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Tuesday, 24 September 2002
Page: 4747

Senator COONAN (Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer) (4:27 PM) —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (7) of standing order 111 not apply to the following bills, allowing them to be considered during this period of sittings:

States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2002

Dairy Industry Legislation Amendment Bill 2002.

I also table statements of reasons justifying the need for these bills to be considered during these sittings and seek leave to have the statements incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statements read as follows


Purpose of the Bill

The Bill will amend Schedules 3 and 5 to the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 2000 (the Act) to insert maximum capital grant funding amounts for government and non-government schools for the years 2005, 2006 and 2007. This amendment is foreshadowed in Note 1 to Schedules 3 and 5 to the Act, which states 'Amounts for 2005, 2006 and 2007 will be inserted by an amending Act'.

Reasons for Urgency

The Annual Schedule of capital grant recommendations for non-government schools will be submitted by 30 September 2002 for approval by the Minister, and will include recommendations for funding in 2005. While the government sector operates on a different time frame in line with state/territory government processes, it is appropriate to update the amounts for 2005-2007 for the government sector at this time.

Without passage of the Bill there is no authority to commit 2005 funding and approval of all recommended projects with 2005 funding will be delayed until the Bill is passed.

Forward commitment arrangements set out in the Commonwealth Programs for Schools Quadrennial Administrative Guidelines 2001-2004 authorise relevant funding authorities to commit a proportion of capital grant program funding up to two years in advance of the current program year. Education authorities will submit capital grant funding applications in 2002 for capital projects which may extend across the years 2003-2005. This is a long-standing arrangement that provides schools and school system authorities with greater scope to plan capital developments, which typically require extended time frames.

A large proportion of capital projects submitted for approval in the Annual Schedule of capital grant recommendations for non-government schools in September 2002 will include funding allocation for the 2005 program year. Schools often commence their projects immediately upon approval and schedule construction works during the end of year school holidays. A delay in funding approval could cause delays and disruption to the building plans for these non-government schools, in all states and territories.

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Education, Science and Training)



Purpose of the Bill

The Bill would allow the dairy industry, through the Australian Dairy Corporation (ADC), to fund reform of the industry statutory bodies, including the ADC and the Dairy Research and Development Corporation (DRDC), to deliver research and development and other services for the dairy industry. The Bill would also provide dairy farmers with a Dairy Structural Adjustment Program (DSAP) and/or Supplementary Dairy Assistance Measures (SDA) entitlement, access to an exit grant after the cessation of the Dairy Exit Program (DEP) on 30 June 2002, through the Farm Help Re-establishment Grant (FHRG).

Reasons for Urgency

With market milk deregulation completed, the dairy industry is now considering the services required in a deregulated environment and the most appropriate structure for the delivery of those services.

With deregulation farmers have seen a major change in their market environment, and significant competition and rationalisation at the processor level is occurring. Many farmers have seen a reduction in their income following deregulation and it is therefore imperative that services to farmers and other industry participants are delivered efficiently. It also important that industry services and the associated service delivery body be tailored to the new environment.

As with other industries, the dairy industry is also seeking a greater role in taking responsibility for how industry levies are used.

Industry has indicated that they would like the new service delivery body to be in place by 1 July 2003. To meet this deadline, industry will need to conclude their investigations as soon as possible. Removing impediments to funding the process through the statutory levy stream will allow industry to focus on the important issues of services and structure and thereby ensure that there is a smooth transition to the new arrangements.

The Government's policy is, generally, for industry to meet all statutory reform costs. The intended approach is directly consistent with that used in the reform of wool industry service structures over recent years.

With the cessation of the DEP on 30 June 2002 dairy farmers with a DSAP and /or SDA entitlement are excluded from any exit assistance program. Currently all farmers, with the exception of the affected dairy farmers, are eligible for a FHRG. These amendments will remove this inequitable situation by allowing affected DSAP and/or SDA entitlement holders access to the FHRG.

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry)

Senator Bartlett to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes repeated calls for a full parliamentary debate and vote on any decision by the Australian Government to commit Australian military personnel or facilities to a war against Iraq, particularly if any such commitment is proposed in relation to military action which has not been endorsed by the United Nations; and

(b) calls on the Government to ensure that a full parliamentary debate and vote on any such proposal occurs prior to the commitment of Australian military personnel or facilities.

Senator Bartlett to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate calls on the leaders of all parliamentary political parties to ensure that any parliamentary vote on motions concerning Australian involvement in, or support for, military action against Iraq is a conscience vote.