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Specifications as made
This instrument specifies a class of debts that may be waived to enable the Secretary to waive the Commonwealth’s right to recover debts, incurred by persons who were adversely affected by flooding disasters in late 2010 and early 2011.
Administered by: Social Services
Made 16 Jul 2011
Registered 26 Jul 2011
Tabled HR 18 Aug 2011
Tabled Senate 18 Aug 2011

Family Assistance (Waiver of Debts — Disasters) (FaHCSIA) Specification 2011

A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999

I, JENNY MACKLIN, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, make this Specification under subsection 102 (1) of the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999.

Dated              16th July                                                           2011

 

 

 

 

J Macklin

 

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

1          Name of Specification

This Specification is the Family Assistance (Waiver of Debts — Disasters) (FaHCSIA) Specification 2011.

2          Commencement

This Specification commences on the day after the end of the period for disallowing it.

Note: For that period, see section 42 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

3          Definitions

In this Specification:

Act means the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999.

affected family member, of a person, means an individual:

(a)     who is the person’s partner; or

(b)     who is the natural parent, adoptive parent or step-parent of the person; or

(c)     who is a legal guardian of the person, or was a legal guardian of the person when the person was under 18 years; or

(d)    who is the natural child, adoptive child or step-child of the person; or

(e)     who is the brother, sister, stepbrother or stepsister of the person.

destroyed, for a person’s principal place of residence, includes damage to the residence to the extent that it must be demolished.

disaster means:

(a)     the heavy rainfall, storm damage and associated flooding in Queensland that began in November 2010 and continued into January 2011;

(b)     the flooding in New South Wales determined to be a major disaster on 14 January 2011;

(c)     the flooding in Victoria determined to be a major disaster on 19 January 2011; and

(d)    the severe weather, storm surges and flooding in Queensland that resulted from Tropical Cyclone Yasi.

disaster period means the period:

(a)     beginning 1 November 2010; and

(b)     ending 19 March 2011.

seriously injured, for a person, means:

(a)     the person sustained injury; and

(b)     either the person was admitted, or required admittance, to hospital.

4          Specification of class of debts

For section 102 of the Act, a debt is in a specified class if:

(a)     it was incurred by a person for a period that occurred either wholly or partly during the disaster period; and

(b)     the person was adversely affected by a disaster during the disaster period; and

(c)     if the debt was incurred for a period occurring partly during the disaster period — it is the part of the debt attributable to days occurring in the disaster period.

5          Adversely affected by the disasters

(1)     A person is adversely affected by a disaster if, as a direct result of the disaster:

(a)     the person was seriously injured; or

(b)     an affected family member of the person was killed; or

(c)     an affected family member of the person was seriously injured; or

(d)    the person’s principal place of residence was destroyed; or

(e)     the person’s principal place of residence sustained major damage; or

(f)     the person was unable to return to his or her principal place of residence for at least 24 hours; or

(g)     a utility failure occurred in the person’s principal place of residence; or

(h)     the person experienced psychological trauma.

(2)     A person is unable to return to the person’s principal place of residence if the person cannot return to the residence, as supported by evidence.

(3)     A person’s principal place of residence sustains major damage if:

(a)     at least one quarter of the residence has been damaged; or

(b)     the residence became structurally unsound, as supported by evidence.

(4)     A place is a person’s principal place of residence if:

(a)     the person normally resides in the place; and

(b)     the person has a right or licence entitling the person to reside in the place.

(5)     A utility failure occurred in a residence if:

(a)     there was a failure in the supply of electricity, water or gas to the residence for at least 48 hours; or

(b)     the sewerage for the residence failed for at least 24 hours; or

(c)     sewerage contamination occurred in the residence.

(6)     A person experiences psychological trauma if:

(a)     the person was in the immediate area of the disasters; and

(b)     any of the following occurred:

(i)      the person was an eyewitness to a person being seriously injured during the disasters;

(ii)     the person was an eyewitness to the remains or body of a deceased person killed as a result of the disasters;

(iii)    the person was separated for at least 24 hours from an affected family member who was in the immediate area of the disasters;

(iv)    the person’s life was under immediate threat;

(v)     the person’s principal place of residence was under immediate threat;

(vi)    business premises, or other real property, owned by the person, were under immediate threat.

6          Debts to which section 4 does not apply

Section 4 does not apply to a debt incurred wholly or partly from the debtor or another person knowingly:

(a)     making a false or misleading statement or a false representation; or

(b)     failing or omitting to comply with a provision of the family assistance law.