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Thursday, 29 May 2008
Page: 3864

Mr BURKE (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) (5:28 PM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

To ensure the new wheat export marketing arrangements operate effectively, various amendments are needed to make other legislation consistent with the provisions of the bill.

The bill will help ensure an orderly transition to the new arrangements and make certain that growers are not disadvantaged because of arrangements entered into under the previous legislation.

It also repeals the existing Wheat Marketing Act 1989.

The key provisions include:

  • amending the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 to reflect the fact that the export of bulk wheat is prohibited without accreditation from Wheat Exports Australia
  • providing for the transfer of funds held by the Export Wheat Commission to Wheat Exports Australia
  • allowing the Export Wheat Commission to develop the accreditation scheme before 1 July 2008 so that it will be operational from the start of the new arrangements
  • allowing Wheat Exports Australia to finalise outstanding tasks of the Export Wheat Commission. For example, Wheat Exports Australia will finalise the report on the performance of AWB (International) Ltd in relation to the benefits delivered to growers from its management of the 2007-08 national pool
  • allowing AWB (International) Ltd to continue marketing of wheat from the 2007-08 national pool, and for those exporters who have been granted bulk export permits to complete shipments under those consents, without needing accreditation up to 30 September 2008
  • amending the Criminal Code Act to make it an offence to provide false information to Wheat Exports Australia in an application for accreditation under the Wheat Export Marketing Bill 2008
  • amending the Primary Industries and Energy Research and Development Act 1989 and the Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991 to ensure that provisions contained in them that refer to the Wheat Marketing Act 1989 will still apply despite the repeal of the Wheat Marketing Act 1989.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Haase) adjourned.