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Thursday, 9 May 1985
Page: 1598


Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(10.06) —I move:

That the Bills be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speeches incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speeches read as follows-

RURAL INDUSTRIES RESEARCH BILL 1985

The purpose of this Bill is to amalgamate existing rural industry research legislation and provide one Act for the administration of Rural Industry Research Funds (which are known as RIRFs). The Bill will bring about improvements in the organisation and administration of existing RIRFs, it will revamp the Commonwealth Special Research Grants Scheme and will place rural research funding on a secure footing. I will also be introducing associated legislation on Poultry and Tobacco and a Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendment Bill all of which are necessary to give effect to this Bill.

At present there are 14 Trust Accounts covering barley, chicken meat, cotton, dried fruits, dairy, fish, honey, oilseeds, pigs, poultry, wheat, wine, wool and tobacco. The Trust Accounts are funded and administered through separate legislation by Research Committees, although in the case of poultry and wine research special arrangements apply. The research programs of smaller industries are funded under the Commonwealth Special Research Grants Scheme. Government and industry presently each contribute about $32 million to industry research through these arrangements. The Government also provides additional funds to rural research through CSIRO, universities, colleges and the Bureau of Agricultural Economics.

The Minister for Primary Industry spoke about the need for Government action in the area of rural research in his Second Reading Speech on the Australian Meat and Live-stock Research and Development Corporation Bill 1985 on 20 March. He pointed out that there have been a series of reviews and discussions in recent years about the adequacy of rural research in Australia. The Balderstone Working Group on Agricultural Policy examined the role of research and development in the process of agricultural innovation in its report in 1982. The Senate Standing Committee on National Resources reported, in the same year, on the Commonwealth's Role on Rural Research and Extension Services. In 1983 there was a Joint Management Review of the Administration of Research Schemes in the Primary Industry Portfolio. Within industry, various groups, including the National Farmers Federation and the Australian Wheatgrowers Federation, have also been giving attention to rural research policy.

All of these inquiries have acknowledged that research and development is vital to profitability of rural industries and that considerable benefits flow to rural industries and the community generally from expenditure on such research. It is necessary, therefore, that rural research is organised in a way which will ensure that there is adequate research investment, that the greatest possible returns are achieved from each dollar spent, and that those who administer and undertake research are fully accountable to the providers of funds. The Government has made a detailed assessment of these issues.

Rural research is, and will continue to be, a high priority of this Government. In November last year the Prime Minister announced that the Government would increase its financial contribution to rural research and, in February, the Minister provided the details of that commitment. He also announced a major upgrading of the organisation and administration of rural research. This Bill will give effect to those decisions.

Concerning the issue of funding, the Bill makes provision for increased Commonwealth funding up to a maximum contribution of 0.5% of the annual Gross Value of Production (GVP) for each of the industries concerned. The current Commonwealth contribution averages around 0.25% of GVP over all industries currently receiving Commonwealth funds. Encouragement will be given for industry investment in research through a continuation of the dollar for dollar matching arrangement up to the Commonwealth's maximum contribution. The Government will seek to increase its funding to the maximum rate over a 5 year period but this is dependent on an increase in industry contributions. In the case of tobacco research where the Government's contribution is above 0.5%, the level of funding requested by industry in 1984 and agreed to by Government will be maintained.

Under the new arrangements it will be possible for an industry to contribute in excess of 0.5% of its GVP to fund research. As expenditures above 0.5% of GVP will not be subject to government matching there will be no delay in approval arising from the Government's budgetary process. In such instances the Government will make legislative amendments or changes to regulations concerning levies as quickly as possible. This will enable industry to increase funding without being held back by the need for a Government decision on matching.

I mentioned earlier that there are two other areas of concern to Government apart from funding. One is to ensure that the greatest possible returns are achieved from each dollar spent on rural research. The other is to ensure full accountability of those who administer and undertake research to the providers of funds. This Bill makes provision for the effective planning, organisation and administration of research and for effective accountability arrangements. It will apply to 11 major rural industries commencing on 1 January 1986.

