Bills Digest No. 91   1997-98 National Residue Survey (Buffalo Slaughter) Levy 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

National Residue Survey (Buffalo Slaughter) Levy 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 levy for funding the National Residue Survey on the slaughter at an abattoir of buffaloes for human consumption. The levy will be payable by the person who owns the buffaloes when slaughter takes place.

Background

There are basically three main on-going Commonwealth programs which test foodstuffs for residues: the Australian Market Basket Survey (a biennial survey of pesticide and heavy metal residues in processed and unprocessed foods featuring in the average Australian's diet); the Imported Foods Inspection Program (this program inspects imported foods for microbiological or other contamination at the point of entry into the country); and the National Residue Survey (NRS).

NRS is a monitoring program for residues of chemical contaminants in agricultural and fisheries food commodities, animal feed and fibre products. The mission of the NRS is to:

monitor, assess and report on the levels of chemical residues in commodities produced by Australian agriculture and fisheries industries, to give domestic and international consumers confidence in the quality and safety of those products by:

  • providing an independent and authoritative audit of commodities' chemical residue status;
  • identifying chemical residue problems, their causes and possible solutions;
  • providing scientific advice on the management of chemical residue problems, and the prevention of contamination;
  • contributing to the development of industry and national chemical residue policy; and

thereby advancing the health of the general population.

Funds for the operations of NRS are provided from five sources, the principal being levies paid by participating industries. Levy receipts totalled $5,815,278 in 1995-96. Administration of such funds is through the National Residue Survey Administration Act 1992.

The National Residue Survey Administration Act 1992 provides for the administration of the NRS, including the operative rates of NRS levy or charge; the maximum rates at which NRS levy or charge may be prescribed; the products and activities on which liability to pay NRS levy or charge arise; and purposes for which money collected from NRS levy or charge may be spent.

The National Residue Survey (Live-stock Slaughter) Levy Act 1992 imposes a levy on deer, sheep, lambs, goats, donkeys, mules, buffaloes and pigs.

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 the peak industry councils.

In respect to this Bill, the Minister in the Second Reading Speech to the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Bill 1997 states:

A revised set of national residue survey bills has been included in this package to allow for continuation of the provision of producer linked payments on cattle, buffalo, sheep, lambs and goats.(3)

Effectively, the Bill replaces provisions for the imposition of the levy contained in the National Residue Survey (Livestock Slaughter) Act 1992. Consequential amendments to that Act are contained in the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry (Repeals and Consequential Provisions) Bill 1997.

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

Main Provisions

Clause 5 imposes a levy on the slaughter of buffaloes at an abattoir for human consumption provided levy is payable on the slaughter of the buffaloes under the proposed Buffalo Slaughter Levy Act 1997.

Clause 6 provides that the rate of levy on each head of buffaloes slaughtered will be $5.00, or a prescribed amount not exceeding $5.00.

The levy will be payable by the person (including a State/Territory or State/Territory authority) who owns the buffaloes when slaughter takes place (clause 7).

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.

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

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