Page 1571 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 April 2005

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This is an onerous provision where land-holders are required, at their own expense, to move stock to an official government pound before they can formally deal with it.

The amendments will also allow for recovery of costs associated with the management of straying stock, if the outcome of an impoundment is sale of the animals concerned because they cannot be returned to the owner. Sale proceeds will be able to be directed to recovering the costs of maintenance, transport and sale. If a land-holder who impounds straying stock cannot contact the owner, or if the owner does not retrieve the straying stock, management of the matter will be taken over by the government.

The bill will continue to provide for the issue of a travelling stock permit. Travelling stock permits are a longstanding and necessary process to ensure that ownership of stock that is being travelled can be satisfactorily demonstrated. It also provides a record of stock movements in the case of a disease incident, or where ownership of stock becomes a matter of dispute.

Travelling stock permits generally are a record-keeping device. Normally there is no reason to refuse an application, which can be received at short notice if unplanned stock movement is contemplated. However, on special occasions there may be justification to refuse a permit if the movement is linked to disease, to a disease incident or if stock ownership is in dispute.

For this reason a review of a decision to issue a permit is not provided for in the amendments. This is primarily due to the nature of the activity of travelling stock. An application for a travelling stock permit is usually made a couple of days before, or even the day before, the stock is due to travel, typically to a saleyard for auction. A review of a decision would delay this routine process unnecessarily. It would be a rare occurrence for a person to be denied a permit to travel stock.

Every owner has to sign a travelling stock permit and state that the stock are legally theirs. Travelling stock permits can also be used to trace back diseases in the journey. This includes any stopovers that would indicate if stock had been moved for agistment or sold in a paddock.

The bill provides for New South Wales stock permits to be recognised in the ACT. This is an efficiency measure that will reduce duplication of equivalent processes. The bill also continues existing provisions for the registration of stock marks. A mark may be a brand, a tattoo or an earmark. Marks are registered and may only be applied by the registered owner. This mechanism helps ownership of stock to be clarified and helps to identify stock. It is an offence for a registered mark to be used by anyone other than the registered owner of the mark.

The Stock Bill also contains provisions for the application of a stock levy to rural properties. An amendment allows the levy to be set so as to recover the costs of administering it. The stock levy is determined according to the stock-carrying capacity of a property. It is a contribution to the costs of providing government services to the primary industry sector, such as agronomic advice and veterinary services.

The Stock Bill 2005 brings our stock impounding and movement controls up to date. There is a high degree of consistency with New South Wales legislation, and efficiency

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