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SR 2001 No. 72 Regulations as made
These Regulations amend the Veterans' Entitlements Regulations 1986.
Administered by: Veterans' Affairs
General Comments: This instrument was backcaptured in accordance with Section 36 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003
Registered 01 Jan 2005
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR22-May-2001
Tabled Senate22-May-2001
Gazetted 12 Apr 2001
Date of repeal 19 Mar 2014
Repealed by Veterans' Affairs (Spent and Redundant Instruments) Repeal Regulation 2014

Veterans' Entitlements Amendment Regulations 2001 (No. 1) 2001 No. 72

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Statutory Rules 2001 No. 72

Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Veterans' Affairs

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986

Veterans' Entitlements Amendment Regulations 2001 (No. 1)

Section 216 of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (the Act) enables the Governor- General to make regulations prescribing matters that are required or permitted by the Act to be prescribed, or which are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the Act.

A set of regulations (new regulations) has been made amending the Veterans' Entitlements Regulations 1986 (the principal regulations).

The principal regulations prescribed, among other things:

•       war medals for the purpose of a decoration allowance (currently $2.10 per fortnight);

•       the address of the Repatriation Commission for the service of documents from the Veterans' Review Board; and

•       allowances for members of the Veterans' Review Board and the Repatriation Commission

The purpose of the new Regulations is to update entitlements relating to recipients of war medals, medical review applicants, and members of the Veterans' Review Board and Repatriation Commission.

In particular, the new regulations prescribe:

•       three war medals (Medal for Gallantry, Victoria Cross for Australia, Star of Gallantry) and more precisely describe a former prescribed war medal (British Empire Medal). The change in description of the "British Empire Medal" does not affect the entitlement to a decoration allowance of a veteran who holds such a medal.

•       the new address of the Repatriation Commission for the service of documents from the Veterans' Review Board;

•       allowances for members of the Veterans' Review Board and the Repatriation Commission, those allowances being:

(i) allowances determined by the Remuneration Tribunal; and

(ii) allowances equivalent to allowances payable to a Commonwealth public servant;

with the proviso that allowances determined by the Remuneration Tribunal take precedence over "public servant allowances" where the same subject matter is involved; and

•       the maximum amounts payable by the Commonwealth to reimburse applicants to the Veterans' Review Board or the Specialist Medical Review Council for the medical expenses involved in obtaining documentary medical evidence for the purposes of a review. These amounts were prescribed in the Act. Sections 170A and 196ZN now provide that the maximum amounts payable may be prescribed by regulation. The amounts will be periodically revised thereby ensuring levels of reimbursement more accurately reflect the actual costs associated with obtaining the relevant evidence.

Details of each of the new regulations are set out in the attachment.

The new regulations have different commencement dates. The "Medal of Gallantry amendment" and certain "machinery amendments" (Regulations 1-3 and Schedule 1) are taken to have commenced on 1 June 1999 because this is the date on and from which this medal was first granted and therefore recipients of such medals should be entitled to a decoration allowance on and from that date. The remaining new amendments commence on gazettal.

The fact that the "Medal of Gallantry amendment" would take effect before gazettal .does not cause it to be ineffective by virtue of subsection 48(2) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 because the rights of a person at gazettal would not be affected so as to disadvantage the person nor would a liability be imposed on any person in respect of anything done or omitted to be done before gazettal. The new regulation is beneficial legislation in that it permits a decoration allowance to be lawfully payable (backdated) on and from a date when the allowance was not otherwise lawfully payable.

ATTACHMENT

Veterans' Entitlements Amendment Regulations 2001 (No. 1)

Regulation 1       refers to the name of the new regulations - the Veterans' Entitlements Amendment Regulations 2001.

Regulation 2       provides for the commencement date of the new regulations:

•       the new "Medal of Gallantry amendment" in Schedule 1, together with new regulations 1 to 3, are taken to have commenced on 1 June 1999.

•       the remaining new regulations (in Schedule 2) commence on gazettal.

Regulation 3       states that Schedules 1 and 2 of the new regulations amend the principal regulations, being the Veterans' Entitlements Regulations 1986.

       Schedule 1

Item [1]       prescribes the Medal for Gallantry (awarded under the Australian Honours System) as a decoration for the purposes of paragraph 102(5)(d) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 with the result that the recipient of the medal is entitled to a decoration allowance.

Schedule 2

Item [1]       omits the former prescription of the "British Empire Medal" as a "prescribed decoration", because the description of the medal was imprecise, and prescribes the medal as a "prescribed decoration" by reference to one of its more precise descriptions as referred to in new paragraph 6A(a). The recipient of a prescribed decoration is entitled to a "decoration allowance".

Item [1] also prescribes the "Victoria Cross for Australia" and the "Star of Gallantry", under the Australian Honours System, as "prescribed decorations" thereby enabling recipients of such decorations to receive a "decoration allowance".

Item [2]       prescribes $467.50 as the maximum amount of reimbursement the Commonwealth may pay in respect of medical expenses incurred by an applicant to the Veterans' Review Board where those expenses were in respect of relevant documentary evidence obtained by the applicant for the purposes of a review (e.g review of a refusal of a pension under Part II of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986). The maximum amount of $467.50 is payable in respect of relevant documentary evidence for one condition or, if more than one condition, any one condition.

Item [3]       prescribes the new address of the Repatriation Commission for the purposes of subsection 140(2A) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

When the Veterans' Review Board reviews a decision of the Repatriation Commission it is required, by subsection 140(2A), to serve copies of its decision, and the statement of reasons for its decision, on the Repatriation Commission at its prescribed address. Recently the actual address of the Commission changed thereby requiring a change in the Commission's prescribed address for the purpose of subsection 140(2A). Item [3] prescribes that new address.

Items [4], [5]       prescribe, in new regulations 11 and 13, allowances payable to members of the Veterans' Review Board (VRB) and members of the Repatriation Commission (RC).

Allowances are either those determined by the Remuneration Tribunal or, where the Remuneration Tribunal has not determined an allowance in respect of a particular matter, an allowance equivalent to any allowance payable to a public servant under the Public Service Act 1999 in respect of that matter.

Previously, allowances for VRB/RC members were either determined by the Remuneration Tribunal or prescribed in the relevant regulations but the power of the Remuneration Tribunal to determine allowances was not clearly apparent on the face of the relevant legislation and nor was it clearly apparent as to which allowance was to prevail in the event the Remuneration Tribunal determined an allowance in respect of a particular matter and an allowance in respect of that matter was also prescribed. The implied intention in the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1896 appears to be that "Tribunal allowances" are to prevail over prescribed allowances (currently "Public Service allowances").

The effect of the new regulations is to make it clear that the Remuneration Tribunal may determine allowances for VRB/RC members and to also make it clear that, where the same subject matter is involved, "Tribunal allowances" are to prevail over "public service allowances", as intended by the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

Item [5] also prescribes, in new regulation 13A, the maximum amount of reimbursement the Commonwealth may pay in respect of medical expenses incurred by an applicant to the Specialist Medical Review Council where those expenses were in respect of relevant documentary evidence obtained by the applicant for the purposes of a review (e.g review of the contents of a Statement of Principles in respect of an injury etc in force under Part XIA of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986). The maximum amount of $467.50 is payable in respect of relevant documentary evidence for one condition or, if more than one condition, any one condition.