The Problem with Livestock Breeder Representation in Australia

A recent push by Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) for extra funding, due to declining State Farm Organisation (SFO), membership has prompted this blog.

Since 1997 we have had the current Government monopoly in Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and CCA etc.

 Livestock producers have funded increased levies (what some refer to as compulsory unionism) , however their returns have remained almost stagnant since the 1980's.

The trickle down effect to producers, when meat prices increase are reaped by those in the supply chain above the producer.

As a result livestock producers are rightly concerned that a grab for some of the money by Cattle Council  is an expectation that we should be forced to help them now that times are tougher, and farmers have lost the confidence of SFO's and CCA in looking after their "interests"

The problem for most livestock producers is they no longer see SFO/CCA as supporting them. Some SFO's have been accused of getting into bed with government to the detriment of farmers e.g. agreeing the natural resource management legislation, accepting funds in relation to leasehold property etc. It would appear that SFO's will continue to decline because they aren't seen as farmer orientated.

The problem with CCA is that they are not a grass roots livestock producer organisation and get involved in meat marketing, trace back, NLIS etc and as a result many livestock breeders are not interested in financially "propping them up"

This results from what CCA are seen to be actually involved in, and where all the costs associated with their activities end up, that is back on the livestock breedere.g.NLIS, LPA and increased transaction levies.

Comments by Cattle Council members indicate that they are confused about whom they represent and what they should be doing, examples from the dialogue on farmonline blogs include:-

a) " I would suggest that stakeholders would include the State Farming Organisations who have funded been the "owners" of CCA since its inception."

NB Not Livestock breeders, CCA's starting fund and reserve are from historical cattle levies.

b) " who then goes into bat for the Australian industry when there is an Ecoli outbreak in Nth America, when steel shot appears in beef products in Asia, when Russians want to renegotiate the price of beef?"

Logically cattle means living beast, but they see their role as looking after what are really meat processing  problems. Where was CCA when the indonesian market was closed by our Governemnt? ( I know the answer )

What is also unusual in CCA discussion paper is the following statement:"

"It is important to provide an “opt out” option as producers must not be forced to pay for national representation (compulsory unionism). Producers must also take on the responsibility of actually joining the national representative organisation as a ‘member’ before they can vote or stand for direct election."

Two points come to mind:-

1) MLA transaction levies etc in effect is already compulsory unionism, but worse because levy payers have to register to vote.

2) Producers must join the proposed organisation even though the current system cannot recognise who paid levies, and how much they paid. That means the system is still open to the current rorts where individuals/companies just claim their right whether it is correct or a blatant lie.

Logically livestock breeders would voluntarily join an organisation that was seen to support their interests. The decline of SFO's is just the chickens coming home to roost.

My questions to you are:-1) Do livestock producers want a representative organisation that is not a government department and represents their interests instead of the current system where transaction levy benefits flow to processors and supermarkets, instead of livestock producers whom paid the levy in the first place?

                                     2) Is the current structure a dinosaur needing drastic evolution?

                                      3) Who actually represents the livestock breeder now?

THE ACT-

PRIMARY INDUSTRIES (EXCISE) LEVIES ACT 1999 - SCHEDULE 3

Cattle transactions

   

   

1   Definitions

                   In this Schedule:

"bobby calf" means a bovine animal (other than a buffalo or a head of lot-fed cattle):

                     (a)  which has been slaughtered and the dressed weight of whose carcase did not or does not exceed 40 kg; or

                     (b)  which has not been slaughtered but which, at the time of the leviable transaction or other dealing, had or has a liveweight that did not or does not exceed 80 kg; or

                     (c)  which has not been slaughtered or had its liveweight determined at the time of the leviable transaction or other dealing but which, in the opinion of the intermediary, would, if slaughtered at that time, have constituted or constitute a carcase whose dressed weight would not have exceeded or would not exceed 40 kg.

"cattle" means bovine animals other than buffalo.

"dairy cattle" means cattle that are, or, unless exported from Australia, would be likely to be, held on licensed dairy premises for a purpose related to commercial milk production, including, but without limiting the generality of the above, bulls, calves and replacement heifers.

