Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 [and] Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016



Download PDFDownload PDF

ISSN 1328-8091

Warning: All viewers of this digest are advised to visit the disclaimer appearing at the end of this document. The disclaimer sets out the status and purpose of the digest.

BILLS DIGEST NO. 60, 2016-17 10 FEBRUARY 2017

Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 [and] Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 Rob Dossor Economics Section

Michele Brennan Law and Bills Digest Section

Contents Purpose of the Bill ............................................................... 2

Commencement .................................................................. 2

Structure of the Bill ............................................................. 2

Background ......................................................................... 3

Committee consideration .................................................... 4

Selection of Bills Committee.................................................... 4

Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills .............. 4

Policy position of non-government parties/independents ..... 4

Position of major interest groups ......................................... 5

Financial implications .......................................................... 5

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights .................... 5

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights .................. 5

Key issues and provisions..................................................... 5

Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 .............................................................. 5

Replicated provisions ............................................................ 5

Location in Legislation Amendment Bill ............................ 5

Location in Spring Repeal Bill ............................................. 5

Key issues relating to replicated provisions .......................... 6

Abolition of the National Rural Advisory Council ................ 6

Abolition of the APVMA Advisory Board ............................. 7

Key issues relating to new provisions .................................... 8

Farm Household Support - Delegation of rule-making power .................................................................................. 8

Date introduced: 1 December 2016

House: House of Representatives

Portfolio: Agriculture and Water Resources

Commencement: Commencement dates for each section are outlined body of this Digest.

Links: The links to the Bill, its Explanatory Memorandum and second reading speech can be found on the Bill’s homepages for the Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 and the Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016, or through the Australian Parliament website.

When Bills have been passed and have received Royal Assent, they become Acts, which can be found at the Federal Register of Legislation website.

All hyperlinks in this Bills Digest are correct as at

February 2017.

Warning: All viewers of this digest are advised to visit the disclaimer appearing at the end of this document. The disclaimer sets out the status and purpose of the digest. Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 [and] Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 2

Abolition of the Statutory Fishing Rights Allocation Review Panel ....................................................................... 8

Tabling of certain documents in parliament ....................... 8

Dairy Produce Act .............................................................. 10

Forestry Marketing and Research and Development Services Act ........................................................................ 11

Sugar Research and Development Services Act ................ 11

Repeal of various Acts ....................................................... 11

Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 ..... 12

Concluding comments ....................................................... 12

Purpose of the Bill The main purpose of the Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 (Legislation Amendment Bill) is to repeal spent and redundant provisions in various Acts, abolish bodies considered to be obsolete and remove regulatory requirements in a range of portfolio areas that have been judged unnecessary. The Bill would also remove tabling requirements relating to Commonwealth funding agreements with industry-owned rural research and development corporations. Much of what is contained in the Legislation Amendment Bill was also in the Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Bill 2015 (Spring 2015 Repeal Bill) which lapsed on the prorogation of Parliament in April 2016.1

The purpose of the Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 (the Honey Bill) is to amend the Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999 to remove the requirement for purchasers of honey (who intend on exporting it) to provide the seller with a certificate of their intention to export the honey.2 It also makes similar amendments to the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998.3

Commencement Sections 1 to 3 of the Legislation Amendment Bill commence the day the Act receives Royal Assent. Items 1 to 52 and 55 to 57 of Schedule 1, and Schedule 2 commence the day after Royal Assent.

Items 53 and 54 of Schedule 1 of the Legislation Amendment Bill commence either immediately after the commencement of items 1 to 52 or immediately after the commencement of Schedule 9 of the Regulatory Powers (Standardisation Reform) Act 2016 (whichever is later).4 However, items 53 and 54 do not commence at all if Schedule 9 of the Regulatory Powers (Standardisation Reform) Act 2016 does not commence.

The Honey Bill commences the day after the Act receives Royal Assent.

Structure of the Bill The Legislation Amendment Bill has two schedules. Schedule 1 makes amendments to the following Acts:

• Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992

• Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994

• Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997

• Biosecurity Act 2015

• Farm Household Support Act 2014

• Fisheries Administration Act 1991

1. Parliament of Australia, ‘Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Bill 2015 homepage’, Australian Parliament website. 2. Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999. 3. National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998. 4. Parliament of Australia, ‘Regulatory Powers (Standardisation Reform) Bill 2016 homepage’, Australian Parliament website. For the Bills digest

to the Regulatory Powers (Standardisation Reform) Bill 2016 see C Raymond, Regulatory Powers (Standardisation Reform) Bill 2016, Bills digest, 42, 2016-17, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2016.

Warning: All viewers of this digest are advised to visit the disclaimer appearing at the end of this document. The disclaimer sets out the status and purpose of the digest. Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 [and] Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 3

• Fisheries Management Act 1991

• Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012

• Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989

• Water Amendment (Review Implementation and Other Measures) Act 2016

• Dairy Produce Act 1986

• Forestry Marketing and Research and Development Services Act 2007 and

• Sugar Research and Development Services Act 2013.

