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Monday, 1 June 1998
Page: 4334

Mr ANDERSON (Primary Industries and Energy) (8:59 PM) —by leave—I move revised government amendments Nos 1 to 7 as circulated:

(1) Schedule 1, item 4, page 8 (line 28), at the end of paragraph (b), add "and examine and report on the benefits to growers that result from that performance".

(2) Schedule 1, item 4, page 9 (lines 6 to 9), omit subsection (1), substitute:

(1) The Authority consists of the following members:

(a) a Chairperson;

(b) 2 members who have been nominated by the Grains Council;

(c) a government member;

(d) one other member.

(1A) One of the members referred to in paragraph (1)(b) must be a person who is ordinarily resident, at the time of appointment, in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland or Tasmania. The other must be a person who is ordinarily resident, at the time of appointment, in Western Australia or South Australia.

(1B) The appointment of a member referred to in paragraph (1)(b) is not ineffective, and is not to be questioned, on the ground of a defect or irregularity in connection with the member's nomination or appointment.

(3) Schedule 1, item 4, page 9 (after line 12), at the end of section 6, add:

(4) The performance of functions, or the exercise of powers, by the Authority is not affected by a vacancy or vacancies in its membership.

(4) Schedule 1, item 4, page 10 (line 17), omit "2 members", substitute "3 members".

(5) Schedule 1, item 13, page 14 (lines 26 to 29), omit subsection (6), substitute:

(6) For the purposes of subsection 51(1) of the Trade Practices Act 1974 , the following things are to be regarded as specified in this section and specifically authorised by this section:

(a) the export of wheat by nominated company B;

(b) anything that is done by nominated company B under this section or for the purposes of this section.

(6) Schedule 1, item 16, page 15 (line 12), omit "must be reasonable, and".

(7) Schedule 1, item 23, page 16 (line 16), omit "$5 million", substitute "$6 million".

I present a revised supplementary explanatory memorandum to the bill. The proposed main amendments to the Wheat Marketing Legislation Amendment Bill 1998 relate to a minor change to increase the membership of the Wheat Export Authority in response to representations to the government after the bill became available for public scrutiny. Technical amendments are also being made to clarify the exemption of the pooling company from part IV of the Trade Practices Act 1974, and payment arrangements for wheat purchased for the pools.

The Wheat Export Authority will be established under provisions in the bill to control wheat exports and account to parliament and industry on the export monopoly arrangements after the conversion of the Australian Wheat Board to a grower owned company on 1 July 1999.

The proposed amendments ensure that the Wheat Export Authority will include separate members from Western Australia or South Australia, on the one hand, and the eastern states, on the other, nominated by the Grains Council of Australia. This recognises that Western Australia accounts for the majority of wheat exports from Australia.

The proposed appointment of an additional independent member to the Wheat Export Authority will provide for the membership to comprise the necessary balance of skills and expertise to enable it to operate in the national as well as growers' interests.

The technical amendment to the trade practices exemption already in the bill is needed to ensure that specific activities of the pooling subsidiary, company B, in exporting wheat under the monopoly should be exempt from part IV of the Trade Practices Act 1974. The proposed amendment regarding the purchasing of wheat by company B for pooling will ensure that the price paid for such wheat will relate to the net pool return for that wheat. The proposed amendment regarding the reporting requirements of the Wheat Export Authority clarifies the importance of ensuring that the authority continues to monitor the net benefits of the export monopoly to the industry.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.