At this stage wool and wine research will be excluded from the provisions of the Bill. In the case of wool research, the Government has not completed its consultations with the Australian Wool Corporation and the Wool Council of Australia concerning the future operation of the Wool Research Trust Fund. This fund has been successfully administered over the years by the Wool Corporation to the benefit of woolgrowers and the community generally. In a number of respects the Trust Fund has provided an appropriate model for the reform of other RIRFs and obviously, the Government does not want to unnecessarily disrupt the present successful arrangements. However, the Wool Corporation has agreed to adopt many administrative arrangements outlined in the Bill for other RIRFs which presently do not apply to the Wool Research Trust Fund.

In the case of wine research, Senators will be aware of the Inquiry being undertaken into the grape and wine industries. It would be inappropriate for the Government to introduce changes to the organisation and administration of research in these industries while this Inquiry is proceeding. For this reason the Minister has deferred consideration of applying the provisions of the Bill to wine research until the Inquiry is completed. He has received a copy of the report and consultations between Government and the industries will be needed before arrangements for wine research are finalised.

In addition, the Bill will not apply to the meat and livestock industry nor to fisheries. In the case of meat and livestock, the Parliament has passed legislation setting up the Australian Meat and Live-stock Research Development Corporation which will take research in that industry outside the ambit of the Rural Industries Research Bill. In the case of fisheries, discussions have been proceeding with the fishing industry to reach agreement on the necessary organisational and administrative arrangements for research in that industry. The Minister will announce future arrangements for fisheries research when industry consultations have been completed.

Under the provisions of the Rural Industries Research Bill 1985 the existing RIRF Research Committees will be replaced by Research Councils. The objective of the Research Councils will be to increase commercial returns to the industries concerned by improving the production, processing, storage, transport or marketing or relevant agricultural commodities. The Councils will seek to achieve this general objective by clearly identifying specific research objectives, by setting priorities for the promotion and funding of research and development, and by establishing research programs which will meet the specific objectives.

The Bill provides for each Research Council to develop a five year strategic research and development plan which specifies the broad strategies the Council will adopt in meeting its objectives. The Councils will be required to consult with industry in developing these plans and will submit them to the Minister for approval. They will also prepare annual research and development programs for submission to the Minister. These will be considered to ensure consistency with the five year research and development plans. The Government considers that this strategic planning process will enhance the Council's capacity to actively direct research and development activities towards achieving industry endorsed objectives. It will ensure the Councils do not simply play a passive role of allocating moneys, but will evaluate projects submitted to them for funding against their priorities, needs and objectives for the industries concerned.

Research Councils will comprise 5 to 9 members including the Chairperson and a Government member. The actual size will be determined by the Minister in Consultation with relevant industry organisations. The Government recognises the key role to be played by members of the Research Councils. The legislation, therefore, makes provision for a selection procedure which will ensure that the Councils are comprised of the best available people, who together have a mix of expertise and experience related to the Council's activities. Relevant expertise and experience includes commodity production, processing and marketing, science, technology and technology transfer, economics, administration or research and development, finance and business management.

The Bill provides for the establishment of a Research Council Selection Committee to select all members of the Research Councils, except Chairpersons and Government members who will be selected by the Minister. This Committee will be required to develop selection criteria and procedures for the identification of people likely to meet those criteria. The Committee will be empowered to employ the services of a professional executive search consultant to assist in the identification of suitable people.

The Selection Committee will comprise an independent Chairperson appointed by the Minister, a Core group of 3 members, which will be involved in the selection of members for all Research Councils, and up to 3 industry representatives who, along with the Core group, will select members for specific Research Councils. The Core group will include one member nominated by the National Farmers' Federation, one member nominated by the Australian Agricultural Council, and one member with knowledge of and experience in scientific matters, research and development and/or marketing, who will be selected and appointed by the Minister. The involvement of the Core group in all selections will enable a body of experience to be developed in selecting Council members and it is more cost-effective than setting up a completely new Committee for selecting members to each Council.

For the industry specific part of the Selection Committee, there is provision for up to 3 members, with the actual number being determined by the Minister after consultation with the relevant industry organisation. This part of the Selection Committee recognises the need for a strong industry view on desirable membership attributes for particular Councils.