"industry marketing body" has the same meaning as in Part 3 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 .

"industry research body" has the same meaning as in Part 3 of the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 .

"leviable bobby calf" means a bobby calf to which subclause 6(4) does not apply.

"licensed dairy farmer" means the person having day to day control of licensed dairy premises.

"licensed dairy premises" means premises that, under a law of the State or Territory in which the premises are situated, are authorised for use as a dairy farm.

"lot-fed cattle" means cattle that are, or are likely to be, used in the production of grain-fed beef.

2   Intermediary

                   A reference in this Schedule to the intermediary is a reference to the person required, under the Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991 , to pay to the Commonwealth, on behalf of the producer, an amount equal to the amount of levy imposed by this Schedule.

3   Determining the weight of a carcase

                   For the purposes of this Schedule, in determining the weight of a carcase immediately after it has been dressed, no adjustment of that weight is to be made on account of shrinkage.

4   Related companies

                   For the purposes of this Schedule, the question whether companies were or are related to each other is to be determined in the same manner as the question whether 2 corporations are related to each other is determined under the Corporations Act 2001 .

5   Imposition of levy

             (1)  Levy is imposed on:

                     (a)  each transaction entered into after the commencement of this Schedule by which the ownership of cattle is transferred from one person to another; or

                     (b)  the delivery, after the commencement of this Schedule, of cattle to a processor otherwise than because of a sale to the processor; or

                     (c)  the slaughter by a processor, after the commencement of this Schedule, of cattle purchased by the processor and held for a period of more than 60 days after the day of the purchase and before the day of the slaughter; or

                     (d)  the slaughter by a processor, after the commencement of this Schedule, of cattle in respect of which levy imposed by this Schedule would not be payable under paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

             (2)  Levy is not imposed by this Schedule:

                     (a)  on the sale of dairy cattle for dairying purposes; or

                     (b)  on the sale of cattle at auction to the vendor; or

                     (c)  on the sale or delivery of cattle between related companies, unless the company buying or taking delivery was or is a processor; or

                     (d)  on the delivery of cattle to a processor for slaughter on behalf of the person delivering the cattle if:

                              (i)  the delivery occurs within 14 days after the cattle were or are acquired by that person; and

                             (ii)  the cattle are afterwards slaughtered; and

                            (iii)  the person continues to own the cattle immediately after their hot carcase weight, within the meaning of Schedule 1, is determined or is taken, for the purposes of that Schedule, to have been determined, as the case requires; or

                     (e)  on the sale or delivery of cattle to a processor, if the cattle are not, at the time of the sale or delivery, fit for human consumption, under any applicable law of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory; or

                      (f)  in circumstances where the ownership of the cattle changed or changes:

                              (i)  as a result of a sale or transfer ordered by a court in proceedings under the Family Law Act 1975 ; or

                             (ii)  by devolution on the death of the owner of the cattle; or

                            (iii)  on the happening of events referred to in subsection 70-100(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 ; or

                     (g)  on a leviable bobby calf on which levy imposed by this Schedule, or by the repealed Cattle Transactions Levy Act 1997 , has already been paid; or

                     (h)  in such other circumstances (if any) as are prescribed.

             (3)  For the purposes of paragraph (2)(a), dairy cattle are taken to be sold for dairying purposes if:

                     (a)  both the vendor and the purchaser are licensed dairy farmers; or

                     (b)  either the vendor or the purchaser is a licensed dairy farmer and the cattle are being acquired for inclusion in, or eventual inclusion in, a herd of dairy cattle.

             (4)  If cattle are delivered to a processor, otherwise than because of a sale to the processor, for fattening or agistment for a period before slaughter by the processor, the cattle:

                     (a)  are taken not to have been delivered to the processor for the purposes of paragraph (1)(b) unless they are slaughtered at the end of that period; and

                     (b)  if they are slaughtered at the end of that period, are taken to have been delivered to the processor immediately before their slaughter.

