• Caterina Sullivan

This Week in Parliament 6/10 - 9/10

Updated: Nov 13, 2020



This week was Budget Week with the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg handing down the budget on October 6, 2020, instead of its usual time in May. You can find out more about Budget 2020 in my blog post or wait for my YouTube video tomorrow covering the budget and a crash course on the most important aspects of how the budget works in Australia.


In the meantime, let's look at the legislation that was presented and passed in both houses this week and a brief summary of what each of the Bills aims to change in Australia.


Bills Presented in the House


Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2020 - 2021

- Introduced to House on October 6, 2020

- The budget

- See more information in this blog post


Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2020 - 2021

- Introduced to House on October 6, 2020

- Supports Appropriation Bill (No. 1)


Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 1) 2020 - 2021

- Introduced to House on October 6, 2020

- Supports Appropriation Bill (No. 1)


Bankruptcy (Estate Charges) Amendment (Norfolk Island) Bill 2020

- Introduced to House on October 7, 2020

- Extends the application of the Bankruptcy (Estate Charges) Act 1997 to Norfolk Island


Economic Recovery Package (JobMaker Hiring Credit) Amendment Bill 2020

- Introduced to House on October 7, 2020

- Economic assistance for businesses hiring young people as part of COVID recovery


Electoral Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2020

- Passed Senate last sitting block (September 3, 2020) after introduction on June 11, 2020

- Introduced to House on October 6, 2020

- Initiated in the Senate

- Modernising Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) workplace practices

- Technical amendments proposed by the AEC

- Modernising electoral processes

- Clarification of interaction between federal and State electoral laws, especially around donations


Export Market Development Grants Legislation Amendment Bill 2020

- Introduced to House on October 7, 2020

- Implementation of recommendations made in Review of Financial Assistance to SME Exporters


National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Amendment (Technical Amendments) Bill 2020

- Introduced to House on October 8, 2020

- Ensuring the listing of associates of institutions found responsible for abuse is both practical and trauma-informed

- Clarification when there is more than one funder of last resort

- Removal of the need for ministerial-level approval before engaging and independent decision-maker

- Redress payments to go through a public trustee or similar body to ensure protection of interests of financial recipient

- Flexibility around redress payment date

- Improved handling of protected information


Native Title Amendment (Infrastructure and Public Facilities) Bill 2020

- Introduced to House on October 8, 2020

- Extends operation of section 24JAA for a further 10 years

- Focusing on public housing for First Nations peoples


Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Continuation of Cashless Welfare) Bill 2020

- Introduced to House on October 8, 2020

- Establishes the cashless debit card as an ongoing program in existing sites

- Transitions income management participan ts across Northern Territory and Cape York region to cashless debit card


Territories Legislation Amendment Bill 2020

- Introduced to House on October 7, 2020

- Applies to Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and the Jervis Bay Territory

- Support for the application of state applied laws in territories

- Improvement to Norfolk Island legal framework

- Provision of the Australian government to enter agreement with any state or territory government for delivery of state-type services

- Transition companies currently registered under Norfolk Island law to Commonwealth corporations framework to reduce red tape

- Changes to bankruptcy laws in Norfolk Island giving an end date to bankruptcy


Bills Presented in the Senate


Biosecurity Amendment (Traveller Declarations and Other Measures) Bill 2020

- Passed Lower House this sitting block (October 7, 2020) after introduction on June 17, 2020

- Introduced to Senate on October 7, 2020

- Enable infringement notices with higher value to be issued for goods that have not been declared on incoming passenger card


Defence Legislation Amendment (Enhancement of Defence Force Response to Emergencies) Bill 2020

- Passed Lower House this sitting block (October 6, 2020) after introduction on September 3, 2020

- Introduced to Senate on October 6, 2020

- Streamline process to call out reserves to natural disasters and other civil emergencies

- Provide defence personnel with immunities similar to those of state and territory emergency service counterparts

- Superannuation for those reservists


Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Streamlining Environmental Approvals) Bill 2020

- Passed Lower House last sitting block (September 3, 2020) after introduction on August 27, 2020

- Introduced to Senate on October 6, 2020

- Streamlines environmental approvals under the EPBC Act 1999

- Removes duplications with state and territory government


Judges' Pensions Amendment (Pension Not Payable for Misconduct) Bill 2020

- Initiated in Senate on October 6, 2020

- Judges to no longer receive the pension once retired if there is any misconduct that would have had them removed from the Bench under section 72 of the Constitution if they were still active in their legal service

- Private Senators' Bill sponsored by Senator Rex Patrick (Independent for South Australia)


Royal Commissions Amendment (Confidentiality Protections) Bill 2020

- Initiated in Senate on October 6, 2020

- Extends confidentiality protections for witnesses beyond the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Exploitation and Neglect of People with Disability

- Private Senators' Bill sponsored by Senator Jordon Steele-John (Greens for Western Australia)


Social Security Amendment (COVID-19 Supplement) Bill 2020

- Initiated in Senate on October 9, 2020

- Retain the coronavirus supplement rate of $550 per fortnight

- Private Senators' Bill sponsored by Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens for Western Australia)


Bills Passed Lower House


National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Strengthening Banning Orders) Bill 2020

- Introduced to the House on June 12, 2020

- Passed October 7, 2020

- Strengthens existing powers of NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner to ban workers or providers from delivering services


Transport Security Amendment (Serious Crime) Bill 2020

- Formerly cited under the same name but in 2019 as opposed to 2020

- Introduced to the House on October 23, 2019

- Referred to Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs November 28, 2019 before being tabled on March 25, 2020

- Passed October 7, 2020

- Broadens the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003 to include provisions to address crime


Bills Passed Upper House


Family Law Amendment (Risk Screening Protections) Bill 2020

- Introduced to Senate on August 26, 2020

- Passed October 8, 2020

- Initiated in the Senate

- The Lighthouse Project

- Domestic violence risk screening pilot program

- Currently being trialed Adelaide, Brisbane and Parramatta


Sport Integrity Australia Amendment (World Anti-Doping Code Review) Bill 2020

- Introduced to Senate on August 26, 2020

- Passed October 8, 2020

- Initiated in Senate

- To line up anti-doping laws with revisions from World Anti-Doping Code which come into effect January 1, 2021


Bills Passed Both Houses for Royal Assent


Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-Ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020

- Presented to House on August 26, 2020 before passing on September 1, 2020 and being introduced to Senate on September 2

- Passed Senate October 8, 2020

- Additional university places for Australian students

- More support for regional students and universities

- Public funding for universities directed towards areas of expected employment growth

- Extension of Commonwealth support to more work experience units

- Better funding and pathways for psychology and social work courses

- Matching student contributions with Commonwealth contributions

- National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund ($900 million)

- Increased support for regional, rural, indigenous and low socio-economic status students

- Reduced loan fee for FEE-HELP loan from 25% to 20%


Treasury Laws Amendment (A Tax Plan for the COVID-19 Economic Recovery) Bill 2020

- Presented to House on October 7, 2020 before passing on October 8, 2020 and being introduced to Senate on the same day

- Passed Senate October 9, 2020

- Covers changes to taxation announced in Budget 2020

- Lowering taxes for 11 million individuals paying personal income tax


Acts of Parliament


Not applicable


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Authorised by Caterina Sullivan (2018)

PO Box 6157

O'CONNOR ACT 2602

Australia