Schedule 2 repeals a number of Acts including the:

• Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Removing Re-approval and Re-registration) Act 2014

• Export Inspection Charges Collection Act 1985

• Export Inspection (Establishment Registration Charges) Act 1985

• Export Inspection (Quantity Charge) Act 1985

• Export Inspection (Service Charge) Act 1985

• National Residue Survey (Consequential Provisions) Act 1992

• Quarantine (Validation of Fees) Act 1985

• Rural Adjustment Act 1992 and

• Wool International Act 1993.

Schedule 2 also makes consequential amendments to the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997.

The Honey Bill has one schedule which amends the Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999 and the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998.

Background Omnibus repeal Bills previously formed an important part of the Government’s cutting red tape policy. In 2014, for example, the Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill 2014 (along with other specific repeal Bills) was said to repeal more than 10,000 pieces of legislation and reduce compliance costs across the economy by $700 million.5 At the time the Government committed to remove at least $3 billion in compliance costs across the country within three years. The Government went on to introduce a further three Omnibus Repeal Day Bills in the Spring 2014, Autumn 2015 and Spring 2015 sitting periods.6 Only the Autumn 2014 and Autumn 2015 repeal Bills passed.

The most recent repeal Bill—the Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Bill 2015 (the Spring 2015 Repeal Bill)— contained a number of provisions that are also included in the Legislation Amendment Bill, including those which would disband three statutory bodies: the Agricultural Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) Advisory Board, the Fishing Industry Policy Council and the National Rural Advisory Council.7 Both the Spring 2015 Repeal Bill and the Legislation Amendment Bill also contain amendments to the Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997; and provisions to repeal a number of Acts, such as the Rural Adjustment Act 1992 and the Wool International Act 1993. The overlap between the Bills is outlined in more detail in the ‘key issues’ section later in this Digest.

5. Parliament of Australia, ‘Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill 2014 homepage’, Australian Parliament website. The other two Bills were the Amending Acts 1901 to 1969 Repeal Bill 2014 and the Statute Law Review Bill (No. 1) 2014 Bill; Australian Government, ‘2014 Autumn repeal day’, Cutting Red Tape website.

6. Parliament of Australia, ‘Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2014) Bill 2014 homepage’, Australian Parliament website; Parliament of Australia, ‘Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2015) Bill 2015 homepage’, Australian Parliament website; and Parliament of Australia, ‘Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Bill 2015 homepage’, Australian Parliament website.

7. L Ferris, Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Bill 2015, Bills digest, 81, 2015-16, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2016. Some of the information in this Digest is taken from Ms Ferris’s Digest on the Omnibus Repeal Day Bill.

Warning: All viewers of this digest are advised to visit the disclaimer appearing at the end of this document. The disclaimer sets out the status and purpose of the digest. Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 [and] Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 4

Dr Peter Hendy, in his capacity as Assistant Minister for Productivity, wrote an opinion piece in The Australian in February 2016 that outlined the Government’s new regulatory reform agenda.8 As part of this agenda, repeal days were to be replaced with annual reports which would assess the Government’s performance in repealing legislation and outline a course for reform over the coming year.9 Dr Hendy noted that while ‘the present approach of biannual repeal days has been useful … its effectiveness in repealing legislation into the future will be limited as [the Government has] now done the major work to clean up the statute books’.10

With the failure to pass the Spring 2015 Repeal Bill, the Government was not able to disband the statutory bodies as intended, despite the fact that some had already, effectively, ceased to function. The National Rural Advisory Council, for example, has already been merged with the Agricultural Industry Advisory Council.11 According to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, it ceased operating on 30 June 2015.12

Committee consideration Selection of Bills Committee At its meeting of 30 November 2016, the Selection of Bills Committee deferred consideration of the Bills to its next meeting.13

The Spring 2015 Repeal Bill (in which a number of the matters in the Legislation Amendment Bill were originally proposed) was examined by the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation.14 The Committee recommended that the Spring 2015 Repeal Bill be passed.15 Labor senators on the Committee provided additional comments outlining their opposition to the amendments relating to the abolition of the National Rural Advisory Council and recommend that these amendments be removed from the Bill.16

Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills At the time of writing this Bills Digest, the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills had not published any comments about the Bills. When the Scrutiny Committee examined the Spring 2015 Repeal Bill, it had no comments on the amendments that are included in the Legislation Amendment Bill.17

Policy position of non-government parties/independents As set out above, a number of the measures in the Legislation Amendment Bill were included in the Spring 2015 Repeal Bill. In second reading speeches and other statements, Labor raised concerns about a number of aspects of the Spring 2015 Repeal Bill.18 Relevantly to the current Bill, Labor was concerned about the repeal of the Rural Adjustment Act 1992, which will result in the abolition of the National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC) and the decision to abolish the APVMA Advisory Board.19

Other non-government parties and the independents do not appear to have announced any policy position in relation to the Bills.