6   Rate of levy

             (1)  The rate of levy imposed by this Schedule on each head of cattle (other than a head of lot-fed cattle or a leviable bobby calf) is the sum of the following amounts:

                     (a)  $2.16 or, if another amount (not exceeding $6.50) is prescribed by the regulations, the other amount;

                     (b)  72 cents or, if another amount (not exceeding $2.00) is prescribed by the regulations, the other amount;

                     (c)  17 cents or, if another amount (not exceeding $4.00) is prescribed by the regulations, the other amount;

                     (d)  13 cents or, if another amount (not exceeding 50 cents) is prescribed by the regulations, the other amount.

Note 1:       Paragraph (a) identifies amounts that, under the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 , are destined for the industry marketing body.

Note 2:       Paragraph (b) identifies amounts that, under the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 , are destined for the industry research body.

Note 3:       Paragraph (c) identifies amounts that, under the National Cattle Disease Eradication Account Act 1991 , are destined for the National Cattle Disease Eradication Account.

Note 4:       Paragraph (d) identifies amounts that, under Australian Animal Health Council (Live-stock Industries) Funding Ac... , are destined for the Australian Animal Health Council.

             (2)  The rate of levy imposed by this Schedule on each head of cattle that is a leviable bobby calf is the sum of the following amounts:

                     (a)  48 cents or, if another amount (not exceeding $1.90) is prescribed by the regulations, the other amount;

                     (b)  16 cents or, if another amount (not exceeding 40 cents) is prescribed by the regulations, the other amount;

                     (c)  the prescribed amount (not exceeding 20 cents), if any;

                     (d)  the prescribed amount (not exceeding 50 cents), if any.

Note 1:       Paragraph (a) identifies amounts that, under the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 , are destined for the industry marketing body.

Note 2:       Paragraph (b) identifies amounts that, under the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 , are destined for the industry research body.

Note 3:       Paragraph (c) identifies amounts that, under the National Cattle Disease Eradication Account Act 1991 , are destined for the National Cattle Disease Eradication Account.

Note 4:       Paragraph (d) identifies amounts that, under the Australian Animal Health Council (Live-stock Industries) Funding Ac... , are destined for the Australian Animal Health Council.

             (3)  The rate of levy imposed by this Schedule on each head of lot-fed cattle is the sum of the following amounts:

                     (a)  $2.16 or, if another amount (not exceeding $6.50) is prescribed by the regulations, the other amount;

                     (b)  72 cents or, if another amount (not exceeding $2.00) is prescribed by the regulations, the other amount;

                     (c)  17 cents or, if another amount (not exceeding $4.00) is prescribed by the regulations, the other amount;

                     (d)  13 cents or, if another amount (not exceeding 50 cents) is prescribed by the regulations, the other amount.

Note 1:       Paragraph (a) identifies amounts that, under the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 , are destined for the industry marketing body.

Note 2:       Paragraph (b) identifies amounts that, under the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 , are destined for the industry research body.

Note 3:       Paragraph (c) identifies amounts that, under the National Cattle Disease Eradication Account Act 1991 , are destined for the National Cattle Disease Eradication Account.

Note 4:       Paragraph (d) identifies amounts that, under the Australian Animal Health Council (Live-stock Industries) Funding Ac... , are destined for the Australian Animal Health Council.

             (4)  For the purposes of subclause (1), a cow with a calf at foot are together taken to constitute a single head of cattle.

7   Who pays the levy

             (1)  Levy imposed by this Schedule on a transaction by paragraph 5(1)(a) of this Schedule is payable by the person who owned the cattle immediately before the transaction was entered into.

             (2)  Levy imposed by this Schedule on a delivery of cattle by paragraph 5(1)(b) of this Schedule is payable by the person who owned the cattle immediately before the delivery.

             (3)  Levy imposed by this Schedule on the slaughter of cattle by paragraph 5(1)(c) or 5(1)(d) of this Schedule is payable by the person who owned the cattle at the time of the slaughter.

8   Regulations

             (1)  The Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, declare a body to be the body whose recommendations about the amount to be prescribed for the purposes of paragraph 6(1)(a), 6(1)(b), 6(1)(d), 6(2)(a), 6(2)(b), 6(2)(d), 6(3)(a), 6(3)(b) or 6(3)(d) of this Schedule are to be taken into consideration under subclause (2).