As I mentioned before the Selection Committee will not select the Chairperson of a Research Council or the Government member. The Minister will make these selections on the basis of merit. The Government member on the Research Councils will be selected specifically on the basis of his or her personal qualities, expertise and experience of Government policy and procedures relevant to each Council's activities. The Minister will continue to appoint this member for a number of reasons. First, appointment by the Minister is necessary to ensure that the member is knowledgeable in the area of Government policies. The Selection Committee will not be constituted in a way which would suit it to make such an assessment of the potential appointee. Secondly, Government involvement in this appointment reflects its desire to play a role in Council activities commensurate to its matching financial contribution. It should be recalled that the Government is not substantially involved in the selection procedure which will apply to Council members other than the Government member. Thirdly, it may be desirable in the interests of the industries concerned and of the Government, for the Government member to be a person with an explicit policy formulation and advising role outside the Research Council. Choice of such a person can only be made by the Minister and not by a Selection Committee acting on his behalf. Selection of the Government member by the Minister will also reduce the cost to industry of the selection process.

The selection procedure I have described will not apply to the selection of members for the State based Research Committees of the wheat and barley industries. For these industries the Commonwealth's financial contributions are administered through national Barley and Wheat Research Councils and the industry contributions are administered through state based Research Committees. The Government's intention is that this arrangement will continue and that the proposed Research Council Selection Committee, as I mentioned, will not operate in respect to the State research Committees. Given that these Committees operate under Commonwealth Legislation the Minister will appoint the Chairperson of the Committees. He will, however make the appointment on the recommendation of relevant State Minister who, I expect, will consult with relevant industry organisations.

On the other hand, the strategic planning and accountability provisions of the Bill will apply to the State Committees. These Committees will be encouraged to devise arrangements for selecting members on the basis of relevant experience and expertise. There will not be a Government member appointed by the Commonwealth on the State Research Committees.

The provisions of the Rural Industries Research Bill will presently apply to all major rural industries. In future, other RIRFs will be able to be established through Regulations according to the provisions of the Bill. There has been some confusion as to the process by which new RIRFs can be established. The Minister has asked me to clarify this process. When an industry approaches the Minister with a request for a RIRF there are a number of assurances which the Minister will seek prior to the Government considering such a request. Firstly, the Minister will need to be assured that there is support across the industry for the RIRF. Secondly the industry will have had to reach agreement on a levy to fund the RIRF. Thirdly, estimates of the rate and yield of the levy will need to be provided, and fourthly, the industry will have had to organise a mechanism for the collection of the levy. As a general guide the Minister would need to be satisfied that levy receipts from such a levy would provide at least $250,000 per annum. Finally I would point out that this Bill is a 'levy based' Bill and before a RIRF can be established under the Bill both a levy imposition and levy collection Acts must have been passed by the Parliament. For some small and emerging industries, which are essential to a dynamic and innovative agricultural sector, establishment of research councils or research and development corporations would not be cost-effective for such industries and would not allow sufficient flexibility. In addition, there may be a need for research to be conducted in areas which concern a number of RIRFs, but which are not attractive to any one RIRF. This inter-commodity or multi-disciplinary research requires special arrangements as does research undertaken in the national interest. In view of these requirements the Government will strengthen the role of the existing Commonwealth Special Research Grant (CSRG) which has provided limited funding for research into the small and new industries.

The Bill provides for the establishment of the Special Research Grant on a statutory basis and re-naming it the Australian Special Rural Research Fund.

The Government will increase funds available to the new Research Fund. In 1984/85 it doubled its financial allocation to the Special Research Grant to $0.5 million and it will aim to increase this further in subsequent years.

The Bill will apply the general principles governing Research Councils to an Australian Special Rural Research Council. This will ensure the Council

has statutory status presently not endowed upon the Commonwealth Special Research Grant

is comprised of a mix of the best people available with expertise and experience relevant to its activities and

has consultative and accountability requirements along the lines of the Research Councils.

Other Councils, together, will also be able to participate in multi-industry research and there may be potential for co-operation elsewhere, for example, in administrative procedures and in the common use of specialised staff resources. The Bill provides for an annual co-ordination meeting of all Chairpersons of Research Councils to discuss matters of common interest. This will also include the Australian Special Rural Research Council, the Australian Meat and Live-stock Research and Development Corporation and the Wool Research Trust Fund.

