This Digest is prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as
introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.
This Digest was available from 29 August 1996.
Statute Law Revision Bill 1996
Date Introduced: 19 June 1996
Commencement: Each item in Schedule 2 commences at
the time specified in the note at the end of the item. Each item in
Schedule 3 commences when the amending Act it is amending
commences. Other amendments commence on Royal Assent.
The major amendments proposed by the Bill:
- repeal Acts which have no current operation;
- correct misspellings, punctuation errors, numbering errors and
makes terminology consistent throughout the relevant Act; and
- replace gender specific language with gender neutral
Statute Law Revision Bills
The purpose of a Statute Law Revision Bill is three fold. First,
it corrects printing and drafting errors. Secondly, it provides for
the repeal of Acts and provisions of Acts the operation of which
are exhausted or are no longer required. Thirdly, it makes
technical and minor amendments which are regarded as being of a
A Statute Law Revision Bill was first introduced by the Fraser
Government in 1981. In the Second Speech to the Statute Law
Revision Bill 1981 the then Attorney-General, Senator Durack,
The Government has decided to introduce Statute Law Revision
Bills into the Parliament on a regular basis, at least once in each
year and, if required, once in each sitting. This will enable the
prompt correction of mistakes and errors and removal from the
statute book of expired laws. In the absence of the regular passage
of Bills of this kind, the correction of an error in an Act can
only be achieved by having a special Bill passed for that purpose
or waiting until the Act need to be amended for some other more
The then Opposition supported the introduction of the Statute
Law Revision Bill process. In the Second Reading debate to the
Statute Law Revision Bill 1981, Senator Evans, has he then was,
The Statute Law Revision Bill is a fascinating Bill, for the
contents of which the Government is to be much congratulated. ...
The first innovation is the very existence of the Bill as a
vehicle-a compendious vehicle-for tidying up oversights, errors and
oddities that creep into even the best laid drafting plans and also
to accommodate minor changes that become necessary because of
changing circumstances. The Opposition notes that it is the
Government's intention to introduce housekeeping Bills of this kind
at least once each year, and perhaps every sitting. I, for one,
certainly applaud that as a rational legislative measure aiding in
the avoidance of the unnecessary cluttering of the parliamentary
process with what are on any view small issues most of the
While the Statute Law Revision Bill process can be said to have
received bi-partisan support, it may be criticised on a number of
- the debate for the Bill may be brought on shortly after its
introduction without giving the Opposition, minor parties,
independents and commentators an opportunity to make a detailed
analysis of the myriad provisions to ensure that the Bill does what
the Government says it does.
Schedule 1 - Repeal of Acts
Item 1 of Schedule 1 of the Bill repeals 16 Acts. The specified
Acts have no current operation.
Schedule 2 - Amendment of Principal Acts
Schedule 2 of the Bill amends 60 Acts. The proposed amendments
correct misspellings, punctuation errors, numbering errors and make
terminology consistent throughout the relevant Act.
Schedule 3 - Amendment of Amending Acts
Schedule 3 of the Bill amends 67 amendment Acts. The proposed
amendments have two main effects. First, to correct text which
incorrectly describes the text to be amended. Secondly, to correct
textual errors which prevent amendments operating.
Schedule 4 - Correct References to Remuneration Tribunal
Schedule 4 of the Bill amends 95 Acts. The proposed amendments
bring up to date references in 95 Acts to the Remuneration
Tribunal Act 1973. In 1988 the Remuneration
Tribunals Act 1973 was changed to the Remuneration
Tribunal Act 1973.
Schedule 5 - Gender Neutral Language
Schedule 5 of the Bill amends 58 Acts. The proposed amendments
replace gender specific language with gender neutral language.
Due to the nature of the amendments proposed by this Bill, this
Bills Digest does not provide an item by item analysis. However,
Bills Digests clients who wish an analysis of specific provisions
should contact the relevant subject specialist in the Parliamentary
Research Service or Ian Ireland on 06 2772438.
- Extract from the Historic Senate Hansard Parliamentary
Database, Statute Law Revision Bill 1981, 27 May 1981, p.
- Ibid., 28 May 1981, p. 2311.
Ian Ireland Ph. 06 277 2438
26 August 1996
Bills Digest Service
Parliamentary Research Service
This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other
sources should be consulted to determine whether the Bill has been
enacted and, if so, whether the subsequent Act reflects further
PRS staff are available to discuss the paper's contents
with Senators and Members and their staff but not with members of
© Commonwealth of Australia 1996
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Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library,
This page was prepared by the Parliamentary Library,
Commonwealth of Australia
Last updated: 23 August 1996
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