The Hon. HUGH HUDSON (Minister of Education):
That this Bill be now read a second time.
It is designed to give effect to certain reciprocal arrangements agreed upon by the States, and it clarifies several matters relating to the keeping of bees for the production and sale of honey. Two recommendations of a meeting of State departmental representatives in this area have been adopted by the Government and require amendments to the principal Act, the Apiaries Act, 1931-1964. The recommendations were that bees kept in accordance with the corresponding law of another State and brought into this State be exempted from registration under the principal Act for a period of 90 days in any year, and that, during that period, if the hives are branded in accordance with the corresponding law, they also be exempted from the branding requirements of the principal Act. As the remainder of the explanation deals with the clauses, I seek leave to have it inserted in Hansard without my reading it.
EXPLANATION OF CLAUSES The recent introduction of the solitary bee Megachile rotunda (leaf cutters) from Canada requires the scope of the principal Act to be confined to honey bees and, accordingly, this Bill makes provision for a definition of “bee” to be inserted in the principal Act. In addition, the opportunity is being taken in this amending measure to schedule a disease, chalk brood, that is common to all genera of bees, although at present unknown in Australia; to bring in a three-year registration period; and to increase the penalties for offences.
Clause 1 is formal. Clause 2 provides that the measure shall come into operation on a day to be fixed by proclamation. Clause 3 inserts in the definition section of the principal Act a definition of “bee” and of “corresponding law”. As to the latter, provision is made in this clause for the corresponding law to be specified by proclamation. Clause 4 repeals section 5 of the principal Act and provides for a new section requiring registration of beekeepers. The registration is proposed to be for a three-year period, all registrations other than new registrations being dealt with at the same time. This provision includes the exemption from registration in respect of bees brought from outside the State. Clauses 5 to 9 increase present penalties of $40 to $200. Clause 10 is consequential to clause 4 and requires that bees be kept only in frame-hives.
Clause 11 substitutes a new provision, requiring the branding of hives, for the present section 13a of the principal Act and exempts hives from the branding require¬ments of that section while they are being kept in the State by an exempted beekeeper if they are branded under a corresponding law of another State or Territory. Clause 12 makes consequential amendments to section 19 of the principal Act, which empowers the making of regulations and also increases the maximum for penalties under the regulations from $40 to $200. Clause 13 adds the disease ascosphaera apis (chalk brood) to the list of diseases in the schedule to the principal Act.
Mr. CHAPMAN secured the adjournment of the debate.