Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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A Bill for an Act to amend the COAG Reform Fund Act 2008, and for related purposes
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Registered 11 Dec 2020
Introduced Senate 10 Dec 2020

 

 

2019-2020

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COAG REFORM FUND AMENDMENT (NO ELECTRIC VEHICLE TAXES) BILL 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by the authority of Senator Rice)

 

 


 

COAG Reform Fund Amendment (No Electric Vehicle Taxes) Bill 2020

 

GENERAL OUTLINE: Policy Rationale

 

The overriding purpose of this Bill is to prevent the States erecting road blocks to the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs). Australia’s transport emissions are around 20% of our greenhouse pollution and EV technologies are going to be essential for Australia to fulfil its commitments under the Paris Agreement.

 

This Bill seeks to neutralise the revenue effect of States and Territories that legislate discriminatory taxes or charges against the purchase and use of electric vehicles. The Bill will also financially reward States and Territories that don’t place such road blocks to electric vehicle uptake by redistributing the money withheld from non-complying States and Territories.

 

This Bill will insert a statutory condition on grants of financial assistance to the States and Territories from the COAG Reform Fund, that will provide that a jurisdiction with a discriminatory charge against electric vehicles will either have their grants reduced in the following financial year by the amount raised from such taxes and charges in a given financial year or will be required to pay back to the Commonwealth an amount of the grant equal to the amount raised from such taxes and charges.

 

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 – Short title

This clause provides for the Bill, when enacted, to be cited as the COAG Reform Fund Amendment (No Electric Vehicle Taxes) Act 2020.

 

Clause 2 – Commencement

This clause provides for the whole of the Act to commence on the day after it receives the Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3 – Schedule(s)

This clause provides that each Act specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as is set out in the applicable items in the Schedule. Any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.


Schedule 1 – Amendments
COAG Reform Fund Act 2008

Item 1
This item amends the simplified outline of the COAG Reform Fund Act 2008 in section 3 of the Act, to include a reference to the proposed condition relating to not taxing electric vehicles that is to be inserted as a new section 7A in the Act.


Item 2
Item 2 inserts proposed subsection 7(2A) in the Act, to specify that grants of financial assistance are subject to the conditions in proposed section 7A.

Item 3
Item 3 inserts proposed section 7A in the Act, establishing a new condition of grants, that a State or Territory must not impose an electric vehicle tax after 1 July 2021.

Proposed subsection 7A(1) defines the new condition, while proposed subsections 7A(2) and (3) define an electric vehicle tax as a situation where a State or Territory applies a tax, charge or levy at a higher rate to an electric vehicle than to other motor vehicles.

Proposed subsection 7A(4) defines an electric vehicle as a motor vehicle that is powered by one or more electric motors and does not rely on an internal combustion engine as a source of power. The definition also requires that the vehicle is designed solely or principally for use in transport on public roads, which is a requirement that draws on the definition of road vehicle in section 6 of the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018.

Proposed subsection 7A(5) specifies that where a State or Territory breaches a condition by imposing an EV tax and collecting revenue from that tax, the Minister must require repayment of an amount of the grant, or deduct an amount from future grants to the State or Territory. Proposed subsection 7A(6) specifies that the amount is equivalent to the revenue collected at a higher rate on EVs, relative to other vehicles. Proposed subsection 7A(7) specifies that the Minister’s determination is not a legislative instrument.

Proposed subsections 7A(8) to (10) enable this framework to create debts where States or Territories breach the electric vehicle tax condition in subsection 7A(1), and enable debts to be repaid.

Proposed subsection 7A(11) enables the Minister to make a determination to redistribute amounts repaid or deducted under subsection 7A(5) to other States and Territories that have complied with the electric vehicle tax condition, on a per capita basis. Proposed subsection 7A(12) specifies that the Minister’s determination is not a legislative instrument.

Fuel Indexation (Road Funding) Special Account Act 2015

Item 4
Item 4 amends the Fuel Indexation (Road Funding) Special Account Act 2015, inserting a note referring to the conditions set out in proposed section 7A of the COAG Reform Fund Act 2008 as inserted by item 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

COAG Reform Fund Amendment (No Electric Vehicle Taxes) Bill 2020

 

This Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

 

Overview of the Bill:

This Bill seeks to neutralise the revenue effect of States and Territories that legislate discriminatory taxes or charges against the purchase and use of electric vehicles. The Bill will also financially reward States and Territories that don’t place such barriers to electric vehicle uptake by redistributing the money withheld from non-complying states.

 

Human Rights Implications:

This Bill does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

 

Conclusion:

This Bill is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.