With regard to the accountability of the Research Councils, they will continue to prepare an annual report for tabling in Parliament. This will be the principle means of accountability to both Parliament and industry. It is expected that the annual report of each Council will address performance against the key elements identified in its strategic plan. In addition, the Chairperson of each Council will formally present the Council's Annual Report to an executive meeting of the industry body deemed to most fully represent that industry. The Chairperson will also discuss the performance and plans of the Council with the executive of the industry body. The Council's Annual Report together with the comments of the industry executive, will then be presented to industry. Under this planning and consultative mechanism there will be no need for the Minister to approve funding of individual research projects and minor alterations to approved budgets. This will increase the operational flexibility and autonomy of the Research Councils.

Concerning the administration of the RIRFs, at present most are administered by the Department of Primary Industry, although for the larger RIRFs-wool, dairy and meat-their secretariat services are handled by the relevant statutory marketing authority. This Bill will allow administrative and secretariat support services for other RIRFs to be devolved from the Department, providing that cost-savings and appropriate accountability can be demonstrated. Councils who wish to take this course of action will need to apply to the Minister for approval.

To ensure that the costs of RIRF administration are clearly visible, that efforts are made, where necessary, to improve efficiency, and that there is equity across all RIRFs, the Government has decided to recover the costs of secretariat and administrative support services, financial management, or other necessary services provided by the Department of Primary Industry to the RIRFs. Where secretariat services have been divested from the Department, the Government will only recover the cost of financial management functions which must be performed on behalf of the RIRFs.

It should be noted that in relation to the wool, dairy and meat RIRFs, the relevant statutory marketing authorities recovered about $1.4 million from the Trust Funds in 1983/84 for secretariat services. In 1984/85 the Government expects to recover about $600,000 from all RIRFs for services provided by the Department of Primary Industry.

Cost recovery will not significantly affect the funds that are available for rural research. Not only will the additional amount collected be fairly small, but the Commonwealth will be providing 50% of the funds expended on administration through its matching arrangement. Let me emphasise that it is essential that the costs involved in administration are identified and made visible, so that the cost-effectiveness of rural research can be assessed and, where necessary, action is taken to reduce these costs at their source. The cost recovery provisions of this Bill will assist this process.

I have already referred to the financial impact of the legislation in terms of the funding, and cost recovery provisions. As I stated earlier, the Government will be providing funds on a matching basis up to a maximum contribution of 0.5% of the Gross Value of Production for each of the industries concerned. This will be phased in over a 5 year period in line with industry requests for levy increases and will result in a very significant Government contribution to rural research. In 1984/85 the Government will provide $32.6 million for rural research and recover costs of the order of $600,000 for administrative and secretariat services provided by the Department of Primary Industry.

The Rural Industries Research Bill will do much to strengthen industry involvement in, and influence over, the direction of rural research. Whereas the present role of industry has been described as passive, in future industry will be actively involved in many ways.

The objectives of the Bill have been defined to specifically identify industry interests. The principal objective is to increase the commercial returns to the industries concerned through research and development in a broader range of areas than previously covered. These include improvements in production, processing, storage, transport and marketing of agricultural commodities.

Industry will be heavily involved in the selection of members to Research Councils which will administer the RIRFs. They will be well represented on the Research Council Selection Committee and will be able to select producer members to the Research Councils on the basis of merit.

In developing research and development plans, the Research Councils and Committees will be required to consult industry to ensure that its priorities, needs and objectives are taken into account. Research Councils will also be required to formally present their annual reports to relevant industry organisations showing how they have performed in relation to those plans. These arrangements will ensure two-way communication between industry and the Councils.

The major impact of the Bill will be in establishing rural research and development on a sound administrative and financial footing, in ensuring that the greatest possible returns are achieved from each dollar spent on research and in making sure that those who administer and undertake research are accountable to the providers of funds. This is vital if rural industries are to remain progressive, competitive and profitable in years to come.

I commend the Bill to honourable senators.

RURAL INDUSTRIES RESEARCH (TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS AND CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS) BILL 1985

This Bill is complementary to the Rural Industries Research Bill 1985 which I have just introduced. The purposes of the Bill are to amend complementary legislation where necessary, to repeal existing legislation no longer required, and to provide transitional provisions necessary for the enactment of the Rural Industries Research Bill.