8. P Hendy, ‘Spent rules have no place in an innovation nation’, The Australian, 4 February 2016, p. 12. 9. Ibid.

10. Ibid.

11. Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR), ‘National Rural Advisory Council’, DAWR website, last reviewed 2 November 2016. 12. Ibid.

13. Senate Standing Committee for Selection of Bills, Report, 10, 2016, The Senate, 1 December 2016. 14. Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Bill 2015, Parliament of Australia website. 15. Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Bill 2015 [Provisions], The Senate,

Canberra, 2016, p. 6. 16. Ibid., p. 7. 17. Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, Alert digest, 13, 2015, The Senate, 25 November 2015, pp. 30-32. 18. M Dreyfus, ‘Second reading speech: Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Bill 2015’, House of Representatives, Debates, 1 December 2015,

p. 14373.

19. Ibid. See also J Fitzgibbon, ‘Second reading speech: Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Bill 2015’, House of Representatives, Debates, 2 December 2015, pp. 14472-14473; and A Vidot, ‘Animal Medicines Australia unconcerned by decision to scrap chemical regulator advisory board’, ABC Rural, (online edition), 29 September 2015. Further information is available at Ferris, Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Bill 2015, Bills digest, op. cit.

Warning: All viewers of this digest are advised to visit the disclaimer appearing at the end of this document. The disclaimer sets out the status and purpose of the digest. Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 [and] Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 5

Position of major interest groups Apart from a media report indicating that Animal Medicines Australia supports the abolition of the APVMA Advisory Board (see further discussion below), interest groups do not appear to have made comments on the Legislation Amendment Bill.20 The Explanatory Memorandum to the Honey Bill states that the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council supports the amendments in that Bill.21

Financial implications According to the Explanatory Memoranda, the Bills have no financial impacts on the Australian Government.22

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights As required under Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 (Cth), the Government has assessed the Bills’ compatibility with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of that Act. The Government considers that the Bills are compatible.23

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has not yet reported on the Bills. When the Committee examined the Spring 2015 Repeal Bill, it had no comments on the amendments that are included in the Legislation Amendment Bill.24

Key issues and provisions Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 The Legislation Amendment Bill replicates a number of provisions from the Spring 2015 Repeal Bill. These replicated provisions include:

• the repeal of the Rural Adjustment Act 1992, Wool International Act 1993 and the Wool International Privatisation Act 1999 (Schedule 2 items 10, 11 and 12 respectively)

• limiting the information that the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is required to provide to Food Standards Australia New Zealand in determining whether the Maximum Residue Limits Standard is required to be changed (Schedule 1 items 11 and 13)

• abolishing the APVMA Advisory Board and the Fishing Industry Policy Council (Schedule 1 items 4 to 10 and 29 to 32 respectively)

• removing provisions from the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 that require a licence to be obtained in order to export meat by-products (Schedule 1 items 16 to 22) and

• abolishing the National Rural Advisory Council (Schedule 2 item 10).

The table below outlines the location of the replicated provisions in both the Legislation Amendment Bill and the Spring Repeal Bill.

Table 1: replicated provisions

Location in Legislation Amendment Bill Location in Spring Repeal Bill

Amendments to Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992

Schedule 1 items 1 to 10 Schedule 1 items 12 to 21

Amendments to Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994

20. A Vidot, ‘Animal Medicines Australia unconcerned by decision to scrap chemical regulator advisory board’, op. cit. 21. Explanatory Memorandum, Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 (the Honey Bill), p. 2. 22. Ibid., p. 3; Explanatory Memorandum Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 (the Legislation Amendment Bill), p. 4.

23. The Statements of Compatibility with Human Rights can be found at pages 27-32 of the Explanatory Memorandum to the Legislation Amendment Bill and pages 5-6 of the Explanatory Memorandum to the Honey Bill. 24. Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, Thirty-first Report of the 44th Parliament, The Senate, Canberra, 24 November 2015, pp. 4- 11.

Warning: All viewers of this digest are advised to visit the disclaimer appearing at the end of this document. The disclaimer sets out the status and purpose of the digest. Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 [and] Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 6

Schedule 1 items 11 and 13 Schedule 1 items 10 and 11

Amendments to Australian Meat and Live-Stock Industry Act 1997

Schedule 1 items 16 to 22 Schedule 1 items 26 to 32

Amendments to Fisheries Administration Act 1991

Items 29 to 32 Schedule 1 items 22 to 25

Rural Adjustment Act 1992

Schedule 2 item 10 Schedule 1 item 1

Wool International Act 1993

Schedule 2 item 11 Schedule 1 item 3

Wool International Privatisation Act 1999

Schedule 2 item 12 Schedule 1 item 4

Amendments to Natural Heritage Trust of Australia Act 1997

Schedule 2 items 13 to 17 Schedule 1 items 5 to 9

Source: Parliament of Australia, ‘Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 homepage’, Australian Parliament website; and Parliament of Australia, ‘Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Bill 2015 homepage’, Australian Parliament website.

