The primary objective of the Subordinate Legislation Act 1992 is to reduce the burden of regulation on the Tasmanian community. The Act aims to ensure that only effective, efficient and necessary subordinate legislation is made and that, in cases where it imposes a cost or burden on the Tasmanian community, it is justified as being in the public interest. It is also designed to ensure that outdated or inappropriate subordinate legislation is not retained on the statute books indefinitely.
The Act provides for all subordinate legislation made after 13 March 1995 to be automatically repealed (unless re-made under the Act) on the tenth anniversary of the date on which it was made. The Act also introduces a series of requirements that must be complied with when agencies or authorities are either re-making existing subordinate legislation or introducing new subordinate legislation.
A key requirement of the Act is the need to initially assess whether or not proposed new or amendment subordinate legislation imposes a significant burden, cost or disadvantage on any sector of the public. If subordinate legislation is assessed as imposing a significant burden, cost or disadvantage on a sector of the public, it should not be introduced unless it can be justified as being in the public interest.
When assessing the impact of proposed subordinate legislation, agencies and authorities must:
- compare proposed amendments to existing regulations with not changing those regulations;
- compare proposed new subordinate legislation with doing nothing or taking a non-legislative approach; and
- for subordinate legislation subject to the automatic repeal provisions, compare the proposed re-made regulations with doing nothing (and letting the regulations lapse).
If a significant burden, cost or disadvantage would be imposed, the Act requires that agencies and authorities prepare a regulatory impact statement (RIS) and use it as a basis for public consultation. A RIS must:
- explain the objectives behind proposed subordinate legislation;
- detail the alternative options that could achieve those objectives;
- estimate the costs and benefits which could be expected to flow from these options;
- indicate which is the preferred option and why; and
- outline the public consultation process to be undertaken.
For further information see: Subordinate Legislation Act 1992 Administrative Handbook.