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Thursday, 29 May 1997
Page: 3944

Senator CAMPBELL (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer)(9.50 a.m.) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard .

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows

The purpose of this bill is to enable a national residue survey levy to be introduced on ratites. Ratites are members of the avian order of large flightless vertebrates. This order includes ostriches, emu, cassowary, rhea and kiwi.

The functions of the national residue survey are to:

.   Monitor and assess the levels of chemical residues in raw Australian plant and animal commodities; and

.   Give domestic and international consumers confidence in the quality and safety of those products.

This bill allows for a national residue survey levy of seventy five cents per bird to be put in place, at the request of emu farmers federation of Australia, on the slaughter of the ratite emu for human consumption. This will give long-term flexibility to the emu industry in determining the cost of its chemical residue programs.

Consumers worldwide expect a high standard of assurance on food safety and quality. Some markets require a residue monitoring program, managed by government, as a prerequisite for product access. Chemical residue issues also can be used as a form of non-tariff trade barrier. This initiative by the emu industry thus has an important role in developing and maintaining its market access for this increasingly important primary industry.

I commend the bill to the honourable senators and present the explanatory memorandum.

Debate (on motion by Senator Chris Evans) adjourned.