Steel Transformation Plan Bill 2011

Bills Digest no. 54 2011–12

PDF version [718KB]

WARNING: This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

Margaret Harrison-Smith
Law and Bills Digest Section
30 September 2011

Contents
Purpose
Background
Financial implications
Main issues
Key provisions
Concluding comments
 


Date introduced:  13 September 2011
House:  House of Representatives
Portfolio:  Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
Commencement:  Sections 1 and 2 of the Act would commence on the day on which the Bill receives Royal Assent. Sections 3 to 30 of the Act will only commence if the Clean Energy Act 2011[1], and all the Acts mentioned in section 2 of that Act, have received Royal Assent. Given that precondition, this Act would commence on the later of the day on which the Bill receives Royal Assent or the day after the Clean Energy Act 2011 and all the Acts mentioned in section 2 of that Act, receive Royal Assent.

Links: The links to the Bill, its Explanatory Memorandum and second reading speech can be found on the Bill's home page, or through http://www.aph.gov.au/bills/. When Bills have been passed and have received Royal Assent, they become Acts, which can be found at the ComLaw website at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/.

Purpose

The Bill establishes a framework for the payment of financial assistance to eligible steel corporations under the two payments schemes established by the Bill; the competitiveness assistance advances scheme, and the Steel Transformation Plan (STP).

The Bill also establishes mechanisms to monitor the application by eligible corporations of payments made under the two proposed schemes.

Background

The Australian steel industry

The relative significance of the Australian steel industry, both globally and domestically, is outlined in the second reading speech to the Bill.[2] The Australian steel industry is said to have employed over 91 000 employees in the 2006-07 financial year, and to have had revenues of $29 billion.[3]

The Australian steel manufacturing industry is also said, however, to be an area of the Australian economy which is more exposed and less able to pass on, the impact of a carbon price than others.[4]

The second reading speech outlines economic factors that are generally considered to have impinged on the economic viability of the Australian steel industry in recent times, including the global economic crisis, increases in the cost of raw materials and the impact of the high Australian dollar.[5]

The economic susceptibility of the industry was highlighted on 17 August 2011 with the announcement by OneSteel Ltd of a loss by its steel-making division of $185 million for the 2011-12 financial year before interest and tax.[6] The company also indicated that it would cut at least 400 jobs across the country, and that about half of these would come from its steel-making operations.

This announcement was followed on 22 August 2011 by the announcement of BlueScope Steel Ltd that, following a $1 billion loss, it was exiting the steel export market to focus on its profit-making domestic steel market.[7]

Nature of proposed assistance to Australian Steel Industry

The proposed establishment of the STP was first announced by the Government on 10 July 2011.[8]

The main component of the STP would be a $300 million entitlement program to support jobs in the Australian steel making industry over four years from 2012-13, guaranteed through a standing appropriation.[9] However, the Bill is largely silent on the conditions that would need to be satisfied to qualify for assistance.

The announcement of the STP coincided with the announcement of the Jobs and Competitiveness Program, which the Government proposes to establish under Part 7 of the Clean Energy Bill 2011, which is also before the Parliament.[10] Funding for the STP would be in addition to the funding proposed under that program.[11]

On 22 August 2011, the Government also announced the inclusion of a new advance facility in the STP which would:

...allow eligible participants to draw down an advance of their future entitlements under the STP in order to address short-term cash flow issues and help the industry become more efficient and sustainable.[12]

The proposed facility would enable the Minister to approve the advance to eligible corporations[13] of future entitlements under the STP up to a total amount of $164 million in 2011-12. Any assistance paid in advance would be deducted from future entitlements that an eligible corporation could receive subsequently under the Plan.[14]

The release by the Government of details of the new advance facility coincided with the announcement on the same day by BlueScope Steel Ltd of a $1 billion loss.[15]

The Government has stated that the proposed advance facility would:

... allow BlueScope to bring forward into 2011-12 up to $100 million of the payments nominally allocated to it under the STP. BlueScope would need to exercise its right to activate the advance facility in time for funds to be drawn by 30 June 2012.[16]

Mr Combet has commented that the Bill does not form part of the clean energy legislation agreed to by the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee on 10 July 2011.[17] However, the Bill’s operative provisions do not come into force unless the clean energy legislation (as defined in the proposed Clean Energy Act 2011, section 2, item 2), first receives Royal Assent.

