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Tuesday, 9 May 1972
Page: 1459

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (West ern Australia) (Minister for Air) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to authorise the imposition of levies on whole milk or on butter fat as the case may he. The levy will be payable on either a butter fat or a gallonage basis, according to the. normal practice of payment to the producer by the factory or plant that he supplies. The legislation provides for the maximum levy to be either 12c per cwt of butter fat or 0.04c per gallon of whole milk produced and sold. In the case of butter fat, this represents no change from the existing arrangements for research purposes under the Butter Fat Levy Act 1965-1966. The maximum rate of levy proposed to be applied to whole milk is equivalent to the maximum rate applicable to butter fat. Conversion is based on a 3.6 per cent butter fat content in whole milk, a level which is already being met by fluid milk producers in all States.

The operative rates will be less than the maximum rates laid down in the Bill now before the House. The operative rate that is ruling on butter fat at the present time is 10c per cwt. The comparable operative rate for whole milk will be 0.033c per gallon. These operative rates and any subsequent alterations will be prescribed by regulation after recommendation to the Minister for Primary Industry by the Dairying Research Committee. 1 stress that there is no increase involved in the rates of levy on dairy produce. Levy collections will be payable initially by the purchaser in the first instance of the milk or cream concerned, and will be recoverable from the farmer who produced and sold that milk or cream. Where, in the. chain of production and distribution, milk or cream or butter fat is resold, there will be arrangements made to ensure that the commodity is not levied a second time. It is expected that the sums raised for research purposes by these levies will increase compared to Current 1971-72 receipts by approximately $150,000 to $160,000. This increase will be matched by a comparable increase in the Government's obligation to contribute, so making available over $300,000 a year more for dairying research. 1 commend the Bill to honourable senators.

Debate (on motion by Senator Poke) adjourned.

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