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Wednesday, 15 May 1957


Mr McMAHON (Lowe) (Minister for Primary Industry) . - by leave - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this bill is to introduce certain amendments to the Wool Use Promotion Act 1953, principally because of the new agreement reached with wool-grower organizations in respect of the financing and administration of wool research and extension. Effect is given to this agreement in the Wool Research Bill 1957, now before the House. In addition, however, the amendments also give effect to the Government's decision to abolish the positions of Commonwealth Wool Adviser and Deputy Commonwealth Wool Adviser.

The office of Commonwealth Wool Adviser was first established under the Wool Use Promotion Act 1945. The principal purpose of creating this office was to see that the various phases of economic and technical wool research and publicity were closely integrated, and to ensure full application of the results of research to the industry. The office of Deputy Commonwealth Wool Adviser was first established by ministerial direction in 1952. This position was created to assist the Wool Adviser in carrying out his functions. Both positions were continued under the Wool Use Promotion Act 1953. However, owing to the various changes, particularly in recent years, which have occurred in the functions of the Wool Adviser and Deputy Wool Adviser, brought about largely by changes in the functions of the respective bodies charged with the responsibility of wool publicity and research, it is now apparent that the two positions are no longer required.

As a result of these changes, the position to-day is that the office of Wool Adviser is confined largely to representing the Government on the Australian Wool Bureau, while that of the Deputy Wool Adviser is the chairmanship of the existing Wool Research Committee. In this capacity, the Deputy Wool Adviser is responsible for the co-ordination and oversight of the wool research programme.

Provision is made in the Wool Research Bill 1957 for the constitution of an advisory body whose function will be to recommend the expenditure of moneys on wool research and to ensure the coordination and application of the results of such research. The establishment of this body will thus take care of the functions of the office of Deputy Wool Adviser and, accordingly, the position will no longer be required. Further, as the duties of the Wool Adviser are, in effect, confined to representing the Government on the Australian Wool Bureau, there is no necessity for maintaining the position. The Government will, however, continue to be represented on the bureau, and provision is made for this in the amending legislation.

The proposed changes which I have outlined will necessitate the deletion of all sections as well as references relating to the Commonwealth Wool Adviser and Deputy Commonwealth Wool Adviser from the Wool Use Promotion Act 1953.

As a result of the new arrangements for the financing and administration of wool research which are the subject of the Wool Research Bill 1957, some further amendments will be necessary. Since woolgrowers have not hitherto contributed to wool research in Australia, the existing legislation provides for all moneys collected from wool-growers under the Wool Tax Acts to be paid into the Wool Use Promotion Fund. The moneys in this fund are, in turn, used by the Australian Wool Bureau mainly for the promotion of wool by publicity and other means. As woolgrowers will in the future be contributing to wool research as well as wool promotion, and as both contributions will be jointly collected under the new Wool Tax Acts (Nos. 1 and 2) of 1957, it is necessary to amend the appropriate section of the Wool Use Promotion Act 1953 in order to specify the amount which is to be paid into the Wool Use Promotion Fund. In addition, it is proposed to delete that section of the present act which relates to the Wool Research Trust Account in order that this account may be amalgamated with the new Wool Research Trust Fund, as envisaged by the Wool Research Bill 1957. As a result of the deletion of this section some minor consequential amendments will also be required. I commend the bill to honorable members.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Pollard) adjourned.

Sitting suspended from 5.53 to 8 p.m.







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