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Wednesday, 1 June 1994
Page: 1011


Senator BOLKUS (Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (9.41 a.m.) —I move:

  That these 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

AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY CHEMICAL PRODUCTS (COLLECTION OF INTERIM LEVY) BILL 1994

It gives me great pleasure to introduce in the house the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Interim Levy) Bill 1994.

Honourable senators will be aware that on 1 March 1994 parliament passed a package of seven agricultural and veterinary chemical bills which included three levy bills and a collection bill. Commencement of those bills is dependent on the states and Northern Territory passing legislation adopting the agricultural and veterinary chemicals code. While the states and Northern Territory are attempting to pass the legislation in time for 1 July 1994 commencement of the scheme, it is by no means certain that this will occur and thus the cost recovery program for the national registration scheme might not be in place for 1994/95.

The National Registration Authority for agricultural and veterinary chemicals (NRA) was established in June 1993 as an independent, self-funding regulatory body to administer the national registration scheme. The NRA is now undertaking the evaluation of chemical products with the states providing the actual registration certificate by administrative arrangement, pending commencement of the March legislation.

The government has therefore decided to introduce three interim levy bills and an interim collection bill to implement an interim cost recovery program. These bills will only apply for 1994/95 in the event that the March legislation is not in place by 1 July 1994. The cost to industry under this bill is the same as would be imposed if the March legislation had commenced. The NRA will manage the cost recovery program associated with this bill.

The interim levy will be a significant component of the scheme's cost recovery program. Other revenue will be collected through application fees. In 1994/95, 83 percent of the scheme's user-attributable costs will be recovered from the agricultural and veterinary chemical industry.

I now turn to the provisions of the bill.

This bill will provide the NRA with the mechanism by which an interim levy on agricultural and veterinary chemical products can be collected. The bill identifies how liability for payment of an interim levy charge will be determined and the amount of the interim levy that will be imposed. Generally speaking liability for the levy will be based on the sale or disposal of agricultural and veterinary chemical products manufactured in or imported into Australia. In addition the bill allows for the NRA to make an assessment as to whether a levy payment is required and the amount of the levy that is due. It also makes provision for a review process for persons dissatisfied with a levy assessment.

I commend the bill to honourable senators and present the explanatory memorandum.

AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY CHEMICAL PRODUCTS (COLLECTION OF LEVY) AMENDMENT BILL 1994

It gives me great pleasure to introduce in the house the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Levy) Amendment Bill 1994.

Honourable senators will be aware that this is one of a package of six bills that relate to the imposition and collection of an interim levy based on the sale or disposal of agricultural and veterinary chemical products. This bill, along with the other agricultural and veterinary chemical bills, will be administered by the National Registration Authority for agricultural and veterinary chemicals.

This bill amends the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Levy) Act 1994 to provide that when that act commences the 1993 levy will not be collected twice as it will now be collected by the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Interim Levy) Bill.

I commend the bill to honourable senators and present the explanatory memorandum.

AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY CHEMICALS (ADMINISTRATION) AMENDMENT BILL 1994

It gives me great pleasure to introduce in the house the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Amendment Bill 1994.

Honourable senators will be aware that this is one of a package of six bills that relate to the imposition and collection of an interim levy based on the sale or disposal of agricultural and veterinary chemical products. This bill, along with the other agricultural and veterinary chemical bills, will be administered by the National Registration Authority for agricultural and veterinary chemicals.

This bill amends the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 to provide that the interim levy or late penalty payment forms part of the national registration scheme's cost recovery mechanism.

I commend the bill to honourable senators and present the explanatory memorandum.

  Debate (on motion by Senator Reid) adjourned.