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Monday, 19 November 2012
Page: 9049


Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (18:02): I have just a couple more questions, if I may, and I will get to Senator Milne's amendments in a moment. Is the minister saying that the risk matrix that he refers to will be similar to the risk matrix we have, for instance, for biosecurity? Will it be one in 100 or one in 200? Will it be determined by intelligence as to where the source of the timber may be? Also, will details be made publicly available as to the number of the resources and the number of audits that take place? They are just some preliminary questions.

As to the specific amendments proposed by Senator Milne, is the minister saying that any of the parts of the information requested by the Australian Greens in this amendment—such as details of the volume permit, the name and voyage number of the vessel, any consignment identifier, a description of the product or the Customs tariff classification to which a product belongs—are in themselves unreasonable in the context of what is being proposed? I realise that Senator Milne's amendments are quite prescriptive, but is the government saying that what is being sought by Senator Milne through her amendments is in itself unreasonable or onerous, or is it saying that it proposes, at least in broad terms, to cover the matters raised by these amendments in the regulations?

Further to that—I do not want to throw in too many questions, but I am conscious that these are Senator Milne's amendments—does the minister concede that the matters sought by Senator Milne would actually close the loop in trying to determine whether a product is illegally logged or not? I am trying to understand the context of the effectiveness of this legislation without it having an undue regulatory burden but with it also being effective in terms of its intent.