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FOR – Bills — Administrative Review Tribunal Bill 2024; Consideration of Senate Message

Mark Dreyfus

I move:

That the amendments be agreed to.

This bill will abolish the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and replace it with a new and much-improved administrative review tribunal. In doing so, this bill represents the most important reform of the federal system of administrative review in decades.

The Albanese government is committed to getting this right and has continued to listen and respond to stakeholder feedback throughout the parliamentary debate. Accordingly, this bill has been amended during Senate consideration to reinstate the current approach to secrecy and non-disclosure obligations under the AAT Act for tribunal members, the registrar, staff and contractors under the ART Bill; to require ministers and relevant Commonwealth entities to inform the Administrative Review Council of actions taken in relation to systemic issues in the making of reviewable decisions when notified by the tribunal president and to require the council to publish a description of such information in its annual report; and to clarify procedures that apply in proceedings in which the applicant dies, becomes bankrupt, is wound up or becomes subject to liquidation or administration. Stakeholders have repeatedly noted their support for the establishment of a new federal administrative review body that will promote greater integrity, accessibility, consistency, flexibility and transparency in our administrative law framework.

In spite of these additional improvements, there has been broad support for the bill as a whole. The legislation is supported by significant new investment consisting of an additional $206.5 million on top of the AAT's current appropriation to ensure the tribunal is set up for success. The significant investment outlined in the budget complements the government's previous commitments to support the reform. The complete funding commitment will support the tribunal to deliver the measures in the bill, update its ageing case management systems, increase accessibility and assist to resolve backlogs inherited from the previous government.

This legislation presents an opportunity to significantly improve Australia's administrative review system, a key pillar of our democracy. The passage of this bill will help restore trust and confidence in Australia's system of merits review.

Milton Dick

The question before the House is that the amendments be agreed to.

Summary

Date and time: 4:20 PM on 2024-05-28
Allegra Spender's vote: Aye
Total number of "aye" votes: 86
Total number of "no" votes: 53
Total number of abstentions: 12
Related bill: Administrative Review Tribunal Bill 2024

Adapted from information made available by theyvoteforyou.org.au

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