Additional assistance measures

The Government has indicated that in addition to the payments provided for under the Bill, it would task the Productivity Commission (PC) to undertake two separate reviews of the steel manufacturing industry, if requested by steel manufacturing industry participants.[18]

First, at any time prior to the lapse of the STP, eligible corporations would be able to request ‘a review by the PC of the impact of carbon pricing on the competitiveness of the steel industry’.[19]

Second, at any time during the period that they are entitled to assistance under the Jobs and Competitiveness Program[20], one or more steel manufacturing companies would be able to seek review by the PC of what they reasonably believe to be the passing on, or the intended passing on, by coal suppliers, of increases resulting from carbon pricing.[21]

It is said that the Bill would support existing direct government measures to bolster the steel industry, including the Steel Industry Innovation Council[22], the Steel Supplier Advocate[23], the Industry Capability Network National Steel Manager[24], as well as:

…collaborative relationships between the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and other Commonwealth-funded research agencies.[25]

Committee consideration

The Bill has been referred to the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Clean Energy Future Legislation for inquiry and report by 7 October 2011. Details of the inquiry are at: http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/jscacefl/index.htm.

The Bill has been considered by the Senate Standing Committee on the Scrutiny of Bills.[26] In its report, the Committee notes the Government’s arguments for establishing the STP by legislative instrument[27], including the need to reduce the ‘administrative complexity of the legislation’ and to provide for flexibility.[28] The Committee also notes that the Bill specifies a number of matters which may be provided for in the STP, concluding that this would provide some guidance to the Minister. Additionally, because eligible corporations must elect to apply for STP assistance, the Committee notes the essentially non-coercive nature of the proposed scheme, despite the conditions that may be imposed on payments. The Committee concludes that:

In all of these circumstances, the Committee leaves the general question of whether the delegation of legislative power in the bill is appropriate to the Senate as a whole.[29]

Policy position of non-government parties/independents

The Opposition

The Liberal-National Coalition (the Coalition) has an alternative clean energy policy.[30]

In July 2011, the Coalition unsuccessfully sought the introduction into the Parliament of a Carbon Tax Plebiscite Bill 2011, which would have required electors to vote on whether or not they supported the Government’s plan to introduce a price on carbon to deal with climate change.[31]

In a recent address to the Australian Steel Convention 2011, Mr Abbott reiterated the Coalition’s opposition to the introduction of a carbon tax, saying that:

...there are much better ways to reduce our emissions and improve our environment than making manufacturing in this country almost unviable.[32]

In his address, Mr Abbott foreshadowed that the Coalition would also be seeking to ‘take some of the pressure off’ the steel industry by, for example, getting government spending down so as to take the pressure off interest rates. While not supporting tariffs[33], Mr Abbott stated that ‘there are all sorts of other ways in which government can help an industry...to be more competitive, to have a truly level playing field’.[34]

The Greens

On 16 July 2011, Australian Greens Leader, Bob Brown, met with representatives of steel workers in Wollongong for a preliminary exchange of ideas and information about the Government’s proposed STP. Mr Brown indicated that he looked forward to:

... future discussions with the Australian Workers Union and management about whether the $180m in the steel package earmarked for the region can be spent creating new jobs and achieving a pollution reduction dividend.[35]

Notwithstanding the Government’s announcement of this financial package for the steel industry, Senator Milne was reported[36] as expressing concern that BlueScope Steel planned to sack 1000 workers.[37] Senator Milne was quoted as saying that the funding should not just be enjoyed as a financial gain by companies but should be used to assist workers, families and communities, shift to a clean economy.

The Government has announced a number of strategies in response to the loss of jobs by BlueScope workers, including making available $10 million to provide specialist support services for the direct employees of BlueScope, and for the employees of suppliers who are reducing employment because of their reliance on BlueScope.[38]

Independents

Two of the Independents in the House of Representatives, T Windsor [39] and R Oakeshott[40], have indicated their support for the Government’s clean energy policy. Another Independent, A Wilkie, has also indicated his support for a carbon tax.[41] The remaining Independent in the House, B Katter, is opposed to the Government’s policy in this area.[42]

The Greens and the Independents, Windsor and Oakeshott, were members of the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee which produced the Clean Energy Agreement which forms the basis for the clean energy legislation currently before the Parliament.[43]

Position of major interest groups

BlueScope Steel Ltd[44]

BlueScope Steel Ltd has stated that the proposed STP recognises ‘the Company’s long-standing call for a sectoral approach to a carbon tax in Australia’.[45] The company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Paul O’Malley, is reported to have said that:

The Government has listened to our arguments and our deep concerns about the carbon tax. In the STP it has produced a package that, if implemented as explained to us, deals with the steel sector’s carbon tax issues in a significant way for the first four years.[46]

OneSteel Ltd[47]

OneSteel Ltd has indicated its support for the STP:

We believe that...the sectoral approach announced...by the Prime Minister for the steel industry, including the introduction of the STP is both appropriate and sensible.

