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Thursday, 13 February 2003
Page: 11871


Mr SIDEBOTTOM (9:59 AM) —The Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2002 makes a series of unrelated amendments to legislation that falls within the portfolio responsibilities of the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The bill amends the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Act 1980, the Export Control Act 1982, the National Residue Survey Administration Act 1992, the Quarantine Act 1908 and the Dairy Industry Legislation Amendment Act 2002. I would like to firstly deal with the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Act 1980 amendments.

The amendments to the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Act 1980 include a change to the administrative arrangements for the protection of wine names. The operation of the register of protected names is important to the industry—an industry which is very important to Australia and, might I add, a burgeoning industry in my own state of Tasmania. These amendments will allow amendments to the register if entries become obsolete or are made in error. The bill also provides for a general head of power for the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation to enable it to give effect to commitments made under international wine trading agreements.

The prosecution period for export breaches is also amended to lengthen the time in which prosecutions may be brought. According to the minister, an extended prosecution period for export breaches is more appropriate than the one-year time period currently available. I would be grateful for some advice from the minister about the consultation process he has undertaken with the industry in relation to this matter. The minor amendments to the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Act 1980 are supported by the opposition.

The amendment to the Export Control Act 1982 is similarly administrative in nature. It will allow the act to apply, adopt or incorporate any matter contained in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code or the Codex Alimentarius. The amendment will provide for references to these standards to be read as references to current versions, avoiding the need to amend orders whenever the standards change.

Amendments to the National Residue Survey Administration Act 1992 will clarify the activities that can be carried out for which payments can be made from the National Residue Survey Reserve. The amendments will allow the National Residue Survey to test all food, feed and fibre production inputs, thus extending the reach of the NRS to inputs including soil, water and imported animal feeds. A minor amendment will also bring the act into line with other Commonwealth legislation in respect of the preservation of privacy.

Unlike the proposed Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1), the amendments to the Quarantine Act 1908 contained in this bill do not seek to undermine the integrity of our quarantine system. The proposed amendment in this bill clarifies offence provisions to provide greater certainty in relation to the offences against the act. Some contingent amendments are also proposed in relation to the application of amendments to Christmas Island to deal with the likelihood that the extension of the Quarantine Act to Christmas Island—as contained in the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Amendment Bill (No. 1)—does not commence prior to this bill.

Finally, the simple amendment to the Dairy Industry Legislation Amendment Act 2002 corrects a misdirected amendment in that act. It is not surprising to see an amendment of this type come before the House. On matters large and small, this minister demonstrates a lamentable lack of attention to detail. I have already asked the minister to tell the House what consultation he undertook before deciding to extend the prosecution period for export breaches under the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Act 1980. There was no advice in the minister's second reading speech nor in his explanatory memorandum about consultation in relation to any matter in the bill. While the opposition are prepared to give in-principle support to the administrative amendments before the House, we do ask the minister to account for his actions by detailing the consultation he has undertaken with those directly affected by the provisions.