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Tuesday, 11 December 1973
Page: 2668

Senator LAUCKE (South Australia) - The purpose of the Honey Export Charge Bill is to impose a small charge on exports of honey in order to provide necessary additional finance for the Australian Honey Board. Thus far charges have been levied only on local sales of honey and not on that which has been exported. About 40 per cent of our honey is exported and 60 per cent is used on the home market. At the time of the introduction of charges on honey consumed on the local market the export markets were in the doldrums. The export price of honey was at a very depressed level. It was thought then that it would be unfair to impose a charge on export sales. The situation is different today and the industry generally and the Australian Agricultural Council have agreed that a charge should be made. The Honey Board will determine the amount of the charge to be levied. The operative figure at the moment has been set at 0.3c per kilogram. The maximum charge that can be applied is lc per kilogram.

The Honey Export Charge Collection Bill is complementary to the Honey Export Charge Bill and provides the machinery necessary for the collection of the charge imposed by the Honey Export Charge Bill. The third Bill, the Honey Industry Bill, provides that the amounts received under the Honey Export Charge Collection Bill shall be paid to the Australian Honey Board out of Consolidated Revenue.

The honey industry is of importance; it is worth about $ 12m a year. The Australian Honey Board has the obligation of determining export arrangements, policies and the promotion of honey in overseas and local markets. With the passage of time the Board's financial requirements naturally have grown as have those of other organisations. The Board is just able to fulfil its obligations for the purposes for which it was set up. The Liberal Party raises no objection to these Bills and wishes them a speedy passage.

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