Wednesday, 16 October 2019
ANL Legislation Repeal Bill 2019; Second Reading
I present the explanatory memorandum to this bill and move:
That this bill be now read a second time.
What a great pleasure it is to move the second reading of the ANL Legislation Repeal Bill 2019. Maritime trade is vital to Australia's economy. International shipping carries 99 per cent of our imports and exports by weight, connecting Australia to the world.
Our domestic maritime industries are vital to Australian tourism and to our transport networks. These industries, including fishing and aquaculture, are significant employers of Australians, particularly in our regional and coastal communities.
Across Australia, shipping and maritime trade directly or indirectly supports people's livelihoods and lifestyles.
As a government, it is our duty to ensure Australia's regulatory framework for our maritime industries remains up to date and fit for purpose, and meets community expectations to support safety, protect our marine environment, and facilitate trade.
This includes supporting the efficient operation of maritime businesses by removing unnecessary regulation.
Today I present the ANL Legislation Repeal Bill 2019.
The bill repeals the ANL Act 1956 and the ANL Guarantee Act 1994.
These two acts set out arrangements relating to the former Commonwealth shipping line 'ANL', or 'Australian National Line', which was owned and operated by the Commonwealth during the last century.
From this time, CMA CGM has traded in our region under the name ANL. Transitional arrangements are long concluded, and the Commonwealth has ceased to have any stake in the ANL shipping line.
Following the sale of ANL in 1998, most provisions of the ANL Act have no longer had any legal or practical effect. For example, provisions relating to the structure and staff of the government business ANL became defunct as a result of the sale and privatisation of the ANL shipping line.
One key exception is the provision of the ANL Act protecting the use of the business name 'ANL' and other associated terms, such as 'Searoad'. These provisions have recently impeded the business operations of a small number of maritime businesses, including by impeding the re-registering of website names and registration of trademarks.
This is despite the affected businesses having used their names for many years in good faith.
The protected name provisions of the ANL Act should have been removed around the time of the sale in 1998. Having sold the ANL shipping line, the Commonwealth no longer needed to protect these names. However, the protections were retained through a historical oversight.
This bill corrects that oversight to honour the sale of ANL in good faith and remove unnecessary and unintended barriers for the affected maritime businesses.
This will allow these businesses to get on with their operations and making important contributions to our national economy, without interference from unintended, historical regulatory barriers.
The bill also takes the opportunity to repeal a related piece of spent legislation—the ANL Guarantee Act.
The guarantee act empowered the Treasurer to guarantee loans made in respect of the former government shipping line ANL. Similar to the ANL Act, the guarantee act has been effectively obsolete since the 1998 sale of ANL so should also be removed as an unnecessary and outdated piece of legislation.
I thank the Treasurer for his agreement to repeal these two acts simultaneously.
His support enables the efficient use of the parliament's time to remove two related and outdated pieces of legislation and remove unnecessary historical barriers to maritime business.
I commend the bill to the House.