Through this sectoral approach, and in particular the announcement of the STP, our concerns about the adverse impacts of the proposed carbon tax on our competitive position have been recognised and substantially addressed, at least over the four year life of the STP. We also support the Government’s recognition of the need for an appropriate review mechanism to be available to address the merits of continued support at the conclusion of the four years and also in the event we believe the impact of the carbon tax related to scope 3 emissions are being passed through.[48]

Australian Workers’ Union (AWU)

The AWU has indicated its support for the carbon tax scheme, stating that: believe

We believe that the Federal Government has put forward a responsible package – one designed to protect good, local jobs. It’s clear that the Government agrees with our union that you won’t cut pollution if you shut down local businesses and create carbon leakage. Instead, we’ve got the Government to invest in our industries, supporting local jobs and production and encouraging industry to invest in new, cleaner technologies.

We’re pleased to see that the Government has worked with industry and the AWU to design a number of specialist programs to secure the jobs of our members and support our industries as the global economy shifts towards new energy sources.

These multi-billion dollar programs have been welcomed by many of our major employers. In particular, the steel sector has secured a massive win with the $300 million Steel Transformation Plan.[49]

Industry Association Group (IAG)

IAG Chief Executive, Heather Ridout, has stated that:

To alleviate the pressures on Australian manufacturers, the Government should be prepared to amend the proposed carbon tax and emissions trading regime. This should include reducing the uncompetitive prices set for the first three years of the scheme; ruthlessly rationalising the plethora of existing regulatory measures related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid imposing a double carbon tax burden; and ensuring the design and availability of the grant programs aimed at assisting businesses to adjust in the face of these extra costs effectively meet the needs of industry.[50]

Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)

At the time of the announcement by BlueScope of its loss and job-shedding response, the ACT U President, Ged Kearney, said that ‘unions...welcomed the Government’s announcement of a new facility to allow BlueScope to bring forward up to $100 million of payments under the Government’s Steel Transformation Plan’.[51]

The ACTU has subsequently made the following comments on the STP and coalmining packages:

Specific packages for the steel and coalmining industries will appropriately recognise the particular challenges those sectors face. Trade unions will continue to work with the government in the development of both packages to ensure the interests of workers are central in program development and that long-term job security is maintained through investment and
innovation. [52]

Financial implications

The total administered expenses for the STP established by the Bill would be $300 million over the period 2011-12 to 2016-17.[53]

Standing appropriations

The proposed assistance would be guaranteed through a standing appropriation from Consolidated Revenue which it is said would provide ‘the steel industry with certainty in respect of the amount of assistance it [would] be entitled to receive through the Plan’.[54]

The Explanatory Memorandum states that:

This level of assistance is important for the long-term investment plans and decisions that will be made by the industry as it works through its transformation into a steel manufacturing industry that is viable in a low carbon economy.[55]

Main issues

As is apparent from the concerns raised by the Scrutiny of Bills Committee, the main issue in relation to this Bill arises from the fact that the bulk of the key detail of the STP would be included in a legislative instrument, rather than in primary legislation. The Bill itself does not contain the Steel Transformation Plan. Rather, it provides that the Minister must, by legislative instrument, make a plan (clause 9).  An exposure draft of the plan is expected to be released before the end of the year. The passage of the Bill is contingent upon the passage of the other legislation included in the Government’s clean energy legislation package.[56]

Key provisions

Part 2—Competitiveness assistance advances

Clause 5 provides that an eligible corporation may apply to the Minister for a competitiveness assistance advance to assist it to undertake activities that will significantly enhance the competitiveness and economic sustainability of the Australian steel manufacturing industry in a low carbon economy.

