Matters of interest to the Senate

Senate standing order 23(4) requires the committee to scrutinise each instrument to determine whether the Senate's attention should be drawn to it on the ground that it raises significant issues, or otherwise gives rise to issues that are likely to be of interest to the Senate.

The table below lists the instruments that the committee has drawn to the Senate's attention under standing order 23(4) in 2020, with the exception of instruments specifying Commonwealth expenditure, which are listed here. It includes links to the Delegated legislation monitor in which the committee noted its decision to raise the matter with the Senate.

Instrument name Purpose Committee advised Monitor
Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative—Electricity Generation from Landfill Gas) Methodology Determination 2021 [F2021L01254]To set out the methodology to earn carbon credits for emissions reductions achieved from the capture and combustion of landfill gas generated from decomposing waste.

The Determination credits emissions reductions achieved through the destruction of methane from decomposing waste at a landfill site where the landfill operator intends to generate electricity. Organic waste produces methane when decomposing under anaerobic conditions, such as in landfill. Methane is a greenhouse gas 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. Capturing and combusting waste methane converts the methane into carbon dioxide, reducing net emissions from landfills. The Determination covers landfill projects that intend to generate electricity from combusting landfill gas, either exclusively or in conjunction with flaring.

Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee 3/22, p. 19
Autonomous Sanctions Amendment (Magnitsky-style and Other Thematic Sanctions) Regulations 2021 [F2021L01855]To introduce new thematic listing criteria to enable the Minister for Foreign Affairs to list persons and entities for the purposes of applying targeted financial sanctions and travel bans.Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee3/22, p. 19
Electronic Transactions Amendment Regulations 2021 [F2022L00021]To remove 33 exemptions to the operation of the Electronic Transactions Act 1999. Removing the exemptions from the operation of the Act for particular provisions of Commonwealth law enables, but does not compel or mandate, the use of electronic communications by business and individuals in their dealings with government.

The regulations also facilitate both paper-based and electronic processes for postal voters outside Australia to securely self-certify their postal vote certificate by providing official documented evidence of identity where they are unable to find an authorised witness.

Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee 3/22, p. 20
Online Safety (Restricted Access Systems) Declaration 2022 [F2022L00032]To specify an access-control system for 'relevant class 2 material' online by setting out the minimum requirements such a system must satisfy.

Relevant class 2 material includes content that is unsuitable for a minor to see because it depicts:

• realistically simulated sexual activity between adults;
• high impact nudity;
• high impact violence;
• high impact drug use; and
• high impact language.

The declaration requires that an access control system must:

• require an application for access to the material, and a declaration from the applicant that they are at least 18 years of age;
• provide warnings as to the nature of the material;
• provide safety information for parents and guardians on how to control access to the material;
• incorporate reasonable steps to confirm that an applicant is at least 18 years of age; and
• limit access to the content unless certain steps are complied with, including that age has been verified.

Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee 4/22, p. 10
Online Safety (Basic Online Safety Expectations) Determination 2022 [F2022L00062]

To set out basic online safety expectations for social media services, relevant electronic services and designated internet services. Providers of these services are expected to take steps to meet the expectations included in the determination.

The determination specifies expectations regarding:

• safe use;
• the taking of reasonable steps to minimise the provision certain material and to prevent access by children to class 2 material;
• reporting and complaints mechanisms;
• making information on terms of use and policies accessible;
• record keeping; and
• dealings with the eSafety Commissioner.

Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee 4/22, p. 9
Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (International Production Orders) Regulations 2022 [F2022L00111]

To give effect in domestic law to the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the United States of America on Access to Electronic Data for the Purpose of Countering Serious Crime.  

The effect of designating the Agreement is to allow Australian law enforcement and national security agencies to ask communications service providers in the United States to provide content or data to investigate or prosecute serious offences in Australia, and to allow United States law enforcement and security agencies to similarly request access to content or data held by Australian-based communication service providers to investigate or prosecute crimes in the United States.

Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee 4/22, p. 10
List of Threatened Species Amendment (Phascolarctos cinereus (combined populations of Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory) (280)) Instrument 2022 [F2022L00131]To transfer the combined koala populations of Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory from the Vulnerable category on the list of threatened species to the Endangered category.

Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee 4/22, p. 9

About this committee

The Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation assesses delegated legislation against a set of scrutiny principles that focus on compliance with statutory requirements, the protection of individual rights and liberties, and principles of parliamentary oversight.

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Senate Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation Committee
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