Received from the Legislative Council and read a first time.
The Hon. HUGH HUDSON (Minister of Education);
I ask leave to have the second reading explanation inserted in Hansard without my reading it.
Explanation of Bill
For some time now it has become apparent that the Artificial Breeding Board established under the principal Act, the Artificial Breeding Act 1961-1974, can no longer provide the services it was established for and at the same time remain financially solvent.
Evidence of this situation may be obtained from a perusal of the Auditor General’s Report for the financial year ended June 30, 1974, at page 244. Two reasons are suggested for the present situation: first: the growth of “private” inseminators and the demonstrated preference of users for their products with a corresponding decline in the demand for board semen; and secondly, the necessarily high and irreducible overhead of the board with a resultant worsening of its financial position.
With the foregoing in mind the board has proposed to the Government that an arrangement be entered into with the Victorian Artificial Breeders Cooperative Society, an organisation having experience in this work, to the end that the organisation carries out such of the functions of the board as are still economically viable in combination with its own activities. In the circumstances the Government agrees that such a proposal is probably the best solution to the problem, since it will still leave the board in existence so that if, at some time in the future, there is a demonstrated need for a resumption of some or all of its activities the legal framework will be there.
Clause 1 is formal. Clause 2 amends section 3 of the principal Act and sets out the definitions necessary for the purposes of the Bill. Clause 3- amends section 22 of the principal Act by providing the machinery to, if necessary, give effect to proposed new section 24a, Section 22 deals with the making of land and facilities of the Crown or a public authority available to the board. Clause 4 by inserting a new section 24a in the principal Act empowers the board, with the approval of the Minister, to enter into an agreement of the kind referred to in that section. Clause 5 provides an appropriate regulation-making power to ensure that only semen from proven sires is used in artificial insemination programmes.
Mr. DEAN BROWN secured the adjournment of the debate.