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Live-stock (Exporters) Export Charge 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 charge, payable by exporters, on the lambs, sheep and goats exported from Australia.

Background

Under existing law a charge is imposed by the Live-stock Export Charge Act 1977 on lambs, sheep, goats and buffalo exported from Australia. The charge is payable by the exporter.

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

Proceeds raised by the charge are apportioned between the Meat Industry Council (MIC), Australian Meat and Live-stock Corporation (AMLC), Meat Research Corporation (MRC) and the Australian Animal Health Council Limited (AAHC).

The Live-stock Export Charge Act 1997 is being repealed by item 1 of Schedule 4 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Repeals and Consequential Provisions) Bill 1997.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 Export Charge Act 1977 will be replaced by two new live-stock export charges Acts which deal separately with producers and exporters. This will also allow for subsequent reduction of the export sector components to zero.

3

Main Provisions

Clause 4 imposes a charge on the export of live-stock (ie. sheep, lambs and goats) from Australia. However, the charge will not be payable in respect of live-stock declared by the Minister to be exempt from the charge ( clause 5). The regulations may provide that no amount of charge is payable by exporters of live-stock ( clause 6).

Clauses 7-9 provides that the rate of charge on the export of each head of sheep, lambs and goats will be:

.

.a prescribed amount up to 55 cents for sheep and goats and 50 cents for lambs, 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 25 cents for sheep, lambs and goats, for payment to the research body (see clauses 60-66 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997).

The charge will be payable by the exporter ( clause 10).

Endnotes

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

2

Ibid: 11

3

Ibid: 15