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A Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill will be prepared for the Budget and Spring sittings of Parliament each year.
Proposals require approval by the relevant Minister/s before submission to the Parliamentary Counsel.
Submissions to the Parliamentary Counsel are required by the second Friday in February for inclusion in the Budget sitting Bill and the fourth Friday in July for the Spring sitting Bill each year.
In an election year, for the Budget sitting Bill only, Ministerial approval can be sought after the election from the relevant portfolio Minister once the incoming government has been sworn in.
This Circular sets out the principles and procedures to be observed for the Statute Law Revision Program.
Bills will contain the following matters only:
Minor amendments proposed by government agencies.
Minor amendments by way of pure statute law revision proposed by the Parliamentary Counsel.
Repeals of obsolete or unnecessary Acts (subject to any remaining operative provisions being transferred to other appropriate Acts), proposed by government agencies or the Parliamentary Counsel.
Savings and transitional provisions.
Amendments proposed by agencies must be non-controversial and must contain no more than minor policy changes. Matters that are usually inappropriate for inclusion in the Statute Law Revision Program include but are not limited to:
Amendments increasing sentences of imprisonment for offences, or creating offences punishable by imprisonment.
Amendments increasing monetary penalties by very high amounts.
Amendments that prejudice the private rights of any person.
Amendments retrospectively imposing liabilities on any person.
Amendments to Acts dealing with controversial subject matter.
Amendments that have been the subject of disputes between agencies, or that require considerable whole of government consideration.
Lengthy or voluminous amendments.
Procedures for Submission of Proposed Amendments
Ministers should ensure that their agencies are advised of the following procedures for submission of proposals:
Requests for matters to be included in Bills should be drafted for the Minister’s signature and addressed to the Parliamentary Counsel.
Requests should be accompanied by a Parliamentary briefing note of not more than one page per proposal. A briefing note template and an example are set out in Attachment 1 and Attachment 2 respectively. Each briefing note should relate to amendments to one Act only and should be in plain English, assuming no knowledge of the particular issue. It should include:
a broad statement of the rationale for the proposal (ie: why it is required), its context and who has proposed it
a general outline of the proposal in non-technical terms and how it will resolve the problem
full implications of the proposal.
Where an Act (or part of an Act) is administered jointly by two Ministers, written approval from each Minister is required to be obtained before the proposal is submitted to the Parliamentary Counsel.
Each matter will be assessed initially by the Parliamentary Counsel and then by the General Counsel, Department of Premier and Cabinet. Any matter considered to be unsuitable for the program will not be included.
Dates for Submission
To facilitate preparation of Bills, Ministers should ensure that proposals from their agencies are submitted to the Parliamentary Counsel throughout the year as soon as the need for an amendment is identified and approved by the Minister.
Subject to their being assessed as suitable for the Statute Law Revision Program, proposals approved by the relevant Minister/s and received by the Parliamentary Counsel by the second Friday in February for inclusion in the Budget sitting Bill and the fourth Friday in July for the Spring sitting Bill will be progressed as part of the relevant Bill.
In an election year, however, for the Budget sitting Bill only, Ministerial approval can be sought after the election from the relevant portfolio Minister once the incoming government has been sworn in.
Proposals submitted after these dates will be considered for inclusion in a subsequent Statute Law Bill.
Enquiries may be directed to the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office or Legal Branch, Department of Premier and Cabinet.