An eligible corporation is defined in clause 4. To satisfy the definition, the corporation must be a constitutional corporation[57] that manufactures steel in Australia through either one of two methods[58], and that produced at least 500 000 tonnes of crude carbon steel in Australia within the 2009-10 financial year, and the financial year that ended most recently before that time (subparagraph 4(b)).

BlueScope Steel Ltd produced 7.2 million tonnes of steel per annum for the 2009-10 financial year[59], while OneSteel Ltd produced 2.75 million tonnes.[60]

An application for a competitiveness assistance grant must be made to the Minister (subclause 5(1)). The application must be in the form approved by the Secretary of the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (the Department) (subclause 5(2)). For the purposes of assessing an application the Minister may seek additional information or documentation (subclause 5(3)) and does not have to consider the application until this additional material has been provided (subclause 5(4)).

Subparagraph 6(1)(b)(ii) provides that the Minister may approve the payment of a competitive assistance grant to an eligible corporation where the advance is necessary to assist the corporation to undertake activities to significantly enhance the competitiveness and economic sustainability of the Australian steel manufacturing industry in a low carbon economy.

There is no provision in the Bill for review by the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal of the Minister‘s decision under subclause 6(1). The Explanatory Memorandum states that this is because, in making a decision:

... the matters that the Minister is required to take into account are matters that are clearly focused on the benefit to the steel manufacturing industry, not the corporation applying for the
advance. [61]

And because:

As the Minister’s judgement must be in respect of the consequence of the decision for the steel manufacturing industry as a whole rather than the consequences for the applicant it is appropriate that a decision of the Minister not be subject to external tribunal review.[62]

Subclause 6(3) provides that if the Minister approves the payment of a competitiveness assistance advance to a corporation, he or she must then determine the amount of the advance, when it is to be paid, and any conditions to which the advance is subject (paragraph 6(3)(a)). As soon as possible after approving an advance, the Minister must publish details of the corporation and the amount of the advance on the Department’s website (subclause 6(3)(b)).

Subclause 6(4) provides that if the Minister approves the payment of a competitiveness assistance grant, the conditions that may be imposed on the advance include conditions about the recovery (including by way of offset) of advances and requiring the corporation to access specified premises for monitoring purposes

Clause 7 provides that the total amount of competitiveness advances must not exceed $164 million, and the total amount of this sum paid to a particular corporation must not exceed $100 million.

Clause 8 provides that competitive assistance advances must not be paid after 30 June 2012.

Part 3 — The Steel Transformation Plan

Subclause 9(1) requires the Minister, by legislative instrument, to institute an STP providing for payments (STP payments) to eligible corporations.

Subclause 9(2) provides that the STP is a self-assessment plan. Although this is not spelt out in the Bill, this means, presumably, that it is for eligible corporation to determine whether its application of STP payments is consistent with overall objective of the STP outlined in subparagraph 6(1)(b)(ii).

The Explanatory memorandum states that inclusion of the administrative details in a legislative instrument will reduce:

...the administrative complexity of the legislation and provides the flexibility required to deal with changing circumstances in the Australian steel manufacturing industry.[63]

The Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills notes that the framework for the STP is to be established by legislative instrument, but, as previously mentioned, considers that:

The plan to be developed allows applications from corporations in the steel manufacturing industry to apply for financial assistance so it will not have a coercive impact on those regulated by the Plan except to the extent a corporation agrees to conditions which may attach to the payment of an assistance advance under the Plan.[64]

Subclause 10(1) sets out the matters that may be included in the STP. These include:

–      the registration of eligible corporations as STP participants, including the process for becoming registered and any conditions to which the registration of the STP participant is subject

–      the making of STP payments, including the eligible activities in respect of which such payments may be made, any conditions to be complied with by STP participants in order to be eligible to receive STP payments and the calculation of the amount of STP payments

–      the payment of interest on overpaid amounts of STP, and

–      the review of decisions made under the STP.

The Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills notes that clause 10:

...provides that the Plan ‘may’ provide for a number of specified matters and to this extent the legislation gives some guidance to the Minister.[65]

In view of this and because of the essentially non-coercive nature of the STP, the Committee leaves the general question of whether the delegation of legislative power in the Bill is appropriate to the Senate as a whole.[66]

The term eligible payment is defined in clause 4 as having the meaning given to it by clause 10. However, as there is no real elaboration of the meaning of the term in that clause, the detail is left to the legislative instrument.

