Bills Digest no. 71 2009–10
Statute Law Revision Bill 2009
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as
introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest
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introduced: 28 October
House: House of Representatives
Sections 1 to 3 commence
on Royal Assent. The remaining amending provisions commence on
varying dates from day of Royal Assent to 30 September 2008. The
commencement of some are also dependant upon the commencement of
items in other Acts. Many of the dates are
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 Statute Law Revision Bill
2009 (the Bill) proposes to amend in Schedule 1 errors in 33
principal Acts, in Schedule 2 corrects errors in 22 amending Acts
where errors have occurred, in Schedule 3 repeal 5 obsolete Acts,
in Schedule 4 correct inconsistencies and in Schedule 5 to
standardise the terms website and Internet .
A Statute Law Revision Bill is a mechanism whereby the Statute
book is maintained. Any outstanding errors are corrected and
obsolete material is removed from the Statute book. The Fraser
Government introduced the Statute Law Revision Bill in its current
form. As the
This house-keeping work is itself an important
contribution to the legislative landscape and the broader justice
system. Statute Law Revision Bills improve the quality and accuracy
of Commonwealth legislation, and enhance the effectiveness and
accessibility of the law for the Australian public. This continual
process of statutory review complements the Government s commitment
to enhancing the operation and accessibility of the federal justice
system for all Australians.
Such Bills are traditionally non-controversial and receive the
support of the Parliament as they are regarded as an essential tool
in the process of keeping orderly, accurate and up to date
Commonwealth Statute books.  This Bill corrects a number of technical errors that
have occurred as a result of drafting and clerical mistakes,
removes obsolete Acts and makes a number of amendments to principal
Acts and amending Acts to ensure consistency in terms used and
makes a number of amendments to remove gender-specific language.
The Explanatory Memorandum states that there are no substantive
changes to the law and further comments:
The corrections and repeals are desirable in
order to improve the quality of the text of Commonwealth
legislation and, in particular, to facilitate the publication of
consolidated versions of Acts by the Attorney-General s Department
and by private publishers of legislation.
The Senate Select Committee on the Scrutiny of Bills commented
on the retrospective application in Clause 2 of the commencement
provisions of the Bill. The report comments:
Clause 2 of the bill contains the table of
commencement information and many items listed in the commencement
table provide for retrospective commencement. The explanatory
memorandum provides a thorough explanation as to why
retrospectivity is considered appropriate: the relevant items
relate to misdescribed or redundant amendments or errors contained
in amending Acts; and the commencement of those items is tied to
the time specified in the amending Act for the commencement of the
misdescribed or redundant amendment. The Committee accepts the
retrospective application of provisions in such
The Explanatory Memorandum states that the Bill has no financial
Items 1 to 52 correct errors contained in
principal Acts. Items 53 to 252 remove
gender-specific language from the Tradesmen s Rights Regulation
Act 1946 and replace it with gender-neutral language.
Items 1 to 31 correct misdescribed or redundant
amendments in amending Acts as well as other errors.
Items 1 to 5 propose to repeal obsolete or
spent legislation. Five Acts are repealed by this Bill and
consequential amendments are made to references in other Acts which
refer to the repealed legislation.
Part 1 items 1 to 5 substitute Ballot-papers
for Ballot paper in the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.
Items 6 to 88 substitute ballot-paper for ballot
paper . Items 89 to 175 substitute ballot-papers
for ballot papers .
Part 1 items 1 to 136 amend 39 principal Acts
to standardise the use of the term website . Part 2 item
137 amends 52 principal Acts to substitute references from
Internet to internet . Part 3 item 138 lists
particular provisions of Acts listed in Part 2 that are not subject
to Part 2 of Schedule 5 (that is changing the reference to internet
Members, Senators and Parliamentary staff can obtain further
information from the Parliamentary Library on (02) 6277 2784.
25 November 2009
Bills Digest Service
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