Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Statutory Rules 1994 No. 128

Issued by the Authority of the Assistant Treasurer

Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988

Child Support (Registration and Collection) Regulations (Amendment)

Section 125 of the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 (the Act) provides that the Governor General may make regulations for the purposes of the Act.

The Act provides for the registration and collection of court orders, court registered agreements and child support assessments for the payment of maintenance or child support.

The amendments to the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Regulations (the regulations) are set out below.

Regulation 2 - Regulation 2 (Interpretation)

The definition of "partnered" is included in regulation 2. The inclusion is consequential only upon the amendment included as regulation 3 in these amendments.

Regulation 3 - Regulation 3 (Prescribed weekly rate - protected earnings rate)

The reference to the Social Security Act 1991 in regulation 3 is obsolete following upon the rewrite of that Act and there is no direct equivalent to that reference in the rewrite of that Act. The existing regulation 3 will be omitted and replaced with a new regulation using a narrative description of the benefit rate upon which the protected earnings rate is calculated.

Regulation 4 - Regulation 13 (Documents taken to be duly signed)

Regulation 13 prescribes what constitutes a properly signed certificate, notice or other document issued under the Act. A document that has no written signature is often challenged. The amendment will change that which constitutes a properly signed document from a written, printed or stamped signature to a written, printed or stamped name including a facsimile of the signature.

Sub regulation 13 (2) is amended consequentially and will require judicial notice to be taken of both the name and signature on certificates, notices and other documents.

Regulation 5 - New Regulations 14 to 16.

New regulations 14 and 15 will be inserted to prescribe what shall constitute service of a notice (14) and what shall constitute the address for service of a notice (15) under the Act. There is nothing prescribed at present and experience now shows there is a need to prescribe these matters. The new regulations are based upon similar regulations in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 which allows the Commissioner to personally serve a notice, to leave a notice at the address for service or to send a notice by pre paid post to the address for service. The address for service will be prescribed as the address last given to the Registrar. Where no address has been given, the address that is held in the records of the Registrar, whether as Registrar of Commissioner, is the address for service.

New regulation 16 will prescribe that a person who fails to notify a change of address even though they are required to at law, may not plead the change of address as a defence in any proceeding under the Act or regulations. This new regulation is also based upon a similar regulation in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.

Regulation 6 - Schedule (Expenses to be allowed to person required to attend under section 120 of the Act)

Persons who are required to attend before the Registrar for interview are entitled to expenses in accordance with that prescribed in regulation 9 and the scale of expenses set out in the Schedule to the regulations. The present regulation is inconsistent with both the Family Law Act 1975 and the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936. All three statutes will hereafter be consistent in that expenses will only be payable to third persons required to attend. The Schedule will be amended by prescribing that no expenses are payable if the person required to attend is a payer, payee or their representative.

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