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Dairy Adjustment Act 1974

Authoritative Version
Act No. 166 of 1974 as made
An Act to provide Financial Assistance in connexion with Dairy Adjustment Programs
Administered by: Agriculture and Water Resources
Date of Assent 17 Dec 1974
Date of repeal 06 May 2016
Repealed by Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2015) Act 2016

DAIRY ADJUSTMENT ACT 1974

No. 166 of 1974

An Act to provide Financial Assistance in connexion with Dairy Adjustment Programs.

WHEREAS the policies for assistance to the dairying industry announced by the Australian Government before the dissolution of the Parliament on 11 April 1974 were given effect to in part only by the Marginal Dairy Farms Agreements Act 1974 and further provision is necessary to give effect to the remainder of those policies:

AND WHEREAS, by reason of the matters recited in the Marginal Dairy Farms Agreements Act 1974, it is appropriate that the further provision should be made without receipt of a report of the Industries Assistance Commission in relation to the matter of assistance to the dairying industry:

AND WHEREAS it is expedient to give effect to the foregoing by repealing the Marginal Dairy Farms Agreements Act 1970-1974 and re-enacting and extending the provisions of that Act to give effect to the whole of the policies so announced:

BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED by the Queen, the Senate and the House of Representatives of Australia, as follows: —

PART I—PRELIMINARY

Short title.

1.   This Act may be cited as the Dairy Adjustment Act 1974.

Commencement.

2.   This Act shall come into operation on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

Repeal and savings.

3. (1) The following Acts are repealed:—

Marginal Dairy Farms Agreements Act 1970.

Marginal Dairy Farms Agreements Act 1974.

(2) Notwithstanding sub-section (1), any agreement in force under the Marginal Dairy Farms Agreements Act 1970-1974 immediately before the commencement of this Act continues in force after that commencement as if it had been made under this Act and as if the marginal dairy farms reconstruction scheme to be operated by the State in accord­ance with the agreement were a dairy adjustment program to be carried out by the State in accordance with arrangements set out in the agreement.

Interpretation.

4. (1) In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears—

“acquisition” includes acceptance of the surrender of a leasehold interest and “acquire” has a corresponding meaning;

“agreement” means an agreement made in pursuance of sub-section 5(1);

“arrangements” mean arrangements set out in an agreement;

“disposal” includes the surrender or grant of a leasehold interest, and “dispose of” has a corresponding meaning;

“land” includes a leasehold interest in land;

“price” includes the consideration for the surrender of a leasehold interest;

“purchase”, in relation to vehicles, plant and equipment, includes hire under a hire-purchase agreement or under a lease;

“State Minister” means a Minister of State of a State or a person authorized by such a Minister.

(2) A reference in this Act to an agreement made under this Act includes a reference to an agreement continued in force by sub-section 3(2).


 

PART II—DAIRY ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM

Agreements with States.

5. (1) Australia may make with any State an agreement providing for the making of payments by Australia to the State for the purposes of a dairy adjustment program to be carried out by the State in accordance with arrangements set out in the agreement.

(2) An agreement made under sub-section (1) may be amended by a further agreement but so that the amended agreement complies with the requirements that are applicable to agreements made in pursuance of that sub-section.

(3) An agreement shall not be made under sub-section (1), unless the Minister is satisfied that the arrangements are in accordance with the provisions of this Part.

(4) An agreement under sub-section (1) or further agreement under sub-section (2) may be made, and implemented, notwithstanding the Industries Assistance Commission Act 1973.

(5) The Minister shall cause a copy of every agreement made under sub-section (1) or further agreement made under sub-section (2) to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the date on which the agreement or further agreement is made.

Definition for purposes of arrangements

6.   The expression “uneconomic dairy farm” shall be so defined for the purposes of the arrangements as to include only rural properties not less than one-half of the gross income from which is obtained from the production of milk or cream, being rural properties that are not reasonably capable, if used only for dairying and purposes incidental to dairying, of producing a reasonable level of income, being a level ascertained in the manner provided by or under the agreement.

State may enter into agreements to acquire and dispose of uneconomic dairy farms.

