Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 21 June 2007
Page: 125

Senator O’BRIEN (4:11 PM) —The Labor Party oppose schedule 4 of the bill in the following terms:

(10)  Schedule 4, items 1 and 2, page 13 (lines 5 to 13), TO BE OPPOSED.

(11)  Schedule 4, items 9 to 13, page 14 (lines 9 to 19), TO BE OPPOSED.

We oppose these items, which establish a so-called quality assurance scheme for boxed and bagged wheat. We do not oppose the provisions of schedule 4 which allow for the deregulation of boxed and bagged wheat, including related consequential amendments. The reason for opposing these provisions is that there are extensive provisions within existing legislation to ensure quality issues are effectively managed.

With the exception of the AWB, growers have unanimously supported calls for the immediate deregulation of containerised and bagged wheat. The government has failed to prosecute a case that there is market failure in terms of the quality of Australian boxed and bagged wheat exports. If our earlier amendment had been carried it would have been the best outcome, but we say that if you are going to deregulate containerised and bagged wheat then do not put in place false quality requirements which simply stymie the efforts of the sector to expand. This is not a quality assurance scheme; it is simply going to be an impost on growers who seek to use this provision. It is clearly designed to make the cost of each shipment more expensive. It has not been made clear whether each container has to have individual certification if there is a multicontainer shipment. Frankly, this industry has an excellent quality assurance program in place; they should be commended for it and not penalised, as these provisions would do. We urge the Senate to oppose these provisions in the bill.