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Thursday, 1 April 1965

Senator ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Customs and Excise) . - I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

It is proposed to amend the Raw Cotton Bounty Act 1963 to provide for the bounty year to commence on 1st March and end on the last day of the following February. The current legislation defines the bounty year as the period commencing on the first day of January and ending on the following thirty-first day of December.

While the cotton harvest in Australia extends from March to late in August, the ginning of the cotton does not end until late November. In order to attract bounty at rates applicable in the year of ginning, the sale of raw cotton must be effected before the end of the bounty year, which at present is 31st December. Experience has shown that the period of time from the end of November to 31st December is insufficient to allow the processors to arrange for the completion of all sales of raw cotton. Bounty rates are prescribed yearly. Therefore, growers who have unsold raw cotton stocks carried over from one bounty year to the next could receive rates of bounty varying with those prescribed for the year in which the cotton was actually ginned.

It is, therefore, the purpose of this Bill to bring the bounty year more into line with the ginning year and, in so doing, to provide a further two months after the end of ginning for the sale of the season's crop by processors. This proposed alteration will mean that the current Act will terminate on 28th February 1969 in lieu of 31st December 1968. I commend the bill to honorable senators.

Debate (on motion by Senator Benn) adjourned.

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