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Thursday, 25 August 2011
Page: 9498

Dr MIKE KELLY (Eden-MonaroParliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) (10:13): I thank the honourable members for their contribution to this debate, and particularly the interesting contribution from the member for Moreton. Obviously Queensland is a state we hold dear and our thoughts will be turning to them this Saturday night as the Wallabies face the All Blacks at Suncorp stadium.

The National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Amendment (Deer) Bill 2011 has been sought, as has been pointed out by the shadow minister, by the deer industry itself. It amends the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998 to increase the maximum allowable levy rate cap on the national residue survey component of the deer slaughter levy from 4c to 10.5c per kilogram of carcass weight. The proposed change provides for changes to the relevant regulation so that the deer slaughter levy can be reapportioned. The research and development component of the levy will be decreased from 4c to 2c per kilogram and the NRS component of the levy will be increased from 4c to 6c per kilogram.

Increasing the NRS rate to 6c per kilogram will support a viable residue monitoring program that underpins access to key export markets for the deer industry. As was pointed out by the shadow minister, it is very important that this is the underpinning for the industry because 85 per cent of their product is for export. Therefore this ensures and enables them to maintain that access to the key export markets for the deer industry. So, the increasing of the NRS rate to 6c per kilogram will support that viable residue monitoring program. The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation does not expect the decrease in the R&D rate to have an impact on future deer-related projects. I know this is also of great interest to deer producers in my own region. There have been ups and downs in that industry in Eden-Monaro over recent years but we still have relevant activities, so it is principally New South Wales and Victoria that are affected, notwithstanding the comments by the member for Moreton.

Also, I would like to reflect on the comments of the member for Moreton of the importance of trust in our product labels and in our products. Increasingly so, as I have been involved in this portfolio of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, I have noticed the growing consumer dynamic in the entire world in relation to eco-labelling, health, trust and reliability in products, so this is a very important measure to underpin that level of trust in our product. I thank the honourable members for their contribution and commend the bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.

Ordered that the bill be reported to the House without amendment.