             (2)  If a declaration is in force under subclause (1), then, before the Governor-General makes regulations for the purposes of the paragraph to which the declaration relates, the Minister must take into consideration any relevant recommendation made to the Minister by the body specified in the declaration in relation to that paragraph.

9   Transitional--regulations

             (1)  This clause applies to regulations if:

                     (a)  the regulations were made for the purposes of a particular provision of the Cattle Transactions Levy Act 1997 ; and

                     (b)  the regulations were in force immediately before the commencement of this clause.

             (2)  The regulations have effect, after the commencement of this clause, as if they had been made for the purposes of the corresponding provision of this Schedule.

10   Transitional--declarations

             (1)  This clause applies to a declaration if:

                     (a)  the declaration was made for the purposes of a particular provision of the Cattle Transactions Levy Act 1997 ; and

                     (b)  the declaration was in force immediately before the commencement of this clause.

             (2)  The declaration has effect, after the commencement of this clause, as if it had been made for the purposes of the corresponding provision of this Schedule

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Good on you John for moving this here as I have had two comments tossed onthe farmonline(Land)

I think that I am responsible for getting the topic back in the Most popular list (seehere)-

This won't go up- but this is typical Fairfax -BS!

We were engaging the Cattle Council Reps in a clean debate and this load of garbage replaces it as the main story.

Seven pages of comments v nothing on most of the others.

Closing rank for ones mates -I'd suggest! Shame!

Posted by Rob Moore, 2/02/2012 10:54:35 AM
Hi Rob,

The story on the Cattle Council opening up discussion regarding levy funds has not been on the front page of the website since January 27 when the article was current.

You can still find the article, in which the debate still continues quite fiercely, to which you refer here: http://theland.farmonline.com.au/news/nationalrural/livestock/cattl...

Posted by Mitchell Vleeskens on 2/02/2012 11:40:48 AM
 
Link to what I was refering to-

Hey John M,

 

I had a look at the debate going on on Farmonline and those 2 bright sparks from Cattle Council seem to have a very good self-indulgent view of what they think the situation actually is, but a very limited, or non-existent handle on any facts particularly with respect to the language that actually forms both the prescribed structure, or what their prescribed peak council is actually proposing.

 

The most fascinating thing, for me at least, is the proposal that a producer can “Opt-out” from Cattle Council drawing off levy funds into their own bank account by ticking a box that does not exist on a non-existent return.  Of course it is also interesting how one, anyone, can actually “Opt-out” of something that they never “Opted-into” in the first place !!!!!

 

Apparently, apart from receiving Government gifted funding via the net industry reserves (the reserve fund), they also get funding from their establishing State Farming Organisations (SFO’s) which, because of their dwindling membership, can no longer afford to do the extra funding that Cattle Council require to operate.

 

Another interesting observation coming from one of the comments, is as a consequence of the “Opt-out” proposal, by ticking a non-existent box on a non-existent return, is that if a current member of a SFO forgets to tick this non-existent box on a non-existent return then he, or she, will be paying Cattle Council twice.  Once as a proportion of their membership and once by failing to tick the obscure box on the obscured return.

 

It is quite amusing to see an organisation like Cattle Council, after being formed by SFO’s, now screaming out for their extra funding from non-represented Cattle owners, who are the very same people that Cattle Council have been screwing and slapping down as fringe dwellers for years.

 

Apparently, stuffed fringe dwelling money creates a clean conscience……… in their minds.  

 

 

 

I am not going to beat up on Cattle Council. I don’t even blame them for wanting more money but they are missing a few steps in the process.

Before they get more money they too need a restructure so that they are more in touch with what producers need and want.

During the Live Export Crisis they were abandoned as the public face of the beef industry by MLA. Whether MLA made this decision themselves or were “encouraged” by the Minister I do not know.

I am on record as saying that the meagre $1.4m budget of CCA (who were expected to be the public face for the industry) was not sufficient for the message that we needed to get across. A producer in front of the news or quoted in a rural newspaper was not sufficient.

We immediately needed professional camera crews in the top half of the country for the entire duration of the crisis to show the actual hardship of the people and animals affected by the ban. We also needed to show that it was not only 3 multinational companies who would be affected as was often claimed by the animal welfare apologists.