Clause 11 provides that the STP may be varied, but not revoked, in accordance with subsection 33(3) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (AIA), which provides that unless there is a contrary intention, the power to make a legislative instrument includes the power to repeal, rescind, revoke, amend or vary that instrument. This means that the Minister would not be able to revoke the STP, although the Parliament itself could, of course, do so.

Clause 12 limits STP payments to eligible activities in the financial years 2012-13 to 2015-16.

Clause 13 limits total payments to $300 million over this period, less the total amount of competitive assistance grants made under Part 2 (see subclause 13(2)). Subclause 13(3) limits annual payments to $75 million. If less than $75 million is paid out in a year, the balance could be paid in a later STP year (subclause 13(4)).

Payments would not be able to be made after 31 December 2016 (clause 14).

Part 4 — Monitoring

Access to premises

Division 1 provides for access to premises powers by authorised officers. The Explanatory Memorandum states that:

 These powers are necessary, given the Plan is a self-assessment entitlement program, to facilitate effective monitoring and to ensure the integrity of the Plan.[67]

Monitoring can only be undertaken if it is a condition of the granting of a competitive assistance advance, or registration of an STP participant, that the corporation allow authorised officers access to specified premises (subclause 15(1)).

Access must only be sought for permitted monitoring. This term is defined in subclause 15(3) as monitoring for the purpose of determining the correctness of information provided by an eligible corporation for the purpose of obtaining an advance or an STP payment, or as otherwise required under the Bill or the STP.

Clause 16 provides for the operation of electronic equipment by an authorised officer who has entered premises, while clause 17 provides for the payment of compensation for damage to such equipment.

Access is limited to any reasonable time on a business day (subclause 15(2)) and can only be undertaken by an authorised officer appointed by the Secretary of the relevant Australian Government Department (clause 18).

In making an appointment, the Secretary must be satisfied that the officer has the requisite skills and training for the position (subclause 18(2)). Appointments cannot exceed three years (subclause 18(3)), and the Secretary’s power of appointment cannot be delegated (clause 27)

Clause 19 requires an authorised officer to be issued with an identity card. The card must be carried at all times when accessing premises and produced on request to a representative of the accessed corporation.

Subclause 19(3) provides that it is an offence for a person who has been issued with an identity card not to return it within 14 days of ceasing to be an authorised officer. The offence is a strict liability offence (subclause 19(4)).

The Explanatory Memorandum states that making the proposed offence a strict liability offence:

…is intended to act as the strongest possible deterrent to prevent former authorised officers unlawfully presenting themselves as authorised officers and examining commercially-in-confidence material that may be subsequently misused or disclosed to the detriment of the corporation.[68]

There is an exception provided for in subclause 19(5) to cover situations in which a card is lost or destroyed.

Information gathering powers

Subclause 20(1) complements the access power in clause 15 by providing the Secretary of the Department with coercive information gathering powers to enable him or her to require a person to produce the information that may be accessed under that clause.

In seeking this information, subclause 20(2) provides that the Secretary must give written notice to the person of the request, and provide details of the time and manner of compliance. Rather than requiring a ‘reasonable’ time limit, subclause 20(4) provides that the period for compliance with a request must not be less than 14 days.

It is an offence not to comply with the written request for information (subclause 20(3)).

Subclause 25(1) provides that a person is not excused from giving information, or producing a copy of a document under Division 2 on the ground of self-incrimination.

The Explanatory Memorandum states that:

The treatment of self-incrimination in the Bill is consistent with enforcement powers in other Commonwealth legislation, and is appropriate when they assist in the effective administration of those laws. They enhance the ability of the Minister to monitor and ensure compliance with the Plan in a way that is consistent with the views of the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, as well as the Australian Government‘s legal policy regarding the privilege against self-incrimination.[69]

Subclause 25(2) provides that information or documents provided under Part 4 are not admissible against the person in criminal proceedings. Exceptions are made for proceedings under subclause 20(3) or for offences under section 137.1[70], 137.2[71] or 149.1[72] of the Criminal Code[73] that relate to the Bill or the STP.

