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Tuesday, 23 May 1972
Page: 1907

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (Minister for Air) - I do not know that I can take this matter any further. I do not know that Senator

Cavanagh and 1 are really at cross purposes in what we are saying. All I am saying is that the producer must pay the levy, but because he does not get the proceeds until some time after he delivers the milk, he comes to an arrangement with the factory or depot. I think it is usually once a fortnight that the depot pays to him a cheque for every gallon of milk that he has delivered.

Senator Webster - Once a month in some instances.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - Yes. I said that in my reply originally to the honourable senator, but it can be once a fortnight. From that amount there is deducted the levy of .033c a gallon for every gallon of milk delivered by the producer to the factory. The factory, having deducted that levy from payment to the producer for his milk, is then liable to pay it to the Commonwealth Government, and it must do so within 28 days after the month concerned. I do not think the honourable senator and I differ on that point of view.

Senator Cavanagh - No. That is the procedure that operates, but it is not the law. \

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - That is the procedure that operates. If for some unknown reason there should be any breakdown in the arrangement between the producer and the factory or depot - and I cannot conceive a reason why there should be - and the producer refuses to pay the levy, then the factory can refuse to take his milk. I take it that the producer would then look around to find some other factory to take his milk. I am attempting to explain what these clauses are trying to spell out. In their complex way and step by step they are trying to translate into legal form the requirements for protecting the purchaser. I do not think I can add much more to that.

Senator Cavanaghraised the question that sub clause (8.) of clause 6 gives the Minister authority to remit the whole or part of the liability that rests on the purchaser to make payment of the levy. I draw the honourable senator's attention to the point that clause 6 in its entirety deals with the liability of the purchaser. In other words, it relates to factories and milk marketing authorities, cheese manufacturing companies and the like. It does not deal with the responsibility of the producer to pay. Such being the case, Senator Cavanagh's point about hardship is scarcely relevant. 1 make the further obsevation that no penalty is involved. The sub-clause relates only to remission of the liability to pay the levy. There appears to be no good reason to invoke the whole hierarchy of the judicial appeals system. In the case of failure to pay a bus fare, which was the example given by Senator Cavanagh, a penalty would apply, but such is not the case in clause 6 of this Bill.

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