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58 SENATE Tuesday, 14 February 2017 DOCUMENTS Bell Group Liquidation Order for the Production of Documents Senator PAYNE (New South Wales—Minister for Defence) (17:22): I table a document relating to the order for the production of documents relating to the Bell Group liquidation. COMMITTEES Select Committee on the Establishment of a National Integrity Commission Membership The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Ketter): Order! The President has received a letter from a party leader seeking a variation to the membership of a committee. Senator PAYNE (New South Wales—Minister for Defence) (17:22): by leave—I move: That Senator Hinch be appointed as a member of the Select Committee on a National Integrity Commission. Question agreed to. BILLS Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 First Reading Bills received from the House of Representatives. Senator PAYNE (New South Wales—Minister for Defence) (17:23): I move: That these bills may proceed without formalities, may be taken together and be now read a first time. Question agreed to. Bills read a first time. Second Reading Senator PAYNE (New South Wales—Minister for Defence) (17:24): I move: That these bills be now read a second time. I seek leave to have the second reading speeches incorporated in Hansard. Leave granted. The speeches read as follows— AGRICULTURE AND WATER RESOURCES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2016 Second Reading Speech The Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016, and its companion Bill, the Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016, build on the agriculture and water resources portfolio's progress to reduce unnecessary regulation and to improve legislation so that it is clear, easy to read and easy to understand. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources administers nearly 100 pieces of primary legislation, some of which date back to the 1980s. Not all of this legislation is now required and not all of it is clear and easy to understand. This Bill will amend 13 portfolio Acts to cease four redundant statutory bodies, remove unnecessary regulation, improve administrative efficiency and make technical amendments. It will also repeal 12 Acts that are redundant or no longer required and re-introduce legislative measures that lapsed when the Parliament was prorogued in April 2016. The Bill will benefit portfolio industries by removing unnecessary regulation and streamlining administrative practices. For example, the Bill will amend fisheries management legislation to remove an unnecessary administrative burden on the fishing industry. Currently, permit holders need to complete an application form each year to apply for a new permit. The amendments will allow the Australian Fisheries Management Authority to grant existing permit holders a new permit without the need for them to complete a new application. This is a simple improvement but one that will lessen the burden for fisheries permit holders each year. Current legislation requires meat exporters to have a licence to export meat-by-products such as skin, hide and tallow. The Bill will remove this requirement. As these products are not for human consumption, an export licence is not needed. The Bill will also make amendments to improve government efficiency, including ceasing four statutory bodies. These bodies are either redundant or their functions can now be undertaken in other more efficient ways. For example, the Statutory Fishing Rights Allocation Review Panel was created to review decisions during the reforms to statutory fishing rights. The amendments will transfer the merit review functions of the review panel to the Administrative CHAMBER

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 SENATE 59 Appeals Tribunal (AAT). Due to the majority of the reforms now being completed, any work that would previously have been undertaken by the review panel can now be more appropriately performed by the AAT. Amendments in the Bill will also address concerns raised by the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances about the appropriateness of the delegation of the Secretary's general rule-making powers in the Farm Household Support Act 2014. The provision that allows the delegation of the secretary's general rule-making power will be removed. To streamline administrative practices, the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 will be amended to ensure that the process of retaining a seized item during an investigation process is efficient and practical. The delegation will be amended to enable inspectors, who are appointed under the legislation, to make applications to an issuing officer to retain items seized during an investigation. Under current legislation some of the portfolio's industry bodies are required to provide the agriculture minister with certain corporate documents, which must be tabled in both houses of Parliament. To reduce unnecessary duplication and to maintain consistency, where industry bodies already make the same, or similar, information publicly available, the relevant legislation will be amended to remove the tabling requirements. The Bill will reduce complexity and improve readability of numerous Acts. For example, consistent with current legislative drafting practice, about 40 pages of text of an international fisheries treaty will be removed from fisheries legislation. This will simplify the Act and remove the onerous process of making legislative amendments should there be any changes to the treaty. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources continues to identify portfolio legislation that is redundant or no longer required. The Bill includes 12 Acts for repeal. These Acts relate to laws covering agricultural and veterinary chemicals, the national residue survey, export charges and quarantine fees, rural adjustment and meat and live-stock and wool industries. A number of these Acts date back to the mid-1980s and early 1990s. This Bill supports the government's commitment to maintaining proper housekeeping of Commonwealth legislation and will assist portfolio industries by reducing unnecessary regulatory burden and helping them to understand the regulations that apply to them. Overall, the Bill will achieve improved and more efficient regulation in the agriculture and water resources portfolio. EXCISE LEVIES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (HONEY) BILL 2016 Second Reading Speech The Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 is a companion Bill to the Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016. Together, the Bills aim to reduce unnecessary regulation and improve legislation so that it is clear, easy to read and easy to understand. The Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 will amend the Primary Industries (Excise) Levy Act 1999 to remove an obsolete provision whereby a buyer may give to the seller a certificate of the buyer's intention to export honey. The Bill will also make mirror amendments to the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998 to remove an obsolete provision whereby a buyer may give to the seller a certificate of the buyer's intention to export honey. Participants in the honey industry no longer issue, receive, or rely upon either of these certificates when selling to a buyer who intends to export the honey. The changes will not alter the amounts of levy or customs charges collected in relation to honey. The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council supports these amendments. During the 2015-16 financial year, Australian honey producers exported almost 4.5 million kilograms of honey valued at over $45 million. Although these are minor amendments, it is another example of the government's commitment to ensuring administrative practices are streamlined and efficient and that agricultural industries are clear about the regulations that apply to them. Debate adjourned. Customs and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 Customs Tariff Amendment Bill 2016 Superannuation Amendment (PSSAP Membership) Bill 2016 Treasury Laws Amendment (2016 Measures No. 1) Bill 2016 First Reading Bills received from the House of Representatives. Senator PAYNE (New South Wales—Minister for Defence) (17:24): I indicate to the Senate that these bills are being introduced together. After debate on the motion for the second reading has been adjourned, I will be moving a motion to have the bills listed separately on the Notice Paper. I move: That these bills may proceed without formalities, may be taken together and be now read a first time. Question agreed to. Bills read a first time. CHAMBER

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