Artificial Breeding Bill 1960

1176,  COUNCIL,  Artificial Breeding Bill

Second Reading

The Hon. Sir LYELL MeEWIN (Chief Secretary) : I move:

That this Bill be now read a second time.

The object of this Bill is to establish a board (to be known as The Artificial Breeding Board) to establish, maintain and operate artificial insemination centres and to promote the use of artificial insemination in the breeding of stock. The Bill is introduced following the report of a Special Advisory Committee appointed in April of last year by the Government to consider future policy on artificial breeding in the State. That committee, under the chairmanship of the Chief of the Division of Animal Industry of the Department of Agriculture consisted of four producers and breeders, a veterinary surgeon, the chief inspector of stock and chief dairy adviser of the department and in addition a veterinary officer of the department as a co-opted member. The committee examined material from all States and some overseas countries, invited and received submissions from interested persons and organizations and placed a full report to the Government in November last. In brief the committee unanimously recommended the establishment of an artificial breeding service, the authority to consist of a board representation of producers businesses and veterinary interests.

I shall not burden the Council with a detailed account of the committee’s report, but would mention that there has been an insistent demand for some years for the wide-spread adoption of artificial breeding through-out the State. A pilot unit was started in 1958 in the centre based on Adelaide, in 1959 centres were established in the district of Mount Barker, Myponga and Eight Mile Creek and with further expansion during the past year a total of some 9,000 cows were artificially bred and indeed so great has been the demand that the Government recently approved of a further extension. In its report the Committee estimates that a State-wide artificial breeding service would within ten years expect to face a demand of the order of some 50,000 cows.

The advantages of artificial insemination over natural breeding are, briefly stated – a reduction of infertility problems, improved control of diseases, a wide availability of better sires, a reduction in the number of bulls kept on farms and in general better husbandry practices. The committee therefore recommended that some permanent form of organization should be established, it considered a wholly departmental service, a partial departmental service, a co-operative authority, semi-Government instrumentality and other forms of organization. Taking full account of the structure and practice of the dairy industry in this State it came to the unanimous conclusion that the most practical organization would be an artificial breeding board along the lines of the proposals in the Bill which as I have said will establish an authority which will take over the experimental service hitherto conducted by the Department of Agriculture with the land, livestock, structures and facilities which the Government has been establishing at Northfield.

With regard to finance the committee estimated that within two years of commencing operations the proposed Board’s annual income should approximate £80,000 and should exceed £120,000 within five years. The committee therefore reported that the proposed authority would require financial assistance to core capital costs and running expenses for a period of up to five years within which it should become self supporting. I believe that the principle of the Bill will be supported by all members of this Council since the establishment of the proposed authority will make a great contribution to one of the State’s important primary industries.

I come now to the main provisions of the Bill. Clauses 4 to 12 inclusive provide for the establishment of the board which will consist of a chairman and four other members. One of the members must be a veterinary surgeon holding the qualifications set out in section 17 (1) (a) of the Veterinary Surgeons Act and at least two of the other four are to be persons whose business is the raising of stock. The qualifications of the veterinary surgeon member are that he be the holder of a degree or diploma in veterinary surgery of the Royal College in Great Britain or any university in Australia or New Zealand,  The chairman and members will hold office for four years but be eligible for reappointment. Clauses 8, 9 and 10 deal with casual vacancies, quorum, and the validity of acts of the board. Clause 12 deals with meetings of the board.

Clause 11 provides for the remuneration of the board which however together with all costs of administration of the Act are by clause 16 to be paid out of revenue received.

Clauses 13, 14 and 15 provide for appointment of a director and staff with provisions for superannuation. Clause 17 provides that the board is not to be a department of the Government or to represent the Crown, nor are the chairman, members or employees of the board to be subject to the Public Service Act. Clause 18 empowers the Treasurer to make advances not exceeding in the total £150,000 during the first five financial years of the boards existence to enable it to meet initial , expenditures. As I have said, it is anticipated that the board will become a going concern within about five years of its commencement but it is obvious that to enable it to operate during that period it will need Government assistance.  Clauses 19, 20 and 21 provide for accounts and an annual report, while clause 22 empowers the Governor, a Minister or other public authority to permit the board to use land, buildings or plant or equipment. Clause 23 provides that the Public Supply and Tender Act shall not apply to purchases by the board. The duties and functions of the board are set out in clause 24, Clause 25 applies the Stock Diseases Act to the board and its operations and clause 26 empowers the makings of regulations. I commend the Bill to honourable members.

The Hon. G. O’H. GILES secured the adjournment of the debate.

ADJOURNMENT.

At 6.10 p.m. the Council adjourned until Thursday, October 12, at 2.15 p.m.