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Thursday, 30 April 1987
Page: 2248


Mr BARRY JONES (Minister for Science)(11.03) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Export Inspection (Establishment Registration Charge) Act 1985 to remove impediments to the full implementation of an initiative designed to reduce the red-tape burden on exporters of foodstuffs. The Export Inspection (Establishment Registration Charge) Act 1985 is one of three Acts-the others being the Export Inspection (Quantity Charge) Act 1985 and the Export Inspection (Service Charge) Act 1985-introduced by this Government to give as much flexibility as possible in determining appropriate export inspection charging systems for different sectors of the food export industry.

At the time the Act was introduced, export establishments were registered on an annual basis subject to renewal, and the establishment registration charge was modelled accordingly, to be a charge on that registration, payable annually. Earlier this year, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service initiated a system of continuing, or perpetual, registrations, not requiring any renewal. This is attractive as it reduced the paper work for the Service and for industry, while also reducing administrative costs in the long run. Because of the inflexible nature of the establishment registration charge, establishments subject to that charge have not been able to participate in that system. These are all establishments involved in the preparation of fish and poultry products for export.

The Bill amends provisions in the Export Inspection (Establishment Registration Charge) Act 1985 which prevent the extension of this initiative to establishments which are subject to the establishment registration charge. Under the Bill, the charge may be imposed on a periodic basis and not linked to the commencement or renewal of registration. The Bill also makes several consequential drafting changes.

The Bill will have no direct financial impact, as the amounts of charge imposed will not be affected by the amendments. I commend the Bill to honourable members. Also, I table the explanatory memorandums for both this Bill and the subsequent Bill, the Export Inspection Charges Collection Amendment Bill.

Debate (on motion by Mr Downer) adjourned.