Bills Digest no. 114 2008–09
Amendment (Name Change) Bill 2009
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introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest
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Amendment (Name Change) Bill 2009
Date introduced: 12 March 2009
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Home Affairs
Commencement: On the day after the Royal
relevant links to the Bill, Explanatory Memorandum and second
reading speech can be accessed via BillsNet, which is at http://www.aph.gov.au/bills/.
When Bills have been passed they can be found at ComLaw, which is
The purpose of the Bill is to
amend the Customs Administration Act 1985 (CAA) to rename
the Australian Customs Service as the Australian Customs and Border
In addition, the Bill amends 24 other Commonwealth Acts to
replace references to the ‘Australian Customs Service’
with references to ‘Customs’.
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‘The first and fundamental responsibility of any
Australian government is to provide for the security and safety of
the Australian people, the defence of the country and the
protection of the nation’s interests abroad’. The term homeland
security refers to a security effort by a government to protect a
nation against perceived external or internal threat.
On 22 February 2008 the Prime Minister, the Hon. Kevin Rudd MP
announced that the Australian Government would ‘undertake a
comprehensive review of homeland and border security arrangements
in Australia’. He stated that:
the Review will consider the roles,
responsibilities and functions of departments and agencies involved
in homeland and border security. The Review will also
consider possible changes to optimise the coordination and
effectiveness of our homeland and border security efforts.
The report by Mr Ric Smith AO PSM, who carried out the Review, was
presented to the Australian Government on 27 June 2008.
Neither the report itself, nor ‘a censored version’,
were made available to the public.
However the Summary
and Conclusions of the Review were published on 4 December
2008. In particular it was considered that:
Controlling the border is critical to effective
national security. Australia has to date retained control of its
border, but this is a complex task … Rather than bringing
key border functions together into a ‘single border
agency’, a whole-of-government strategic planning framework
would better suit Australia. Such a framework should cover
the full range of border management functions across all agencies,
bringing them together to ensure they are consistent and
complementary and that investment is appropriately
The Government’s response to the report took the form of a
National Security Statement made by the Prime Minister on 4
December 2008. In relation to the matter of people-smuggling,
Mr Rudd stated:
The Government has decided therefore to move
quickly to better enable the existing Australian Customs Service to
meet this resurgent threat to our border integrity. To this
end we will in coming weeks establish new arrangements whereby the
Australian Customs Service is augmented, re-tasked and re-named the
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. This
arrangement will create in the Australian Customs and Border
Protection Service a capability to task and analyse intelligence,
coordinate surveillance and on-water response, and engage
internationally with source and transit countries to
comprehensively address and deter people smuggling throughout the
operating pipeline from source countries to our shores. The
co-location of agencies and capabilities in this way is a concept
strongly supported by the Homeland and Border Security
The Bill gives effect to the commitment to rename the Australian
Customs Service in the National Security Statement.
It has been reported that in delivering
the National Security Statement, the Prime Minister has
… formally abandoned the plan for a
massive new department of homeland security that Labor took to the
past three elections.
And he has also quietly put to rest the
ALP’s push for a US-style coastguard, opting instead to
rebadge and strengthen the Customs Service as the Australian
Customs and Border Protection Service.
The Australian Customs and Border Protection
Service will tackle threats posed by global organised crime,
including an unwelcome return of people smugglers.
According to their website, the
Australian Customs and Border Protection
Service manages the security and integrity of Australia's borders.
It works closely with other government and international agencies,
in particular the Australian Federal Police, the Australian
Quarantine and Inspection Service, the Department of Immigration
and Citizenship and the Department of Defence, to detect and deter
unlawful movement of goods and people across the border.
According to the Explanatory Memorandum the measures in the Bill
have no financial impact.
Schedule 1 of the Bill contains amendments to
Item 1 amends the Long Title of the CAA to
clarify that the CAA is an Act to provide for an Australian Customs
and Border Protection Service.
Item 2 amends section 4 of the CAA so that the
Australian Customs Service continues in existence with the new name
of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.
Items 3 and 5–7 amend
existing references to Australian Customs by inserting the
additional words ‘and Border Protection’ to give
uniform effect in the CAA to the change of name.
Item 4 inserts a new section
4AA which clarifies that the meaning of
“Customs”, when used in Commonwealth Acts, will have
the same meaning it had prior to the renaming of the Australian
Customs Service. Schedule 2 of the Bill amends the following
- CIS Administration Act 1999
- Air Services Act 1995
- A New Tax system (Goods and Services Tax) Act
- A New Tax System (Wine Equalisation Tax) Act 1999
- Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act
- Australian Crime Commission Act 2002
- Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Act
- Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989
- Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Act 2006
- Civil Aviation Act 1988
- Crimes Act 1914
- Criminal Code Act 1995
- Customs Act 1901
- Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981
- Evidence Act 1995
- Excise Act 1901
- Fisheries Management Act 1991
- Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act
- Horticulture Marketing and Research and Development
Services Act 2000
- Imported Food Control Act 1992
- Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act
- Migration Act 1958
- National Health Act 1953
- Privacy Act 1988
Items 1–3, 5–14, 16–20, 23–30,
34–36 and 38–46 each omit
existing references to the Australian Customs Service and
substitute new references to Customs.
Subsection 13(2) of the Customs Act 1901 (Customs Act)
provides the design of the Customs Seal. Item
22 amends existing paragraph 13(2)(b) of the Customs Act
by omitting a reference to H.M. Customs and substituting a
reference to Customs and Border Protection. The effect of the
amendment will be that the words “Australia—Customs and
Border Protection” appear on the Customs Seal.
Items 31–33 amend the Excise Act
1901 so that existing references to ‘the Customs’
are omitted and substituted with references to Customs.
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18 March 2009
Bills Digest Service
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