The Explanatory Memorandum states that:

The inclusion of the use/derivate use protection restricting the use of information is consistent with the Attorney General’s Department’s Criminal Law Guide. It is to ensure that the Commonwealth can obtain all information and documents necessary to be satisfied that the money provided as a competitiveness assistance advance or as an STP payment was funding the corporation was eligible or entitled to receive.[74]

It is to be noted that, despite frequently commenting on strict liability provisions[75], the Scrutiny of Bills Committee report makes no comment on Part 4 of the Bill.[76]

Part 5 — Miscellaneous

Clause 26 requires the Department to include details of amounts paid under the STP in its annual report. Information must also be included in the annual report about the progress made by the Australian steel manufacturing industry towards improved environmental outcomes, and workforce skills development.

Clause 28 makes it clear that competitiveness assistance advances and STP payments are to be paid out of Consolidated Revenue, which is appropriated accordingly.

Concluding comments

As the Scrutiny of Bills Committee observes, while much of the detail of the STP would be set out in a legislative instrument rather than in an Act of Parliament, participation in the STP would be voluntary and, although subject to the imposition of conditions, beneficial in nature.

Clearly, however, despite its voluntary nature, the introduction of the clean energy scheme would provide a strong impetus for corporations to seek STP assistance. In this light, the Government’s undertaking to make review by the PC available to steel manufacturing companies assumes great importance. Notably, the review by the PC has been referred to in positive terms by at least one steel manufacturing company, OneSteel Ltd, in its response to the STP.

 

Members, Senators and Parliamentary staff can obtain further information from the Parliamentary Library on (02) 6277 2795.



[2].       Ibid.

[3].       Ibid.

[4].       Ibid.

[5].       Ibid.

[6].       C Russell, ‘OneSteel battles high dollar and cuts 400 jobs from manufacturing’, Adelaide Now, 17 August 2011, viewed 26 September 2011, http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/onesteel-battles-high-dollar-and-cuts-400-jobs-from-manufacturing/story-e6frede3-1226115742900

[7].       G Kraehe (BlueScope Steel Chairman) and P O’Malley (BlueScope Managing Director and CEO), BlueScope Steel Ltd, BlueScope announces major restructure to Australian operations and reinforces commitment to steel production in Australia, media release, 22 August 2011, viewed 19 September 2011, http://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20110822/pdf/420j7kfy3vbyx6.pdf

[8].       J Gillard (Prime Minister), G Combet (Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency) and K Carr (Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research), $300 million for steel support under carbon price plan, media release,  10 July 2011, viewed 19 July 2011, http://minister.innovation.gov.au/Carr/MediaReleases/Documents/MR451300MFORSTEELSUPPORTUNDERCARBONPRICEPLAN.pdf

[9].       Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 2.

[10].      The Clean Energy Bill may be accessed through the following link: http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22legislation%2Fbillhome%2Fr4653%22, See also, W Swan (Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer), Jobs and competitiveness program for Australian business, media release, no. 078, 10 July 2011, viewed 23 September 2011, http://www.treasurer.gov.au/DisplayDocs.aspx?doc=pressreleases/2011/078.htm&pageID=003&min=wms&Year=&DocType=0

[11].      G Combet (Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency), ‘Second reading speech’, op. cit.

[12].      J Gillard (Prime Minister), W Swan (Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer), K Carr (Minister for Innovation and Industry) and G Combet (Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency), Supporting jobs and a strong future for Australian steel, media release, 22 August 2022, viewed 19 September 2011, http://minister.innovation.gov.au/Carr/MediaReleases/Documents/MR505SUPPORTINGJOBSANDASTRONGFUTUREFORAUSTRALIANSTEEL.pdf

[13].      An eligible corporation is defined in clause 4 of the Bill.

[14].      Government media release, 22 August 2011, op. cit.

[15].      BlueScope Steel Ltd, media release, op. cit.

[16].      Government media release, 22 August 2011, op. cit.

[17].      G Combet (Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency), ‘Second reading speech’, op. cit. p. 19. See also, Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, ‘Multi-Party Climate Change Committee’, Australian Government website, viewed 19 September 2011, http://www.climatechange.gov.au/en/government/initiatives/mpccc.aspx

[18].      Ibid, p. 19

[19].      Ibid.

[20].      This assistance is proposed under the Clean Energy Bill 2011, op. cit. See also, W Swan (Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer), ‘Jobs and competitiveness program for Australian business’, op. cit.

[21].      G Combet (Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency), ‘Second reading speech’, op. cit. p. 19.

