Bills Digest 133 1996-97 Dairy Produce Levy (No. 1) Amendment Bill 1997

Numerical Index | Alphabetical Index

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.


Passage History

Dairy Produce Levy (No. 1) Amendment Bill 1997

Date Introduced: 5 March 1997
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Primary Industries and Energy
Commencement: As specified in the 'Main Provisions' section of this Digest


To impose a levy on milk producers to fund the dairy industry's contribution to the Australian Animal Health Council Ltd. The Bill also doubles the maximum research levy rate which may be prescribed.


The major amendments proposed by the Bill are aimed at directing funds to the Australian Animal Health Council Ltd.

Australian Animal Health Council Ltd

Australian Animal Health Council Limited (AAHC Ltd) is an unlisted public company limited by guarantee. AAHC Ltd was established following agreement on 18 August 1995 by the Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (ARMCANZ).

The objects of AAHC Ltd, as specified in its Memorandum of Association, include to:

  • assist the Australian animal health service system in maintaining acceptable national animal health standards aimed at meeting consumer needs and market requirements at home and overseas;
  • advise and advocate action to industry and government on:

    (i) strategic national animal health priorities;

    (ii) animal health system delivery arrangements and resources;

    (iii) nationally consistent animal health policy;

  • establish and manage a national animal health information system;
  • develop, manage and evaluate national animal health programs;
  • have an involvement in residue related issues as they relate to animal health and impact on commercial performances;
  • have international status as the national animal health policy and advisory body;
  • undertake commissioned animal health service projects; and
  • arrange for, or to assist in, research and development into matters pertaining to animal health.

The Articles of Association of AAHC Ltd provide that there are three different groups of members of the company, each with equal status. These are the Commonwealth, the State and Territories and industry organisations. Industry organisations include the Australian Chicken Meat Federation, Australian Egg Industry Association, Australian Dairy Farmers' Federation, Australian Veterinary Association Limited, Cattle Council of Australia, Pork Council of Australia Limited, Sheepmeat Council of Australia, Australian Horse Council and Wool Council of Australia.

With respect to funding of AAHC Ltd activities, funding comprises three broad groupings. Administration and Operation of AAHC along with Key National Animal Health Programs will be covered by core funding and other National Animal Health Programs will have alternate funding arrangements to be determined on a case by case basis. Administration and Operations will be funded to an amount of $840,000 with a sharing of this amount on a one third each basis by the Commonwealth, States, Territories and industry.

The Key National Animal Health Programs, which are intended to address the national information system and national preparedness with respect to animal diseases, will be financed to an amount of $900,000 for 1995-96 on the same shared basis as for administration and operations. The Key National Animal Health Programs are intended to be the basis for implementing AAHC policy and strategy and addressing relevant national issues. They are intended to each have specific objectives, time frames, performance targets, funding and fund sharing arrangements.

Exotic Animal Disease Preparedness Consultative Council

The functions of the Exotic Animal Diseases Preparedness Consultative Council (EXANDIS) were subsumed into the Australian Animal Health Council. All provisions of the Exotic Animal Disease Control Act 1989, which established EXANDIS, ceased to have effect on 31 December 1995. The statutory functions of EXANDIS included to inquire into, assess, and report to the Minister on:

  • the adequacy of the strategies and procedures provided in any approved veterinary emergency plan, particularly in relation to planning, implementation, training, plant and equipment; and
  • the social and economic effects of exotic animal disease outbreaks, and principles concerning rehabilitation and compensation.

EXANDIS was funded by the EXANDIS component of levies on laying chickens, live-stock, chicken meat, pig meat, goat meat, milk and wool. The Commonwealth matched industry contributions on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

EXANDIS Recommendations To AAHC Ltd

In its final Annual Report EXANDIS urged government and industry to maintain through AAHC Limited a high level of continued activity aimed at protecting Australia against exotic animal diseases and preparing for any outbreaks. EXANDIS considered that the greatest exotic animal disease threats to Australia are foot and mouth disease, Newcastle disease, bluetongue and classical swine fever.

EXANDIS made a number of recommendations to AAHC Ltd, including.

  • AAHC Ltd should define the field and laboratory services needed to detect an exotic animal disease and respond quickly and effectively to an outbreak;
  • AAHC Ltd should define the mix of public and private services, the role of industry in managing disease outbreaks and how these should be audited and reviewed to ensure they comply with domestic and international standards;
  • AAHC Ltd continue the national disease watch hotline to facilitate reporting and investigation of any unusual animal incidents and all States and Territories ensure resources are made available to enable this service to continue;
  • AAHC Ltd and Commonwealth and State governments recognise the current deficiency of epidemiological data needed for an effective disease surveillance system;
  • AAHC Ltd include in future national animal health policy development, the development of management and funding options to enable formation of national animal health emergency task forces which can be put in place and used very quickly for a range of animal health and veterinary public health emergencies; and
  • AAHC Ltd recommend that training of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders in exotic animal disease awareness be incorporated into other training programs being conducted by the Department of Employment, Education and Training and the Department of Health.

Research Levy

The Bill proposes to double the maximum research levy rate which may be prescribed. The rationale given by the Minister in the Second Reading Speech to the Bill for the doubling is that:

... the current operational research levy rate, which partially funds the activities of dairy research and development corporation, is very close to the legislated maximum rate. The present situation provides very little scope for further increases and may significantly curtail the ability of the Dairy Research and Development Corporation to respond to the needs of the industry in the near future.

According to the Government, the doubling of the levy rate has the support of the Australian Dairy Industry Council. The author of this Digest has been unable to find any evidence to refute this assertion.

Main Provisions

The term 'Federation' is defined by item 1 of Schedule 1 of the Bill to mean the Australian Dairy Farmers' Federation Ltd.

A levy to be known as the Australian Animal Health Council levy is imposed on whole milk and whole milk products produced from 1 July 1997 by item 2 of Schedule 1 of the Bill. Item 2 will only apply if the Bill receives Royal Assent before 1 July 1997.

A levy to be known as the Australian Animal Health Council levy is imposed on whole milk and whole milk products produced from 1 July 1998 by item 3 of Schedule 1 of the Bill. Item 3 will only apply if the Bill receives Royal Assent after 1 July 1997.

Items 5 and 7 of Schedule 1 of the Bill double the maximum rate of levy which may be prescribed for dairy research.

Items 6 and 8 of Schedule 1 of the Bill set the maximum rate of Australian Animal Health Council levy which may be prescribed. The rate of levy comprises two elements, the milk fat rate and protein rate. The maximum rate which may be prescribed in respect of the milk fat rate is 0.058 cents per kilogram of milk fat, and 0.13850 cents per kilogram of protein in respect of the protein rate.

The effect of item 9 of Schedule 1 of the Bill is to make the producer of whole milk and whole milk products liable to pay the Australian Animal Health Council levy.

A new subsection 14(2A) is inserted in the Dairy Produce Levy (No. 1) Act 1986by item 11 of Schedule 1 which requires the Governor-General before setting rates for the Australian Animal Health Council levy to consider any report relating to the rates made to the Minister by the executive of the Federation.

Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Ian Ireland
5 May 1997
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine whether the Bill has been enacted and, if so, whether the subsequent Act reflects further amendments.

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: 9 May 1997

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