We also needed a professional camera crew and interpreters in Indonesia for the entire duration of the crisis to show the hardship of the people from the majority of good plants who lost their jobs.

No social security there.

There were unacceptably racist and culturally insensitive comments after newspaper items in, at least the English version of the Jakarta Post. There should have been someone dedicated to handling these comments.

Only MLA had the funding for these operations.

MLA were lacking in leadership in not taking a risk by fleeing to the bunker and relying on their charter of being “only research and marketing”.

If ever there was a time to rock the boat, risk losing government funding and legislative support and, heaven forbid, their board positions this was it.

If Marketing with a capital M is part of their core business there has rarely been a time when it was more sorely needed by producers, not the other stakeholders, to market the business of producing cattle.

The whole system, MLA included needs a restructure and people in positions of power who are more empathetic to the needs of the production side of the industry.

They sorely underestimated how threatened the balance of producers who were not in the live trade would feel by the circumstances of this ban. The words "out of touch" come to mind.

 Where and the bloody hell is the ABA on all this??

 Where and the hell is the United Beef Group on all this??

 Surely and $80Million input out of private businesses deserves a bit more opinion and scrutiny than what CCA and NFF and SFO want to do to prop up their existence.

Nothing less than an open discussion on a national forum should get the options  together and EVERY levy payer should be sent a vote. If they are too tired to use it -so be it.

There has to be a clean start or we should boycott paying the levies as it is unauditted and corrupt.

 

Can someone explain to me how AMH had 900000 votes at an MLA meeting one year when -I know because I did the research that they don't own land - only feedlots and abottiors- therefore barely pay any transaction Levies   AS-

 

Exempt because of the 14day rule   ie bought at saleyards and killed in 14 days or  coming out of their OWN feedlot to their OWN abottior therefor not a transfer.

 They get these votes because they CAN- the same as I got 10 times what I should have one year -just to prove a point.

 

 

The whole system is corrupt from top to the database at the bottom!

 

 

It would seem to me that under the legislation most processors do not qualify for many MLA votes at all and yet they come up in the top 30 levy payers all the time. Rob, can you or someone else put up the extract from the legislation?

Hey Joanne,

 

The Legislation - http://corrigan.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/pila1999367/

 

The bit concerning Cattle production -  

http://corrigan.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/pila1999367/...

 

From the Cattle production bit comes this:

 

  (2)  Levy is not imposed by this Schedule:

 

                     (a)  on the sale of dairy cattle for dairying purposes; or

 

                     (b)  on the sale of cattle at auction to the vendor; or

 

                     (c)  on the sale or delivery of cattle between related companies, unless the company buying or taking delivery was or is a processor; or

 

                     (d)  on the delivery of cattle to a processor for slaughter on behalf of the person delivering the cattle if:

 

                              (i)  the delivery occurs within 14 days after the cattle were or are acquired by that person; and

 

                             (ii)  the cattle are afterwards slaughtered; and

 

                            (iii)  the person continues to own the cattle immediately after their hot carcase weight, within the meaning of Schedule 1, is determined or is taken, for the purposes of that Schedule, to have been determined, as the case requires; or

 

                     (e)  on the sale or delivery of cattle to a processor, if the cattle are not, at the time of the sale or delivery, fit for human consumption, under any applicable law of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory; or

 

                      (f)  in circumstances where the ownership of the cattle changed or changes:

 

                              (i)  as a result of a sale or transfer ordered by a court in proceedings under the Family Law Act 1975 ; or

 

                             (ii)  by devolution on the death of the owner of the cattle; or

 

                            (iii)  on the happening of events referred to in subsection 70-100(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 ; or

 

                     (g)  on a leviable bobby calf on which levy imposed by this Schedule, or by the repealed Cattle Transactions Levy Act 1997 , has already been paid; or

 

                     (h)  in such other circumstances (if any) as are prescribed.

