618, LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, 22 August 1978
Received from the House of Assembly and read a first time.
The Hon. B. A. CHATTERTON (Minister of Agriculture): I move:
That this Bill be now read a second time.
This Bill has two functions. These are to enable the Australian Barley Board to make early payments to growers of barley and oats for grain delivered to the board, and to extend the Governor’s powers to make regulations under the Act so that regulations may be made governing the eligibility of growers to vote for representation on the board. Under the present legislation, the board is unable to pay growers until it becomes aware of the expenditure that it has incurred in relation to the transport, storage and marketing of the grain in question. The Act does not permit the board to make payments pursuant to an estimation of these outgoings. This restriction is capable of causing considerable delay, and financial inconvenience to growers.
The Australian Wheat Board, which operates under a different Act, is not fettered in this manner, and consequently is able to make more prompt payments. Both the Government and the Australian Barley Board believe that the prevailing restrictions in the Barley Marketing Act ought to be removed. This Bill, therefore, will provide for minor amendments to the Act that, will enable the board to make payments on the basis of estimated expenditure for transport, storage and marketing.
Turning now to the second matter which is the subject of this Bill, the board has experienced certain difficulties in the past in identifying persons who are eligible to vote for representative board members. Investigations have shown that the most efficient means of identification would be through the board’s own register of deliveries, with the stipulation that growers must have lodged a certain minimum tonnage of grain with the board in the previous season to be eligible. The most satisfactory method of introducing such a scheme would be by regulation, but this is precluded by the existing terms of the Act. Consequently, the Bill seeks to modify the regulation-making power so that suitable, measures can be introduced. I seek leave to have the explanation of the clauses inserted in Hansard without my reading it.
Explanation of Clauses
Clause 1 is formal. Clause 2 amends section 19 of the Act, which sets out the manner in which the price to be paid by the board for barley is determined. The amendments enable the board to estimate the costs of transport, storage and marketing in order to finalise its calculations. Clause 3 provides for a corresponding amendment to section 19a of the principal Act, which deals with payments for oats.
Clause 4 repeals section 21 of the principal Act, which contains the regulation-making power, and enacts a new section in its place. This restates the existing powers and introduces a new authority to prescribe the manner in which elections contemplated by the Act are to be held, and the eligibility of persons to vote in those elections.
The Hon. R. A. GEDDES secured the adjournment of the debate.