Status of Legislation

This page provides information on DSS legislation, which either was finalised during the last sitting period or is currently before the Parliament. More information is available on the Bills and Legislation page on the Parliament of Australia website, or by calling the DSS Legislation Liaison Officer on +61-2-6146 3173.

Update – Monday 21 March 2016

National Disability Insurance Scheme Savings Fund Special Account Bill 2016

Content:

This Bill will establish a new ongoing special account, known as the National Disability Insurance Scheme Savings Fund Special Account, to help the Commonwealth meet its funding obligations relating to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 16 March 2016.
  • Awaiting debate in the House of Representatives.

Date of Royal Assent:

Act No.:

National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment Bill 2016

Content:

This Bill will increase the maximum number of Board members of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Launch Transition Agency from nine to 12 members, including the Chair. The Bill also changes the quorum arrangements for Board meetings so it is clear that a quorum is the majority of members of the Board.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 16 March 2016.
  • Awaiting debate in the House of Representatives.

Date of Royal Assent:

Act No.:

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Consistent Treatment of Parental Leave Payments) Bill 2016

Content:

This Bill introduces the 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook measure, Commonwealth Parental Leave Payments – consistent treatment for income support assessment. This measure will amend the social security and veterans’ entitlements legislation to ensure Commonwealth parental leave payments under the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 are included in the income test for Commonwealth income support payments.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 16 March 2016.
  • Awaiting debate in the House of Representatives.

Date of Royal Assent:

Act No.:

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Enhanced Welfare Payment Integrity) Bill 2016

Content:

This Bill introduces the legislative amendments required for the 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook measure, Enhanced Welfare payment Integrity – expand debt recovery. The Bill will protect the integrity of outlays through welfare payments, and encourage welfare debtors to repay their debts, by using departure prohibition orders to prevent targeted debtors from leaving the country. The Bill will also remove the six-year limitation on recovery of welfare debts.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 2 March 2016.
  • Passed by the House of Representatives on 16 March 2016.
  • Awaiting introduction into and debate in the Senate.

Date of Royal Assent:

Act No.:

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Interest Charge) Bill 2016

Content:

This Bill introduces the legislative amendments required for the 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook measure, Applying a general interest charge to the debts of ex-recipients of Social Security and Family Assistance Payments. The Bill will provide for the application of a new annual interest charge to outstanding debts owed by former recipients of social welfare payments who have failed to enter into, or have not complied with, an acceptable repayment arrangement.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 2 March 2016.
  • Debate in the House of Representatives commenced on 17 March 2016.
  • Still before the House of Representatives.

Date of Royal Assent:

Act No.:

Business Services Wage Assessment Tool Payment Scheme Amendment Act 2016

Content:

This Act provides increased one-off payments to around 10,000 eligible people under the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool Payment Scheme Act 2015, and makes associated amendments to improve the administration of the payment scheme.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 11 February 2016.
  • Passed by the House of Representatives on 29 February 2016.
  • Introduced into the Senate on 1 March 2016.
  • Passed by the Senate on 3 March 2016.

Date of Royal Assent: 18 March 2016

Act No.: 21 of 2016

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Family Measures) Act 2016

Content:

This Act implemented the following 2015 Budget measures:

  • reduce to six weeks the length of time for which family tax benefit Part A, and additional payments that rely on family tax benefit eligibility, will be paid to recipients who are outside Australia (known as portability), and
  • cease the large family supplement.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 2 December 2015.
  • Passed by the House of Representatives on 8 February 2016.
  • Introduced into the Senate on 22 February 2016.
  • Passed by the Senate with an amendment on 24 February 2016.
  • Senate amendment agreed by the House of Representatives on 29 February 2016.

Date of Royal Assent: 8 March 2016

Act No.: 17 of 2016

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Family Payments Structural Reform and Participation Measures) Bill (No. 2) 2015

Content:

This Bill will reform the family tax benefit Part A and at-home youth fortnightly rates, introduce a new rate structure and make other amendments in relation to family tax benefit Part B, and phase out the family tax benefit Part A and Part B supplements.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 2 December 2015.
  • Passed by the House of Representatives on 10 February 2016.
  • Introduced into the Senate on 22 February 2016.
  • Awaiting debate in the Senate.

Date of Royal Assent:

Act No.:

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2016

Content:

This Bill reintroduces the 2015 Budget measure that reduces, from 26 weeks to six weeks, the length of time for which recipients of age pension and a small number of other payments with unlimited portability will generally be paid their basic means‑tested rate while outside Australia. After six weeks, payment will be adjusted according to the length of the pensioner’s Australian working life residence.

The Bill also reintroduces the following 2014 Budget measures:

  • cease the pensioner education supplement and the education entry payment,
  • maintain at level for three years the income free areas for all working age allowances (other than student payments) and for parenting payment single, and
  • maintain at level for three years the income free areas and other means test thresholds for student payments, including the student income bank limits.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 2 December 2015.
  • Passed by the House of Representatives on 8 February 2016.
  • Introduced into the Senate on 22 February 2016.
  • Awaiting debate in the Senate.