 

             (3)  For the purposes of paragraph (2)(a), dairy cattle are taken to be sold for dairying purposes if:

 

                     (a)  both the vendor and the purchaser are licensed dairy farmers; or

 

                     (b)  either the vendor or the purchaser is a licensed dairy farmer and the cattle are being acquired for inclusion in, or eventual inclusion in, a herd of dairy cattle.

 

             (4)  If cattle are delivered to a processor, otherwise than because of a sale to the processor, for fattening or agistment for a period before slaughter by the processor, the cattle:

 

                     (a)  are taken not to have been delivered to the processor for the purposes of paragraph (1)(b) unless they are slaughtered at the end of that period; and

 

                     (b)  if they are slaughtered at the end of that period, are taken to have been delivered to the processor immediately before their slaughter.



 

No Gaucho

I just meant the "live export industry".

I did not mean "industry" as in all the stakeholders as other organisations often do. I should have added a few words and made it clearer but it was on the long side already.

"Stakeholders" is not a word I like or like to hear. Usually gives an excuse to ad a rag-tag group of people who have no skin in the game.

 

Onslo

Thank you for putting up the legislation.

I think there is a fair bit to discuss in there. I will have to examine it more carefully. A study has been done before by ABA I believe and I would like to hear what they have to say on the subject.

 

Hey Joanne,

 

Your welcome, although the last time I said that I got kicked in the guts !!!!

 

I also would be interested in what the ABA has to say about that and more importantly, exactly who did that work for them and whether they are still about somewhere.



 

Thankyou Gaucho,

                        After thinking long and hard about your requirements in relation to restructure, I think you a correct. 

                        Unless there is independent representation at each level of the red meat industry, whomever represents more than one segment has a conflict of interest and this is to the detriment of one of the red meat supply chain segments. So CCA, for example, cannot represent livestock producers properly, plus SFO's, as well as get involved in meat quality problems for processors.

                       Rearranging which government entity that is given the consolidated revenue (from transaction levies) does nothing except "move the chairs" around on the Titanic as it were.

                         Your quite right in pointing out that the Government roles that CCA and MLA etc are involved in should be withdrawn to within current existing departments like DAFF.

                          The existing non-democratic systems applying in MLA and CCA cannot continue, and yes, if they wish to persue these governence roles they should be democratically elected into parliament instead of the quasi government departments, funded mainly from consolidate revenue without the checks and balances that would normally apply to consolidated revenue expenditure.

                         Many livestock breeders/producers are being denied democratic representation, within the "industry" because of the poor structure, the use of archaic voting  practices, and conflicts of interest within the individual quasi government departments.

 

                          So in effect rather than tinker around the edges by moving seats on the Titanic, a much bigger change is required to sort the current difficulties.

                          Thankyou for your thoughts and input.

 

Joanne,

          No body must forget that these organisations are prescibed, and as a result are under the direct control of Government.

         When the s___ hits the fan the responsible person is the Minister. For too long the livestock breeders/producers has been told that he can have a reasonable say within the existing structure. This is blatantly untrue.

          If this were true, MLA members would be able to vote on MLA financials and new directors at the AGM.

          They can't and never will be able to do this because the money is Consolidate Revenue.

          The transaction levy collection system is compulsory unionism, however the members of this "you beau"t union have less voting rights than a member of a trade union.

          This structure needs to be drawn and quartered!!

          It is not the fault of those individuals that are cattle council representatives, however they as part of the system will continue to support the exsiting structure because they can't see what we see.

Their arrogance however, really is indicative that they are not representing those at the breeder end of the business.

 

Totally agree Gaucho, Joanne and John- with you well reasoned thoughts.

 

Now I was on the ph on Friday revisiting Daff and the Levies collection unit and it seems the branch office has expanded greatly and it was harder to get any answers than it was 4 years ago. It is no longer an offered stat-  the year on year break up by the grouped up monthly returns to their office.

   4 yrs ago I had these figures off the site and  there are 6 categories Bobby calf, Grainfed, Grassfed by Levy OR Non Levy but are no longer available . I am expecting an email  tomorrow on the latest 12 month figures.  In the meantime can you legal minds tell me  how you would read these scenarios in regards the Levy obligation as you read the act.