Key issues relating to replicated provisions The measures to cease the National Rural Advisory Council and the APMVA Advisory Board were discussed in the Bills Digest for the Spring 2015 Repeal Bill.25 That discussion is reproduced here for ease of reference.

Abolition of the National Rural Advisory Council Under the Rural Adjustment Act 1992, the National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC) ‘was established as a statutory body in December 1999 as a skills-based independent advisory council’.26 The role of the NRAC is to provide the Agriculture Minister with advice and information on matters including rural adjustment, regional issues, and training.27 The NRAC may consist of up to eight members which must include:

• a chairperson

• an officer of the Department of Agriculture, to represent the Commonwealth

• a state or territory representative

• a National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) representative

• members with expertise in economics, financial administration, banking, sustainable agriculture, regional adjustment, regional development, farm management or training.28

In March 2014, the National Commission of Audit released Phase 2 of its report, which contained a recommendation that the NRAC (along with a number of other bodies within the Agriculture portfolio) be merged into the Department of Agriculture.29 Following on from the 2014-15 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook as part of the Government’s Smaller Government Reform Agenda it was announced that the NRAC

25. Ferris, Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Bill 2015, Bills digest, op. cit. 26. Explanatory Memorandum, Legislation Amendment Bill, op. cit., p. 24. 27. National Rural Advisory Council (NRAC), Annual report 2014-15, NRAC, Canberra, 30 June 2015, p. 2. 28. Ibid.

29. National Commission of Audit (NCoA), Towards responsible government—phase 2 of the report of the National Commission of Audit, NCoA, Canberra, 2014, p. 90.

Warning: All viewers of this digest are advised to visit the disclaimer appearing at the end of this document. The disclaimer sets out the status and purpose of the digest. Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 [and] Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 7

would be merged into the Agriculture Industry Advisory Council [AIAC]30 and ‘the positions of NRAC members were allowed to lapse or were revoked on 30 June 2015’.31

The Explanatory Memorandum explains that ‘information, advice and recommendations on issues affecting Australia’s agricultural, fishing, forestry and water sectors can now be fulfilled by the AIAC’.32 The AIAC was established in January 2014 and 10 members were appointed (which has increased to 12 members), with the Minister of Agriculture chairing the council.33 During the debate on the Bill in the House of Representatives the Member for Hunter, Mr Joel Fitzgibbon, argued that the AIAC was a poor substitute for the NRAC as it was not a statutory authority with reporting requirements and lacked an independent chair.34 In its submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources asserted that ‘the merging of the NRAC and the AIAC reduces duplication yet maintains the quality of information and advice provided to the Minister…on issues affecting the portfolio’.35

Abolition of the APVMA Advisory Board Section 14 of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 established the APVMA Advisory Board, whose role is:

…to provide advice and make recommendations to the CEO in relation to the performance of a function or the exercise of a power of the APVMA. The advisory board does not have decision-making power, but assists to inform the CEO on strategic matters and provides an expert consultative mechanism. The CEO is responsible for the governance and management of the authority, including the performance of its functions and the exercise of its powers.

36

The APVMA Advisory Board may consist of up to nine part-time members. When appointing members the Minister of Agriculture must ensure that:

• two Board members have experience in the regulation, under state or territory law, of chemical products

• one Board member has experience in the agricultural chemical industry

• one Board member has experience in the veterinary chemical industry

• one Board member has experience in primary production

• one Board member has experience in environmental toxicology, including knowledge of the effect of chemicals in ecosystems

• one Board member has experience in protecting consumer interests

• one Board member has experience in public health and occupational health and safety and

• if the Minister considers it necessary—one Board member has experience in a field relevant to the APVMA’s functions.37

As part of its goal to rationalise government bodies, the National Commission of Audit recommended that the APVMA Advisory Board be abolished.38 The Government agreed with this recommendation, arguing that other consultative mechanisms available under the APVMA’s legislation would be ‘more responsive and cost-effective’ than the continuation of the Advisory Board.39 The Explanatory Memorandum notes that the APVMA will still

30. M Cormann (Minister for Finance), Smaller government—towards a sustainable future, Ministerial paper, Minister for Finance, Canberra, December 2014, p. 9. 31. Explanatory Memorandum, Legislation Amendment Bill, op. cit., p. 24. 32. Ibid.

33. Department of Finance (DoF), ‘Agricultural Industry Advisory Council’, DoF website, 8 February 2017. 34. J Fitzgibbon, ‘Second reading speech: Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Bill 2015’, op. cit., p. 14473. 35. Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Inquiry into the Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2015) Bill 2015, 16 December 2015, p. 2.

36. Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA), ‘Advisory Board’, APVMA website, 6 November 2015. 37. Subsection 17(2) of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992. 38. National Commission of Audit (NCoA), Towards responsible government—phase 2 of the report of the National Commission of Audit, op. cit., p. 90.

39. PM&C, The Australian Government Spring Repeal Day November 2015, op. cit., p. 26.

Warning: All viewers of this digest are advised to visit the disclaimer appearing at the end of this document. The disclaimer sets out the status and purpose of the digest. Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 [and] Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 8

‘have a range of communication mechanisms in place that allow stakeholders to present their views on matters of chemical regulation’.40

Mr Fitzgibbon reportedly criticised the decision to abolish the Board, describing it as ‘another blow to Australia’s effort to protect its reputation as a provider of clean, green, safe and high quality food’.41 However, the Chief Executive of Animal Medicines Australia, Duncan Bremner has argued that the APVMA Advisory Board ‘had been redundant since its governance role was transferred to the minister several years ago’ and that government funding was better spent ‘employing direct expert engagement when required’.42

Key issues relating to new provisions

Farm Household Support - Delegation of rule-making power Item 28 in Part 1 of Schedule 1 amends the Farm Household Support Act 2014 to remove the ability for the Secretary to delegate the power to make Secretary’s Rules under section 106 of that Act. This will means that only the Secretary will be able to exercise the power to set the Secretary’s Rules. This responds to concerns raised by the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances in September 2014.43

Abolition of the Statutory Fishing Rights Allocation Review Panel Items 33 to 52 of Schedule 1 amend the Fisheries Management Act 1991 (Fisheries Act). Relevantly item 47 abolishes the Statutory Fishing Rights Allocation Review Panel (the Panel).

Section 124 of the Fisheries Act established the independent Panel, whose role is to review decisions made by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) or a Joint Commonwealth-state fisheries Authority relating to the provisional allocation of statutory fishing rights (SFR) under a plan of management (except when the rights have been allocated as a result of an auction or tender).44

According to the Explanatory Memorandum, the Panel was established to review the merits of the administrative decisions under the Fisheries Act during a period of significant reform, including the allocation of SFR.45 The Panel’s role in reviewing the allocation of SFR has diminished with most SFR grant processes now complete.46

The Panel was scheduled to be abolished in the 2015-16 Budget.47 The Explanatory Memorandum of the Legislation Amendment Bill notes that the review functions of the Panel will be transferred to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.48 In addition, in the first instance, requests may be made to AFMA to reconsider decisions relating to the allocation of statutory fishing rights.49

Tabling of certain documents in parliament Part 2 of Schedule 1 removes the requirement that certain documents, such as funding contracts, financial and other reports, be tabled in Parliament from the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997, Dairy Produce Act 1986, Forestry Marketing and Research and Development Services Act 2007 and Sugar Research and Development Services Act 2013.

Tabling of live export funding agreements and annual report Item 58 of Schedule 1 to the Legislation Amendment Bill repeals Division 4 of Part 3 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act. That Division contains four provisions—sections 68A to 68D—and applies if the Minister

40. More information on these mechanisms is set out at page 6 of the Explanatory Memorandum to the Legislation Amendment Bill. 41. A Vidot, ‘Animal Medicines Australia unconcerned by decision to scrap chemical regulator advisory board’, op. cit. 42. Ibid.

43. Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances, Report on the work of the committee in 2014-15, 120, July 2014-June 2015, The Senate, 2016, p.31. 44. DAWR, ‘Statutory Fishing Rights Allocation Review Panel (SFRARP)’, DAWR website, last reviewed 2 November 2015. 45. Explanatory Memorandum, Legislation Amendment Bill, op. cit., p. 13. 46. Ibid.

47. Australian Government, Budget measures: budget paper no. 2: 2015-16, p. 56; and M Cormann (Minister for Finance), Smaller government— transforming the public sector, media release, 11 May 2015, p. 4. 48. Explanatory Memorandum, Legislation Amendment Bill, op. cit., p. 13. 49. Ibid., p. 14. See also items 38 and 48 of the Bill, which amend sections 23 and 165 of the Fisheries Management Act 1991.

