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A Bill for an Act to amend the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998, and for related purposes
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Registered 22 Mar 2021
Introduced HR 22 Mar 2021
Table of contents.

2019‑2020‑2021

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Charter of Budget Honesty Amendment (Rural and Regional Australia Statements) Bill 2021

 

No.      , 2021

 

(Dr Haines)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

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

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

3............ Schedules............................................................................................ 2

Schedule 1—Amendments                                                                                                3

Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998                                                                       3

 

 


A Bill for an Act to amend the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act is the Charter of Budget Honesty Amendment (Rural and Regional Australia Statements) Act 2021.

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

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  The whole of this Act

The day 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Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted.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  Schedules

                   Legislation that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.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

  

Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998

1  After subclause 2(3) of Schedule 1

Insert:

Rural and regional Australia statements

          (3A)  The Treasurer is to publicly release and table a rural and regional Australia statement together with each budget economic and fiscal outlook report and each mid‑year economic and fiscal outlook report (see Part 5A).

2  After Part 5 of Schedule 1

Insert:

Part 5ARural and regional Australia statements

  

19A  Public release and tabling of rural and regional Australia statements

             (1)  The Treasurer is to publicly release and table a rural and regional Australia statement together with:

                     (a)  each budget economic and fiscal outlook report; and

                     (b)  each mid‑year economic and fiscal outlook report.

             (2)  A rural and regional Australia statement for a report may be incorporated in the report.

19B  Purpose of rural and regional Australia statements

                   The purpose of a rural and regional Australia statement is to provide information about the impact of the Government’s initiatives on rural and regional Australia.

19C  Contents of rural and regional Australia statements

             (1)  A rural and regional Australia statement for a budget economic and fiscal outlook report is to contain information about:

                     (a)  the likely impacts on rural and regional Australia of key Government initiatives, or significant changes to such initiatives, announced:

                              (i)  since the last mid‑year economic and fiscal outlook report was released; or

                             (ii)  in connection with the budget;

                     (b)  progress made since the last mid‑year economic and fiscal outlook report was released in implementing key Government initiatives that are likely to have an impact on rural and regional Australia;

including an assessment of those initiatives under subsection (3).

             (2)  A rural and regional Australia statement for a mid‑year economic and fiscal outlook report is to contain information about:

                     (a)  the likely impacts on rural and regional Australia of key Government initiatives, or significant changes to such initiatives, announced:

                              (i)  since the budget; or

                             (ii)  in connection with the report; and

                     (b)  progress made since the budget in implementing key Government initiatives that are likely to have an impact on rural and regional Australia;

including an assessment of those initiatives under subsection (3).

             (3)  Without limiting subsections (1) and (2), a rural and regional Australia statement must do the following in relation to Government decisions and initiatives:

                     (a)  specifically assess the economic, social, cultural and environmental impacts of the decisions and initiatives on rural and regional Australia;

                     (b)  to the extent the decisions and initiatives have a detrimental impact on rural and regional Australia (including in any of the areas mentioned in paragraph (a))—evaluate the justification (if any) for that impact;

                     (c)  evaluate whether the decisions and initiatives are consistent with, and contribute to the achievement of the goals set out in, the national white paper for rural and regional Australia published under section 19E;

                     (d)  include an assessment of the extent to which the decisions and initiatives capitalise on the unique potential and opportunities that exist in rural and regional Australia;

                     (e)  in the case of initiatives to which subsection (4) applies—a measurement of the effectiveness of those initiatives.

             (4)  For the purposes of paragraph (3)(e), this subsection applies to the following:

                     (a)  initiatives to increase migration to rural and regional Australia from metropolitan centres;

                     (b)  initiatives to decentralise economic, social and cultural activities to rural and regional Australia from metropolitan centres;

                     (c)  initiatives to enhance business innovation, competition and viability in rural and regional Australia that capitalise on local talent and strengths;

                     (d)  initiatives to ensure equitable access for all rural and regional Australians to reliable, high‑quality, tailored and affordable:

                              (i)  internet services, particularly the National Broadband Network; or

                             (ii)  mobile coverage, particularly in regions prone to natural disaster risk; or

                            (iii)  public transport, particularly connections to major cities and towns; or

                            (iv)  health care and social services, including mental health; or

                             (v)  aged care services; or

                            (vi)  education and training, including early childhood education and care; or

                           (vii)  renewable energy, including community‑owned projects.

             (5)  The assessments in a rural and regional Australia statement must be based on data that is robust and recent (not being more than 5 years old).

             (6)  A rural and regional Australia statement does not have to include information that the Treasurer considers should not be included because:

                     (a)  it is confidential commercial information; or

                     (b)  its disclosure in the report could prejudice national security.

19D  Commonwealth bodies to provide information to help prepare rural and regional Australia statements

             (1)  To help the Treasurer to prepare a rural and regional Australia statement, the Treasurer may request a Commonwealth body to provide information.

             (2)  A Commonwealth body is to comply with a request in time to allow the information to be taken into account in the preparation of the statement, unless it is not practicable for the body to do so. The body does not have to provide information if doing so would contravene another law of the Commonwealth.

19E  National white paper for rural and regional Australia

                   The Treasurer must:

                     (a)  publicly release and table a national white paper for rural and regional Australia within 24 months after the commencement of this section; and

                     (b)  publicly release and table updates of the national white paper at least every 24 months.