Date of Royal Assent:

Act No.:

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2015

Content:

This Bill makes minor amendments to the social security and family assistance law to correct several anomalies and clarify intended policy. The matters concerned include access to special benefit, the time period for income reconciliation for family tax benefit, certain student payment matters and indexation of pharmaceutical allowance.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 2 December 2015.
  • Passed by the House of Representatives on 10 February 2016.
  • Introduced into the Senate on 22 February 2016.
  • Awaiting debate in the Senate.

Date of Royal Assent:

Act No.:

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Bill 2015

Content:

This Bill reintroduces, with minor modifications, some of the 2014 and 2015 Budget measures previously introduced in the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015 (which was negatived at second reading in the Senate on 9 September 2015):

  • exclude widow allowance claimants from the one-week ordinary waiting period for working age payments,
  • delay the start date for the measure increasing the age of eligibility for newstart allowance and sickness allowance, and
  • introduce a revised four-week waiting period for youth income support.

The Bill also implements the Rapid Activation of young job seekers 2015 Budget measure.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 16 September 2015.
  • Awaiting debate in the House of Representatives.

Date of Royal Assent:

Act No.:

Fairer Paid Parental Leave Bill 2015

Content:

This Bill will ensure Government-funded payments under the Paid Parental Leave scheme are more fairly targeted to parents who do not also have sufficient access to employer-provided parental leave or similar payments. Parents will no longer be able to receive employer-provided primary carer leave payments (or other like payments) as well as the full amount of parental leave pay under the Paid Parental Leave scheme.

The Bill also removes the requirement for employers to provide Government-funded parental leave pay to their eligible long-term employees. Employees will be paid directly by the Department of Human Services, unless an employer opts in to provide parental leave pay to its employees and an employee agrees to their employer paying them.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 25 June 2015.
  • Awaiting debate in the House of Representatives.

Date of Royal Assent:

Act No.:

Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

Content:

This Bill provides that a person who is undergoing psychiatric confinement because they have been charged with a serious offence will be taken to be in psychiatric confinement for the purpose of the social security law, irrespective of whether the person is undertaking a course of rehabilitation. One of the effects of this is that relevant social security payments will not be payable to the person while the person is undergoing that psychiatric confinement.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 25 March 2015.
  • Passed by the House of Representatives on 28 May 2015.
  • Introduced into the Senate on 15 June 2015.
  • Debate in the Senate commenced on 10 August 2015.
  • Still before the Senate.

Date of Royal Assent:

Act No.:

Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 4) Bill 2014

Content:

This Bill currently contains the following 2014 Budget measures:

  • maintain at current levels for certain periods the standard FTB child rates and certain income free areas and means test thresholds for Australian Government payments, and index Parenting Payment Single to the CPI only,
  • revise the family tax benefit (FTB) end-of-year supplements to their original values and cease indexation, limit FTB Part B to families with children under six, and introduce a new allowance for certain single parents,
  • extend and simplify the ordinary waiting period for all working age payments,
  • cease pensioner education supplement and the education entry payment,
  • extend youth allowance (other) to 22 to 24 year olds in lieu of newstart allowance and sickness allowance,
  • require young people with full capacity to learn, earn or Work for the Dole, and
  • remove the three-months’ backdating of disability pension under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 2 October 2014.
  • Passed by the House of Representatives on 22 October 2014.
  • Introduced into the Senate on 28 October 2014.
  • Awaiting debate in the Senate.

Note:

Some measures were modified or reversed in the 2015 Budget and some have been reintroduced in other Bills.

Date of Royal Assent:

Act No.:

Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 5) Bill 2014

Content:

This Bill currently contains the following 2014 Budget measures:

  • maintain at current levels for three years the current income test free areas for all pensions other than parenting payment single, and the deeming thresholds for all payments,
  • index all pensions other than parenting payment single to the CPI only,
  • reset deeming thresholds, and
  • increase the qualifying age for age pension, and the non-veteran pension age, to 70.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 2 October 2014.
  • Awaiting debate in the House of Representatives.

Note:

The first three measures above were reversed in the 2015 Budget. Government amendments to this Bill have been circulated to remove those measures from this Bill. The amendments cannot be formally moved until the Bill is debated in the House of Representatives.

Date of Royal Assent:

Act No.:

Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Student Measures) Bill 2014

Content:

This Bill reintroduces, with certain modifications, two measures that were removed from the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 during its passage through the Senate in March 2014:

  • imposing an interest charge on certain student income support debt – originally a 2012-13 Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook measure, and
  • replacing student start-up scholarships with student start-up loans – originally a 2013 Budget measure, and amended as part of the 2014 Budget to remove grandfathering.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 17 July 2014.
  • Passed by the House of Representatives on 22 October 2014.
  • Introduced into the Senate on 28 October 2014.
  • Still before the Senate.

Note:

The student start-up loans measure was reintroduced and passed in the Labor 2013-14 Budget Savings (Measures No. 2) Act 2015, with grandfathering restored.

Date of Royal Assent:

Act No.:

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Repeal) (No. 1) Bill 2014

Content:

This Bill proposes to repeal the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012, thereby abolishing the Commission. However, this Bill would not take effect until the enactment of a later Bill, which would provide the details of the arrangements replacing the Commission.

Current status:

  • Introduced into the House of Representatives on 19 March 2014.
  • Debate in the House commenced on 3 December 2014.
  • Still before the House of Representatives.

Date of Royal Assent:

Act No.:

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