Warning: All viewers of this digest are advised to visit the disclaimer appearing at the end of this document. The disclaimer sets out the status and purpose of the digest. Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 [and] Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 9

enters into a funding agreement with the Australian Livestock Export Corporation Limited (LiveCorp)50 to pay that body amounts received by the Commonwealth under the Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999 from exporters of cattle, sheep and goats.51 If such an agreement is entered into, the Agriculture Minister is required to table a copy of the agreement, and any variations to the agreement, in both Houses of Parliament within 14 sitting days of the agreement being entered into or varied (section 68B).52

As soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, the Minister is also required to table a report in both Houses of Parliament that provides details of the amount of funding provided to LiveCorp under the funding agreement and advises whether the Minister is satisfied that the expenditure of those funds by LiveCorp complies with the terms of the funding agreement (section 68C).53

The Minister is also required to table annual reports provided by LiveCorp as soon as practicable after that report is received by the Minister (section 68D).54

Sections 68A to 68D were inserted into the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act in 2004, in response to recommendations of the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee.55 The recommendations aimed ‘to tighten the accountability arrangements for the livestock export industry’.56 The Committee stated:

Finally, the Committee notes the evidence recommending that LiveCorp be open and accountable for their activities. The Committee shares the view that the industry’s transparency and accountability will be critical to any future improvement of the industry’s image in the wake of the Cormo Express incident and the Keniry review …

While the Committee acknowledges that the terms of the draft Statutory Funding Agreement make provision for the Minister to receive a comprehensive annual report, there is no requirement for the Minister to table the report in parliament. The Committee is of the view that for the industry to be properly accountable to the parliament and the Australian people there should not only be a requirement to table the annual report but also a requirement for the Minister to provide a statement to the parliament outlining LiveCorp’s compliance with the provisions of the statutory funding agreement on an annual basis.

57

Item 58 will remove sections 68A to 68D from the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act. If this amendment is made, the Act will not impose any reporting requirements on LiveCorp. As a company limited by guarantee, LiveCorp is required to prepare annual financial reports under item 3 of the table in section 285A of the Corporations Act 2001.

Those requirements are:

• to prepare a financial report

• to prepare a directors report—although it is less detailed than that required of other companies

• to have the financial report audited and

50. LiveCorp is the declared livestock export marketing body and the declared livestock export research body under subsections 60(3) and (3A) of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act. See Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Live-stock Export Marketing Body and Live-stock Export Research Body) Declaration 2004.

51. See sections 64A and 64B of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 and clause 3 of Schedule 2 and clauses 3 to 5 of Schedule 11 to the Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999. 52. The current funding agreement with LiveCorp was tabled in both Houses on 12 September 2011. See: Australia, House of Representatives, Votes and proceedings, 64, 12 September 2011, p. 864; and Australia, Senate, Journals, 49, 12 September 2011, p. 1415. 53. The latest report tabled relates to the 2014-15 financial year. It was tabled in both Houses on 2 February 2016. See: Australia, House of

Representatives, Votes and proceedings, 167, 2 February 2016, p. 1829; and Australia, Senate, Journals, 135, 2 February 2016, p. 3632. 54. The latest LiveCorp Annual Report tabled in Parliament was the 2014-15 report, which was tabled on 2 February 2016. See: Australia, House of Representatives, Votes and proceedings, 167, 2 February 2016, p. 1829; and Australia, Senate, Journals, 135, 2 February 2016, p. 3632. The

2015-16 report is available on LiveCorp’s website, but has not yet been tabled. See: Australian Livestock Export Corporation Limited, Annual report 2015-16, North Sydney, 2016. 55. Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2004, The Senate, Canberra, September 2004, p. 18. The provisions were inserted by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation

Amendment Act (No. 2) 2004. 56. W Truss, ‘Second reading speech: Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2004’, House of Representatives, Debates, 17 November 2004, p. 12. 57. Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2)

2004, The Senate, Canberra, September 2004, pp. 17-18.

Warning: All viewers of this digest are advised to visit the disclaimer appearing at the end of this document. The disclaimer sets out the status and purpose of the digest. Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 [and] Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 10

• to give reports to any member who elects to receive them.

In addition, it is required to hold an annual general meeting.

The current funding agreement between the Government and LiveCorp requires LiveCorp to provide the Minister with Annual Reports for tabling in Parliament at the same time that the Corporations Act requires an annual report to be given to members.58 That agreement, which continues to apply to LiveCorp, was intended to operate from 2010 to 2014.59 The Department advises that negotiations on a new funding agreement will commence in 2016-17.60

If the amendments in item 58 are made, LiveCorp will have a statutory duty under the Corporations Act to provide annual financial reports to its members. It is not known whether the requirement in the current funding agreement to provide this report to the Minister will be replicated in the new agreement. It appears that LiveCorp would not be under a legislative obligation to make its annual financial report or funding agreement (or variations to it) public. In addition, there would be no requirement to bring these documents to the attention of the Parliament through tabling, which is one of the principal means by which the Parliament informs itself in relation to public affairs.61

Dairy Produce Act Items 59 to 64 of Schedule 1 to the Legislation Amendment Bill amend reporting requirements in the Dairy Produce Act.