[22].      Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, ‘Steel Industry Innovation Council’, viewed 23 September 2011, http://www.innovation.gov.au/INDUSTRY/STEEL/STEELIIC/Pages/default.aspx

[23].      Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, ‘Steel Supplier Advocate’, Australian Government website, viewed 23 September 2011, http://www.innovation.gov.au/Industry/AustralianIndustryParticipation/SupplierAdvocates/Pages/SteelSupplierAdvocate.aspx

[24].      Industry Capability Network, ‘National Sector Managers commence’, QMI Solutions website, viewed 23 September 2011, http://www.qmisolutions.com.au/CaseStudies/SearchResults/tabid/94/itemid/43/amid/441/national-sector-managers-commence.aspx

[25].      G Combet (Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency), ‘Second reading speech’, op. cit., p. 19.

[26].      Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, Alert Digest, no. 11 of 2011, p. 30, viewed 22 September 2011, http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/scrutiny/alerts/2011/d11.pdf

[27].      The issue of delegated power is something which its terms of reference require the Committee to monitor: Standing Order 24, 1(a)(iv), Senate Standing Orders, 12 June 2009, viewed 27 September 2011, http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/pubs/standing_orders/b05.htm#24

[28].      Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 2.

[29].      Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, op. cit.

[30].      See the Coalition’s environment policy, ‘The Coalition’s plan for real action on the environment, climate change and heritage’, viewed 22 September 2011, http://www.liberal.org.au/~/media/Files/Policies%20and%20Media/Environment/Environment%20Policy.ashx

[31].      T Abbott (Leader of the Opposition), ‘Speech of Introduction: Carbon Tax Plebiscite Bill 2011’, House of Representatives, Debates, 4 July 2011, p. 7274, viewed 14 September 2011, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/genpdf/chamber/hansardr/81949ec5-bb5e-4d57-b163-4c4b25a141ee/0066/hansard_frag.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf

[32].      T Abbott (Leader of the Opposition), ‘Address to the Australian Steel Convention 2011’, speech, 12 September 2011, viewed 19 September 2011, http://www.liberal.org.au/Latest-News/2011/09/12/Tony-Abbott-Address-to-the-Australian-Steel-Convention-2011.aspx

[33].      The Government has also indicated that it does not support a ‘retreat into protectionism’, W Swan (Treasurer), Treasurer’s economic note, media release, no. 032, 28 August 2011, viewed 23 September 2011, http://www.treasurer.gov.au/DisplayDocs.aspx?pageID=001&doc=../content/economicnotes/2011/032.htm&min=wms

[34].      Ibid.

[35].      B Brown (Leader, Greens), Talks with steel workers, media release, 16 July 2011, viewed 19 September 2011, http://bob-brown.greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/talks-steel-workers

[36].      Ben Langford, ‘Lack of detail set to delay steel bill’, Illawara Mercury, 14 September 2011, http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/news/local/news/general/lack-of-detail-set-to-delay-steel-bill/2290643.aspx

[37].      ‘Thousands protest Bluescope Steel management over plan to shed 1000 jobs’, The Australian, 1 September 2011, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/thousands-protest-bluescope-steel-management-over-plan-to-shed-1000-jobs/story-e6frg6n6-1226127119398

[38].      J Gillard (Prime Minister), ’Transcipt of doorstop interview, Wollongong’, 30 August 2011, viewed 29 September 2011,

          http://www.pm.gov.au/press-office/transcript-doorstop-interview-wollongong

[39].      See for example, T Windsor, House of Representatives, Debates, 13 September 2011, p. 56, viewed 22 September 2011, http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/reps/dailys/dr130911.pdf

[40].      See for example, R Oakeshott, ‘Second reading speech: ‘Clean Energy Bill Second Reading’, House of Representatives, Debates, 14 September 2011, p. 32, viewed 22 September 2011, http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/reps/dailys/dr140911.pdf

[41].      A Wilkie, ‘Andrew Wilkie will support carbon tax’, Sky news, 8 July 2011, viewed 27 September 2011, http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=635327&vId=2543396

[42].      Katter’s Australian Party, ‘No to carbon tax – practical solutions: ethanol’, policy statement, viewed 23 September 2011, http://www.ausparty.org.au/issues/no-to-carbon-tax.html

[43].      Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, ‘Multi-party Climate Change Committee’, Australian Government website, 10 July 2011, viewed 20 September 2011, http://www.climatechange.gov.au/en/government/initiatives/mpccc.aspx

[44].      More about the company may be viewed on the company’s website, BlueScope Steel, viewed 23 September 2011, http://www.bluescopesteel.com.au/

[45].      BlueScope Steel Ltd, Steelmakers negotiate sectoral deal on carbon tax, media release, 11 July 2011, viewed 20 September 2011, http://www.bluescopesteel.com/news/steelmakers-negotiate-sectoral-deal-on-carbon-tax

[46].      Ibid.

