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Thursday, 21 June 2007
Page: 64

Senator ABETZ (Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation) (1:15 PM) —Do not tempt me, Senator, as to what the definition of a bag is, but I think in the context of this legislation I know what you are referring to and I do have an answer for you. As there is no definition of bags and containers in the Wheat Marketing Act, the common usage of the terms will continue to apply, as has been the practice since the current regulatory controls were put in place in 1999. I am advised that these are well understood within industry. A container is that which is used in standard shipping practice. They are usually—and I find these measures a lot more comfortable—either 20 feet or 40 feet in length and are capable of being loaded onto container vessels, and road and rail transport. It is normal for 20-foot containers to be used, as the weight of grain is such that a 40-foot container usually cannot be filled to capacity. Bags can vary in size from small packets of a couple of kilograms—and this is a new measurement which I hope you are acquainted with, Senator Joyce, unlike the imperial measure for length; I understand the industry uses imperial for containers and the metric system for weight—but typically are no more than 40 kilograms, and they are easily loaded onto containers. The WEA or its successor, the EWC, will not tolerate attempts to abuse or flout the deregulation of bags and containers. As stated earlier, the common usage terms ‘bags’ and ‘containers’ are well understood by industry and they remain unchanged by this bill.