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Thursday, 21 August 1980
Page: 619

Mr NIXON (Gippsland) (Minister for Primary Industry) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Under the Dairy Produce Sales Promotion Act 1958 the Australian Dairy Corporation has been given the charter of promoting the sale of all dairy products, including market milk, cream and fresh milk products, in Australia. Funds for this purpose are derived from a levy on the production of all wholemilk and butterfat imposed under the Dairying Industry Research and Promotion Levy Act 1 972. The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Dairying Industry Research and Promotion Levy Act 1 972 in order to increase the maximum rates of levy which can be applied, for domestic promotion purposes, to wholemilk and butterfat production under sections 7 (B) and 1 1 (B) of the Act. Under the present provisions of the Act the maximum rates of levy which can be applied, for domestic promotional purposes, are 6c per 100 litres of wholemilk and $ 1 .50 per 1 00 kilograms of butterfat. These maximums have also been the operative rates since 1 July 1978.

Falling milk production in Australia has resulted in a decline in the funds collected from the levy in recent years. This reduced level of income is threatening the Australian Dairy Corporation's ability to continue to finance the rising cost of its established domestic promotion programs, which are aimed at maintaining and improving current levels of consumption of dairy products in Australia, on behalf of the dairy industry. The Australian Dairy Farmers Federation, the major producer body, sought amendment of the Act to provide for increased maximum rates of levy with a view to enabling the Corporation to obtain the necessary level of funds required to mount effective promotion programs. The Bill provides for an increase in the maximum rates of levy which can be applied to 12c per 100 litres of wholemilk and $3 per 100 kilograms of butterfat produced.

It is pleasing to the Government that the dairy industry supports the activities of the Australian Dairy Corporation and is prepared to meet the costs involved in sustaining an effective domestic promotion campaign. I commend the Bill.

Debate (on motion by Mr Uren) adjourned.

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