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Thursday, 18 September 2003
Page: 15567


Senator BUCKLAND (12:45 PM) —I would like to make a few comments in relation to the National Residue Survey (Customs) Levy Amendment Bill 2002, the National Residue Survey (Customs) Levy Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2003, the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Amendment Bill 2002 and the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2003. The National Residue Survey (Customs) Levy Amendment Bill 2002 amends the National Residue Survey (Customs) Levy Act 1998 to restate the operative and maximum rates of national residue survey customs levy on apples and pears from a per box rate to a per kilogram rate. This move is at the request of the Australian Apple and Pear Growers Association to make the calculation of the levies easier, and it has Labor's support.

The National Residue Survey (Customs) Levy Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2003 amends the National Residue Survey (Customs) Levy Act 1998 to raise the maximum levy rate allowable on honey for the purpose of the act from the present rate of 0.3 of a cent per kilogram to 0.6 of a cent per kilogram. Labor notes the government's advice that there is `no plan to increase the operative rate of levy at the moment and any request to do so would only be at the behest of industry and subject to separate approval'.

The National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Amendment Bill 2002 amends the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998 and also has Labor's support. It restates the operative and maximum rates of national residue survey excise levy on apples and pears and accords with industry's request.

The final bill, the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2003, amends the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998 to raise the maximum levy rate allowable on honey for the purposes of the act from the present rate of 0.3 of a cent per kilogram to 0.6 of a cent per kilogram. There is no plan to increase the operative rate of levy at the moment, and any request to do so would only be at the request of industry and subject to separate approval. Having made those few remarks, I indicate that Labor will support the passage of these bills.