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Thursday, 13 May 1965

Senator MCKELLAR (New South Wales) (Minister for Repatriation) . - I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

This Bill provides for the creation of a Poultry Industry Trust Fund and for payment into this Fund of amounts equal to the amounts collected under the Poultry Industry Levy Collection Bill. Payments out of the Fund are to be made to the State Governments for financial assistance to the poultry industry. These payments for financial assistance to the poultry industry are designed to meet the trading losses experienced by th» State Egg Boards in the disposal of surplus eggs. The Minister for Primary Industry (Mr. Adermann) is to authorise the amounts to be paid to the. States, after taking into account any recommendations of the Council of Egg Marketing Authorities of Australia.

The Council is a predominantly producer body comprised of all the members of all the State Egg Boards, and is the body best fitted to make recommendations in respect of the trading losses experienced by the State Egg Boards. As the State Egg Boards will cease collecting equalisation levies when this legislation is implemented, they will need finance to enable them to continue paying producers for their eggs. To meet this requirement, this Bill provides for arrangements to be made with the Reserve Bank of Australia to loan money when necessary to the State Egg Boards under Commonwealth Government guarantee. If the Commonwealth Government is ever called on to meet the guarantee, money standing to the credit of the Poultry Industry Trust Fund shall be used to meet the guarantee.

There is also provision in the Bill for an annual report on the operation of the Act and for the making of regulations. The Bill is supported by the State Governments and by the poultry industry, and, as part of the legislation aimed at stabilising the Australian poultry industry, will fulfil a need in the industry which has been evident for many years. I commend the Bill.

Debate (on motion by Senator O'Byrne) adjourned.

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