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Thursday, 22 November 1973
Page: 2060

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (Leader of the Australian Country Party in the Senate) -This Bill seeks to amend the Wheat Tax Act by extending, on one hand, the date of operation and, on the other hand, the amount of levy to be deducted from returns to growers. This Bill implements the proposal of the Australian Wheatgrowers Federation. It is expected, in line with the Federation's recommendations, that when the Bill is passed regulations will be introduced to set the operative levy at 1 lc per tonne on deliveries to the Australian Wheat Board for the 1973-74 crop. This levy will come into operation as from 1 October 1973.

Senator Lauckehas spoken of the original Act which commenced the scheme in 1957. The levy at that time was one farthing per bushel. I do not want to traverse that ground. I believe that the introduction of the original legislation was a landmark in the history of the Australian wheat industry. It opened up opportunities for a concerted attack on industry problems by drawing on the skills and experiences of the research workers who specialised in different fields associated with wheat production and marketing. This Bill gives expression to the wishes of the growers that research in their industry should be continued and should be increased. It gives expression to their conviction that the industry should supply the funds for its future development. For those reasons the Australian Country Party supports the Bill.

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