 

1   Swift feedlot to a Swift Abottoir

2   Nippon meats feedlot to Oakey abottoir ( there own)

3   Aust Country Choice  Property/Feedlot to  ACC Abottoir -Canon Hill

4   Virtually all saleyard cattle destined for slaughter within 14 days.

Hey Rob,

 

You ask: - “In the meantime can you legal minds tell me how you would read these scenarios in regards the Levy obligation as you read the act.”

 

1   "Swift feedlot to a Swift Abottoir

 

2   Nippon meats feedlot to Oakey abottoir ( there own)

 

3   Aust Country Choice  Property/Feedlot to  ACC Abottoir -Canon Hill

 

4   Virtually all saleyard cattle destined for slaughter within 14 days."

 

Without a ‘Legal mind’ I would answer:

 

[A – 1]  Fundamentally there must be a commercial “Transaction” after all it is a “Transaction Levy” imposed on the “Sale” of Cattle, or livestock more generally and is paid by the “Vendor” (seller) not the purchaser. 

 

So I guess the first question is; does “Swift Abattoir” purchase Cattle from “Swift feedlot” that would create a commercial “Transaction” that could attract the “levy” ?? 

 

The second question is; can there be a non-transparent commercial “Transaction” between “Related Entities” *Other than* for the purposes of internal book-keeping be created that could attract the “levy” ?? 

 

The last question is; for the purposes of normal business practice, why would “Swift” want to Sell its already owned Cattle once and Purchase the same Cattle fundamentally twice, once from an unrelated Vendor (seller), who paid the levy in the first instance, and once from its own wholly owned related entity ??

 

Consequently, my answer to [A – 1] would rest on the fundamental premise that there must be a commercial transaction in the first instance and in the absence of a commercial transaction therefore, there should be NO levy payable by “Swift feedlot” for Cattle processed by “Swift abattoir”.

 

[A – 2] – Same as [A – 1]

 

[A – 3] -  Same as [A – 1]

 

[A – 4] - The 14 days only applies to a service kill (over the hooks - oth) - Note this levy is not a ‘Transaction’ levy and is a “Hot Carcass Weight” determined levy paid by the immediate “Owner” of the Cattle at Schedule 1.The cattle must be slaughtered within 14 days to be Exempt from the ‘Transaction’ levy.

 

See below:

 

  5(2) (d)  on the delivery of cattle to a processor for slaughter on behalf of the person delivering the cattle if:

                              (i)  the delivery occurs within 14 days after the cattle were or are acquired by that person; and

                             (ii)  the cattle are afterwards slaughtered; and

                            (iii)  the person continues to own the cattle immediately after their hot carcase weight, within the meaning of Schedule 1, is determined or is taken, for the purposes of that Schedule, to have been determined, as the case requires; or

 

However Levy is payable as a “meat levy” which is Not the “Transaction Levy” ( i.e - SCHEDULE 3);

 

PRIMARY INDUSTRIES (EXCISE) LEVIES ACT 1999 - SCHEDULE 1

 

Beef production

 

2   Imposition of levy

 

(1)    Levy is imposed on the slaughter at an abattoir of cattle for human consumption, if the slaughter occurs after the commencement of this Schedule.

 

Rob – as a matter of interest – refer to section 5 (c) “Imposition of Levy” of Schedule 3 (Transaction Levy) which says this about 60 days; -  "(c)  the slaughter by a processor, after the commencement of this Schedule, of cattle purchased by the processor and held for a period of more than 60 days after the day of the purchase and before the day of the slaughter; or"

 

Extract:

 

5   Imposition of levy

             (1)  Levy is imposed on:

                     (a)  each transaction entered into after the commencement of this Schedule by which the ownership of cattle is transferred from one person to another; or

                     (b)  the delivery, after the commencement of this Schedule, of cattle to a processor otherwise than because of a sale to the processor; or

                     (c)  the slaughter by a processor, after the commencement of this Schedule, of cattle purchased by the processor and held for a period of more than 60 days after the day of the purchase and before the day of the slaughter; or

                     (d)  the slaughter by a processor, after the commencement of this Schedule, of cattle in respect of which levy imposed by this Schedule would not be payable under paragraph (a), (b) or (c).



 

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