7.   The arrangements may provide for—

(a) the making of agreements between the State or an authority of the State and the owners of land comprised in uneconomic dairy farms in the State for the disposal of the land (including structural improvements on the land) to the State or the authority of the State at prices based on market values current at the time of the disposal; and

(b) the disposal by the State or the authority of the State of land that becomes available for such disposal as a result of acquisitions under the arrangements, but so that—

(i) subject to sub-paragraph (ii), the price or rent in respect of such a disposal shall be based on market values current at the time of the disposal, but may take into account the nature of the proposed use of the land;

(ii) a person obtaining land from the State or the authority of the State will not be required to pay for structural improvements on the land that are unsuitable or redundant in relation to the proposed use of the land by that person;

(iii) land will not be disposed of for use primarily for farming unless it is to be so used as part of a rural property that constitutes an economic unit in accordance with tests pro­vided for by or under the agreement; and

(iv) disposals under the arrangements will be made so as to encourage the most practicable and economic use of land, including, so far as is consistent with such land use, the diversification of production.

State may approve disposal of uneconomic dairy farms.

8.   The arrangements may provide that—

(a) the State or an authority of the State may give approval to the disposal by the owner of an uneconomic dairy farm of land comprised in the farm (including structural improvements on the land) to a person (in this section referred to as “the purchaser”) other than the State or an authority of the State if—

(i) the price of the land and any improvements is based on market values current at the time of the disposal; and

(ii) the requirements specified in sub-paragraphs 7(b)(iii) and (iv) are met; and


 

(b) if such an approval is given, the State or the authority may, for the purpose of assisting the purchaser to acquire the land—

(i) pay to the purchaser an amount equal to the amount by which the price to be paid by the purchaser exceeds the price that he would have been required to pay if he had acquired the land from the State under the arrangements; and

(ii) make a loan to the purchaser of an amount not exceeding the amount by which the price exceeds the amount referred to in sub-paragraph (i).

Land proposed to be acquired or disposed of may be treated as uneconomic dairy farm.

9.   The arrangements may provide that, where—

(a) the Minister or a person authorized by the Minister for the purpose; and

(b) the State Minister concerned,

are satisfied that a proposed acquisition or a proposed disposal, or a proposed acquisition and subsequent disposal, under the arrangements, of land comprised in a rural property, not being an uneconomic dairy farm, would assist adjustment in the dairying industry, the land may, under the arrangements, be dealt with as proposed as if the property were an uneconomic dairy farm.

Loans for personal hardship where uneconomic farms disposed of.

10. The arrangements may provide for the making of loans (including interest-free loans) by the State or an authority of the State to persons who have, after 20 August 1974, disposed of, to, or with the approval of, the State or the authority, rural properties that were, at the time of disposal, uneconomic dairy farms, being loans for the purpose of alleviating conditions of personal hardship being borne by the person concerned or a dependant of that person and not exceeding, in any case, the amount fixed in the agreement in which the arrangements are set out as the maximum amount for such a loan.

Loans for conversion of uneconomic dairy farms to other rural use.

11. (1) The arrangements may provide for—

(a) the making of loans by the State or an authority of the State to the owners of uneconomic dairy farms for the purpose of meeting, in the case of a particular farm, the cost of converting the farm, wholly or in part, to a rural use other than dairying by one or more of the following methods—

(i) the acquisition of land adjoining, or within a reasonable working distance of, the farm for the purpose of working that land and land comprised in the farm as a single unit;

(ii) the improvement of, or the erection of structural improvements on, land comprised in the farm, including any land referred to in sub-paragraph (i);

(iii) the purchase of livestock or equipment;

(b) the making of loans by the State or an authority of the State to the owners of uneconomic dairy farms that are, wholly or in part, being converted to a rural use other than dairying for the purpose of meeting, in the case of a particular farm, the whole or a part of the cost of carrying on the farm during the period of conversion; and

(c) where milking plant or dairy bails on an uneconomic dairy farm that is, wholly or in part, being converted to a rural use other than dairying will lose some or all of its or their value to the owner of the farm after the conversion of the farm has been effected—the payment by the State or an authority of the State to the owner of the farm of an amount in respect of that loss of value.

(2) Where the arrangements make provision in accordance with sub-section (1), the arrangements shall further provide that the assistance specified in that sub-section shall not be given in the case of a particular farm unless the State Minister concerned or the authority of the State is satisfied that—

(a) the proposed use of land comprised in the farm (including any land proposed to be acquired) will be a more practicable and economic use of the land than dairying;

(b) there is a reasonable prospect that, by reason of the assistance, the farm (including any land proposed to be acquired) will produce a reasonable level of income, being a level ascertained in the manner provided by or under the agreement in which the arrangements are set out; and

(c) the owner to be assisted has been unable to obtain a loan on reasonable terms from normal financial sources for the purposes for which the assistance is to be given.

Loans for development of uneconomic dairy farms.

