Wednesday 31 October 2012
Hansard of the Legislative Council
POISONS AMENDMENT (POPPY ADVISORY AND
CONTROL BOARD LEVY) BILL 2012 (No. 46)
Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - This bill is to amend
the way the Poppy Advisory Control Board levy is paid, saving initially $650
000 a year and eventually the full $700 000 cost of the board. If the
government is worried about the expenditure of $200 000 on a community guided
statutory authority like Tasmania Together, it is understandable it is more
worried about the $650 000 to $700 000 cost of the Poppy Advisory Control
We are told the bill is introduced at a time when the state
government is under considerable financial stress. It has been proposed that
the levy now be imposed on the three licensed processors, and based on the
number of hectares harvested for each manufacturer. On the surface, Madam
President, that seems reasonable, however, the importation of material to
supplement the amount of local poppy straw available to make concentrate,
clouds the issue. Poppy Growers Tasmania pointed this out and submitted that
any levy should apply to processing manufacturers without reference to farm
The chief executive officer of the PGT, Keith Rice, in his
letter to me dated 24 October 2012, said:
Our opposition to the above mentioned Bill which will
shortly come before the Legislative Council is predicated on the fact that PGT
believe the Bill should be opposed until such time as the Government has
completed a review of the PACB and developed a position paper on the functions
and operational activities of the PACB and a funding model based on the
recommendations arising from such a review.
I see you are nodding and wondering whether this is a second
reading speech, Madam President.
Madam PRESIDENT - You are reading my mind.
Mr FINCH - I am just reinforcing my argument.
No-one would argue against the concept of 'user-pays' in this case, but I
believe that Poppy Growers Tasmania has a case when it argues for a complete
review of the PACB before introducing the new levy. Therefore I am supporting
the adjournment of the debate so this can be further considered.