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Wednesday, 25 September 1974
Page: 1427

Senator WRIEDT (Tasmania) (Minister for Agriculture) - I move:

That the Bills be now read a second time.

Mr Deputy President,the second reading speech embracing all five Bills is identical to the one read in the House of Representatives. I seek leave to have the speech incorporated.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT-Is leave granted? There being no objection, it is so ordered. (The speech read as follows)-

These Bills will amend the Wool Tax Acts (Nos 1 to 5) 1964-1973 to provide for an increased rate of wool tax. They are a consequence of arrangements for the marketing of the 1974-75 wool clip that have been approved by the Government and agreed to by the Australian Wool Industry Conference. Our intention to introduce them was announced in a Press statement I made on 29 August.

Wool tax is currently levied at the rate of 2.75 per cent. At this level, it represents wool growers ' contributions towards the financing of programmes of wool research and promotion and the administration of the marketing functions of the Australian Wool Corporation.

The additional tax proposed by these Bills will be imposed at the rate of 5 per cent thus bringing the total levy up to 7.75 per cent. The 5 per cent increase will apply from 2 September 1 974 to 30 June 1975 and the revenue from it will be appropriated for use by the Australian Wool Corporation to meet any losses it may incur as a result of the maintenance of a firm floor price of 250 cents per kilogram clean for 21 micron wool in the wool market.

The date from which the increased rate of tax will apply coincides with the date of the resumption of auction sales for the 1974-75 wool selling season. Tax will, therefore, be collected at a common rate for all wool sold since the introduction of the minimum floor price. The Wool Tax Act (No. 1 ) imposes a tax on shorn wool produced in Australia and sold by a wool broker. The other Acts ensure that where shorn wool is not sold by a broker it is subject to tax at some other point. The need for five separate Acts arises from a constitutional requirement that laws imposing taxes should deal with one subject of taxation only.

I commend the Bills to the Senate.

Debate (on motion by Senator Maunsell) adjourned.

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