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February 13, 2010

Consumer credit reform amendments to State referrals

The Government has introduced the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment Bill into Parliament.

The Bill is in response to state concerns raised in December last year in relation to the terms of the amendment power in the Referral Bills (the Bills to be enacted by the States to refer power to the Commonwealth) to allow certain subject matters (such as State taxation) to be excluded from the scope of the amendment power.

To give effect to that agreement this Bill amends the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 to enable an effective reference of State power to be made either with or without exclusions to that power.

The amendments in this Bill will also allow the States to refer their regulatory powers in relation to consumer credit by ‘adopting' the Commonwealth's legislation and referring an amendment power.  This will ensure the constitutional soundness of the referral of consumer credit powers.

Following the Commonwealth's enactment of this Bill, the States wishing to refer powers excluding certain subject matters or using the adoption approach will be able to do so.

Following enactment of the Referral Bills, the States will be able to repeal their state laws in time for the commencement of the National Credit legislation on 1 July 2010. 

The State powers specifically excluded from referral to the Commonwealth are:

 • the matter of making provision with respect to the imposition or payment of State taxes, duties, charges or other imposts,
however described; or
• the matter of making provision with respect to the general system for the recording of estates or interests in land and
related information; or
• the matter of providing for the priority of interests in real property; or
• the matter of making a law that excludes or limits the operation of a State law, to the extent that the State law makes provision with respect to the creation, holding, transfer, assignment, disposal or forfeiture of a State statutory right.

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Posted 13th February 2010 by David Jacobson in legislation