Report on the inquiry into the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Green
Army Programme) Bill 2014
On 6 March 2014, the Senate, on the recommendation of the Selection of
Bills Committee, referred the provisions of the Social Security Legislation
Amendment (Green Army Programme) Bill 2014 (bill) to the Community Affairs
Legislation Committee (committee) for inquiry and report by 25 March 2014.
The bill was introduced into the House of Representatives by the
Hon. Gregory Hunt MP, Minister for the Environment, on 26 February 2014.
The bill has not yet been introduced into the Senate.
The bill seeks to amend the Social Security Act 1991 and the Social
Security (Administration) Act 1999 to clarify social security payments for
participants receiving the green army allowance paid under the Green Army
Programme (programme), a key initiative of the Coalition Government. According
to the Explanatory Memorandum, the bill specifies:
- persons receiving a green army allowance under the programme
cannot also receive a social security benefit or social security pension;
- participants in the programme will not be considered workers or
employees for the purposes of various Commonwealth laws;
- the income testing arrangements that will apply to a person
receiving a social security pension if their partner is receiving a green army
Although the bill seeks to amend social security legislation, which is
normally a matter for the committee, in this instance the committee has
resolved that issues raised by the bill would best be considered by the Senate
Standing Committee on Education and Employment. These issues include: industrial
and workplace safety coverage; scrutiny of income, tax and benefit payments;
and consideration of training hours, outcomes and training accreditation. The
committee has further resolved that, in order to allow sufficient time for the
proper scrutiny of the bill, the reporting date for the inquiry should be
extended to 13 May 2014. Accordingly, the committee makes the following
The committee recommends that the Senate refer the bill to the Education
and Employment Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 13 May 2014.
The committee recommends that, in conducting any inquiry,
the Education and Employment Legislation Committee have the power to
consider and use any evidence submitted to the Community Affairs Legislation Committee
in relation to the bill.
Senator Sue Boyce
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