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Wednesday, 29 November 2000
Page: 20151

Senator TROETH (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) (4:40 PM) —Yes, I have noted the view of the Senate Scrutiny of Bills Committee, but I would like to point out to Senator O'Brien that the whole point is that we are moving from a statutory body to a private company under Corporations Law, as we have with the meat industry and as we have with the grains industry, and that requires a different set of reporting arrangements, outside the traditional ones that have applied to date. That is why the government has worked so closely with the industry to establish new reporting arrangements, to ensure that the government's information requirements are met.

I indicated in my opening remarks on this legislation that the last 2½ years have been spent in almost daily contact with the leaders of the 28 organisations that have signed on to the memorandum of understanding. Those industry groups are totally comfortable with the arrangements that we have put in place for their future, and this legislation in its present form has—more than the majority—the unanimous support of industry. I note the comments of the Senate Scrutiny of Bills Committee, but recollecting from my time on the Senate Scrutiny of Bills Committee and indeed as chairman—

Senator Forshaw —A very good one too.

Senator TROETH —Thank you, Senator Forshaw.

Senator Forshaw —I was a member at the time.

Senator TROETH —You were indeed. I certainly do not mean that all objections should be overridden, but parliament in its widest form is the will of the people and if industry is comfortable with this, if there is no comment—and certainly it is outright approval coming from industry; they are happy with these arrangements—and the government considers that these arrangements are suitable, we can only take it to mean that that is the view of the government.