12. (1) The arrangements may provide for the making of loans by the State or an authority of the State to the owners of uneconomic dairy farms for the purpose of meeting, in the case of a particular farm—

(a) the cost of developing the farm to the point where the farm is producing from dairying and activities incidental to dairying a reasonable level of income, being a level ascertained in the manner provided by or under the agreement in which the arrangements are set out; and

(b) the whole or a part of the cost of carrying on the farm during the period of development.

(2) Where the arrangements make provision in accordance with sub-section (1), the arrangements shall further provide that the assistance specified in that sub-section shall not be given unless the State Minister concerned or the authority of the State is satisfied that the owner to be assisted has been unable to obtain a loan on reasonable terms from normal financial sources for the purposes for which the assistance is to be given.

Loans for development of combined land.

13. (1) The arrangements may provide for—

(a) the making of loans by the State or an authority of the State to persons who have acquired under the arrangements land adjoining or within a reasonable working distance of other land owned by them, being in the case of a particular person a loan for the purpose of developing as a rural property the land comprising both the land so acquired and that other land owned by him (in this section referred to as “the combined land”) by one or more of the following methods—

(i) the improvement of, or the erection of structural improvements on, the combined land;

(i) the purchase of livestock or equipment; and

(b) the making of loans by the State or an authority of the State to persons referred to in paragraph (a) for the purpose of meeting the whole or a part of the cost of working the combined land as a rural property during the period of development.

(2) Where the arrangements make provision in accordance with sub-section (1), the arrangements shall further provide that the assistance specified in that sub-section shall not be given unless the State Minister concerned or the authority of the State is satisfied that the person to be assisted has been unable to obtain a loan on reasonable terms from normal financial sources for the purposes for which the assistance is to be given.

Compensation for loss of value of structural improvements where land combined.

14. (1) The arrangements may provide that, where—

(a) the owner of a rural property has acquired land under the arrangements for the purpose of incorporating it into the rural property; and

(b) that incorporation has had the effect of causing structural improvements that were, at the time of the acquisition, on the original rural property to become unsuitable or redundant in relation to the proposed use of the combined property by that owner,

the State or an authority of the State may pay to that owner an amount in respect of the loss of value of those improvements to that owner.

(2) Where the arrangements make provision in accordance with sub-section (1), the arrangements shall further provide that the assistance specified in that sub-section shall not be given with respect to structural improvements that are not ordinarily used for dairy purposes unless the giving of the assistance is approved by—

(a) the Minister or a person authorized by the Minister for the purpose; and

(b) the State Minister concerned.


 

Loans for conversion of dairy farms to refrigerated bulk milk supply.

15. (1) The arrangements may provide for—

(a) the making of interest-free loans by the State or an authority of the State to the owners of dairy farms for the purpose of—

(i) meeting, in the case of a particular farm, the cost of the purchase and installation on the farm of a refrigerated vat for the storage of wholemilk intended for use as fluid milk for human consumption or in the manufacture of butter, cheese or other products; and

(ii) making such other improvements on the farm as are required to enable the wholemilk in the vat to be collected from the farm; and

(b) the making of interest-free loans by the State or an authority of the State to the owners of dairy farms for the purpose of repaying amounts borrowed by them on or after 23 July 1973 and be­fore 21 August 1974 for a purpose specified in paragraph (a) and not repaid, and the making of payments for the purpose of reimbursing the owners of dairy farms for the interest paid by them on amounts so borrowed.

(2) Where the arrangements make provision in accordance with a paragraph of sub-section (1), the arrangements—

(a) shall further provide that the assistance specified in that paragraph shall not be given in the case of a particular farm unless the State Minister concerned or the authority of the State is satisfied that there is a reasonable prospect that, by reason of the assistance, the farm will produce a reasonable level of income, being a level ascertained in the manner provided by or under the agreement in which the arrangements are set out; and

(b) may also provide that it shall be a condition of the making of an interest-free loan that the borrower is to be required to pay a monetary penalty for failure to repay an instalment of the loan on, or within a specified period after, the due date for that repayment.

Loans for conversion of dairy factories to deal with refrigerated bulk milk supply.