The Bill will amend Research Acts relating to barley, cotton, dairying and oilseeds. In each of these Acts both the levy collection and Research Trust Account and Committee arrangements are contained in the one Act. Parts I and II of the Acts, which relate to their interpretation and levy collection arrangements, will be retained. Part III of the Acts, which concern the establishment of a Trust Account and Research Committees, will be repealed as these are now covered in the omnibus Rural Industries Research Bill. The Bill also repeals the Research Acts relating to chicken meat, dairying, dried fruits, honey, pigs, tobacco and wheat.

The transitional provisions in the Bill are designed to ensure a smooth changeover of responsibilities from the existing Research Committees to the new Research Councils. Provision is made for monies and investments which belong to the existing Research Trust Accounts to be credited to the new Rural Industry Research Funds from the day they are established under the omnibus Bill. Payments will also be able to be made from these Funds for work carried out under the previous legislation. This includes remuneration and allowances for members or deputies of the Research Committees, for consultants or advisers, and any other expenses incurred in the performance of functions. In addition, agreements entered into by existing Committees on behalf of the Commonwealth, with other parties will continue in force. This will provide for research projects, which are approved prior to the new legislation, to continue without disruption for the remainder of the financial year. The Bill establishes transitional provisions for the preparation of an annual report where a new Research Fund and Council are established during an annual reporting period. The Bill also provides that only one annual report covering the twelve months period to 30 June 1986 need be prepared.

The Rural Industries Research (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 1985 does not have any direct financial implications for the Commonwealth. I commend the Bill to honourable senators.

TOBACCO CHARGE (No. 1) AMENDMENT BILL 1985

The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Tobacco Charge Act (No. 1) 1955. The Bill makes provision for the continued funding of the Australian Tobacco Board to take effect from when tobacco research is brought under the new legislative arrangements for organisation and administration of Rural Industry Research Funds.

The Bill is therefore complementary to both the Rural Industries Research Bill 1985 and the Rural Industries Research (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 1985.

That legislation provides for the repeal of the Tobacco Industry Act 1965 which currently allows the operating expenses of the Australian Tobacco Board to be met from income derived from levies paid by tobacco growers and manufacturers under the three Tobacco Charge Acts.

Tobacco Charge Act (No. 1) 1955 imposes a levy, currently set at 3.5 cents per kilogram, on tobacco leaf sold to a manufacturer. This Bill makes provision within the Charge Act itself for a proportion of the amount of the tobacco charge to be set aside by regulation to meet the expenses of the Tobacco Board. The balance of the charge will be directed to the Tobacco Research Trust Fund to be established under the new rural research legislation.

The Bill involves no additional financial cost to the Government. It essentially continues arrangements already in place for funding tobacco research and the expenses of the Tobacco Board.

I commend this Bill to honourable senators.

TOBACCO CHARGE (No. 2) AMENDMENT BILL 1985

The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Tobacco Charge Act (No. 2) 1955. The Bill makes provision for the continued funding of the Australian Tobacco Board from levies paid by tobacco growers and manufacturers, to take effect from when tobacco research is brought under the umbrella of the new rural industries research legislation.

Tobacco Charge Act (No. 2) 1955 imposes a levy, currently set at 3.5 cents per kilogram, on tobacco leaf purchased by a manufacturer.

I have already outlined the background to this amendment in my Second Reading Speech on the Tobacco Charge (No. 1) Amendment Bill 1985.

The Bill involves no additional financial cost to the Government.

I commend this Bill to honourable senators.

TOBACCO CHARGE (No. 3) AMENDMENT BILL 1985

The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Tobacco Charge Act (No. 3) 1955. The Bill makes provision for the continued funding of the Australian Tobacco Board from levies paid by tobacco growers and manufacturers, to take effect from when tobacco research is brought under the umbrella of the new rural industries research legislation.

Tobacco Charge Act (No. 3) 1955 imposes a levy, currently set at 3.5 cents per kilogram, on tobacco leaf grown and processed by a manufacturer.

I have already outlined the background to this amendment in my Second Reading Speech on the Tobacco Charge (No. 1) Amendment Bill 1985.

The Bill involves no additional financial cost to the Government.

I commend this Bill to honourable senators.

POULTRY INDUSTRY LEVY AMENDMENT BILL 1985

The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Poultry Industry Levy Act 1965.

