The main Commonwealth Acts relevant to Over the Rainbow are listed below in alphabetical order. The subject matter of the Act is summarised and sections of particular relevance to the topics discussed on the OTR website are indicated. It may be useful to check these summaries before consulting a particular Act.

To read the full text of the Acts, go to Australian Law Online at the Federal Attorney General's website at http://SCALEplus.law.gov.au 

The consolidated text of State and Commonwealth Acts can also be found on the website of the Australasian Legal Information Institute at http://www.austlii.edu.au. The text of Acts may not be updated there as often as on government websites.

Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 (Cth)

Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)

Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 (Cth)

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Regulations 1989

Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act 1994 (Cth)

Marriage Act 1961 (Cth)

Migration Act 1958 (Cth)

Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth)

Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)

Public Service Act 1999 (Cth)

Sex Discrimination Act 1994 (Cth)

Social Security Act 1991 (Cth)

Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth)

Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994

Superannuation Act 1990 (Cth)

Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth).

 

Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 (Cth)
This Act aims to ensure that children receive a proper level of financial support from their parents.

Sections to note:

s.5 defines 'parent' and 'partner' 

Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
This Act prohibits discrimination on the grounds of disability in employment, education and other areas.

Sections to note:

s.4 defines 'disability' (includes an illness or disease)

ss.5-9 define 'disability discrimination'

ss.15-21 prohibit disability discrimination in employment

ss.22-34 prohibit disability discrimination in education and other areas

ss.35-40 prohibit discrimination involving harassment

s.42 makes victimisation an offence

ss.45-58 deal with exemptions

Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)
This Act deals with marriage and divorce, and with the parenting of all children. Part VII of the Act (ss.60A-70Q) covers Children. Within that part, Division 4 deals with Parenting Plans (ss.63A-63H); Divisions 5 and 6 deal with Parenting Orders (ss.64A-65ZD); Division 7 deals with Child Maintenance Orders (ss.66A-66W); and Division 10 deals with Children's Best Interests and the Representation of Children (ss.68D-68M).

Sections to note:

s.60H sets out who is a parent of a child born as a result of an artificial conception procedure

ss.61B and 61C define 'parental responsibility'and give it to each parent

s.61D sets out the effect of a parenting order on parental responsibility

s.65C sets out who can apply for a parenting order, including 'any other person concerned with the care, welfare or development of the child'

s.65E makes the child's best interests paramount in a decision of the court

s.68F(2) sets out the factors the court must consider in determining the child's best interests

s.65G concerns orders made in favour of someone other than a parent

ss.66A and 66B make it the duty of parents to maintain their child and to share equitably in the child's support. 

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 (Cth)

This Act establishes the federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and includes provisions about human rights and equal opportunity in employment.

Sections to note:

s.3 defines 'discrimination' and 'unlawful discrimination'

s.47 enables international conventions to be adopted and to apply to the purposes of the Act

Schedule1 contains the International Labor Organization's Convention concerning Discrimination in respect of Employment and Occupation

Schedule 2 contains the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Regulations 1989

Regulation 4 recognises sexual preference as a ground of discrimination under the Act.

Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act 1994 (Cth)
This Act implements Australia's obligations under Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Sections to note:

s.4 prohibits interference with the privacy of sexual conduct between consenting adults. 

Marriage Act 1961 (Cth)
This Act deals with the valid performance of marriages.

Sections to note:

s.46(1) defines marriage under Australian law as being the 'union of a man and a woman'

Migration Act 1958 (Cth)
This Act sets the rules for people who are not Australian citizens being allowed to enter and stay in Australia.

Sections to note:

s.5 defines 'health concern, non-citizen' and 'health criterion'

Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth)
These Regulations include classes and sub-classes of visas and the requirements attaching to them.

Regulations to note:

r.1.09A defines 'interdependent relationship' 

Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
This Act contains provisions to protect the privacy of individuals.

Sections to note:

ss.5 and 14 set out Information Privacy Principles

s.6 defines 'health information', 'personal information', 'sensitive information' and 'credit information file'

s.16 requires Commonwealth agencies to comply with the Information Privacy Principles.

Public Service Act 1999 (Cth)

This Act provides for the establishment and maintenance of the Australian (Commonwealth) Public Service.

Sections to note:

s.8 makes the Act subject to the Workplace Relations Act 1996

s.10 prescribes a set of Australian Public Service values, including provision of a workplace free from discrimination (s. 10(1))

s.11 requires the values set out under s.10 to be upheld by public service agencies 

Sex Discrimination Act 1994 (Cth)
This Act prohibits sexual harassment in education and in the workplace; and prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, marital status, pregnancy, and family responsibilities. Part 2 prohibits discrimination at work (ss.14-20); discrimination in other areas (ss.21-27); and sexual harassment (ss.28A-28L). 

Sections to note:

s.4 defines 'de facto spouse', 'marital status' (includes being single), and 'near relative'

s.4A defines 'immediate family member

s.5 defines sex discrimination

s.6 makes marital status a ground of discrimination under the Act

s.7 makes pregnancy a ground of discrimination under the Act

s.7A makes family responsibilities a ground of discrimination under the Act (see also s.14 (3A))

s.28A defines sexual harassment

ss.30-47 set out exemptions 

Social Security Act 1991 (Cth)

This Act regulates the payment of pensions and other benefits by the Federal Government. 

Sections to note:

s.4 defines 'a member of a couple'

s.5 defines 'parent' and 'dependent child' 

Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth)
This Act makes rules for superannuation funds and bodies nationally.

Sections to note:

s.10 defines 'dependant' (includes spouse and any child), 'child', and 'legal personal representative'

s.59 allows members of some funds to make a binding nomination of beneficiary

Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994
Regulations to note:

rr.6.17A, 6.17B set out the requirements for valid nominations of member beneficiaries 

Superannuation Act 1990 (Cth)
This Act sets up a superannuation scheme for the Commonwealth Public Service.

Sections to note:

Schedule 2, part 5 provides that as a member's beneficiary, 'spouse' is limited to a person living with the member as husband or wife. 

Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth)
This Act regulates workplace relations and establishes the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. Part VIA (ss.170BA-170KC) sets out the minimum entitlements of employees.

Sections to note:

s.170CK(2)(f) prohibits termination of employment on the grounds of sex, sexual preference, marital status and family responsibilities

s.170KB and Schedule 14 cover parental leave, which means maternity and paternity leave. These are limited to opposite-sex partnerships

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