16. (1) The arrangements may provide for the making of loans by the State or an authority of the State to the owners of dairy factories, being loans for the purpose of meeting, in the case of a particular factory, the whole or a part of the costs incurred by the owner of the factory after 1 July 1974 in connexion with any alterations (including structural alterations) made, vehicles purchased and plant and equipment purchased and installed after that date, being alterations, vehicles, plant and equipment—

(a) that were required to provide adequate facilities—

(i) for the supply of wholemilk as refrigerated bulk milk to the factory; or

(ii) for the receipt, storage or processing of the wholemilk at the factory, in consequence of suppliers of wholemilk to the factory having recently commenced, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, to supply wholemilk to the factory as refrigerated bulk milk; or

(b) that the State Minister concerned or the authority of the State is satisfied are required to provide adequate facilities of a kind specified in paragraph (a) for the purpose of enabling suppliers of wholemilk to the factory to commence to supply wholemilk to the factory as refrigerated bulk milk.

(2) Where the arrangements make provision in accordance with sub-section (1), the arrangements shall further provide that assistance for alterations, plant and equipment for the processing of wholemilk shall be given, in the case of a particular dairy factory, only with respect to alterations, plant and equipment required, in accordance with that sub-section, for the processing of wholemilk so supplied preparatory to the manufacture of any product derived from the wholemilk, unless the giving of the assistance is approved by—

(a) the Minister or a person authorized by the Minister for the purpose; and

(b) the State Minister concerned.

(3) Where the arrangements make provision in accordance with sub-section (1), the arrangements shall further provide that the assistance specified in that sub-section shall not be given unless the State is satisfied that the owner to be assisted has been unable to obtain a loan on reasonable terms from normal financial sources for the purposes for which the assistance is to be given.

(4) In this section, a reference to the processing of wholemilk includes a reference to—

(a) cooling, testing, grading or pasteurising wholemilk or treating wholemilk in any other manner;

(b) putting wholemilk into bottles, cartons or other containers; and

(c) the manufacture of any product derived from wholemilk.

PART III—FINANCE

Payments by Australia.

17. An agreement may make provision for and in relation to payments by Australia to a State in respect of expenditure by a State or an authority of a State, in accordance with applications, under the arrangements set out in the agreement, lodged with, and approved by, the State or the authority before 1 July 1976, for the purposes of the dairy adjustment program to which that agreement relates or for purposes that, in the opinion of the Minister, are conducive to the objectives of that program.

Total amounts available for payment to States.

18. The total of all payments (including advances) by Australia in accordance with this Act or in accordance with an Act repealed by this Act shall not exceed $43,000,000, and the agreements shall be so expressed that they do not provide for payments by Australia in excess of that amount.

Conditions of payments.

19. A payment (including an advance) to a State by Australia under an agreement is paid by way of financial assistance to the State on the terms and conditions provided by the agreement.

Amounts repayable by State.

20. (1) Each agreement shall provide for—

(a) the repayment to Australia, by instalments or otherwise, of an amount equal to one-half of each payment to the State, in accordance with section 17, in respect of the amounts expended by the State or an authority of the State as—

(i) the price of land (including structural improvements on the land) acquired by the State or the authority under the arrangements set out in the agreement; or

(ii) a payment or loan made under the arrangements so set out for the purpose of assisting in the acquisition of land,

the repayment to be completed not later than 25 years from the date of the payment to the State; and

(b) the payment to Australia by the State of interest on amounts so repayable and not repaid, from the date of the relevant payment to the State, at the rate of 6 per centum per annum.

(2) An agreement may provide for the repayment, by instalments or otherwise, to Australia by the State of, and the payment of interest to Australia by the State on, the whole or a part of a payment by Australia to the State, in accordance with section 17, in respect of an amount, not being an amount referred to in sub-section (1), expended by the State or an authority of the State.

(3) An agreement may provide that the liability of the State in respect of repayments and payment of interest to Australia may be reduced to an extent not exceeding the extent necessary to prevent the performance of the agreement resulting in a loss to the State by reason of circumstances referred to in the agreement, being circumstances beyond the control of the State.

Advances.

21. An agreement may provide for—

(a) the making by Australia to the State of advances on account of amounts that may become payable to the State under provision made in the agreement in accordance with section 17 and the deduction of amounts so advanced from amounts becoming so payable; and


 

(b) the terms and conditions (including terms and conditions relating to repayment and payment of interest) that are to be applicable to such advances, being terms and conditions that are ap­propriate having regard to the provisions made in the agreement in accordance with section 20.

Appropriation.

22. Amounts payable to the States after the commencement of this Act under agreements made under this Act, not exceeding in the whole the amount ascertained by subtracting from $43,000,000 the sum of the amounts paid to the States under those agreements before the commencement of this Act, are payable out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which is, to the necessary extent, appropriated accordingly.