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Tuesday, 26 November 1974
Page: 2796

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

Thatthe Bill be now read a secondtime.

I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.

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

The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Livestock Slaughter Levy Act 1 964- 1 973 to provide for the extension, for a further period, of 2½ years from 1 January 1975 to 30 June 1977, of the special levy on livestock slaughterings imposed initially in January 1969, to provide finance for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation for scientific research in connection with the processing of beef, mutton and lamb. Apart from the extension of the period of the levy, all other provisions will continue unchanged. The initial proposals for this levy were submitted by the Australian Meat Exporters Federal Council and fully supported by the Meat and Allied Trades Federation and the Australian Meatworks Federal Council. These organisations suggested a continuation of the levy for a further 7 years, but my Government feels that as the Industries Assistance Commission has been asked to report on the question of rural research and promotion of rural products by 5 July 1976, the levy should be continued for a further period of 2½ years only, pending receipt of the Commission's recommendations.

The service and investigation section of the CSIRO has used funds obtained from the levy, together with a matching Australian Government contribution, to assist meatworks in many fields including meat quality control, sanitation and hygiene, preservation and processing and utilisation of meat, schools on ageing of meat, storage and packaging; all of which are of increasing importance in the meat trade. The section has also published reports and information in the form of newsletters on its work and findings. Section 17 of the Meat Research Act 1960-1968 requires that an annual report be made to Parliament on the operations of the Act and the use of the funds. Funds from the levy, on current estimates, provide finance to allow a continuity of operations over the period in question. In accordance with the Government's wish to use the term 'Australia' rather than 'Commonwealth', the opportunity has been taken to amend the Act in this respect. Also due to metric conversion minor weight amendments have been made. I commend the Bill to the honourable senators.

Debate (on motion by Senator Laucke) adjourned.

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