Bills Digest No. 81   1997-98 Beef Production Levy Amendment Bill 1997


Numerical Index | Alphabetical Index

WARNING:
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

CONTENTS

Passage History

Beef Production Levy Amendment Bill 1997

Date Introduced: 1 October 1997
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Primary Industries and Energy
Commencement: On the same day as Part 3 of the proposed Australian Meat and Live- stock Industry Act 1997, that is, on Proclamation or nine months and one day after Royal Assent, whichever is first.

Purpose

This Bill forms part of a package of 17 Bills restructuring the regulatory framework of the Australian meat and live-stock industry. The major provisions of this Bill:

  • replace the Meat Industry Council (MIC), Australian Meat and Live-stock Corporation (AMLC) and Meat Research Corporation (MRC) with the proposed industry marketing and research bodies as levy recipient bodies; and
  • allow the levy rate to be set at zero.

Background

Under existing law a levy is imposed by the Beef Production Levy Act 1990 (the Principal Act) on the slaughter at an abattoir of cattle for human consumption. The levy is payable by the person who owns the carcase immediately after its hot carcase weight is determined. The term 'cattle' is defined in the Principal Act as bovine animals other than buffalo. The term 'hot carcase weight' is defined in the Principal Act as the weight of a carcase weighed within two hours of slaughter.

The Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991 provides for the collection of the levy. Proceeds raised by the levy are disbursed between the MIC, AMLC and the MRC.

This Bill forms part of a package of 17 Bills restructuring the regulatory framework of the Australian meat and live-stock industry. Under existing levy and charge arrangements, funds raised primarily go towards funding the MIC, AMLC and MRC. Under the proposed arrangements the government intends that industry contributions will be sourced on a statutory and non-statutory basis. The collection of statutory levies is intended to be based on the current system but with changes providing for a transaction levy on sheep, lambs and goats, replacing the current livestock slaughter levy, and a separate transaction levy on grain fed cattle.

The rationale given by the Minister in the Second Reading Speech to the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997 for the transaction levy approach is:

  • The transaction levy approach for sheep, lambs and goats was adopted at the request of a clear majority of industry whose submission met all of the requirements of the government's levy principles. A similar request was also submitted by the grain fed cattle industry sector for a separate cattle transaction levy. Again this submission met each of the Government's levy principles.
  • The existing levy and charge imposition Acts have been modified to provide for clear sectoral ownership.i

In relation to non-statutory contributions, the government is setting the processor and exporter levies at zero. It should be noted that the Minister in the Second Reading Speech to the Bill issues a warning in respect of such contributions, that is:

  • Should the non-statutory contributions by processors and livestock exporters fail to meet agreed funding levels for joint industry functions, and as specifically agreed by these two sectors, the Government has their prior agreement to maintain levies at a required level to ensure there is adequate funding.ii

Under the proposed arrangements, the government intends that decisions on levels of levies and charges be the responsibility of peak industry council.

The reader is also referred to the Digest for the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997.

Main Provisions

Items 1-5 of Schedule 1 of the Bill repeal the definitions of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Corporation (AMLC), Meat Industry Council (MIC), Meat Research Corporation (MRC) and insert new definitions of marketing body and research body. The latter two bodies are replacing the MIC, AMLC and MRC as levy recipient bodies. Clause 60 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997 provides the Minister with power to declare a body to either the industry marketing body, industry research body, or both a marketing and research body.

Section 5 of the Principal Act imposes a levy on the slaughter at an abattoir of cattle for human consumption. A new section 5A is inserted in the Principal Act by item 6 of Schedule 1 of the Bill which provides that the regulations may provide that no amount of levy is payable by cattle owners under the Principal Act.

Section 6 of the Principal Act sets out the rate of levy imposed on the slaughter at an abattoir of cattle for human consumption. Item 7 of Schedule 1 of the Bill repeals paragraphs 6(1)(a)-(c) of the Principal Act which assign a portion of the levy to the MIC, AMLC and MRC and inserts new paragraphs 6(1)(a)-(b) which assigns a portion of the levy to the proposed marketing body (a prescribed amount not exceeding 6 cents per kilogram), and proposed research body (a prescribed amount not exceeding 1 cent per kilogram).

Endnotes

  1. Second Reading Speech, Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997: 10
  2. Ibid: 11

Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Ian Ireland
4 November 1997
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services

This paper has been prepared for general distribution to Senators and Members of the Australian Parliament. While great care is taken to ensure that the paper is accurate and balanced, the paper is written using information publicly available at the time of production. The views expressed are those of the author and should not be attributed to the Information and Research Services (IRS). Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion. Readers are reminded that the paper is not an official parliamentary or Australian government document.

IRS staff are available to discuss the paper's contents with Senators and Members
and their staff but not with members of the public.

ISSN 1328-8091
© Commonwealth of Australia 1997

Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Parliamentary Library, other than by Members of the Australian Parliament in the course of their official duties.

Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 1997.

This page was prepared by the Parliamentary Library, Commonwealth of Australia
Last updated: 12 November 1997
Comments or suggestions to dpl.publications@aph.gov.au.

Back to top


Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print
Back to top