[47].      More about the company may be found on the company’s website, One Steel, viewed 23 September 2011, http://www.onesteel.com/

[48].      OneSteel Ltd, Proposed carbon tax- steel transformation plan assistance package, media release, 10 July 2011, viewed 26 September 2011, http://www.onesteel.com/images/db_images/news/OneSteel%20ASX%20Release%2010%20July%202011.pdf

[49].      Australian Workers’ Union, ‘Carbon Price, what does it mean for you?’, leaflet, p. 2, viewed 20 September 2011, http://www.awu.net.au/carbon_price_leaflet.pdf

[51].      Australian Council of Trade Unions, Support for steel workers and communities essential to ensure manufacturing sector’s viability: unions, media release, 22 August 2011, viewed 29 September 2011, http://www.rightsatwork.com.au/Home/Media/Support-for-steel-workers-and-communities-essentia.aspx

[52].      J Fetter, Australian Council of Trade Unions, Submission to Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Clean Energy Future Legislation, ‘Clean Energy Bill 2011 and related Bills’, Proof Committee Hansard, 27 September 2011, J Fetter, Australian Council of Trade Unions, p. 25, viewed 29 September 2011, http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/joint/commttee/j329.pdf

[53].      Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 3.

[54].      Ibid., p. 2.

[55].      Ibid., p. 14.

[56].      For details of all the legislation in the package, see House of Representatives, Notice paper, no. 64, 13 September 2011, Government Business, pp. 1 and 2, viewed 22 September 2011, http://www.aph.gov.au/house/info/notpaper/rnp064.pdf. As discussed above, the commencement provisions set out the specific legislation which must be passed and assented to before the proposed Act can operate.

[57].      A constitutional corporation is defined in clause 4 as a corporation to which paragraph 51(xx) of the Constitution applies. Paragraph 51(xx) relates to foreign corporations, and trading or financial corporations formed within the limits of the Commonwealth.

[58].      An integrated steel works uses blast furnaces and basic steel making technology to manufacture steel form iron ore (subparagraph (a)(i) of the definition ). The second method involves converting scrap steel into molten steel (subparagraph (a)(ii) of the definition). See, OneSteel Ltd, ‘Building on our strength’, Annual report 2010, p. 132, viewed 27 September 2011, http://www.onesteel.com/images/db_images/news/2010%20Annual%20Report.pdf

[59].      BlueScope Steel Ltd, ‘2009/2010 Annual report’, p. 14, viewed 27 September 2011, http://www.bluescopesteel.com/investors/annual-reports

[60].      OneSteel Ltd, ‘Annual report 2010’, Operational overview, viewed 27 September 2011, http://www.onesteel2010.annual-report.com.au/

[61].      Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., [23].

[62].      Ibid.

[63].      Ibid.

[64].      Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, Alert Digest, no. 11 of 2011, op. cit.

[65].      Ibid.

[66].      Ibid.

[67].      Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit. p. 3.

[68].      Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., [55].

[69].      Ibid., [68].

[70].      This offence provision relates to false or misleading information or documents

[71].      This offence provision relates to false or misleading documents.

[72].      This offence provision relates to the obstruction of Commonwealth public officials.

[73].      The Criminal Code is a Schedule to the Criminal Code Act 1995.

[74].      Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., [69]. See also, Attorney-General’s Department, ‘Guide to framing Commonwealth offences, civil penalties and enforcement powers’, Australian Government website, December 2007, p. 101, viewed 23 September 2011, http://www.ag.gov.au/www/agd/agd.nsf/Page/Publications_GuidetoFramingCommonwealthOffences,CivilPenaltiesandEnforcementPowers

[75].      Standing Order 24(1)(a)(iii) [legislation which makes] rights, liberties or obligations unduly dependent upon non-reviewable decisions], op. cit.

[76].      Scrutiny of Bills Committee, Alert Digest, no. 11 of 2011, op. cit.

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