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Wednesday, 25 September 1974
Page: 1427

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

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Deputy President,I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated as it is in effect the same as the speech made in the House of Representatives.

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

This Bill was originally introduced into the last Parliament but had not completed passage through the Senate when the double dissolution took place. The background and provisions of the Bill were explained to the Senate in detail last April. The Bill is designed primarily to amend the Wool Industry Act 1972-73 so as to provide for the financing of the projected wool research and promotion programmes and of the marketing administrative expenses of the Australian Wool Corporation over the three-year period from July 1974 to June 1977.

As at present, wool research and promotion will be financed jointly by woolgrowers and the Government while marketing administration will be funded entirely by the industry. However, in future the major share of funds for wool promotion will be provided by growers while the greater part of finance for research will come from the Government.

The Bill provides for the allocation of the proceeds of the wool tax to the Austraiian Wool Corporation and to the Wool Research Trust Fund and for the payment of a Government grant to the Corporation and to the Trust Fund. The basis of distribution of the tax and the grant is as determined by the Minister for Agriculture.

The financial arrangements provided by the existing legislation terminated on the 30th June and, until the Wool Industry Bill is enacted, no authority exists for the continued payment of either wool tax proceeds or Government grant to the Corporation and to the Trust Fund.

Interim arrangements to finance continuing research have been made by drawing on the reserves to the Wool Research Trust Fund. In the case of wool promotion and marketing administrative expenses, it is necessary for the Corporation to draw on commercial sources of credit to finance these activities until the funds from the wool tax and the Government grant become available. Opportunity is being taken to remove from the Principal Act provisions for an interim chairman which have become redundant following the appointment of a permanent chairman. Amendments have been included in recognition of relevant provisions of the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 which relate to the remuneration of statutory office holders. I commend the Bill to honourable senators.

Debate (on motion by Senator Maunsell) adjourned.

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