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Live-stock Slaughter (Processors) 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 the slaughter of sheep, lambs and goats at an abattoir for human consumption. The levy will be payable by the processor of such live-stock.

Background

Under existing law a levy is imposed by the Live-stock Slaughter Levy Act 1964 on lambs, sheep, goats and buffalo (live-stock) slaughtered for human consumption at an abattoir. 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The Live-stock Slaughter Levy Act 1964 is being repealed by item 1 of Schedule 4 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Repeals and Consequential Provisions) Bill 1997.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 Live-stock Transactions Levy Act and a Live-stock Slaughter (Processors) Levy Act, to allow for the separation of producers' and processors' funding and for the 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 4 provides that a levy is imposed on the slaughter of live-stock (ie. sheep, lambs and goats) at an abattoir for human consumption. However, the levy will not be imposed on:

.

.the slaughter of live-stock whose carcases are condemned or rejected as unfit for human consumption; or

.

.the slaughter of live-stock for consumption by their owner, members of his/her family or his/her employees.

Clause 5 provides that the regulations may provide that no amount of levy is payable by processors of live-stock.

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

.

.a prescribed amount up to 70 cents, for payment to the marketing body (see clauses 60-66 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997); and

.

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

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

.

.a prescribed amount up to 50 cents, for payment to the marketing body; and

.

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

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

.

.a prescribed amount up to 55 cents, for payment to the marketing body; and

.

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

The levy will be payable by the processor of the live-stock ( clause 9).

The term 'processor' is defined by clause 3 to mean, in relation to live-stock, the person (including a State/Territory or State/Territory authority) who owns the carcases of the live-stock straight after the hot carcase weight of the live-stock would normally be determined.

Endnotes

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

2

Ibid: 11

3

Ibid: 3