Published on: June 2022
Treasury Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2022
Bill introduced on motion by Ms Felicity Wilson, on behalf of Mr Matt Kean, read a first time and printed.
Second Reading Speech
Ms FELICITY WILSON (North Shore) (09:48:43):
On behalf of Mr Matt Kean: I move:
That this bill be now read a second time.
The Treasury Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2022 provides for a series of miscellaneous amendments to legislation primarily allocated to the Treasurer and largely serves to catch up on minor and uncontroversial amendments that are normally part of the annual Statute Law Revision Program. The changes proposed in the bill are minor and broadly administrative in nature. The bill comes after consultation with key stakeholders to ensure that the changes reflect accurate requirements to keep the legislation up to date. The bill proposes amendments to the following pieces of legislation: the Coal and Oil Shale Mine Workers (Superannuation) Act 1941, the General Government Liability Management Fund Act 2002, the NSW Self Insurance Corporation Act 2004, the Government Sector Audit Act 1983, the Government Sector Finance Act 2018, the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Act 1971 and the First State Superannuation Act 1992. The bill is proposed to commence on 1 July 2022 to align with requirements around financial reporting, compliance with changes to federal law and generally for administrative ease across the sector.
I will now address the bill in each of its component parts. The Coal and Oil Shale Mine Workers (Superannuation) Act 1941 was legislated in 1941 in order to implement the key recommendations of the 1940‑1941 royal commission of inquiry into mine safety. The Act was originally conceived in order to mandate the prohibition of employment of mine workers beyond the age of 60 and established a pension scheme for coal workers and their widows. Since then, of course, our industrial relations landscape has evolved considerably, and the Act now outlines the superannuation arrangements for coal and oil shale mine workers. The amendment is required to bring the trustee arrangements in line with new Commonwealth legislation that was introduced in response to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, otherwise known as the Hayne Royal Commission.
As a result of this Commonwealth legislative change, AUSCOAL Superannuation Pty Ltd is in breach of its registrable superannuation entity licence conditions, as it is both a corporate trustee of the Mine Superannuation Fund and administers the subsidy fund under the Coal and Oil Shale Mine Workers (Superannuation) Act 1941. AUSCOAL currently has an exemption from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority which is due to expire on 30 June 2022. Therefore, this proposed amendment will separate these functions and introduce a new entity, the subsidy fund administrator, to administer the subsidy fund. This will bring AUSCOAL into compliance. The entity will be appointed by the Minister responsible for the Act.
The General Government Liability Management Fund Act 2002 was legislated to establish the General Government Liability Management Fund and provide for its management. Payments are made out of the General Government Liability Management Fund to pay employer contributions to the SAS Trustee Corporation fund on behalf of agencies, among other statutory purposes. The NSW Self Insurance Corporation Act 2004 is an Act to reconstitute the NSW Insurance Ministerial Corporation as the NSW Self Insurance Corporation. The NSW Self Insurance Corporation operates Government‑managed fund schemes, among other functions. An amendment to the General Government Liability Fund Act 2002 and the NSW Self Insurance Corporation Act 2004 is required to remove references to "Crown Entity" or "Crown Finance Entity". The terms "Crown Entity" and "Crown Finance Entity" are not legal entities required to produce financial reports.
This amendment ensures compliance with the Australian Accounting Standards, specifically AASB 1050, which requires that separate financial statements should not be prepared for the Crown Entity. The Crown Entity's activities are administered by NSW Treasury on behalf of the State and will be included in Treasury's financial statements from the financial year end 30 June 2021. These reporting changes do not alter the underlying operations of Treasury and there are no budgetary impacts associated with this change. The critical date for these changes is 1 July 2022, in order to give effect to the change in reporting convention from the end of the financial year on 30 June 2021.
I now turn to the Government Sector Audit Act 1983. The Government Sector Audit Act 1983 governs the audit of government sector finances, and the establishment and functions of the Public Accounts Committee. The amendment proposed is required to align the time frames for auditing and tabling of the Consolidated State Financial Statements and ensures consistency of the terminology between the Government Sector Audit Act 1983 and Government Sector Finance Act 2018. The amendment removes redundant reference to "General Government Sector Financial Statements". It also makes amendments regarding the timing of the provision of audited Consolidated State Financial Statements and audit opinions by the Auditor‑General. It removes the references to specific dates and replaces them with obligations to provide statements and opinions as soon as practicable. The Auditor-General has also been consulted on these changes and is supportive of the changes proposed.
I now move to the Government Sector Finance Act 2018. Also related to the preparation and auditing of financial statements is the amendment to the Government Sector Finance Act 2018. The Government Sector Finance Act 2018 was legislated to establish a framework for government sector financial and resource management in New South Wales. This includes the financial reporting of government sector finance agencies and the auditing of government sector finance agencies' financial statements. The amendments to this Act are required to clarify the timing and sequence of the provision of signed certification statements and compliance statements. An amendment is also proposed to the Government Sector Finance Legislation (Repeal and Amendment) Act 2018 to repeal redundant instruments and uncommenced amendments that have since been superseded.
I now move to the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Act 1971. The Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Act established a contributory superannuation scheme for members of the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly.
Government members interjected.
I note the interjections of my colleagues. An amendment to the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Act 1971 is required to update provisions relating to the eligibility, appointment and removal of trustees—and I welcome the member for Macquarie Fields naming those in his contribution. The Act currently requires the trustees of the fund to be sitting members of Parliament. However, the fund was closed to new members in 2007. There are now only 14 members of the fund who are still sitting members of Parliament. I note one of those members is present in the Chamber. The proposed amendments will allow past members of Parliament—I am sure we do not want any of the 14 to be a past member anytime soon—who are also fund members, to be appointed as trustees. In addition, the board is proposed to be given the ability to appoint and remove trustees with a majority of a quorum of voting trustees, and the Treasurer, acting reasonably, will also be given the ability to a remove a trustee.
The First State Superannuation Act 1992 provides for employer contributions to superannuation for public sector employees. On 7 September 2020, the FSS Trustee Corporation, commonly referred to as First State Super, changed its name to Aware Super Pty Ltd. This amendment reflects the name change throughout the Act as well as references to "First State Superannuation" and "FTC" in other Acts and regulations. To conclude, the bill gives effect to necessary administrative changes to these pieces of legislation administered by the Treasurer and the Minister for Finance. They must be passed before the end of this financial year. They represent a number of amendments that normally form part of the annual Statute Law Revision Program and should not be considered controversial. I acknowledge the work of Treasury and Dimitry Palmer and Charlie Hoffman from the Treasurer's office in putting together these incredibly important amendments for the House to consider. I commend the bill to the House.