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Thursday, 18 October 1984
Page: 2012

Senator GRIMES (Minister for Social Security)(8.23) —I can understand Senator Archer's concern-how is that for being benevolent?-with legislation of this type. However, I make the following points which I think are important: First of all, the legislation is designed to collect levies on a fishery by fishery basis to fund projects requested by the industry. It is certainly not designed-I think even Senator Archer would admit that it would not be a very efficient way-to raise money for general revenue purposes. It is specifically for this purpose.

Senator Archer —I did not allude to that.

Senator GRIMES —I know. I can understand the honourable senator saying that he does not want general revenue raising by back door methods of this type. I too would look at legislation of that type with some suspicion. In each fishery the consultation will be with the industry and with the States. Levies will be set, I am instructed, by regulation which may be disallowed by either House of the Parliament. I am sure that those on the opposite side of the chamber will keep a close eye on this.

All legislation of this type depends on its sensible operation by government and by the Public Service. It is my understanding that it was designed in this way to provide the flexibility and capacity to assist the various schemes which, as Senator Archer knows, vary considerably across the country. If anyone tried to put on a levy or a scheme which was inappropriate, I should imagine that the scream that would arise from that fishery and the industry quite justifiably would quickly provoke action in this place. Although I can understand any honourable senator's concern about this sort of legislation, in this case it has been introduced following consultation with the industry and I think that will continue. We will provide a means whereby the various support mechanisms which are needed in those industries will be able to be enacted without having to keep coming back to this Parliament every time some industry needs some project introduced.