a deliberative vote; and

                     (b)  if necessary, also a casting vote.

15  Other powers and proceedings of the Committee

                   All other matters relating to the powers and proceedings of the Committee are to be determined by the Standing Orders of the Senate that apply to Parliamentary Joint Committees, as amended from time to time.

Part 3Miscellaneous

  

16  Sunset provision

                   This Act ceases to have effect immediately after the Committee tables its final report in each House of the Parliament.

17  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.