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Tuesday, 9 May 1972
Page: 2209


Dr PATTERSON (Dawson) - Clause 6 deals with the liability of the purchaser from the producer. The Dairying Research Levy Collection Bill follows the same principles as do other research levy collection Bills. The incidence of the levy falls on the producer and the responsibility in most part falls on the purchaser to collect that levy and pay it to the Commonwealth. Sub-clause (1.) makes it quite clear that a person who purchases whole milk or butter fat from the producer of the whole milk or butter fat is liable to pay to the Commonwealth an amount equal to any levy on the whole milk or butter fat, as the case may be. The Opposition has a query with respect to clause 6 (3.) which, as I understand it. deals with the protection of the purchaser against the non-payment of the levy by the producer. This sub-clause seems to me to be vital. If some type of contract is entered into between a factory and a producer before this clause becomes law, notwithstanding that contract or any law of a State or a Commonwealth Territory the producer is still liable to pay the levy and the purchaser is still liable to collect it and pay it to the Commonwealth.

This sub-clause, if I understand it correctly, protects the liability of the purchaser in the event of the producer refusing to take part in the scheme or to pay the levy. I question the meaning of the words 'first provides' in sub-clause (3.) because one could assume that a prop.ducer must pay to the purchaser, whether it is a factory or some other person, money or its equivalent before he takes delivery of the butter fat or the whole milk. I presume that the words 'first provides' have a more flexible meaning than that in a situation where an arrangement is entered into between the purchaser and producer and that when the final account sale is rendered there will be a deduction to cover the levy. This would protect the purchaser in the event of the producer refusing to pay the levy. If there were some arrangement whereby the producer still refused to pay the levy, and through some mistake the purchaser had not deducted the amount of the levy, from the account sales, for example, under clause 6 (1 .) the purchaser would be liable to pay it to the Commonwealth. 1 turn now to clause 6 (8.) which applies strictly to the purchaser's responsibility to pay the levy. If there were a mistake or if a purchaser were fraudulently affected, perhaps by a producer putting something over him, the Minister, under sub-clause (1.) would have the power to discharge the purchaser's liability. I am seeking clarification of clause 6(3.) from the Minister because it would appear from a reading of this sub-clause that it is the key in regard to the protection of the purchaser when the incidence of the levy falls on the producer himself. Will the Minister clarify also the meaning of the words 'first provides' in sub-clause (3.)? Is it correct, as I have said, that it is not strictly 'first provides', although it could be interpreted that way, but rather it is flexible in the sense that if an arrangement is made between the producer and the purchaser that arrangement is in fact legal?







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