Section 5 of the Dairy Produce Act allows the Agriculture Minister to enter into a funding contract with Dairy Australia (the industry services body declared under section 7) to provide funding received by the Commonwealth in relation to dairy products under the Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999 and ‘matching payments’ determined under the Dairy Produce Act. If such a funding contract is entered into, the Minister is currently required to table a copy of the contract, and any variations to the contract, in both Houses of Parliament (subsections 5(6) and (7) of the Dairy Produce Act). These tabling requirements would be removed by item 59 of Schedule 1 to the Bill.

As with LiveCorp, Dairy Australia is an industry-owned company limited by guarantee and is therefore required to comply with reporting requirements under the Corporations Act.62 This includes a requirement to prepare an annual financial report.63 Currently, Dairy Australia is required to provide this report to the Minister who is then required to table it in each House of Parliament within 14 sitting days (section 13 of the Dairy Produce Act). Item 61 of Schedule 1 to the Legislation Amendment Bill would remove the requirement for the Minister to table the report in Parliament.

Section 14 of the Dairy Produce Act requires the Minister to table reports covering each financial year. Each report is required to set out the amount of the levy collected by the Commonwealth in relation to dairy products under the Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act and a statement by the Minister as to whether he or she is satisfied that Dairy Australia has spent the money received from the Commonwealth in accordance with the funding contract. Section 14 will be removed from the Dairy Produce Act by item 62 of Schedule 1 to the Legislation Amendment Bill.

Schedule 2 of the Dairy Produce Act provides a framework for the Dairy Industry Adjustment Program (DAIP), which aimed to assist the dairy industry and dairy communities adjust to deregulation.64 It established the Dairy Structural Adjustment Fund (DSAF), to be administered by Dairy Australia.65 Clause 79C of Schedule 2 to the Dairy Produce Act requires Dairy Australia to give the Minister a report on the administration of the DSAF for each financial year and requires the Minister to table that report in Parliament within 15 sitting days of receiving

58. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Funding agreement 2010-2014 between the Commonwealth of Australia represented by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Australian Livestock Export Corporation Limited, 2010. 59. Ibid., clause 2. See also: Australian Livestock Export Corporation Limited (LiveCorp), Strategic plan 2016-2020, North Sydney, 2016, p. 28. 60. Australian Livestock Export Corporation Limited, Annual report 2015-16, op. cit., p.28. 61. H Evans, Odgers' Australian Senate Practice, 14th edn, The Senate, Canberra, 2016, p. 577. 62. Dairy Australia, Annual report 2015-16, Dairy Australia website, Melbourne, 2016, p. 60. 63. Section 292 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). 64. Clause 1 of Schedule 2 to the Dairy Produce Act. 65. Clause 77 of Schedule 2 to the Dairy Produce Act.

Warning: All viewers of this digest are advised to visit the disclaimer appearing at the end of this document. The disclaimer sets out the status and purpose of the digest. Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 [and] Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 11

it. Item 64 of Schedule 1 to the Legislation Amendment Bill will remove the requirement for the Minister to table this report in Parliament. The Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill states that ‘the report is no longer produced as the DSAF wound up in July 2009’ and any administrative matters relating to the DSAF are now handled by the Department’.66 If this is the case, it is not clear why the requirement for the report to be provided to the Minister is not being removed from the Dairy Produce Act, along with the requirement to table the report.

If the amendments proposed in items 59 to 64 are made, Dairy Australia will have a statutory duty under the Corporations Act to provide annual financial reports to its members and an obligation under the Dairy Produce Act to provide that report to the Minister. It appears that Dairy Australia would not be under a legislative obligation to make its annual financial report or funding agreement (or variations to it) public or bring these documents to the attention of the Parliament through tabling.

Forestry Marketing and Research and Development Services Act Section 8 of the Forestry Marketing and Research and Development Services Act (Forestry Act) allows the Agriculture Minister to enter into a funding contract with Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA, which is the industry services body declared under section 11) to provide funding received by the Commonwealth, primarily from levies and charges relating to forestry collected under the Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act and the Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act and ‘matching payments’ determined under the Forestry Act. If such a funding contract is entered into, the Minister is currently required to table a copy of the contract, and any variations to the contract, in both Houses of Parliament (subsections 8(6) and (7) of the Forestry Act). These requirements would be removed by item 65 of Schedule 1 to the Bill.

As with LiveCorp and Dairy Australia, FWPA is an industry-owned company limited by guarantee and is therefore required to comply with reporting requirements under the Corporations Act.67 There are no requirements in the Corporations Act that would compel FWPA to make funding agreements with the Commonwealth public or to table these documents in Parliament.

Sugar Research and Development Services Act Section 6 of the Sugar Research and Development Services Act (Sugar Act) allows the Agriculture Minister to enter into a funding contract with Sugar Research Australia Limited (SRA, which is the industry services body declared under section 9) to provide funding received by the Commonwealth as levies relating to sugar cane collected under the Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act and the Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991, as well as ‘matching payments’ determined under the Sugar Act. If such a funding contract is entered into, the Minister is currently required to table a copy of the contract, and any variations to the contract, in both Houses of Parliament (subsections 6(6) and (7) of the Sugar Act). These tabling requirements would be removed by item 66 of Schedule 1 to the Bill.

