Bills Digest No. 85   1997-98 Cattle (Producers) Export Charges Bill 1997


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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

Cattle (Producers) Export Charges 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

To impose a charge, payable by the producer, on:

  • cattle, other than dairy cattle, exported from Australia where the levy under the proposed Cattle Transactions Levy Act 1997 has not been paid, and is not payable; and
  • cattle purchased by an exporter and held by the exporter for a period that is more than 60 days, or the period for which the cattle are required to be held in quarantine, whichever is the longer.

Background

Under existing law section 5 of the Cattle Export Charges Act 1990 imposes a charge on:

  • cattle, other than dairy cattle, exported from Australia;
  • cattle, other than dairy cattle, exported from Australia on or after 1 February 1991 if the levy imposed by the Cattle Transaction Levy Act 1995 has not been paid, and is not payable in respect of an act or transaction relating to the cattle; or
  • cattle, other than dairy cattle, exported from Australia on or after 1 July 1995 where: the cattle were bought by the exporter, and the period between the date of purchase and export is longer than 60 days, or the period for which the cattle are required to be held in quarantine.

The charge is payable by the exporter of the cattle.

The Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991 provides for the collection of the charge. Proceeds raised by the charge are disbursed between the Meat Industry Council (MIC), Australian Meat and Live-stock Corporation (AMLC), Meat Research Corporation (MRC), National Cattle Disease Eradication Trust Account (NCDE) and the Australian Animal Health Council Limited (AAHC).

The Cattle Export Charges Act 1990 will be repealed by item 1 of Schedule 4 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Repeals and Consequential Provisions) Bill 1997.

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.(1)

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.(2)

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

In respect to this Bill and the Cattle (Exporters) Export Charges Bill 1997, the Minister in the Second Reading Speech to the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997 provides a rationale for the repeal of the Cattle Export Charges Act 1990 and the proposed separate producer/exporter charge arrangements, that is:

This allows for subsequent reduction of the export sector levy components to zero, when that sector delivers on its funding commitments under the new partnership arrangements.(3)

Main Provisions

Clause 4 imposes a charge on:

  • cattle, other than dairy cattle, exported from Australia where the levy under the proposed Cattle Transactions Levy Act 1997 has not been paid, and is not payable; and
  • cattle purchased by an exporter and held by the exporter for a period that is more than 60 days, or the period for which the cattle are required to be held in quarantine, whichever is the longer.

The term 'cattle' is defined by clause 3 to mean bovine animals other than buffalo.

Clause 5 provides that the rate of charge on the export of each head of cattle (other than a chargeable bobby calf) will be:

  • $2.16, or a prescribed amount up to $6.50, for payment to the marketing body (see clauses 60-66 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997);
  • 72 cents, or a prescribed amount up to $2.00, for payment to the research body (see clauses 60-66 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997);
  • 17 cents, or a prescribed amount up to $4.00, for payment to the NCDE; and
  • 13 cents, or a prescribed amount up to 50 cents, for payment to the AAHC.

The rate of charge on the export of each head of cattle that is a chargeable bobby calf will be:

  • 48 cents, or a prescribed amount up to $1.90, for payment to the marketing body;
  • 16 cents, or a prescribed amount up to 40 cents, for payment to the research body;
  • a prescribed amount up to 20 cents, if any, for payment to the NCDE; and
  • a prescribed amount up to 50 cents, if any, for payment to the AAHC.

The term 'bobby calf' is defined by clause 3 to mean a bovine animal, other than a buffalo, which at the time of export with a liveweight not exceeding 80kg, or which has not had its liveweight determined at export but which would if slaughtered at that time have a dressed carcase weight not exceeding 40kg.

The charge will be payable by the producer of the cattle (clause 6).

Endnotes

  1. Second Reading Speech, Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997:10
  2. Ibid: 11
  3. Ibid: 16

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.

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ISSN 1328-8091
© Commonwealth of Australia 1997

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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


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