Received from the House of Assembly and read a first time.
The Hon. T. M. CASEY (Minister of Agriculture): I move:
That this Bill be now read a second time.
This short Bill provides For some changes of considerable importance affecting dairy farms and other establishments in this State which are licenced under the Dairy Industry Act, 1928, as amended. Briefly, it provides: (a) that the Agriculture Departmcnt will be the sole licensing authority (previously, this function was shared between the police and the department); (b) that licence fees for dairy farms will be fixed at a flat $4 (previously, the fees were based on the number of animals milked on each dairy farm and that other licence fees will be somewhat increased. (c) that all licence fees and penalties will accrue to the Dairy Cattle Fund constituted under the Dairy Cattle Improvement Ad, 1921, and will accordingly be available for the benefit of the industry generally; and (d) for additional regulating powers to ensure that standards of dairy products production will continue to rise. To consider the Bill in some detail:
Clauses 1 and 2 are formal. Clause 3 amends section 7 of the principal Act which deals with licensing generally. At paragraph (a) the reference to an officer in charge of a police station is struck out, since police officers will no longer be concerned in licensing activity. At paragraph (b) the licence fees are fixed at $4 for a dairy farm in lieu of 5c for each animal, at $10 for a factory in lieu of $8, and at $4 for a creamery, store or milk depot in lieu of $1. At paragraph (c) those provisions of the principal Act that are now redundant have been omitted. For the same reason at paragraph (d) subsection (13) has been struck out.
Clause 4 provides that the powers of inspection of an inspector may be exercised at any seaport or airport as well as in the places specified in section 11 of the principal Act. Clause 5 makes a minor drafting amendment to section 13 of the principal Act by inserting in that section a reference to ‘milk depot” that was previously omitted. Clause 6 provides for all fees, charges and penalties collected or paid under the Act to accrue to the Dairy Cattle Fund and hence be available for the improvement of dairy cattle and the promotion of the dairy industry generally. Clause 7 provides for additional regulation-making powers in the areas specified. In the nature of things regulations made under this head of power will be subject to the scrutiny of this Council and, in addition, this clause provides for regulations to be made requiring compliance with future variations of standards set by the Australian Standards Association as these variations become applicable.
The Hon. C. R. STORY (Midland): This short Bill will have a real impact on the industry. The present position has operated since 1928. In Committee, I will ask the Minister one or two questions about how much the industry desires this Bill or whether it is something the department has asked for and to which the Minister has agreed. In common with several things that have happened in the last year or two, the licence fees will be increased. A flat rate of $4 for each dairy farm will be imposed, whereas in the past the fee has been based on the number of animals milked on every dairy farm.
Other licence fees will also be increased. There is no doubt front the Minister's or the department’s point of view that one must always expect slight increases in fees. I only want to be assured that the industry as a whole is agreeable to paying a flat rate of $4, which is not inconsiderable when compared to the old licence fees. Under the terms of the Daity Cattle Fund constituted under the Dairy Cattle Improvement Act, 1921, I believe that we must change with the changing times.
The Hon. T. M. Casey: The money goes into the fund, which can be used by the industry.
The Hon. C. R. STORY; The money belongs to the fund, but it is a matter of whether the imposition falls equitably on all sections of the industry. There have been instances where the dairy industry has carried the burden for a long time and has paid heavily into funds, some of which were mentioned earlier today. Outside areas have now cashed in on—
The PRESIDENT: Order! The time has arrived for the conferences to be held between this and another place. The honourable member may resume making his speech when the Council reassembles. I suggest that he seek leave to conclude his remarks.
The Hon. C. R. STORY: Mr. President, I seek leave to conclude my remarks.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.