As with LiveCorp, Dairy Australia and FWPA, SRA is an industry-owned company limited by guarantee and is therefore required to comply with reporting requirements under the Corporations Act.68 There are no requirements in the Corporations Act that would compel SRA to make funding agreements with the Commonwealth public or to table these documents in Parliament.

Repeal of various Acts In addition to the Acts that were proposed to be repealed by the Spring 2015 Repeal Bill (outlined above), Part 1 of Schedule 2 repeals a number of other Acts that are suggested to be redundant or spent. The Quarantine (Validation of Fees) Act 1985, for example (repealed by item 9 of Schedule 2 to the Legislation Amendment Bill), relates to the Quarantine Act 1908, which is no longer in force. Similarly, the Export Inspection Charges Collection Act 1985, Export Inspection (Establishment Registration Charges) Act 1985, Export Inspection (Quantity Charge) Act 1985 and Export Inspection (Service Charge) Act 1985 (repealed by items 3 to 6 of Schedule 2) have been superseded by the Export Charges (Collection) Act 2015, Export Charges (Imposition—General) Act 2015, Export Charges (Imposition—Excise) Act 2015 and Export Charges (Imposition—Customs) Act 2015.

66. Explanatory Memorandum, Legislation Amendment Bill, op. cit., p. 20. 67. Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA), Annual report 2015-16, FWPA website, Melbourne, 2016, p. 8. 68. Sugar Research Australia (SRA), Annual report 2015-16, SRA website, Brisbane, 2016, p. 4.

Warning: All viewers of this digest are advised to visit the disclaimer appearing at the end of this document. The disclaimer sets out the status and purpose of the digest. Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 [and] Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 12

Excise Levies Legislation Amendment (Honey) Bill 2016 The National Residue Survey Levy and a honey levy must be paid on the sale of honey in Australia.69 However, neither levy is payable if the buyer gives the seller a certificate indicating that the buyer intends to export the honey.70 According to the Explanatory Memorandum to the Honey Bill, participants in the honey industry no longer issue, receive or rely upon these certificates.71 Items 2 and 4 of the Honey Bill will remove the requirement for such a certificate to be provided by the buyer under both the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998 and the Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999. Items 1 and 3 make consequential amendments.

Concluding comments The Legislation Amendment Bill replicates controversial provisions from the Spring 2015 Repeal Bill to abolish the National Rural Advisory Council and the APMVA Advisory Board. It also removes reporting and tabling requirements relating to Commonwealth funding agreements with industry-owned rural research and development corporations, including the live export research and marketing body, LiveCorp. Given the political sensitivity of live export and concerns with the industry’s transparency and accountability, it could be expected that some members of the public and politicians might be uneasy with reduced reporting and tabling requirements. As mentioned above, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is currently negotiating a new funding agreement with LiveCorp. There will be no requirement to make this funding agreement public if the amendments proposed in Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Bill are enacted.

© Commonwealth of Australia

Creative Commons

With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, and to the extent that copyright subsists in a third party, this publication, its logo and front page design are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia licence.

In essence, you are free to copy and communicate this work in its current form for all non-commercial purposes, as long as you attribute the work to the author and abide by the other licence terms. The work cannot be adapted or modified in any way. Content from this publication should be attributed in the following way: Author(s), Title of publication, Series Name and No, Publisher, Date.

To the extent that copyright subsists in third party quotes it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.

Inquiries regarding the licence and any use of the publication are welcome to webmanager@aph.gov.au.

Disclaimer: Bills Digests are prepared to support the work of the Australian Parliament. They are produced under time and resource constraints and aim to be available in time for debate in the Chambers. The views expressed in Bills Digests do not reflect an official position of the Australian Parliamentary Library, nor do they constitute professional legal opinion. Bills Digests reflect the relevant legislation as introduced and do not canvass subsequent amendments or developments. Other sources should be consulted to determine the official status of the Bill.

Any concerns or complaints should be directed to the Parliamentary Librarian. Parliamentary Library staff are available to discuss the contents of publications with Senators and Members and their staff. To access this service, clients may contact the author or the Library’s Central Enquiry Point for referral.

Members, Senators and Parliamentary staff can obtain further information from the Parliamentary Library on (02) 6277 2500.

69. The National Residue Survey tests ‘animal and plant products for pesticide and veterinary medicine residues, and environmental contaminants’: Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR), ‘National Residue Survey’, DAWR website, 15 November 2016. Participating industries fund the Survey through statutory levies.

70. Clause 2 of Schedule 7 to the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998 and clause 2 of Schedule 14 to the Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999. 71. Explanatory Memorandum, Honey Bill, op. cit., p. 2.