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Wednesday, 24 August 1983
Page: 150

Mr KERIN (Minister for Primary Industry)(11.11) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

This Bill is associated with other export charge Bills just introduced. The purpose of this Bill is to allow for an increase in the maximum charge imposed on the export inspection of edible oils. The charge was first imposed on 1 January 1983 in order to recover from exporters approximately half of the total export inspection cost. This Government has carefully reviewed the policy of charging for export inspection and has concluded that there are good grounds for re-endorsement and implementation of the existing policy for 50 per cent recovery of costs. The fees currently charged for edible oils would fall far short of meeting half the current costs of inspection. It is estimated that the current rates of charge would recover some $5,000 or 15 per cent of costs. The unit cost of inspection for edible oils was initially underestimated due to the volume of throughput and the work effort involved. Frequent changes in unit export costs are common particularly where the product is minor in terms of effort and the volume varies with the season. The annual change in costs can of course be down as well as up, as is illustrated by bagged wheat export charges.

Accordingly it has been decided to lift the effective rate of charge for edible oils from $1 per tonne to $3.30 per tonne. The new rate of recovery will apply for only part of the year and the recovery is expected to be in the order of $13 ,000 or 38 per cent of the cost of providing the service. The current maximum rate specified in the Edible Oils (Export Inspection Charge) Act 1982 would not allow the operative rate necessary to recoup 50 per cent of costs to be established in the Edible Oils (Export Inspection Charge) Regulations. Accordingly, it is proposed to amend the maximum rate in the Act from the current rate of $2 per tonne. The proposed maximum rate for inspection of edible oils is $6.60 or twice the operative rate in order to allow for amendments from time to time of the amounts charged, in accordance with changes in the cost of the service provided, and other factors such as the volume of exports. I commend the Bill to honourable members.

Debate (on motion by Mr McVeigh) adjourned.