The Poultry Industry Levy Act 1965 imposes a levy on all hens, in excess of twenty, kept for commercial purposes. Funds collected are used to provide financial assistance to the States and to make an industry contribution to poultry (eggs) research.

This Bill seeks to abolish the hen levy with effect from 1 July 1987. Certain provisions of the Act are continued beyond that date to facilitate collection of any outstanding levy which is due and payable prior to 1 July 1987. When such latter action is completed, legislation to repeal the Act will be introduced into the Parliament.

The Commonwealth hen levy was introduced in 1965 with the aim of providing financial assistance to the poultry industry to help it meet trading losses experienced by the State Egg Boards in disposing of eggs surplus to local demand. It was imposed at a time when the industry was faced with a critical economic situation and was designed to provide a measure of stability at the request of the States and Industry.

During the twenty years in which the scheme has operated the aim has largely been achieved. In excess of $260 million dollars has been collected as levy and most has been returned to the States as assistance payments.

In the past few years a number of reviews and reports on egg marketing, including studies by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, State Government Inquiries and Standing Committee on Agriculture (SCA) Working Parties, have raised doubts about the need for continued Commonwealth involvement, in equalisation levy arrangements. Industry actions and decisions re-affirmed the doubts on the need for such a levy.

Industry agreed last year on a plan aimed at reducing progressively, the level of excess production through the already available mechanism of hen quotas, which are administered by State/Territory Authorities. In accordance with this plan egg production is to be reduced, by 1 July 1987, to a level which will provide a minimum surplus, sufficient to meet seasonal domestic demand.

The Commonwealth, in the light of these events, and after discussion with the States in the Australian Agricultural Council, decided to phase out the hen levy by 1 July 1987. Removal on that date will help to re-inforce State measures to reduce production and is in line with the industry plan to achieve a minimum surplus level.

As mentioned earlier, a small portion of the hen levy receipts provided an industry contribution to research programs. Alternate methods of providing the industry contribution after 1 July 1987 are being canvassed with relevant industry bodies and will be implemented after agreement is reached between the Commonwealth, States and industry.

In the meantime to bring poultry research arrangements into line with those for other rural industries, provision is made in the Bill to divide the hen levy and cater for a specific research component. This will ensure continuity of funding for poultry research, involving the guarantee of continued Commonwealth matching of funds under provisions of the omnibus Rural Industries Research legislation.

Administrative costs of the hen levy were met from the levy receipts. The Commonwealth, however, provided at no charge the necessary general and financial administration, at its level, of the levy arrangements and there will be some savings in the time of a number of officers when the arrangements are concluded.

I commend the Bill to honourable senators.

POULTRY INDUSTRY ASSISTANCE AMENDMENT BILL 1985

The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Poultry Industry Assistance Act 1965.

The Poultry Industry Assistance Act 1965 provides for the establishment of a Trust Fund into which proceeds of the hen levy are paid. It also provides the authority for expenditure of such monies on assistance to the States and the Australian Capital Territory and for poultry research. Funds expended on research are matched by the Commonwealth up to a limit of $150,000 in any financial year.

Prior to 1982/83 research programs involved expenditure of less than $300,000 and despite the ceiling on Commonwealth contributions still enabled industry funds to be matched equally. Since 1982/83, however, the total research program has exceeded that level and resulted in the industry contribution being a greater amount than the Commonwealth's.

The Government decided as part of its 1984/85 Budget deliberations to match $ for $ industry funds on poultry research putting it on the same basis as for other rural industry research funding.

This Bill removes the present limiting provision in the Poultry Industry Assistance Act 1965 to enable that decision to be implemented and the matching funding to apply this financial year. The Commonwealth contribution is expected to be increased in 1984/85 by $140,000 to $191,000 and to increase by $90,000 to $240,000 in 1985/86 as a result of this change.

Poultry research funding and administration are to come under provisions of the omnibus Rural Industry Research legislation. The amendments therefore provide authority for the transfer of funds from the Poultry Industry Trust Fund to a separate research fund, if necessary, and repeal research expenditure provisions of the Poultry Industry Assistance Act, effective when the omnibus legislation becomes operative.

I commend the Bill to honourable senators.

Debate (on motion by Senator Reid) adjourned.