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Live-stock Transactions Levy Bill 1997

House:

House of Representatives

Portfolio:

Primary Industries and Energy

Commencement:

On the same day as Part 3 of the proposed Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997, that is, on Proclamation or nine months and one day after Royal Assent, whichever is first.

Purpose

To impose a levy on sales of sheep, lambs and goats (live-stock), delivery of live-stock to a processor and the slaughter of certain live-stock.

Background

Under existing law a levy is imposed abattoir by the Live-stock Slaughter Levy Act 1964 on lambs, sheep, goats and buffalo (live-stock) slaughtered for human consumption at an. The levy is payable by the person who owns the live-stock when slaughter takes place.

The Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991 provides for the collection of the levy.

Proceeds raised by the levy are apportioned between the Meat Industry Council (MIC), the Australian Meat and Live-stock Corporation (AMLC), the Meat Research Corporation (MRC), the Australian Animal Health Council Limited (AAHC), the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), and the National Cattle Disease Eradication Trust Account (NCDE).

The Live-stock Slaughter Levy Act 1964 is being repealed by item 1 of Schedule 4 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Repeals and Consequential Provisions) Bill 1997.

This Bill forms part of a package of 17 Bills restructuring the regulatory framework of the Australian meat and live-stock industry. Under existing levy and charge arrangements, funds raised primarily go towards funding the MIC, AMLC and MRC. Under the proposed arrangements the government intends that industry contributions will be sourced on a statutory and non-statutory basis. The collection of statutory levies is intended to be based on the current system but with changes providing for a transaction levy on sheep, lambs and goats, replacing the current livestock slaughter levy, and a separate transaction levy on grain fed cattle.

The rationale given by the Minister in the Second Reading Speech to the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997 for the transaction levy approach is:

The transaction levy approach for sheep, lambs and goats was adopted at the request of a clear majority of industry whose submission met all of the requirements of the government's levy principles. A similar request was also submitted by the grain fed cattle industry sector for a separate cattle transaction levy. Again this submission met each of the Government's levy principles.

The existing levy and charge imposition Acts have been modified to provide for clear sectoral ownership.

1

In relation to non-statutory contributions, the government is setting the processor and exporter levies at zero. It should be noted that the Minister in the Second Reading Speech to the Bill issues a warning in respect of such contributions, that is:

Should the non-statutory contributions by processors and livestock exporters fail to meet agreed funding levels for joint industry functions, and as specifically agreed by these two sectors, the Government has their prior agreement to maintain levies at a required level to ensure there is adequate funding.

2

Under the proposed arrangements, the Government intends that decisions on levels of levies and charges be the responsibility of the peak industry councils.

In respect to this Bill, the Minister in the Second Reading Speech to the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997 states:

The Live-stock Slaughter Levy Act 1964 will be replaced by a Livestock Transactions Levy Act and a Livestock Slaughter (Processors) Levy Act, to allow for the separation of producers' and processors' funding and for the processors' funding to move to zero levy rates.

3

The reader is also referred to the Digest for the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997.

Main Provisions

Clause 5 imposes a levy on:

.

.each transaction entered into involving the transfer of ownership of live-stock (ie. sheep, lambs and goats) from one person to another;

.

.the delivery of live-stock to a processor otherwise than because of a sale to the processor;

.

.the slaughter by a processor of live-stock bought by the processor and held for more than 30 days before slaughter; or

.

.the slaughter by a processor of live-stock in respect of which levy would not be payable under the circumstances specified above.

Clause 5 also sets out a number of exemptions from the levy, including:

.

.sale of live-stock at auction to the vendor;

.

.sale or delivery of live-stock between related companies, unless the company buying or taking delivery was or is a processor; and

.

.sale or delivery of live-stock to a processor where the cattle, at the time of sale or delivery, are not fit for human consumption.

Clause 6 provides that the rate of levy on each head of sheep will be:

.

.a prescribed amount up to 40 cents, for payment to the marketing body (see clauses 60-66 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997);

.

.a prescribed amount up to 12 cents, for payment to the research body (see clauses 60-66 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997); and

.

.a prescribed amount up to 15 cents, for payment to the AAHC.

Clause 7 provides that the rate of levy on each head of lambs will be:

.

.a prescribed amount up to 90 cents, for payment to the marketing body;

.

.a prescribed amount up to 37 cents, for payment to the research body; and

.

.a prescribed amount up to 15 cents, for payment to the AAHC.

Clause 8 provides that that rate of levy on each head of goats will be:

.

.a prescribed amount up to $1.02, for payment to the marketing body;

.

.a prescribed amount up to 25 cents, for payment to the research body; and

.

.a prescribed amount up to 15 cents, for payment to the AAHC.

Clause 9 provides that the levy is payable by:

.

.in the case of live-stock which have changed ownership, the person owning the live-stock immediately before the change of ownership;

.

.in the case of live-stock delivered to a processor otherwise than because of a sale to the processor, by the person owning the live-stock immediately before the delivery; and

.

.in the case of live-stock slaughtered by a processor, by the person who owned the live-stock at the time of slaughter.

Endnotes

1 Second Reading Speech, Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997:10

2

Ibid: 11

3

Ibid: 15